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.

Glen Falls

With literally hundreds of waterfalls, no trip to the area is complete without a picture-perfect waterfall visit. Located just 2.6 miles south of town, Glen Falls offers a series of spectacular cascades that are easily accessible and offer a nice reward for the hike. If walking with tiny tots on foot, you might want to stop after the second viewing area as the climb back up can be trying for toddlers.
To reach Glen Falls, take Highway 106 south from Highlands and travel 1.6 miles where you will see a sign directing you to turn left. As you turn left, veer right and head down the gravel road for 1 mile. The road will dead end into the Glen Falls parking area. From here, take the Glen Falls trail to the left.

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