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Things To Do In The Highlands Of NC

The majestic Blue Ridge Mountains serve as the perfect backdrop for a luxury getaway. From the range's scenic vistas to its network of trails perfectly accented by the region's numerous waterfalls, there's no place on earth quite like Highlands, North Carolina.

For guests looking to make the most out of their stay at the prestigious Rockwood Lodge, we'll take a deep dive into the surrounding area to help you and your loved ones discover exciting things to do in Highlands, NC.

Explore the Lure of the Outdoors

The Blue Ridge Mountain area of North Carolina is known first and foremost as a natural refuge where you can lose yourself in the idyllic tranquility of nature. As you venture beyond Rockwood Lodge's walls, you'll immediately be met with the peaceful sights and sounds of the wild in all its splendor. From there, you can either relax at your own pace or enjoy a more structured experience. Here are our suggestions to help you get the most out of the area's beautiful environment.


There's no better way to see all the things to do in the Highlands, NC, than by foot. Start with the Highlands Plateau Greenway, with more than 10 miles of walkable trails that wind out into the wilderness and back through town, featuring the Highlands botanical garden. Or head into higher elevations with the stunning view from the Osage Overlook. End your hiking experience with a leisurely picnic around the lake at the Cliffside Recreation Area, where you can try your hand at fishing or just relax.


Of all the things to do in Highlands, NC, there's no attraction more famous than the region's waterfalls. The Highland area boasts nine different waterfalls, all within a short radius of one another, including Glen Falls, Dry Falls, Sliding Rock, and Whitewater Falls. We recommend that visitors set aside an entire day to experience these natural wonders in all their glory.

Fishing, zip lining, and more

When it comes to all the things to do in Highlands, NC, outdoor activities aren't limited to hiking the waterfalls. Try fishing at any of the region's many bodies of water, or do something more daring like riding the ziplines at Highlands Aerial Park, or take to the open road by bike or motorcycle and explore!


Discover the ancient sport of falconry at Curtis Wright’s Falconry Experience. Lose yourself in the idyllic tranquility of the Blue Ridge Mountains while getting up close and personal with a bird of prey. Their licensed falconer will guide you through the intricacies of falconry, as you learn about the unique bond between falconer and bird. Feel the thrill of having a magnificent hawk perched on your gloved fist as it flies from tree to tree before landing gracefully back on your arm. It's a hands-on experience like no other, perfect for both the novice and the experienced.

Immerse Yourself in Art-Oriented Activities

Nature is a large part of Rockwood Lodge's charm, but Highlands is also a cultural destination in its own right. One of the most worthwhile things to do in Highlands, NC, is visit The Bascom, a Center for the Visual Arts.

The Bascom features a rotating array of regional exhibits and hands-on activities to help satisfy the most curious of minds.

Other cultural flashpoints include the Highlands Playhouse, the Carolina Gallery of Fine Arts, a selection of high-end boutiques, and the area's famous summer concert series.

Savor the Flavor of Local Foods and Stellar Beverages

Don't forget food and drink when planning things to do in the Highlands, NC. The region is famous for a broad palette of cuisines, including world-famous smokehouse barbecue, wines, regionally made cheeses, and of course, salads and culinary masterpieces incorporating North Carolina's rich agricultural lineup. Finish your experience with a wide array of freshly baked desserts incorporating locally sourced ingredients.

Explore an Idyllic Retreat Set Above the Blue Ridge Mountains

There's a universe of interesting and exciting things to do in Highlands, NC. Tucked high above it all, the luxurious and scenic Rockwood Lodge serves as the perfect base from which to explore.

Situated on a sprawling and beautiful 350-acre plot, Rockwood is peace of mind, contentment, and high-class service distilled into a single location. With eight different signature rooms, the Rockwood Lodge represents the best of Carolina's mountain region. Explore an idyllic retreat set high above the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Image credit: Melinda Fawver / Shutterstock

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