Cashiers, North Carolina

Cashiers, NCCashiers is a tiny village of fewer than 200 people situated high in the mountains of Southwestern North Carolina. Near the Tennessee border, Cashiers-pronounced “cashers” by the locals-is often thought of in conjunction with its sister community of Highlands, a much larger town of nearly 2,000 that swells to as much as 25,000 in the summer, as visitors settle in to enjoy the cooler temperatures to be found at 3,500 feet.

Surrounded by 28,000 acres of national forest and offering amazing views at every turn, Cashiers has enjoyed a long history as a resort area. According to local legend, in 1879,
developers Samuel Kelsey and Clinton Hutchinson drew two lines on a map, one connecting New York to New Orleans and the other Chicago to Savannah. Kelsey and Hutchinson believed that the intersection of those two lines would be the ideal location for a vacation town. That spot was Highlands, just down the road from Cashiers.

While Cashiers offers spectacular mountain views, a comfortable climate, boutique-type shopping and excellent dining options, there is one more irresistible draw. This village is set in the middle of waterfall country. It is surrounded by a dozen scenic waterfalls, including Whitewater Falls, the tallest in Eastern America. Whitewater has a drop of 411 feet, 244 feet more than Niagara Falls. Many of these falls are easily accessible, although some require a bit of a hike.

Other outdoor activities include fishing for rainbow, brown and brook trout, looking for wildflowers and hiking the area’s many trails. If that’s too strenuous, there is always Catching the sunset from a rocker.

It is surrounded by a dozen scenic waterfalls, including Whitewater Falls, the tallest in Eastern America.

Cashiers continues to draw crowds year-round, many who stay at the High Hampton Inn and Country Club. Originally the hunting lodge of Civil War General Wade Hampton, it changed hands in the early 1920s. E.L. McKee, an industrialist and businessman from the Sylva area, purchased the property, building a two-story inn, golf course and tennis courts. Today, Cashiers continues to thrive, both as a vacation destination and a retirement haven.

If your dream retirement place is free of crowds, traffic, malls and neon lights, Cashiers is a natural choice.