Family Vacation - Highlands NC - Palm Beach Moms
Summer in North Carolina.  Let the fun begin!
Highlands and Cashers are filled with family friendly activities to have your bucaroos tuckered out by lights out.
Where to sleep?
Old Edwards Inn  –  in town historic full service hotel
A great VRBO like this one.
High Hampton Resort – our favorite Smoke Mountain family retreat.  Full service resort restored to all of it’s 1920’s original glory.  Kids camp available!  Must be a member or resort guest to enjoy the restaurants and amenities.

Cliffside Lake: Hiking trails, picnic shelters, grills. Lake for swimming and fishing.

Highlands Nature Center: We usually make a day of this at least once.  Check their schedule for special activities.  Small building but packed with fun activities and things to see.  After take their hike and have a picnic!

Highlands Recreation Park: Picnic tables and a playground.  Pool has retractable roof so rain isn’t a spoiler!

Hike to school house falls

Pantnertown nice hike for kids – fun day, pack picnic

Whitewater Falls – Nice walk/hike –  good for kids, easy walk

Green Market

Gorges State Park nice trails and museum

The Village Green crossroads of Highway 64 and Highway 107 in Cashiers – Playground, gardens

What to do:

Jackson Hole Gem Mining just past highlands Cave and gem mining for the kids
Fun Factory in the Smokies: 56,000 square feet of fun! Play all day on go-carts, arcade games, miniature golf, bowling alley, laser tag, ferris whhel and much more. Feaures two restaurants. (828) 349.8888
Great Smoky Mountain Railroad: Railroad running from Dillsboro to Bryson City. During special times, they feature The Little Engine That Could, Thomas the Tank Engine, and The Polar Express. (800) 872.4681
Highlands Ariel Park was fun for all!  The new Screamer mountain coaster right next to it is a blast too!
Where to eat?
Whiteside Brewing Company – I know I know, baby in a bar, but this is open to a big park, often has live music and the food is really good.

Ingles grocery store is huge and great.  They likely have everything your little heart desires.  Also a drive up drug store if need be.

Mountain Fresh Grocery is right in Highlands and a great spot to provision a picnic.

Old Edwards Inn and Spa is not only a lovely historic place to stay, but the spa is amazing and the restaurant has indoor and outdoor seating.  Sitting outside by the waterfall with the kiddos is picture perfect.

Cornucopia Restaurant great for kids – 16 Cashiers School Rd, Cashiers, NC 28717 (828) 743-3750, porch and outdoor space

Canyon Kitchen – Make reservations as soon as you know you are going.  We enjoyed a great table where the kids were running over to catch fireflies.  Chef Naron is known for sourcing local in season goods and making the most of them.  The whole evening was absolutely splendid.    (828)743-7967

The Orchard Cashiers – 828-743-7614 fresh mountain fare

Highlands Smokehouse

Library Kitchen in the Saphire Valley Resort and built in 1862!  Recently renovated and now is a hip yummy place to enjoy dining al fresco.  We suggest a 5pm reservation on the terrace.
Worth noting:
The roads are mighty curvy and mostly canopied so if you have one who get car sick like we do…  pack a little trash can and trash bags, papertowels and cleaner.  Fresh air, a window seat, and sing along music or fun podcasts (not a movie) also helped us.
We have Verizon and service is spotty at best.
Packing List:
Exploring Clothes
Rain jacket
Sturdy sneakers
Water shoes
Bathing suit
Bathing suit shorts (for sliding rocks)
Bug repellent
Games and puzzles for rainy days