Additional Travel Info (E.G. Highlands, NC)

Extra Tidbits & Info about North Carolina

Highlands, North Carolina

Highlands, North Carolina is located on a southern plateau in the Appalachian mountains, or more specifically, in the Blue Ridge Mountains.  Highlands is located in a rainforest area, filled with lovely tall trees and waterfalls in every direction.

Highlands is a relatively small town with a 2020 census population of 1072, but claims a year-round population of 3,200, with a visiting population over 18,000 in the summer.  Highlands has been a luxurious, established mountain respite and welcoming resort town for over a century, sitting near the Nantahala National Forest.  Looking for a beautiful hiking trail?  Waterfalls?  There are many local options.

Highlands is mainly a tourist area with many inns, restaurants, antique shops, upscale boutiques, art galleries, golf courses and theaters. Being established in 1875, the town has several buildings on the National Register of Historic Places.

Because of it’s cooler summer temperatures, many people from warmer Southern climates vacation here.

The area also is one of natural beauty with many features like the waterfalls, gorges and abundant hiking trails through the mountains and fishing.

Highlands is a bit cooler in temperature than the rest of the South due to its high elevation, having an average elevation of 4118 feet above sea level.  ( What do you think?  I'm guessing this is how this town got its name!)

As a result of its high elevation, Highlands does get a lot more rain than average.  And to keep all those gorgeous waterfalls flowing, there needs to be a lot of rain.  

For us, going to the Highlands area in July, you might want to know the average July temperatures and rainfall.

Average High: 79

Average Low: 50

Average rainfall : 6.34 inches

The record high for July is 98 and the record low is 32!  Wow, bring a variety of clothing, just in case.   Also, it looks like we can expect as least a little rain while we're there.  If this matters to you, bring appropriate rainy day clothing.

Highlands NC Web Cams

Want to see what Highlands NC looks like?

Here is a link to a page that has two live web cameras in Highlands, both with time lapse video.

One view is of this little town’s wonderful historic main street.  Quaint and cozy, hey?

The second view is Big Bear Pen Mountain.  ( Do you think we will see any bears this year?)

Check it out:


PS:  we'll probably be okay, but here is a Bear Fact.   North Carolina's Albemarle-Pamlico Peninsula has the highest black bear densities in the world !!   Don't fret -- that's a long ways from our retreat location, over an 8 hr drive.  But  who know North Carolina had so many bears?!

Blue Ridge Mountains

Why so Blue?

This part of the Appalachian Mountain Range is also known as the Blue Ridge Mountains. The Blue Ridge Mountains are named because from a distance they appear to have a bluish color. This bluish color actually comes from trees releasing isoprene into the atmosphere.

By releasing VOC’s — volatile organic compounds,  chemicals that easily form vapors — these molecules react with the ozone molecules and scatter blue light from the sun.  This scattering blue light creates the bluish haze you can see over the mountains.

We know how TEAL is the favorite color around the Discussing Dissociation, P4, and forum sites.  The BLUE Ridge Mountains are a little bit teal, surely so.   Green trees + blue light must mean this is a very teal-colored place for us to meet.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is located just north of the Highlands area.  The Smokies aren't the same as the Blue Ridge Mountains -- they are a sub-range of the Blue Ridge Mountains.  Some of the highest mountain peaks in the Eastern USA are found in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. This park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  The Smokies have been one of my personal favorite areas for many, many years.


Highlands Historical Society Museum

This museum in the Highlands NC is a restored version of North Carolina's oldest library, loaded, of course, with plenty of historical artifacts, photos, and exhibits.

Franklin Gem and Mineral Museum

Franklin NC and Macon County considers itself to be the gem capital of the world!  The hills and mountains of the area around the retreat are riddled with gemstones and pretty rocks, garnets, rubies, quartz and more.  Want to learn more?  Visit this museum to study the local gems, rocks, and minerals.

Or, get your own gems when you visit Jackson Hole Trading Post & Gem Mine.    Pan for treasures as you load your own bucket of gems!  Yep, you pick your size of bucket, borrow some tools, and out you go....  Fill up your bucket with amethysts, garnets, topaz, rubies, moonstone, etc.

Museums for Cherokee Indian History

There is much history for the Cherokee Nation in the North Carolina area.  Go to Cherokee, NC to learn more about the Cherokees who still reside in the east, and the Oconaluftee Indian Village.

New Echota GA was the capital of the Cherokee Nation until the Trail of Tears, forced removal, began in the 1830's.  The New Echota Historical Park provides information available for the public.

The American Museum of the House Cat

Yep, in honor of Jazzy, my newest little "house cat" recently found abandoned in a magic tree, we'll include this museum on the list for P4 attendees.  This museum-cat rescue has over 5000 cat related items, and is located in Sylva NC.  Shelter tours are available.