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HighlandsWestern North Carolina
Located in the Land of Waterfalls, the Highlands Cashiers mountain plateau range is surrounded by temperate rainforest, pristine lakes and some of the best golf course communities in Western North Carolina. There are over 250 waterfalls to discover in the southern Appalachian Mountains. Bridal Veil Falls, Whitewater Falls and Toxaway Falls are the most popular waterfalls in the Highlands Cashiers area. Lake Glenville, Lake Toxaway and Bear Lake are the region's three mountain lakes. At 2,100 acres, Bear Lake is the largest boating lake. Once a summer retreat for affluent families such as Henry Ford, Thomas Edison and the Rockefeller's, the Highlands Cashiers area is becoming more popular year round as Baby Boomers search for a mountain paradise in Western North Carolina.
At an altitude averaging 4,000 feet, the winter months bring light snowfall to the region. Sapphire Valley Ski Area offers snow tubing, skiing and snowboarding in Cashiers NC. Crossing the Continental Divide, the winding narrow road Highway 64 was carved out of the granite Blue Ridge Mountains. Antique stores, unique boutiques and road side stands hug Highway 64 enticing travelers to stop to purchase their local wares.
During the fall foliage season, the canopied trees are ablaze in color and this region may be one of the prettiest areas in Western North Carolina to view fall foliage. Rock climbers can be easily seen challenging Whiteside Mountain or Granite City from Highway 64. The region is a hiker's mountain paradise. 10,000 acre Gorges State Park, DuPont State Forest and Table Rock State Park anchor both sides of the region. Asheville is about a one hour drive to the north.
Here's more information about the mountain towns and North Carolina mountain communities in the area:
- HIGHLANDS: The Highlands is the largest mountain town of the three in the region. Award winning restaurants, art galleries, outdoor outfitters and antique stores line the brick sidewalks in downtown. Lake Glenville is the town’s pristine 1,450 acre North Carolina mountain lake, the highest elevation lake east of the Mississippi. Steeped rich with history, wealthy aristocrats founded the town and built places such as the BASCOM Center for the Visual Arts. Glen Falls, Dry Falls and Callasaja Falls are the most popular waterfalls in the Highlands. The Highlands Plateau Greenway is a walking trail connecting historical sites throughout the town. In 1956, George Cobb designed the High Hampton Inn and Country Club golf course, one of the best golf course communities in the area.
- CASHIERS: Tucked between Highlands and Lake Toxaway is the small town of Cashiers NC. The town’s main intersection is Highway 64 and NC 107, a place where you’ll find charming gift shops, garden stores and a year round farmer’s market. Hiking trails, cascading waterfalls and scenic overlooks continue to weave themselves into the region’s landscape. The fast moving Horsepasture river runs through the heart of Cashiers. At the higher elevations, breath taking layered mountain views can be seen for miles and miles. Sapphire Valley Ski Area is in the center of town and during the summer months, the golf course is open to the public. Cashier NC homes for sale are easy to find.
- LAKE TOXAWAY: This man-made private 640 acre mountain lake is home to the Greystone Inn and a private golf and second home community. 10,000 acre Gorges State Park is located at Lake Toxaway. The state park has mountain biking trails, picnic areas and more waterfalls. This mountain town is located on the north side of the Highlands mountain plateau range, before the elevation drops near Brevard. Views of Toxaway Falls can be seen by crossing over the Lake Toxaway dam on the winding road of Highway 64.
If you're searching for North Carolina mountain communities, here are reasons to live in the Land of Waterfalls:
ARTS AND CULTURE
In Highlands NC, the Martin-Lipscomb Performing Arts Center is the town’s state of the art venue for off Broadway musical, theater and comedy events. The BASCOM Center for the Visual Arts showcases high quality art rotating exhibits and offers enriching art classes. The Highlands Playhouse is another community theater in Highlands. Gardner’s can enjoy monthly guest lectures at the Highlands Botanical Gardens. The Cashiers Historical Society at the Zachary-Tolbert House offers Academic Symposiums, History Rambles and Musical Performances.
At an elevation ranging from 3,500 to 4,000 feet, the Highlands Cashiers average temperature is in the 30’s December through February. The average annual snowfall is 6 inches. May through September, the average temperature is in the 60’s. As a lush temperate rainforest, rainfall averages about 87 inches per year. Exotic fauna and rare flora are still being discovered each year. The region has four distinct seasons.
LIFELONG LEARNING CENTERS
The Center for Life Enrichment in Highlands NC provides continuing education courses in world events, literature, drama, science, flowers, epicurean, music, arts and technology at various locations. In the northern valley of Highlands Cashiers, Western Carolina University and Southwestern Community College are both located in the city of Sylva. Southwestern Community College is in the process of developing their Plus 50 Ageless Learning Program. Brevard College is the oldest college in the region and offers a variety of speciality non-degree seeking courses.
MEDICAL AND HEALTH CARE
The modern Highlands Cashiers Hospital is a 24 bed facility. The Fidelia Eckert Living Center at the hospital campus is an 84 bed extended nursing care center. The Toxaway Health Center is a smaller medical center providing primary care services at Lake Toxaway. The two largest nearby hospitals are Transylvania Regional Hospital in Brevard or Harris Regional Hospital in Sylva. In 2011, Transylvania Regional Hospital was named a Top Performing Hospital for Quality and is part of the Mission Health System based in Asheville NC. Harris Regional Hospital is part of the WestCare Health System. Medical care is easy to find near the Cashier NC homes for sale.
There are five rivers in the area where you can find the best fly fishing spots, if you love brown, rainbow and brook trout; Chattooga River, Nantahala River, Davidson River, Tuckaseegee, Whitewater River and Cullasaja River. In the Land of Waterfalls, there are dozens of popular hiking trails for people of all skill levels, places to view waterfalls, rock climbers and granite faced mountains. The mountains are part of the southern Appalachian Mountains. In 1956, George Cobb designed the famous High Hampton Inn and Country Club golf course, one of the best golf course communities in the area. Burlingame, Trillium and Sapphire National Golf Club allow public play by invitation. During the winter months, snow tubing and snow skiing can be enjoyed at Sapphire Valley Ski Area.
SHOPPING AND DINING
On Main Street in Highlands and Cashiers, you will find apparel, home decor, art galleries and antique stores. The region does not have big box stores. The local grocer is Ingles Market. While the area does not offer brand name shopping stores, it is rich with tasty scrumptious restaurants. The Gamekeepers Tavern in Lake Toxaway, The Orchard in Cashiers and Wolgang’s Restaurant and Wine Bistro in Highlands are the best restaurants in the region. Traditional strip malls are located in Brevard and Sylva.
HOME AFFORDABILITY AND TAXES
Highlands and Cashiers NC homes for sale average $430,000. The is where you’ll find some of the most expensive homes in Western North Carolina. Highlands is located in Macon County. The estimated property tax millage rate is .2800 per $100. Cashiers and Lake Toxaway are located in Transylvania County. Visit our library to find help and to learn how to calculate property taxes in North Carolina.
If you're searching for North Carolina mountain communities, there are a number of places we find of interest. Some have beautiful golf courses, breathtaking mountain views or are boatable lake communities.