There's just something about this place. Many things, really. The vistas that stop you in your tracks. Exuberant waterfalls cascading into rivers stocked with trout. World-class golf, restaurants, shopping, and a vibrant arts scene. No matter what you come here for, you can’t help but leave inspired.

History of Highlands

The unique mountain town of Highlands, with its rich history, wonderful climate and enviable way of life, is located in rugged Western North Carolina.

 

Highlands stands tall in the high country at an altitude of 4,118 feet, making it one of the highest incorporated municipalities east of the Mississippi River. Surrounding mountains reach heights of more than 5,000 feet.

 

Highlands sits atop the Highlands Plateau — a large float mountaintop — and can be reached by automobile traveling scenic, winding roads.

 

Before the town was settled, the plateau land was owned by the Dobson Family of Horse Cove. The land was purchased by Samuel T. Kelsey and Clinton C. Hutchinson in March 1875. In 1876, Kelsey and Hutchinson sent flyers out to other states advertising the climate and altitude of the new town. By 1883, Highlands had grown to 300 residents, and it was incorporated.

 

Since the early 1900's, Highlands has been a popular summer resort. Summers are cool here, usually in the 70s. Many people come to Highlands from across the South in the summer to enjoy the cool climate, laid-back atmosphere, and respite from the fast pace of city life.

 

Highlands also is a “renewal” point for professional people and executives in high-powered positions, who have second homes here.

 

The township's winter population is about 2,000, while numbers typically swell to more than 20,000 in the summer months.