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Africa Awaits

For Alastair and Laura Lamont, the sensations of Africa are constantly beckoning. If you’ve heard that beguiling siren song, contact them at

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Condo Cozy in Highlands, NC

Some wise decisions and a precise vision allowed Price Connor and Joe Naryka to craft their perfect Plateau getaway.

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Bob and Nancy Mills
When Cupid Takes His Time
Bob and Nancy Mills

Bob and Nancy Mills’ relationship didn’t start with a Meet Cute Moment. It took patience and a go-for-broke spirit to make things work.

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Sam Schmitt
Four-legged Hobby
Sam Schmitt

For Sam Schmitt, a passion for horses, really big horses, has filled his stable and his pastures with these magnificent animals.

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Jeanie Edwards Fine Art Gallery

Jeanie Edwards’ new gallery at 223 South 4th Street in Highlands is sunshine-suffused and serves as the perfect embodiment of her lavish notions

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Walk Under Water
Dry Falls

A potent mix of thunder and mist gives Dry Falls a hypnotic pull that’s almost spiritual.

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Avian World’s Yin & Yang

It’s always Showtime! Wood Ducks are a classic example of guys sprucing up to charm the ladies.

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Shadow of the Bear

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Highlands Food & Wine Festival

The Fifth Highlands Food & Wine Festival, set for November 11-14, is taking every measure possible to ensure that everyone’s safe and sated.

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Fun and Festive
Halloween in Highlands

Don’t be scared! Highlands’ Halloween on Main Street (on October 31) is fun and festive for the whole family. And, if your pooch has the

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At a Glance Waterfall Guide

Enjoy this sampling of area waterfalls, for a deep dive visit thelaurelmagazine.com/recreation.

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Vision 20|20 Retreat at The Mountain

With rhythm under your feet, a bonfire with friends, and fresh   crystalline air in your lungs, you can welcome in the New Year 2020 feeling aligned and connected to your inner vision. Resolutions at New Year’s are on everyone’s mind.  Who will you be in 2020?  Writing something down on paper may do your goal justice, but there’s another …

Not in the Mood for Winter?

Some people see the changing of the colors of leaves in the fall as a reason to spend more time outdoors and to start getting excited about the holidays ahead. There are some who react to this time of year with drained energy and feelings of depression. The clinical name for this is called seasonal affective disorder (SAD). If you …

A Norton Christmas Dinner

The people of the Norton Community of Hamburg were busy having festive dinner parties to celebrate Christmas in 1912 according to the news posted in the social gossip column ran in the January 3, 1913, issue of the Jackson County Journal. Norton had about 220 people living on the western higher mountains above the village of Glenville when the village …


That Rings A Bell

My aunt lived in Social Circle, Georgia.  It used to be way, far-away from Atlanta. Now it’s practically a suburb. There was a drug store, a couple of churches (one of which survived Sherman’s march), a freezer locker (remember those?), and something that resembled a service station. If you wanted to call someone, you’d speak to the operator who, for …

A Step Back in Time

December, the month when Mother Nature provides us with the quiet and welcoming embrace of near silence, offering a chance to step into her welcoming arms and escape the hustle and bustle of the season. When you’re ready for a break from the clamor of the holiday season, the Cashiers Historical Society invites you to visit the Zachary-Tolbert House grounds …

Clear Creek Christmas Memories

Last month, the Plateau lost one of its Good Guys. Eugene Talley was something of a living legend. He was gruff, quick to challenge those who thought they might have an edge on him, just as quick to laugh at himself. And that rough-as-a-cob exterior couldn’t quite hide a generous spirit that knew no boundaries. The stories about that sweet …


Where the Wild Things Are

This summer, the Highlands Nature Center’s programming celebrated the rich natural history of the Plateau.  Our campers explored wild spaces ranging from the HBS Meadow to Panthertown Valley, digging into topics like geology, ecology, and gardening along the way. At Nature Center Nights, attendees searched for fluorescent millipedes in the Botanical Garden, meandered for salamanders, and listened for bats over …

Gather the Galax

Galax comes from the Greek word Gala, which means milk, and refers to the white-as-milk dainty flowers that bloom into an eight to 15-inch spire in late May through early summer.  Other names are Beetleweed and Wandflower. This ground cover plant is native to the Southeast, and grows from New York to northern Alabama, but thrives in the Southern Appalachian …

The Northern Cardinal

This bird is close to the human heart, the state bird in seven states. We revere Cardinals and have made them mascots of many sports teams from grade school to the major leagues including the St. Louis, Arizona, Ball State and Wesleyan Cardinals. We take them as totems and even have a College of Cardinals, appropriately attired, in the hierarchy …


Winter Fly Fishing

For most fly anglers, the perceived “Season to Fish” is Spring  through the Fall.   For a lot of trout destinations around the world, this is true. Here in the Southeast, however, it’s not the case.  In fact, our larger rivers and streams (the ones that are most desirable to fish for most people) actually fish a lot better in winter …

Exploring Norton Mill Creek

Whiteside Cove Road is a gateway to several popular sweet spots throughout the Nantahala National Forest, including Granite City, Cashiers Sliding Rock, Ammons Branch, Ellicott Rock, and Iron Bridge, to name a few. All of them offer visitors a unique day-trip experience.  One of the lesser known spots in this area is the footbridge at the confluence of Norton Mill …

Entice Your Senses

It’s easy to get lost in Tia Dana…its spell is subtle, it seduces the senses and entices the imagination. And it’s all part of a vision made real by owner Dana Davidoff and her four-legged sidekick, Freeway.   “Curating beautifully considered, functional items for others to enjoy is my passion,” Dana says.  “By sharing these items, my intent is to …