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.

Sliding Rock

Speaking of waterfalls, add a trip down Sliding Rock to your Highlands-Cashiers bucket list. There are several of these in the area and everyone has their favorite. For younger children, we like the Cashiers one at Whiteside Cove (also known as “Little Sliding Rock”) as it offers a beach area where younger siblings can wade in the shallow pool while watching older kids brave a butt-busting trip down the falls. Park and follow the sound of rushing water along the trails through thick Rhododendron and don’t forget your water shoes, towel, sturdy swimsuit and camera. Be sure to tell sliders to stay close to the trail side of the slide as some natural pot holes have formed in the middle of the rock face that can be a real pain the rear (pun intended)!
From Cashiers, drive South on N.C. Hwy-107 for 1.7 miles and then make a right onto Whiteside Cove Road. Take this road for 2.7 miles crossing a bridge just before the parking area on your Right. Pick up the trail beside the parking area.

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