Nestled the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Cashiers, NC offers a unique blend of charm and natural beauty. This quiet mountain town has a number of upscale local shops, quite a few rustic design companies, great restaurants and access to a wide range of outdoor recreational activities, like hiking, fishing and golfing.
Where to stay
- The Wells Hotel, Cashiers, NC – ($747/4 nights). This is a lovely, upscale, rustic-style mountain hotel. There’s even an outdoor fire pit to cook your s’mores over before heading in for a hot shower and a soft bed. Several shops and restaurants are within walking distance and the town park, a nice spot for an evening walk, is just across the street. This hotel is a great home-base for all your mountain adventures.
Where to eat
- Las Margaritas – Just a few steps from The Wells Hotel. They have all the more common Mexican options as well as a large seafood section and quite a few items I haven’t seen before. Our dinner was unique and delicious and very reasonably priced.
- Buck’s Coffee Cafe – They serve hot and cold coffees, breakfast and lunch sandwiches, pastries, beer and wine offerings, and small bites. We make it a point to get their seasonal Maple Spice Latte, an iced vanilla latte and a sandwich every time we visit Cashiers.
- Cashiers Farmers Market – Also walking distance from The Wells. They offer fresh local produce, fresh baked pies, delicious locally made baked goods, jams & jellies, cheeses, and specialty items and a BBQ take out restaurant named “On the Side”.
What to Do
- The Village Green – The Village Green is a 13.2-acre park located in The Heart of Cashiers, North Carolina, at the crossroads of Highway 64 and Highway 107.
- The Yellow Branch Falls Trail, Walhalla, SC – (3 mile out and back, 465’ elevation). This trail crosses a little stream several times before becoming a narrow trail along the side of a beautiful valley. It ends at a 50’ waterfall with many individual cascades. This trail is super popular so go early unless you love crowds.
- The Stumphouse Tunnel – parking area ($5/car). Just across the road from Yellow Branch Falls is the Stumphouse Tunnel. The tunnel was dug using hand tools before the Civil War, but never completed. Approximately 1/4 mile of it is open to the public. The tunnel maintains a constant temperature of 50 degrees year-round and was once used by the Clemson University to cure bleu cheese. It gets a little spooky as you get deeper and we noticed a few bats sleeping in it.
- Issaqueena Falls – Just next to the Stumphouse Tunnel. The observation deck is an easy 1/4 mile walk from the parking lot. A rough, almost vertical trail goes from observation deck to the bottom of the falls. Visitors are not encouraged to take it but a lot of people do (we did). It was fun but it was a bit of a challenge getting back up.
- John’s Jump Falls and DEW Falls, Pisgah National Forest, NC – ($0). (0.6 mile total out and back, 45’ elevation). I would recommend using the AllTrails App to help find your way. There is no sign at the trailhead. John’s falls is about 0.1 mile. It starts out looking a bit like a deer trail and turns into a scramble down to a pretty cascade waterfall. DEW Falls is a lightly trodden 0.3 mile trail through dense mountain laurel with a scramble down steps made of roots. It ends at a gorgeous tropical feeling pool with a waterfall. A magical place. We had both these hikes all to ourselves.
- Rainbow Falls and Turtleback Trail – Gorges State Park, Lake Toxaway, NC (3.9 miles out and back, 770 elevation). Rainbow Falls (150’) is absolutely spectacular and Turtle Falls (25’), just a short walk farther on, is beautiful, too. We even got to see a bear cross the trail. Go early because this challenging hike is very popular.
- Oconee State Park, Mountain Rest, SC – ($5/car) Tamasee Knob Trail (4.1 out and back, 751’ elevation). The name “Tamassee” means “Place of the Sunlight of God”, according to an interpretation of the Cherokee word that gave this area its name. I think that’s the perfect name for this hike. It’s a beautiful walk through the woods on undulating hills, up onto a ridge, ending at a rock outcropping with big views. We had the entire hike to ourselves.
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