Tucked away in the enchanting Blue Ridge Mountains, High Hampton—protected as part of the National Registry of Historic Places—has been welcoming guests to its idyllic, expansive grounds for nearly a century. But this hotel’s fun, laid-back attitude, warm hospitality, and world-class amenities are far from old-fashioned. After an extensive restoration and reopening in 2021 as a year-round resort and club, the iconic property continues to honor its southern heritage and rustic camp-like character while also appealing to travelers looking for modern style. “Our goal was to create an authentic sense of place and to provide attentive, but not stuffy, service,” says Scott Greene, High Hampton General Manager.
At High Hampton, guests can experience all the mountains have to offer in relaxed luxury, including a new 18-hole Tom Fazio golf course, a dining program featuring local Blue Ridge Mountain ingredients, five tennis courts surrounded by epic mountain views, and Inn rooms and chic cottages. While the resort makes a worthy destination unto itself, it also provides quick access to the charming towns of Cashiers and Highlands and is easily reached from major airports and neighboring cities such as Asheville, Knoxville, and Atlanta. Here are some of the game-changing things you can do, eat, and enjoy when you stay at this all-American gem. (Demand is high, so book now.)
Explore a secluded retreat in the splendor of the outdoors
Sitting at the foot of a breathtaking rock face at an elevation of 3,600 feet, High Hampton boasts 1,400 acres of natural beauty. Connect with nature along 15 miles of winding hiking trails in the lush Blue Ridge Mountains or, a bit closer to home, check out the property’s acclaimed dahlia garden—a fixture since the early 1900s. “The lawn beds are ideal for enjoying a cat nap or relaxing while taking in the spectacular views of Rock Mountain, Chimney Top Mountain, and Whiteside Mountain,” recommends Greene. On 15-acre Hampton Lake, guests can paddle the day away on kayaks, canoes, and stand-up paddleboards or fish for bass and trout. The possibilities abound.
Check into history
Restored in coordination with the North Carolina Historical Preservation Society, the Inn maintains quaint, nostalgic details like bark-sided bed frames, locally crafted furniture, and wood-paneled interiors, paired with comforts including air conditioning and contemporary accents such as soaking tubs and pops of bright color. Before you leave, also take time to sit in one of the property’s signature red rocking chairs where Greene loves “seeing guests enjoy a morning coffee, great book, or afternoon cocktail while enjoying the views from the porch.” You can also choose the scenic wrap-around porch to simply soak in the atmosphere of this remarkable North Carolina landmark.
Get a taste of Southern culture
While High Hampton feels remote, it serves as the ideal basecamp in an area of the Blue Ridge Mountains that’s full of history, natural beauty, and culture. With access to the small, charming towns of Cashiers and Highlands, NC, you’re just a quick car ride away from locally-owned boutiques, quaint farmers markets, and fine dining. Wander down Highlands’ Main Street or into Cashiers for art galleries, antique dealers, traditional North Carolina barbecue, and plenty of Southern hospitality.
Golf on an iconic course
High Hampton’s century-old, 18-hole golf course was already beloved—now, it’s been reimagined by acclaimed course architect Tom Fazio. A Carolina native himself, Fazio reshaped and reconstructed the layout into a par-71 championship course with more modern greens and fairways, while maintaining the land’s natural charm and thrilling contours. Players can look forward to features such as deep green bent grasses, comfort stations and turn houses, and five sets of tee boxes—ranging from 7,000 to 4,500 yards—that ensure fun and challenging play for all skill levels and ages. For a personalized experience, guests can sign up ahead of time for a private lesson or clinic.
Dig into regional specialties
From North Carolina trout to grits and greens, each of High Hampton’s five seasonal restaurants features fresh, contemporary takes on Southern classics cooked up with local Blue Ridge Mountain ingredients and stunning views of the surrounding mountains, lake, and golf course. Start your day with hearty griddle cakes and biscuits and gravy at The Dining Room at the Inn, refuel after a hike with a seasonal fruit smoothie at Club restaurant Mitch’s Lakeside, or enjoy an elegant evening in Halsted House’s indoor/outdoor dining room, also part of the Club. In addition to an expertly curated wine and cocktail program, High Hampton also offers regular wine and whiskey tastings from their extensive collection. Keep in mind that all of these options change depending on the time of year.
Indulge in some “me” time
You won’t just be “roughing it” at High Hampton—from the fitness studio outfitted with state-of-the-art Peloton bikes to the charming spa nestled on the top floor of the historic Inn, you’ll discover every amenity you could ever want or need for a relaxing getaway. In the morning, join a spin class or do sunrise yoga class in the fresh Appalachian air. Later, book a rejuvenating Signature Longevity Facial or zone out during a Stone Massage before heading to the pool to bask in the sun with your favorite cocktail in hand or relax in the Inn’s spacious great room while playing board games with friends. “High Hampton is a getaway where you can truly enjoy by doing as much or as little as you like,” says Greene.
Play tennis like a pro
Surrounded by epic mountain views, High Hampton’s competition-caliber courts and tennis program was developed with guidance from world tennis champion and part-time Cashiers resident, Andy Roddick. With four Har-Tru clay courts, one classic hard court, and four pickleball courts, the world-class facilities offer professional, private instruction, and group clinics, as well as match and open play opportunities for every level of player.
Whether you’re looking for a fall or winter getaway or planning your summer vacation well in advance, High Hampton offers southern charm, history, and wide-open spaces year-round. Book your bucolic North Carolina vacation today.
High Hampton and written by Alexandra Owens