Easy Escapes

Easy Southern Escapes: Cashiers, North Carolina

by  Melanie Warner Spencer | May 11, 2020
Cashiers, North Carolina
Cashiers, North Carolina / iStock / fallbrook

Cashiers, North Carolina is a scenic little hamlet nestled in the highest plateau in the Blue Ridge Mountains, about 62 miles from Asheville. This resort community has a rainforest-like atmosphere, offering mountain views, cool temperatures, and lots of antiques. Charming eateries, hiking, fishing, mountain biking, and golf will round out your visit.

Activities: The number one reason to visit Cashiers is to get outside and soak in Mother Nature. Leave no view unturned by hiking and chasing waterfalls at Whiteside Mountain, Yellow Mountain, and in the Nantahala National Forest at Panthertown Valley and Schoolhouse Falls. Here, you’ll also find boating, swimming, and mountain biking. Of course, shopping at the center of town, on NC Highway 107 and US Highway 64, is an adventure in and of itself. Restaurants, walking paths, and the Village Green park surround the stores -- and don’t forget to hit up the farmer’s market.

Food & Drink: Cornucopia Restaurant is a quaint spot for lunch, dinner, and Sunday brunch. Smoked trout dip, vegetarian fare, gourmet sandwiches, and burgers fill the midday menu; in the evening, crab cakes with a red pepper remoulade, barbecue pork ribs, and seared salmon will satisfy. We also suggest traveling a short, picturesque 10 miles to nearby Highlands for dinner and vino at Paoletti Ristorante, owned by husband and wife team Luigi and Regina Paoletti. Yellowfin tuna tartar, delicate calamari, veal scaloppini, and duck foie gras with grilled pineapple and a port reduction are standouts on the sophisticated Italian menu. The impressive wine list is a favorite of Wine Spectator, too.

Stay: The circa-1922, shingle-style, chestnut, and poplar-clad High Hampton Inn & Country Club is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Here, the 116 rooms range from $299 to $350 per night, while a variety of cottages go between $565 per night to $3,955 per week depending on the season and number of occupants. For that price, guests enjoy three meals a day featuring local, seasonal cuisine. This is the place to stay for those looking to disconnect. There are no TVs or phones in the rooms; instead, spend your time enjoying a hot stone massage at the spa, playing board games by the fire at night, and communing with nature. (Activities golf, hiking, tennis, swimming in the private lake, boating, and fishing.) This is also a pet-friendly property, so feel free to bring your best friend.

Getting There: Fly into the Asheville Regional Airport and drive 47 miles to Cashiers via U.S. 64 West.

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