Family-Friendly Guide to the North Carolina Mountains

Travel Advisor Gray Grandy with her husband and son and brown/white arches behind.
Curated By

Gray Grandy

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  • USA

  • North Carolina

  • Active Travel

  • Adventure Travel

  • Domestic Travel

  • Family Travel

  • Off-the-Beaten-Path Travel

  • Nature Escapes

  • Outdoos

  • Kid-Friendly

  • Mountains

large green mountain during daytime
Curator’s statement

Cashiers, North Carolina is an amazing family-friendly destination that allows you to unplug and enjoy the outdoors. Take your family and you'll feel like you have taken a step back in time, to a time when kids spent the day outdoors and away from screens, skipping rocks, climbing mountains, and splashing their way through the day. If you have enough of the outdoor life, your family can quickly and easily be spoiled by luxury with delicious food, spectacular views and luxurious accommodations. Once you've left, you will feel as if you discovered a hidden gem!

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Insider knowledge

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Where to stay in Cashiers, NC

The Greystone Inn

Located in Lake Toxaway, this luxury waterfront golf resort features tennis courts, hiking trails and an outdoor pool, all surrounded by a national forest.

Old Edwards Inn and Spa

A luxe, Relais & Chateaux spa resort in North Carolina's Blue Ridge Mountains, with strong ties to the local culture.

High Hampton Resort

Set on 1,400 acres, this charming historic estate is perfect for family-friendly adventures with its outdoor pool and a freshwater lake.

Travel Advisor Gray Grandy with her husband and son and brown/white arches behind.

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Things to do in Cashiers, NC

mountains during sunset

Outdoor Adventures in Cashiers, NC

The number of places to explore is endless!

First, spend the day hunting for waterfalls. When staying in Cashiers, you are right by Transylvania County, which is known as the "Land of the Waterfalls". Check out Whitewater Falls, the highest falls east of the Rocky Mountains. If you're a Hunger Games Fan, you must check out High Falls in the Dupont State Forest, much of the film was shot right there. Want to walk behind a waterfall? Be sure to check out Dry Falls or Bridal Veil Falls and get up close and personal.

You've seen the waterfalls, now become a part of them! Cashiers Sliding Rock is sure to elicit squeals of joy and shock! Slide down the natural water slide into a frigid mountain pool. If sliding isn't your pleasure, bask on one of the rocks on the water's edge and watch the brave souls slip and slide! Once you've conquered Cashiers Sliding Rock, drive a bit down the road to Pisgah National Forest for the "real deal" sliding rock. This isn't your grandma's rock slide - there are bathhouses and lifeguards available at this location.

Had enough water? Get back on dry land with some awesome hikes. Silver Run Falls is a well-maintained trail and quick, too! The Andy Cove Nature Trail at the Pisgah National Forest is sure to delight the young ones as they swing on the 30-foot-long suspension bridge. The Biltmore Campus Trail at the Cradle of Forestry is paved and is perfect for pushing that stroller while getting in your steps!

If you love nature but need a break from the woods, take your children to the Cradle of Forestry in the Pisgah National Forest. The Forest Discovery Center has indoor, interactive exhibits for kids, including a life-size firefighting helicopter and tunnels to simulate being underground. Behind the center, you can find a trail that excites kids and kids at heart at every turn. There is a sawmill and an old train you can climb!

Shopping in Cashiers, NC

If you've checked out even half of the ideas, you have worked up a sweat and deserve some retail therapy.

In small-town Cashiers and Highlands, you can easily find big-city-style boutiques. Narcissus is a lady's paradise. Find great clothes and special jewelry. J. Gabriel is your go-to for home decor.

A short drive down the road is the charming town of Brevard, NC. Hit up the main drag for O.P Taylor's, a child's dream! This toy store packs a mighty punch, with unique and special toys and gifts at every corner. D.D. Bullwinkle's, just a short walk down the street, is your go-to for chic and well-appointed active wear. If you arrive on a good day, you might be greeted by their very friendly and large dog!

Places to eat & drink in Cashiers, NC

wooden tables and chairs in a dining room

Four65 Woodfire Bistro and Bar - Located on Main Street, this casual spot has delicious pizza and a full bar.

Slab Town Pizza - Known for making its own dough and offering unique toppings, this is the go-to for yummy pizza in a fun environment.

Madison's Restaurant and Wine Garden - Located inside Old Edward's Inn and Spa, this restaurant is known for farm-to-table dining and a killer wine list!

The Ugly Dog Dog Public House - High-end pub food that is family-friendly and delicious.

Library Kitchen and Bar - Come for the food, stay for the art. The food is creative and a feast for the belly and eyes.

Need to Know

For more family-friendly travel tips, check out my Family-Friendly Guide to 30A: A Taste of the Caribbean.

Travel Advisor Gray Grandy with her husband and son and brown/white arches behind.

Travel Advisor

Gray Grandy

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This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Florida, and our ongoing series on beach travel.