Photo Courtesy – Highlands Chamber of Commerce
Highlands was North Carolina’s highest town at an elevation of 4,118 feet above sea level before the incorporation of Beech Mountain in the northwestern part of the state, which sits at 5,506 feet above sea level. It’s a ritzy little resort town. There aren’t many chain stores, but there are several high end shops and boutiques. During the summer, the town’s population grows to over 20,000 (as opposed to less than 1,000 in the winter) from all of the rich people coming to live in their second homes and tourists traveling through the area.
Other than Brevard, this is where the best and most easily accessible waterfalls are thanks to the Mountain Waters Scenic Byway, which begins on US 64 at the west end of downtown highlands and snakes through the mountains for 64.5 miles. All of the falls along US 64 to Franklin are listed in this section.