I am headed to a place called Highlands, North Carolina for a destination wedding for my nephew. So, why is a couple from beautiful San Francisco, choose a place out here in nowhere? Good question, so maybe I should do a little research.
From what I read, Highlands is known as a mountain retreat, one of the highest towns east of the Mississippi River at 4118 feet. It contains a temperate rainforest, one of the few in the U.S. And with a population of 3200, it swells to over 18,000 in the summer.
From their website: Highlands boasts exquisite restaurants, fabulous shopping and a great cultural arts scene. The “postcard” downtown offers plenty of art galleries, antique stores and upscale boutiques. Five of the restaurants have been awarded the coveted Wine Spectator Award of Excellence. In the middle of downtown Highlands is Old Edwards Inn and Spa, a resort consisting of the historic main building, a full-service European–style spa, Madison’s Restaurant and Wine Garden.
Highlands is roughly two hours, or about 73 miles from Asheville. And about 2 hours north of Hotlanta. The area is known for waterfalls, hiking trails, summer performing arts, fishing, and golf. On previous trips to NC, I have golfed at the famous Pinehurst Golf Courses. In fact, I did my post graduate studies in Chapel Hill, and the University of Basketball, aka UNC. And just down the road in Durham, is the private university of basketball, Duke.
I am rather curious to have a cold beer at the Ugly Dog Pub. “Satulah Mountain makes great beer, Mountain Fresh Grocery is more a chaotic, free wheeling foodie destination and hardly a grocery store, there’s also the aforementioned Ugly Dog, plus anything happening at the Old Edwards Inn.”
I assume the wedding and related events will be at Old Edwards. From their website: Perched atop the southwest plateau of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Old Edwards Inn and Spa is woven into Highlands, NC community and culture. Situated in the heart of downtown, our European style resort offers a mountain retreat with luxury guestrooms, suites, cottages, and vacation homes, as well as farm-to-table restaurants and a destination spa. Tee off on the spectacular 18-hole golf course at the Old Edwards Club with dramatic mountain vistas. When it is warm outside, immerse yourself in outdoor mineral pools or a warm whirlpool when the weather is chilly.
I tried to reserve a room at Old Edwards, and got a “sorry.” No rooms available. So, I am staying a few miles away in a “lesser” accommodation, called Mitchell’s Lodge, more within my budget, since I will be on the road for more than a week. Also, I am not sure how many people from our family will be in attendance. It should be interesting, and different.
On the plus side, our hosts are offering a plethora of events, mainly food related. My sister and her husband are hosting a “rehearsal” dinner for everyone, including us out of towners on Friday night. We have most of Saturday free until the 5pm wedding, so perhaps a drive up to Asheville will fill the void. After the big wedding Saturday night, her parents are hosting a brunch on Sunday morning! Wow, such hospitality!!!