Monday, August 29, 2022

Travel Guide: Old Edwards Inn Highlands, North Carolina

Travel Guide: Old Edwards Inn Highlands, North Carolina
Walking the brick-lined sidewalks around the Inn

Travel Guide: Old Edwards Inn Highlands, North Carolina
Morning Coffee at the Lodge (coffee is complimentary)
Dress (also comes in navy)// Sandals 

I first stayed at Old Edwards Inn, in Highlands, North Carolina, in April of 2021. I have a full travel guide for the first visit that you can find, here

When we visited the first time, it was considered 'off-season' as summer and fall is the busy season. We went in April of 2021 to celebrate my April birthday and loved it. This year, We visited on July 31st for our first wedding anniversary! So, this time we were 'in season' during our stay. We also stayed in a different area of the resort. Also, when we came in April of 2021, Highlands and OEI still had pretty strict pandemic protocols and restrictions. This time, for our July 2022 there were none that I noticed. And, as you would assume, it was more crowded July 2022 vs. April 2021. Because of this, I thought I would share another travel guide for our summer stay! 

About Highlands
First of all, if you have never visited Highlands, it is a MUST, even if you are not staying at Old Edwards. There are many cute hotels and bed and breakfasts and lots of VRBO/Airbnb rentals throughout the area. The main street of the town is incredibly charming. It is lined with shops and some restaurants. The shopping is really good, too. Lots of home interior shops, brand name and small boutique clothing and accessory shops, and more. They have brands like J.McLaughlin and even a tiny C.Orrico. You can spend an entire afternoon going in and out of just the shops! 

Not to mention, Highlands is nestled in the Appalachian mountains. It has a higher elevation so the temperatures are milder in the summer than what you might expect for North Carolina. There is a lot to do outdoors in terms of hiking and taking in the beautiful scenery. Old Edwards has a gorgeous golf club. 

The larger regional area is also rich with things to do. You have Cashiers, North Carolina which is about a 20-minute drive. To the south, you have Clayton, Georgia which is another absolutely adorable small town packed with cute shops.  Highlands is also about a 2.5-hour drive from Atlanta and a 3.5-hour drive from Charlotte. The reason we like going there is that it is only an hour from Hiawassee, Georgia. From Hiawassee, you hit Clayton 30 minutes into the drive and it's always nice to stop there, and then from there, it's just 30 more minutes to Highlands.

Getting There
I will warn you, though. The road to get into Highlands is SO windy. I'm not one to even. notice windy roads. I don't get car sick but this road is on another level. I have to keep my eyes out the window the entire time and even then, I get a bit nauseous. I have never driven it myself, my husband drives it, but that stretch of road is an experience. 100% worth it, but you have been warned, ha! I always say that this is why Old Edwards greets you with champagne upon arrival so you can block that road out of your mind!!! 

In that same vein, if you are flying, there isn't really a 'convenient' airport in the area. The closest airport is Asheville which is about an hour and a half away and it's just a small regional airport. The popular airport to fly into is Atlanta and like I mentioned that's a further drive. We have always driven from Hiawassee so it's easy and very convenient for us. From Pittsburgh, though, the drive would be about 9 hours. 
Travel Guide: Old Edwards Inn Highlands, North Carolina

Travel Guide: Old Edwards Inn Highlands, North Carolina

Travel Guide: Old Edwards Inn Highlands, North Carolina

Travel Guide: Old Edwards Inn Highlands, North Carolina

Travel Guide: Old Edwards Inn Highlands, North Carolina
Falls Cottage Room

Travel Guide: Old Edwards Inn Highlands, North Carolina
Free Dove bars whenever you'd like! 

Travel Guide: Old Edwards Inn Highlands, North Carolina
The decor is stunning. The rugs in the Inn portion are my favorite!
About Old Edwards
The Old Edwards Inn is located so conveniently right in the middle of it all on Main Street. It is a large property and has 5 different options for accommodations. For our April trip, we stayed in The Lodge, and this past July trip, we stayed in the Falls Cottages. 

