Take a Snap - You Have a Shot: Winter Photo Contest

Show us the magic of Winter on the Highlands-Cashiers Plateau – it’s all around you. If it’s just right, we’ll put you on the cover of

Over the past eight months and the evolution of the pandemic crisis, Highlands Festivals Inc. has demonstrated a unique capacity to evolve, pivoting niftily from the scheduled-then-cancelled November 2020 Food & Wine Festival to a focus on Bear Shadow, the music-centric festival set for April 23-25, 2021, so-named for the phenomena of the bear-like shadow that appears behind Whiteside Mountain. Recently Festival Director Casey Reid announced an inspired alliance with the Highlands-Cashiers Land Trust. Thus, the weekend will smartly expand its breadth, folding in new events in concert with the Trust. And while Bear Shadow’s signature attraction will remain the extraordinary roster of performances, the partnership will allow the Festival, as Reid put it, “To weave the beauty of the music with the stunning natural landscapes and landmarks that are unique to Highlands.” In the planning are exclusive and intimate events like Hike & Mic, a series of collaborative excursions with HCLT that include educational hikes culminating in an intimate musical performance. An option to join the Land Trust will be available to festival ticket purchasers and a virtual membership drive is planned prior to the festival in April. And HCLT will be invited to host a premium membership activation drive on site during the festival in the furtherance of donations and education targeted on behalf of Land Conservation. Started in 1883 with the creation of the Highlands Improvement Association (HIA) the Highlands-Cashiers Land Trust is the oldest land trust in North Carolina and one of the first 20 in the U.S. In recognition of escalating development in Jackson County, the HIA, which was originally created to “protect, preserve and promote the natural beauty of Highlands,” eventually expanded to include Cashiers. On schedule to perform at Bear Mountain Saturday, April 24-25, are world class musicians Mandolin Orange, known for their heady mix of bluegrass, gospel, folk, country and pop; Jamestown Revival, whose combination of harmonies merge Southern country, Americana and Western rock music. Also on schedule are St. Paul & The Broken Bones, famous for their retro-soul sound, the impassioned soul sounds of The War and Treaty; and the bluegrass outfit Love Cannon. The Festival hopes to add a Friday, April 23, show, along with smaller music-focused clinics and events. A full schedule of events will be released in the coming months. For more information, visit highlandsfoodandwine.com. To learn more about HCLT, please visit hicashlt.org/about-us. by Marlene Osteen
Trust in the Music - Bear Shadow Music Festival

Like its panoramic namesake, the Bear Shadow Festival will draw visitors from across the Southeast with its April 2021 debut.

Dynamic Winter Exhibitions at The Bascom

A new exhibit at The Bascom takes the measure of the deep pools of artistic talent just beyond the Highlands-Cashiers Plateau.

Freewheelin at The Bascom in Highlands NC
Celebrate Art + Automobile
The Bascom

The Highlands Motoring Festival and The Bascom have joined forces to create an exciting festival and calendar of art events for next year.


Search Things to Do in Highlands and Cashiers NC


Magazine Issue


Two Apple Themed Events Coming Up

A pair of events have placed the spotlight squarely on the Plateau’s beloved apple trees.

A New Year of Art at The Bascom

The Bascom emerges from a shadowed 2020 with a string of new initiatives and a dazzling new website – thebascom.org.

Winter Happenings at Highlands PAC

A pair of bracing performances from the National Theatre of London and six groundshaking football championships are on the ticket at Highlands PAC. You can stage your own party as well – call (828) 526-9047 or visit HighlandsPerformingArts.com

Grin & Bear It! Cashiers Chamber of Commerce

The Cashiers Area Chamber of Commerce’s new campaign reminds everyone that by simply observing a few sensible steps, we can keep ourselves and our neighbors Covid-free.

Joy Garden Tour Village Shops: Cashiers NC

The Joy Garden Tour, set for July 16-17, returns to its spot as the happiest event on Cashiers’ busy Social Calendar, complete with new vendors and an exciting, safe, virtual tour.

Warm Toast to Love: Valentine’s Day at Old Edwards

No sense in being bashful – Old Edwards Inn is pulling out all the stops to add a deep blush to the middle of a cold gray month. To make reservations for a romantic Valentine’s Weekend, visit oldedwardshospitality.com.

Take a Snap – You Have a Shot: Winter Photo Contest

Show us the magic of Winter on the Highlands-Cashiers Plateau – it’s all around you. If it’s just right, we’ll put you on the cover of the Laurel and proclaim you a Winner!

Keeping it Cold: Ice Skating in Highlands

Keeping it cool is just one of the many steps that maintains the Highlands Ice Rink’s status as a not-to-be-missed wintertime destination. For information or reservations, call (828) 526-3556 or visit highlandsnc.org/recreation-ice-rink.

Local Love: Half-Mile Farm and Old Edwards Inn and Spa

A romantic, marvelously indulgent getaway doesn’t have to involve elaborate transportation plans. If you’re a local resident, Half Mile Farm and Old Edwards Inn are saving a place for you.

Bear Shadow Music Festival: Highlands NC

The Highlands-Cashiers Plateau will be thrumming with the sounds of the Bear Shadow Music Festival, April 23-25. Use those rhythms to power your way through two exclusive excursions offered by Highlands Cashiers Land Trust that include guided hikes to some of Highlands’ most beautiful locales.

Walking in a Winter Wonderland: Highlands-Cashiers Land Trust

Walking in a Winter Wonderland can be a lot more enjoyable and a lot safer when you practice these sensible steps, courtesy of the Highlands-Cashiers Land Trust.

Lending Help: The Libraries of the Highlands Cashiers Plateau

The twin Plateau libraries have emerged as hubs of learning and entertainment options as the world learns to adjust to new challenges and new possibilities.