As summer swelters here in the South, sometimes you got to go up to cool down. Just over a two hour drive from the Atlanta area, the Highlands-Cashiers region of North Carolina is right across the state line—and at an approximate elevation of 4,000 feet, the region offers a real retreat from the heat. With an abundance of family-friendly hikes, waterfalls and other outdoor activities, the mountain-top mecca is the perfect place to chill with children. Here is your guide to where to stop, stay and see in the area.

Sunset Rock

Once everyone is settled, set out to soak in the scene. Within walking distance of the Old Edward’s is Sunset Rock—a hike perfected suited for little legs. Only 0.6 miles each way, the easy, gentle climb ends with a rewarding view of Highlands at the top where the granite slabs offer a front row seat to a spectacular sunset. To find the trail, park at the Highlands Nature Center and follow signs to the trail head.

Where does your family retreat to beat the heat? Tell us below! –Phebe Wahl Photos courtesy of Goats on the Roof via Facebook, The Dillard House via Facebook, Jackson Hole Mine via Facebook, High Hampton Inn via Facebook, and The Old Edward’s Inn via Facebook