The rooms are beautifully and luxuriously appointed in what I would call a 'rustic chic' design scheme. I preferred our Falls Cottage room over our Lodge room but you can't go wrong either way. We will definitely return and try to stay in a different area again so we can experience all that the Inn has to offer! 

But, they have things like Molton Brown amenities, heated bathroom floors and towel racks, plenty of access to the outdoors, and the rooms are all very spacious. Our Falls Cottage had a wonderful fireplace. 

There are 10 different ways to eat and drink on the property, there are two outdoor pools, an incredible full-service spa, a workout facility with fitness classes, and a golf club. Plus, they have a calendar of events each week it is filled with things to do and even special events. 

Overall, everything is so well-kept. The rooms are beautiful and charming but up-to-date. The grounds are meticulously kept. 

There is something about Old Edwards and Highlands that makes my stress melt away. I really mean that in the literal sense. The 'real world' feels far away and it's like you are in your own little cocoon of wonderful! 

I'd say two nights is enough to get the full experience but even one night is worth it to get a taste of the area. I think 3 nights is ideal. There's plenty to do if you wanted to do a longer trip for about 4-6ish nights. 

Someone asked me about bringing their children to OEI. On our April 2021 trip, we didn't see any children, but this time, we did see a handful while relaxing at the pool. I'd say they ranged in age from about 4-11 years old (but I'm bad with guessing children's ages). But it looked like they were all having a blast. I still think it's more geared towards adults, but still kid-friendly. 

Travel Guide: Old Edwards Inn Highlands, North Carolina
Our Dinner At Madison's

Travel Guide: Old Edwards Inn Highlands, North CarolinaTravel Guide: Old Edwards Inn Highlands, North Carolina
Lunch in the Wine Garden

Travel Guide: Old Edwards Inn Highlands, North Carolina
One of the Outdoor Pools

Travel Guide: Old Edwards Inn Highlands, North Carolina
Pina Colada at the pool bar (it was delish!)

Travel Guide: Old Edwards Inn Highlands, North Carolina
Our dinner table at Madison's overlooking the Wine Garden. I think the window booths are the best- request if you can!
There are 10 food and drink options on the property. Madison's is their upscale dining restaurant which is incredible and the perfect spot for a celebration dinner. Outside of Madison's, they have their Wine Garden which is charming and cozy. We like the Wine Garden for lunch! They also have 465 which is a wood-fired pizza restaurant that is beautiful inside and a more casual option compared to something like Madison's. At the two outdoor pools, you can order food and they have bars set up for cocktails. There is a rooftop terrace which is beautiful and perfect for an outdoor lunch or cocktail during the warmer months. They have a cafĂ© in the spa which is delicious. At the Lodge, they have a bar set up for morning coffee or afternoon/evening cocktails. Hummingbird's is a handsome cocktail lounge with wood-paneled walls and live music on occasion. The Grille Room is the only place we haven't been and it is located at the Golf Club overlooking the course. All-in-all, the food is incredible and while there are many other restaurants located in Highlands, we don't veer out of the resort just based on the fact that the food is just wonderful. 

The service is top-notch. This place is not inexpensive and so for the prices, you would expect excellent service and they definitely deliver on that. Check-in is such a pleasant experience with welcome champagne. They take care of getting you and your bags to your room since it is a large property. There is lots of parking available and usually right near your room. The towels at the pool are always fresh and well-stocked and there is even a little sunscreen station. The staff is friendly and attentive. We just celebrated our first anniversary there and upon check-in, they made a note to wish us a happy anniversary. In our room, they had fresh baked cookies, roses, and a box of chocolates- none of which we requested! It was such a nice touch. Then, for our dinner at Madison's they had rose petals on the table and our dessert came out with 'happy anniversary' on it. It's such a good place for celebrations as they go above and beyond to acknowledge what you are celebrating! Overall, the experience just makes you want to return again and again!

All-in-all, I would definitely recommend a visit to Highlands, North Carolina, and the Old Edwards Inn. You will not be disappointed. We already cannot wait to return! 


Unknown said...

Thank you for providing all the details about this great place. Would love to visit the town and stay at the Inn someday- it’s on my list!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for providing all the details about this great place. Would love to visit the town and stay at the Inn someday- it’s on my list!


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