Local Area Guide: Things to do / Activities / Attractions

Highlands is surrounded by the lush green Nantahala National Forest and the Blue Ridge Mountains, home to scenic hiking trails, cascading waterfalls and endless outdoor adventures and activities. Named a "Top 5 Small Town Getaway", we invite you to explore our top selection of "Things to Do in Highlands, North Carolina". 

Arts & Culture

Named one of America`s Top Twelve Small-Town ArtPlaces in April 2013 BY ArtPlace America, Highlands has a vibrant arts and culture scene.

Day Trips

Set in the heart of the Nantahala National Forest, there is beauty around every corner when explore the areas surrounding Highlands. Set out on a day trip to discover waterfalls, hiking trails and great activities and attractions.

Events & Festivals

There is always something happening in Highlands! Check out the Chamber Events Calendar for a list of year-round events and festivals.


Tee off amidst the beauty of Highlands great outdoors surrounded by lush green forests and the beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Hiking Trails

There are endless hiking trails in and around Highlands from short strolls perfect for a family outing to strenuous trails into the mountains. It`s wildflowers and waterfalls all the way!

Kid-Friendly Activities

Mom, I`m bored is not a phrase you hear in Highlands! There are endless activities and attractions that will keep the kids busy all vacation long.

Outdoor Adventures

Why stay inside when you can play outdoors! Take a look around and we are sure you`ll agree that there is plenty to do in Highlands when it comes to outdoor activities.

Pet-Friendly Restaurants & Activities

No-one likes to leave their pooch at home alone on vacation. We have found the best restaurants and activities that will leave your pooch feeling exhausted at the end of the day.


Come Enjoy great food in the area

Scenic Overlooks

Looking for that perfect Instagram shot of your breathtaking surroundings! There are plenty of scenic overlooks that promise you picture perfect views, beautiful sunsets and quiet moments in the midst of nature.


There are dozens of easily accessible waterfalls that cascade their way through the mountains surrounding Highlands, with the added bonus of Glen Falls and Bridal Veil Falls only 3 miles from downtown. Explore with us.


Lake Glenville is a popular destination for those who enjoy watersports, only 13 miles from Highlands, NC. Stop by the marina or rent a pontoon to cruise the waters.