Nature explains herself in the winter – with brilliant bluster, with bold bravado, with tempestuous taunts. The wild chill of the coldest season overlaying both the end of one year and the beginning of another provides strange opportunity to experience winter’s deeper nature.
We at The Park on Main® embrace winter in Highlands, NC as blazing white snowy blankets lay nobly over the Southern Appalachian Mountain landscape, creating an old-fashioned majesty surrounding America’s cosmopolitan small town.
The days are short, but opportunities to enjoy the beautiful winter rigor are abundant. Here is some fun stuff to do in Highlands during your winter stay at The Park on Main®, the luxury, pet-friendly hotel.
- Whiteside Mountain provides views of some of the highest cliffs in the eastern United States. Cliffs rise 2,100 feet to a 4,930-feet summit. The mountain is five miles east of Highlands on U.S. 64.
- Hikers can view three waterfalls on Glen Falls’ two-mile walk. The trail starts easy and heads to the East Fork Overflow Creek. Glen Falls is two miles west of Highlands on State Road 106.
- Hardy winter lovers are able to view mountain ranges and sprawling landscapes at Cullasaja River Gorge, five miles east of Dry Falls on U.S. 64.
- The 120-foot Bridal Veil Falls waterfall sometimes draws afternoon rainbows if bristling winter cold doesn’t taint the view by freezing the waterfall, which creates a whole different view of winter in Highlands, NC. The falls are 2.5 miles west of Highlands in the Cullasaja River Gorge. Motorists can drive under the 45-foot waterfall.
- Popular for swimming during warmer seasons, Quarry Falls has a large, deep pool at its bottom. West of U.S. 64, the falls are also known as “Bust-Your-Butt Falls.”
- North on U.S. Highway 276, Looking Glass Falls’ 60-foot drop makes it one of the most spectacular.
Discover Indoor Fun
For folks looking for indoor solace, here are a few events.
- The Bascom Art Center’s six buildings on six acres provide winter visitors opportunities to enjoy exhibitions, studio art instruction or other cultural events. The center sets on the mountain plateau.
- Sipping tasty libation is what makes the Mountaintop Wine Shoppe reign supreme. The shop offers more than 600 wines, and 50 wines “by the glass” are available along with cheese, meat and dessert plates. Wine station machines give sippers the privilege of sampling 16 different wines, and during less robust winter afternoons and evenings, guests at The Park on Main® may relax on the shop’s front lawn seating in the fire pit area.
What can you expect from Highlands’ winter? Winter began 11:48 p.m., Dec. 21. Late-day temperatures in the rolling wonder of Western North Carolina’s Southern Appalachia can descend into the lower 40s with frigid early-morning readings reaching the mid 20s.
The sun begins casting long rays through the mountain ranges around 7:40 a.m. and settles in for the evening around 5:30 p.m.
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