Ron and I love quick weekend trips that are near home. We can take a look at the calendar, see an open two days, and jump in the car. One of our favorite spots is Highlands, North Carolina and the Old Edwards Inn and Spa – one of America’s most romantic hotels.
The towns of Highlands and Cashiers have the quaintest downtowns with some of the best food around. When we stay at Old Edwards, Ristorante Paoletti is always a must if they’re open! The tiny Italian restaurant is incredible, but they are only open for certain seasons so be sure to call first! Madison’s at Old Edwards is also a stop, switching out their menu often to coincide with fresh ingredients. Mountain Fresh Grocery is another favorite for a laid back breakfast or snacks. In Cashiers, Ron recently discovered Slab Town Pizza with some friends. I have yet to try it, but he gives it raving reviews.
Vivace, a women’s clothing boutique, has locations in both Cashiers and Highlands and is one of my stop-ins while we’re in town. Bardo 49 is a home store with some of the coolest furniture and gifts – I love going in to see what they have. I want to bring home every piece. I’m still discovering stores, so if you have any favorites, let me know!
And now on to the best part of the trip! Old Edwards is situated right in the middle of downtown Highlands. There are fireplaces and cozy nooks around every corner, and I will never tire from just hanging out at the hotel. The library is where you’ll find us most often, if we’re not at the spa. I am going to go ahead and say that this spa is my favorite in North Carolina – yes, that means that I like it more than Grove Park Inn. Please don’t strike me down.
We usually stay in the Falls Cottage area of the hotel – right next to the pool area. Last time we were visiting, we were offered a room at Half Mile Farm – the newest addition to Old Edwards. This property is about two miles from the main hotel, so we were a little skeptical. We stayed in Falls Cottage, and went to visit Half Mile Farm on the way out of town to see what it was all about.
We loved it so much, we came back two days later with friends to stay the night. Part of the reclaimed inn was just built and opened six weeks ago. The guest rooms are complete with a fireplace, balcony, marble bathrooms, a soaking tub and heated floors. While the property only offers breakfast at the moment, we loved how quiet it was. Just like at the main hotel, there are hang out areas around every corner, as well as a lake equipped with canoes and paddle boards.
There’s something special about the drive up to Highlands from Greenville. With each turn up the mountain, I get that much calmer as I start to lose more and more cell service. (Praise hands emoji). The GPS took us down the State Park road, which I’m going to be honest – don’t do it unless you’re rolling in an SUV. But once we made it to this bridge it was so worth it. Waterfalls were on each side, and it was literally in the middle of nowhere. Pure mountain magic.
Thank you to the Old Edwards Inn for hosting us, and we can’t wait to see you again very soon!
xx, Paula and Ron