An Opportunity for Memories
How a Staff Retreat to The Highlands Paid Dividends in Workplace Culture
Last year I went on a retreat with my company to Highlands, North Carolina. I’ve been on many of these corporate retreats before, but this one was different – it was elevated (literally & figuratively). We worked hard together and got out of our comfort zones but left the retreat having more fun and communicating better than ever before.
Me and my 60+ colleagues stayed at the Half Mile Farm for the weekend where we enjoyed the lush forest scenery, meandering trails, beautiful lake, and luxurious accommodations (much-appreciated after our long days). We attended all-hands meetings in the conference room turned open-air pavilion thanks to the nice weather. Breakout sessions were held in the quaint Garden House, the perfect setting for more intimate groups. At night we all gathered by the outdoor fire pit for cocktails and small talk.
The real game-changer in our retreat was the day we spent at Highlands Aerial Park, a zipline and ropes course adventure park. As someone scared of heights, I was very nervous to partake in the activities, but the instructors made me feel comfortable and my coworkers supported me through every step of the way. This experience definitely bonded us and helped us with communication and teamwork.
This trip was nearly a year ago, and my colleagues and I still reminisce on the memories made in Highlands, NC.
Highlands, North Carolina is an elegant town settled along the spine of the Southern Appalachian Mountains where many Southerners will venture for a quick and relaxing getaway. Follow our three recommendations for a quintessential Southerner’s Highlands experience:
Bring your four-legged friend. In Highlands, there is no reason to leave Fido behind. Stay at the Park on Main where you and your pooch will relax with a friendly staff and world-class amenities including: heated marble floors, balconies overlooking the beautiful garden and downtown streets, and Orvis dog beds for your furry friend! Enjoy a complimentary breakfast before taking on a day of hiking & exploring.
Fall in love with the many unique waterfalls of Highlands, NC. A visit to Dry Falls will take your breath away as you walk under the 75-foot cascading waterfall. A short drive up scenic Highway 64 will lead you to the colossal, 250-foot Cullasaja Falls and shimmering Bridal Veil Falls. Lastly, visit is the patio-side waterfall of Old Edward Inn’s wine garden while enjoying some Appalachian Lemonade and Smoked Sunburst Trout-dip.
Shop local fare on Main Street. Stop in at TJ Bailey’s to get the outfit of a true Southern gentleman. Stock up on gifts and treats with goods from Colonel Mustards featuring a wide selection of homemade salsas, jellies, honeys, and butter.
A Southerner’s heart will be blessed with hospitality, sights, and delicious delights with a getaway to Highlands, NC.
A Southerner's Guide to the Highlands
Wedded Bliss in Highlands, NC
Say, “I do,” in one of North Carolina’s most charming towns, Highlands. This romantic town is located in the midst of the Nantahala National Forest and is quickly becoming one of the premier wedding destinations in the US. If you’re a blushing bride-to-be, check out these stunning venues for an idyllic Highlands wedding:
Wildcat Cliffs Country Club: Indoor and outdoor venues for weddings of all sizes. The architecture and furnishings provide a lodge feel to nicely complement your wedding in the mountains. The Club offers a wide-ranging menu to fit you and your groom’s unique tastes.
The Bascom: The ideal venue for an elegant countryside ceremony and reception. The open-air terrace and pavilion would be a flawless setting for your Spring or Fall wedding. Your guests will feel comfortable and relaxed as they enjoy in your special day.
Shop, Dine & Wine in Highlands!
Highlands, North Carolina sits at 4,118 feet of elevation in the Southern Appalachian Mountains, making it the highest town in the eastern United States, but the mountains aren’t the only thing elevating this destination. Only two hours north of Atlanta, this town is the perfect destination for a relaxing weekend getaway.
Start your trip with a stroll down Main Street and browse from many local boutiques and home décor shops including, Acorns on Church, where you can peruse the hand-selected antiques, fine linens, and sophisticated artwork. Find elegant fashions and gifts at Wit’s End Shops, a Highland’s staple since 1940 featuring timeless women’s apparel and distinctive gifts.
After shopping, dine at one of the five local restaurants boasting the “Wine Spectator Award of Excellence.” Indulge on gourmet American cuisine at Wolfgang’s Restaurant and Wine Bistro and enjoy a glass of wine selected by award-winning wine director, Annelize Giliomee. Or visit Ristorante Paoletti for fresh and elegant Italian fare that has been gracing Highlands since 1984. In Highlands, North Carolina, you will truly experience living at the “height of happiness.”