Hotel at a Glance: Laurelwood Inn
Laurelwood Inn is the only place to stay in the heart of Cashiers, North Carolina—literally. But this seclusion is part of the charm. The inn feels private, with landscaped grounds and views of the woods. The luxe lodge has exposed log paneling and ceiling beams, fireplaces, and a wide wooden porch. And the small town of Cashiers isn't totally off the grid; shops, restaurants, and galleries are a quick walk from the inn.
- Friendly managers: Eric and Doris Deadwyler make sure guests are comfortable, and Doris will even teach visitors how to play mountain dulcimer—a stringed instrument—on the expansive wooden porch; owners Bob and Lise' Dews have owned and operated the inn for 18 years.
- Four private, wooded acres surround the property; from here you can wander along the Cashiers walking trail, sip coffee in the gazebo, or send the kids off to play at the playground.
- Refrigerators and WiFi in pine-paneled guest rooms.
- Sapphire Valley discounts: Laurelwood Inn guests receive rentals and tickets at a discounted rate of 25% off.
Cashiers, North Carolina: Waterfalls and Skiing in the Blue Ridge Mountains
Cashiers is a small town set in the middle of the Nantahala National Forest, near the southern end of the Blue Ridge Mountains. This mountain vacation area is a haven for outdoorsy activities, with hiking, skiing, tubing, golf, and fly fishing drawing visitors year-round. Cashiers is a good jumping-off point for skiing at the Sapphire Valley ski area or a day-trip to the nearby towns of Highlands or Sapphire.
From the Laurelwood Inn, it's worth the 20-minute drive to the newly reopened Gorges State Park, where you can see a collection of waterfalls, sheer rock walls, and river gorges. You might even catch a glimpse of the turquoise darter, a rare fish with brilliant turquoise fins, along with 120 other rare and endangered plants and animals native to the area.