Highlands, North Carolina: Day 1-2

Although a storm had struck overnight, the snow had melted by the time my husband Lucas and I awoke in the morning.  We never let bad weather get in the way of exploration, thus after a delicious breakfast in bed we left our suite at the Old Edwards Inn and Spa to get up close and personal with some nearby waterfalls.

Old Edwards Inn and Spa

The Blue Ridge Mountains are known for being saturated with waterfalls.  Within a five mile radius from the hotel itself there are several.  Our first stop was to Bridal Veil Falls, which is the only waterfall in North Carolina where you can drive underneath, although because of the icy conditions we were not permitted to do so.  The sixty foot waterfall does not have a large volume of water, however it is still a beautiful site to witness and it is convenient to visit since it is on the side of the highway.

Highlands, North CarolinaHighlands, North CarolinaHighlands, North CarolinaHighlands, North CarolinaHighlands, North CarolinaHighlands, North CarolinaLess than a mile down the road from Bridal Veil Falls was our next stop Dry Falls.  This gorgeous seventy-five foot waterfall requires a short and easy hike to get to from the highway.  It is surging with water that flows over a cliff that allows people to walk behind without getting wet.

Highlands, North Carolina

We wanted to see more of the waterfalls, but the weather was starting to turn bad again and we did not have much time left before our spa appointment.  We quickly headed back into downtown Highlands for a brief stroll.

Highlands, North CarolinaHighlands, North CarolinaHighlands, North CarolinaHighlands, North CarolinaHighlands, North Carolina

Highlands, North Carolina

Then it was time for our couples massage at the hotel’s spa that is world renown.  Lucas and I separated before the treatment to spend some time in the locker rooms.  I could have easily luxuriated in there all day alternating between the sauna, jacuzzi, and the twelve-headed Swiss shower.

Highlands, North Carolina

Our massages were sublime and afterwards we shared a sensational cheese plate and bottle of champagne in the fireside lounge amidst a setting of serene elegance.

Highlands, North Carolina

It was almost painful to leave, nonetheless we had a dinner reservation at the hotel’s restaurant Madison’s that we definitely did not want to miss.

Highlands, North Carolina

While we waited for our food to arrive, we snacked on flatbread and pimento cheese and drank a Malbec suggested by the in-house sommelier.  This AAA Four-Diamond awarded restaurant has the reputation for having the best dining in Western North Carolina thanks to their incredibly talented culinary team that specializes in hand crafting each dish that is ordered.  They cook with farm-to-table and local ingredients in order to bring out the abundant flavors that the surrounding nature has to offer.

Highlands, North CarolinaHighlands, North CarolinaHighlands, North Carolina

We started with a complimentary butternut squash soup.

Highlands, North CarolinaThen we moved onto an arugula and kale salad with vanilla roasted pears, crispy goat cheese, candied butternut, and a walnut vinaigrette.

Highlands, North Carolina

Our entrée consisted of fennel crusted diver scallops mixed with vegetables and mussels in a savory sauce.

Highlands, North Carolina

For us, dessert was the best part of the meal.  The banana, walnut, and caramel soufflé was unlike anything we had tasted before.  We were informed that every night there is a different soufflé and the previous night had been a smore soufflé.  I can only imagine how amazing that must have tasted!

Highlands, North CarolinaThankfully, we did not have to travel too far to get back to our room, since we both were satiated from our extraordinary meal and exhausted from our day of relaxation at the spa.  Sleep came easy to us and we both dreamed of returning to Highlands as soon as possible.

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Andi Perullo de Ledesma

A Chinese Medicine Doctor/Travel Photojournalist who is exploring life and the world one beautiful adventure at a time.

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Highlands, North Carolina: Day 1-2 — 60 Comments

  1. Oh WHERE TO START? The dripping icicle shot? Amazing. The spa? I’ve never been to anything like that. The DINNER? The soufflé? Seriously?? And fried goat cheese is my FAVORITE thing to put on a salad. Hands-down. Love it.

  2. You’re speaking my language lady! My fam has a vacay home in Clayton which isn’t too far from Highlands. We often go shopping in Highlands when we’re up there. I just LOVE that part of the country!

    • I’ve never heard of Clayton! Have you visited the Old Edwards Inn and Spa when you’ve been in Highlands? I couldn’t believe how many cute shops were there, though sadly most were closed for the winter. I love this part of the country too!!! :)

  3. Wow! Those waterfalls look spectacular! Almost as much as that soufflé sounds… aaah, is it bad to want to go there just so I can have that soufflé?

    • I can’t even put into words how amazing their fireside lounge is. The plush chairs, the soft blankets (we bought 2 to bring home with us), the beautiful light from the fire. Oh how I wish this spa was closer to us!!! And how I wish you and I could go there together.

  4. posts like this make make me regret not traveling further into my homeland area (Virginia) when i lived there! and NC is right across the border! great photos as always andi!

    • One thing I’ve discovered about travelers is that they are great about exploring other parts of the world, but terrible about exploring their own backyard. I am definitely guilty of this, but have tried to change my ways over the last two years!!! Thanks for the kind words re: my pics! :)

  5. Hi Andi,

    Without any doubt, yours are the best pictures I’ve ever seen anywhere in the blogosphere.

    Keep up the great work.



  6. Your pictures are so great! I loved the “South” sign- too funny. The water and icicle photos were simply stunning! This post makes me want to visit the Highlands :)

  7. These photos are beautiful, and what a lovely trip it looks like you had there. That food has me actually wishing I wasn’t in Mexico right now so I could hunt down something like that soup, salad, dessert!

  8. Wow… You really had a wonderful vacation – beautiful flowers, natural scenic views, elegant accommodation and delicious FOOD! I wish I could also spend some vacation like this despite my busy schedule.

    Also, does the waterfall freeze during winter?

    • Yes, it was a lovely and unforgettable vacation!!! What was so nice is that we weren’t expecting it to be THIS amazing! I love surprises!!! And yes, I think some of the waterfalls in the area do freeze. By the time we went though the weather was warming up.

  9. Beautiful post, Andi! I loved the photos of the place and waterfall, but when I got to the food pics, I was equally amazed. I have not been to NC. Must change that someday.

  10. NC looks gorgeous–i’ve awlays wanted to go ! there’s so much of the US i haven’t been to because Ive been too preoccupied with going abroad. I need to start!

  11. Oh how wonderfully beautiful, Andi!!! I love waterfalls so much. There’s something about the never-ending, crashing, plummeting water that soothes my soul. I’m so glad you and Lucas got to experience this in such a gorgeous place. :-) xo

  12. oh my gosh, that spa! and everyday there is a soufflé?! they should make a separate desserts shop just to sell the souffles.. i love them!

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