Heritage & History-Rich Highlands, NC

An unlikely confluence of natural treasures, events, and quirky personalities created the endlessly surprising Highlands community that continues

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Reflecting on the Past 20 Years
Carpe Diem Farms

Though her attention is clearly focused on the busy year ahead, Sue takes a few moments to cast her gaze to the early days of this magazine and

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The Heart & Start of it

For Delaine and Steve Mehder, their differences have somehow led to an abiding complementary love that will not be denied.

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20 Years of Art

“To say that The Laurel Magazine is an instrumental influence to our arts community would be a huge understatement. They feature art on each

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Award-Winning Dining at Greystone Inn

The Greystone Inn’s Lakeside Dining Room has earned international honors with Opentable.com’s Diner’s Choice Award. To evaluate the wisdom

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Wine, Women & Song at Oak Restaurant

“A Jug of Wine, A Loaf of Bread and Thou” – somehow the 11th century’s Omar Khayyam predicted the vibrant spirit of Bear Shadow’s Wine,

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Get Your Fix
Sapphire, NC

The Fix Restaurant, Bar & Lounge, located at 3093 US 64 East in Sapphire, arrives in this quiet community as an exclamation point for food and

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It’s Brunch Time: Oak Steakhouse Highlands

The arrival of Brunch at Oak Steakhouse at Skyline Lodge is a cause for celebration. Reservations are a must – (828) 482-4720.

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Branching Out: The Art of Dave Ferrell

Dave Ferrell’s chainsaw wizardry draws magical figures from ordinary blocks of wood.

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Woman with an Ibis: Cover Artist, Mase Lucas

Take a closer look at the artistry and profound mystery embedded within our Mase Lucas covers.

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Garden Club Plant Sale
Highlands, NC

Just in time for Plateau Planting, the Highlands Mountain Garden Club’s beloved Annual Plant Sale returns to the Town Ball Field on Saturday,

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Marketplace Magic on Saturdays in Highlands

With Covid restrictions fading into the rearview mirror, Highlands Marketplace is a dazzling showcase for local farmers and artisans, Saturdays

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A River Runs Through it : Three River Fly Fly Fishing

The Three River Fly Fishing Festival, set for April 21-23, offers plenty of challenges for both veteran anglers and clever novices of all ages.

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Bear Shadow Music Festival: Highlands NC

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And Kentucky Makes 8: Cashiers Highlands Humane Society

Six very lucky dogs get a new leash on life thanks to the gentle ministrations of the Cashiers-Highlands Humane Society.

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Cover-Worthy Winters: Annual Cover Winter Photo Contest

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Daytime Experiences at Bear Shadow: Highlands NC

Bear Shadow, slated for April 29 through May 1, sets the tone for a busy Plateau Season with an unforgettable series of daytime experiences.

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The Laurel turns 20

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CLEAR

90 Years of Reputable Research

Highlands is a biologically diverse area with more species of plants and animals than nearly any other ecosystem in the United States, and serves as a refuge for many bee species, including important pollinators that are facing threats to their fitness and survival.   With so many important species located here in Highlands, it is imperative that we share our …

National Mentoring Month

January is National Mentoring Month, so it only seems right to feature one of our awesome matches.   Barrett is a student at Southwestern Community College where he is pursuing his Outdoor Leadership degree before attending Western Carolina University to study in parks and recreation.  He is a guide at Nantahala National Forest and is an Eagle Scout and has …

A Silver Celebration

Happy New Year!  2017 is an auspicious year for Carpe Diem Farms!  January 27 marks our twenty-fifth anniversary of becoming a 501©3 educational foundation.  It’s also the start of our fourth year marketing Easy’s Slipper, the therapeutic glue-on slipper developed, created and manufactured at the farm.  Because of the horses of Carpe Diem, the slippers are now helping horses around …


Observing Nature’s Lessons

This autumn, Western North Carolina came under an “exceptional drought” of historic proportions, and wildfires began tearing through our mountains and valleys. Historically speaking, fire once played an important role in our mountain forests.  The Cherokee and early settlers would burn areas for crops and to reduce the shrub density in forests, primarily in the valleys.  These low and relatively “cool” …

Walk a Hound, Lose a Pound

One of the most common New Year’s resolutions goes sometime like this: “Starting now, this is the year I am going to lose weight and get into shape!”  To help you achieve that goal, there is a multi-billion-dollar industry out there anxious to separate you and your pocketbook, from gym memberships and equipment purchases, to shakes, supplements, and pills.  At the …

You Can Thank Ricky!

Ricky Siegel and his wife Helene own and operate 4 1/2 Street Inn in downtown Highlands.  You might think such an undertaking would leave time for little else.  You don’t know Ricky. “I’m slowing down now,” Siegel says.  “I volunteer on the Tourism Development Committee, the Highlands Cashiers Players Board of Directors, and the Highlands Greenway Board.”  When asked where he …


Check it Out… at the Library

When is the last time you actually visited the Hudson Library on Main Street in Highlands? The Hudson Library has been serving the Highlands community since it was established in 1884 and has continued to remain current and relevant, thanks to its dedicated staff. Jennifer Crowley took over as librarian from Mary Lou Worley in May 2014, and joins fellow …

Mind Your Health

Happy April from NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) Appalachian South. April is a beautiful time here in the mountains. It’s easy to be grateful this time of year, as we marvel at the magic of spring — things like the days getting longer and the grass getting taller. However, it’s equally as easy to be stressful this time of …

Literacy Volunteers Rock!

In 1974, President Richard Nixon signed the executive order establishing National Volunteer Week. Since then, every president has signed a proclamation promoting this event. Accordingly, April is national volunteer month and let me just say the Literacy Council has some of the best and brightest volunteers out there! From the time I began my career here almost five years ago, …


Start Something for a Child

It’s an exciting time to be part of the Big Brothers Big Sisters program in Highlands and Cashiers. There are great Advisory Councils leading the route toward continued growth and financial stability, and most importantly, each year the councils discuss new ways to support the participating children. Last year, a pilot program was launched and three children (two from Highlands …

From Underdog to Champion

Until this year, I never had a name. This is my story. I am 2 ½ years old. I was chained to the bumper of a rusty, old abandoned truck for my entire life. My feet were  swollen and always in mud, and fleas crawled on me 24 hours a day. I have lost portions of both my ears due …

Compassion and Commitment

The Friends for Life Forever Farm has been housing and caring for senior and special needs animals for 10 years. Some of our dogs and cats have been fortunate enough to be adopted into loving homes despite their age or infirmity. But many animals have left this life having spent their last days in our care. And as time passes we …