The Highlands area of North Carolina and the surrounding towns of Aberdeen, Southern Pines and Pinehurst are considered the first home of American golf. Golfers travel here from all over to experience Highlands courses created by famous designers and groomed to emerald green perfection.
But there are also many other attractions here that are not to be missed. The Highlands are a perfect family vacation destination, offering pristine beaches, winding hiking and biking trails, beautiful waterfalls, and fun attractions for children of all ages.
There are also a variety of museums and cultural sites to explore here. Visit the museums and wander through the quaint shopping districts. When your feet are tired, experience the world-class relaxation and pampering at a luxury spa.
Each night after the sun goes down, take advantage of some of the best seafood restaurants and energetic nightspots in North Carolina. Come to the Highlands to play, relax, leave your worries behind and make some lasting memories.
Here are a few additional suggestions as you plan your trip:
- Visit the Dry Falls Park: This is one of the easier scenic hikes in the area with a shorter trail and manageable grade. For a more challenging hike with an equally beautiful waterfall destination point, try Bridal Veil Falls.
- Go rock climbing: Whiteside Mountain draws rock climbers of all experience levels. This is a perfect place to learn if you're a beginner or challenge your skills if you're an expert.
- Go trout fishing: The rivers and lakes around the Highlands area are serene and picturesque, and they're a perfect place to idle away the afternoon fly fishing or casting your line from a boat.
- Explore the art galleries: The Highlands are home to some fantastic local and regional artists and sculptors, and many galleries open their doors to the public all summer long.
- Visit the Highlands Biological Station and Botanical Gardens: This beautiful nature center and research area houses over 450 species of ferns, trees and blooming plants.
- See a show: See a live theatrical performance at the Highlands Playhouse, a friendly and intimate local venue.
As you schedule your trip to the Highlands, you'll want to find a place to stay that that's relaxing and luxurious and also offers easy access to your favorite activities. Find a cabin with a fireplace if you plan to arrive during the winter and snowshoe along the trails. If you're looking for a family summer vacation rental, find a condo or elegant ocean villa just steps away from the beach.
As featured in USA TODAY and recommended by Travel + Leisure in its annual Villa Guide:
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