Driving through the mountains of Cashiers, North Carolina my children couldn’t wait to be at our destination. After eight hours in the car, we finally arrived at the High Hampton Inn and Country Club. The first thing we saw was the golf course and the Inn which would be our home for the next two nights. The High Hampton Inn is perfect for those who are interested in unplugging and enjoying time together as a family. We were thankful to be invited to the opening week of the 89th season of this lovely mountain lodge.
High Hampton Inn, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, offers all sorts of lodging choices. There are over one hundred guest rooms and suites. There are also a number of cottages scattered throughout the property. We stayed in a pretty room with two beds, two bathrooms, a sitting area, and balcony with an amazing view of the mountain and lake on the top floor of the lodge. There is wireless internet service, televisions, and phones in some of the public areas of the lodge but you won’t find any of that in your room. What you will find by way of entertainment is a few board games (if there aren’t any in your room, stop by the front desk) and some books collected over the years.
Meals are served buffet style in the Dining Room three times a day. If your room is booked on the American Plan, all meals are included with the room. These meals are not your typical buffet style meals. Some of the dinner choices included chicken wellington, prime rib, locally caught rainbow trout, a salad bar and soup as well as a variety of desserts. My children were ecstatic to see that lunch was a full taco bar one of the afternoons we were there. If you plan on exploring the Blue Ridge Mountains during the day, you can order lunch boxes the night before to take with you. One thing to note is that dinner guests are to adhere to a more formal dress code. Men are supposed to wear a collared shirt and jacket to dinner and women and children are expected to dress accordingly. At first, I thought that this would be a huge inconvenience but it was rather nice to spend all day mucking around the hiking trails, come back to the room for a hot shower, and to have a nice semi-formal dinner with my family.
Be sure to stop by the lodge for Afternoon Tea where you can pick up some sweet tea and a cookie or two!
Golf Course and Spa
The High Hampton Inn Golf Course is an 18 hole golf course that is beautiful. The tees, fairways and greens blend in with the nature around them and you can even see one of the greens out in the lake from the lodge! The golf rates are reasonable and there are packages offered with a stay. There is a driving range, which can even be used in poor weather, and there are golf schools available.
The Spa and Health Club has a number of workout machines that you can use for your daily workout, outdoor yoga classes, and a rock climbing wall. You can also get a massage, pedicure and manicure or a number of other treatments.
Activities for the Family
As we explored High Hampton Inn, family summer camp was the phrase that came to mind often. There is no shortage of outdoor and indoor activities for each member of the family.
The grounds surrounding the High Hampton Inn are a family’s playground. There is a lake with a diving platform in the water and a boathouse with canoes and paddle boats for rent. A small section of the shallow part of the lake has been blocked off so that little ones can play under the watchful eye of their parents. There are fly fishing schools offered at the lake. Right next to the lake is a playground where we spent most of our time (it was much too cold to explore the lake!), as well as a few swings and a tetherball court.
Unfortunately, we visited during the first week of the new season so there was not much going on. During the summer months, there are all sorts of activities for children and teens. There is a teen room with scheduled activities and parents can drop off their children for an additional fee at the Kids Club where they will play games, do crafts, take nature walks and more.
My children loved visiting with the resident miniature donkeys, Fred and Ed. You can stop by the front desk/dining room and ask for a carrot or an apple to bring them when you visit. Sometimes the donkeys even give carriage rides!
We thoroughly enjoyed our nature walk on the Lake Trail. The weather was pretty crummy while we were there but when we had a patch of sunlight we decided to take a walk. The walk loops around the lake through the trees. It is a nice and easy walk that both my 4 and 6yo were able to complete the loop without complaining. There are miles of private hiking trails. You can get a cardio workout on the Fitness Trail or head to the top of the Chimney Top Mountain or the Rock Mountain. Pick up a trail map when you check in.
The High Hampton Inn and Country Club is located in the beautiful area of Cashiers, North Carolina. Though you won’t have much reason to leave with meals, the lake, and more, you will probably want to explore the area. The Highlands and Cashiers area has many beautiful waterfalls around what seems like every corner. The front desk and the concierge will help you find trails around the Cashiers and Highlands area as well. Be sure to get a waterfall map! It is about an hour and a half from the Biltmore Mansion in Asheville.
The High Hampton Inn rooms are a bit more than we would normally spend on a hotel room, but don’t forget to add in the fact that you are receiving three meals a day for each member of your family. Although we just got back from the High Hampton Inn last week, we had to leave daddy at home. I would love to return in the early fall with my whole family. This kind of trip is exactly the type of trip my husband would plan if I left it up to him. I am dreaming about exploring the waterfalls as a family, seeing the leaves change colors (something we don’t get here in Florida) and perhaps trying our hand at fly fishing!
Disclosure: Thank you to the High Hampton Inn for providing my family with two complimentary nights and meals. All opinions are my own without any outside influence.