Road Trip to Highlands, NC

We had originally planned to go on this mini road trip starting the 19th of June, but our county decided to reschedule our kids’ graduations for that week, so we rescheduled our trip to the next weekend. We were so glad the girls had graduation ceremonies, so it was no big deal to reschedule our trip.  

We were planning on driving the convertible…and it just so happened, some really good friends of ours, also bought a brand new Mazda MX-5, just like ours.  So they decided to ride along with us.  Our first MX-5 double date road trip.

We took a few days off from work to extend our weekend to a four day weekend.  Friday morning, we met up for a quick breakfast before hitting the road super early to head to Highlands, North Carolina. Our first stop was the Watson Mill Covered Bridge, (it took about 3 hours from home).  There were quite a few people fishing and just enjoying the beautiful water.

Watson Mill Covered Bridge

We found a spot for lunch on the way to our next location The Spotted Pig BBQ. I had BBQ pork nachos and we shared a snickerdoodle cheesecake – it’s a must try. They get their cheesecake from a bakery called Hershbergers Bakery in Fair Play. This is a definite stop if in the Fair Play area!!

A little dilapidated building somewhere between Fair Play SC and Isaquenna Falls, SC

Next stop was Isaquenna Falls in South Carolina.  You enter Stumphouse Tunnel Park and drive about .5 mile to the Isaquenna Falls Parking. There are signs for the falls too.

You enter from the right where the footbridge is…which leads to a wooden platform to see the falls. This is as far as you need to go, unless you are adventurous and in decent shape.

From here a path curving to the right side of the falls is apparent. This trail gives a decent view of the falls and its boulder-strewn creek course through the deeply incised valley below. There was so much greenery though at the top, I wanted a better view…so we headed to the bottom. I have no idea how far down it was, but it was really tough. I wish I would have taken some photos, but it required so much attention to not miss a step, all I could really focus on was the next step. Rolled my ankle, but kept trekking. I saw families with kids coming up so I thought it would be ok…it was tough, but did I die? Nope so on to the next stop…

Isaquenna Falls

After Isaquenna Falls, we drove towards Highlands (our next stop was Northeast of Highlands).  The next place we stopped at was Silver Run Falls in Cashier’s, North Carolina. Silver Run Falls is a 20-foot waterfall a few miles from the town of Cashiers, North Carolina. The falls are located after a reasonably flat, 200 yard trail. Additionally, there is a second secret falls located above Silver Run…but after the last stop and rolled ankle…I didn’t dare try to find it. I just took off my shoes and got in the water for a little while. It’s a perfect little swimming hole and cold ankle bath!

Silver Run Falls

There were a few other locations we wanted to visit while we were Northeast of Highlands, but time didn’t allow.  We wanted to be able to get to the hotel, and shower and relax before our dinner reservations.  We stayed at 200 Main, right on Main St in Highlands in a King Balcony with fireplace.  

200 Main

We had dinner for four at 7:45 pm at Midpoint Highlands.

Before dinner we went wine tasting at Highlands Wine Shoppe. Staff was super friendly and there were about 16 wines to try. Plus a whole wine store to shop in.

Dinner at Midpoint Highlands. was fabulous, service, food, drinks…will definitely make my must eat list. And the pastry chef…was amazing and so passionate about her work.

Saturday morning, our plan was to meet up with Jeanne and TR. Our plan for the day was to drive from Highlands to Franklin to Beechertown on the mountain waters Scenic Byway (about 67 miles).

Jeanne and TR weren’t feeling up to the early morning, so we headed out and planned on meeting up later in the day.

But our plans changed. We saw a covered bridge and stopped to photograph it. The bridge was at the Bascom.

Along the route, we stopped at Bridal Veil Falls on Roadside with small parking area For Bridal Veil Falls…From Highlands, take US 64 toward Franklin for 2.5 miles. Trust me, you can’t miss it.  

Bridal Veil Falls

Next stop was Dry Falls also along 64. We were there pretty early so we were able to get a lot of photos without people on them. You can hike about 100 yards to get to the waterfall, but there is a viewing platform in which you don’t need to hike at all. But IMO you need to hike down the stairs to see the bottom and walk behind it. This was an amazing waterfall!

Dry Falls

After Dry Falls, we stopped at Bust your butt Falls. Water looked really high and it was still pretty chilly. So we chose to not hop in…We checked it out and hit the road.

Cullasaja Falls is also off of 64. You can see from the road. View is obstructed by trees, but you can still see part of it. It is a 250’. The parking was full, so we decided we would hit it up on the way back into highlands (parking is better to get to that way). Parking is just a pull of that 3-4 cars fit in. We did hear that there are unmarked and unkept trails down to the falls, but I didn’t dare go down this one. The view from the top was as good as it got for me.

All these falls were all between Highlands and Franklin.

Hubby and I decided we would reroute and go to Cherokee instead of our original plan. We hit up Mingo Falls. It was nice, but there were quite a few people there. The trail is mostly concrete/wooden steps going up to get to the bottom of the falls.

Mingo Falls

We went and ate lunch and then Jeanne and TR met up with us. We checked out a little park in Cherokee and then headed back to Highlands.

On the way back we finally found parking at Callasaja Falls.

Callasaja Falls

Then we returned to the hotel to shower and get ready for dinner

We had some time to kill so we hit up the wine Shoppe for some more wine drinking and then ice cream at Kilwins Highlands. Best ice cream and waffle bowls. If you walk by and smell it, you will not be able to resist!

We had reservations for four at 530 pm at Lakeside Restaurant.  They open at 530 and I wanted early reservations, so I could check out the Sunset from Sunset Rock.

Sunset Rock (take Main St to the Nature Center. There is parking there and then hike up .6 mile to top for beautiful sunset views. The path has an incline the whole way. A bottle of water would have been nice to take!

The sunset was beautiful.

After we hiked down, we all went back to Kilwins for some more ice cream and so Jeanne and TR could see what all the fuss was about.

Sunday morning, we woke up…Jeanne and TR had to head back home, but we planned on staying until Monday.

We woke up leisurely and then headed to Glenn Falls in Highlands. It is a triple falls with 4 different lookouts on the trail. We went to them all. It was a pretty tough trail for me…and had no idea it was as long as it was…so I didn’t bring any water to drink. It’s about 2 miles round trip. Got in the water a couple of time…slipped and fell on a rock. But got out to the middle of the river anyway to relax on the rocks…all good. Of course I had to get the good view of the falls from the middle of the river too.

Glenn Falls

We took a drive back to Cashiers to see the post office.

Since Jeanne and TR had to head back, tonight it was dinner for two at 7:00 pm at Wolfgang’s Restaurant and Wine Bistro.

Monday, we leisurely woke up and got ready to head back home, but don’t worry, our adventure wasn’t over yet!

I had always wanted to see the School Bus Graveyard in Alto, Georgia…but it is only open on the weekdays.  This was a perfect opportunity to stop and photograph the buses there.

School Bus Graveyard

Overall this trip was a waterfalls’ and foodies’ paradise! Such a great trip. After hiking a total of about 13 miles, rolling an ankle and a slipping & falling on a rock, soaking my phone (thank God its water resistant) and almost soaking my camera as well…my body was needing a vacation from my vacation.



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