- The list below includes 69 free or cheap things to do in or near Highlands, North Carolina, including 80 different types of inexpensive activities like Waterfalls, Art Gallery, Walking Trails and Movie Theaters.
- From Dry Falls to Whiteside Mountain, there are a variety of budget-friendly attractions in Highlands and in nearby cities within 25 miles like Franklin, Sylva, Walhalla and Clayton.
Serene Dry Falls is a gorgeous trailside waterfall in Highlands, North Carolina. After viewing the waterfall from the front, visitors may descend a flight of stone steps and walk behind the falling water. Shoes with excellent traction are essential here.
Whiteside Mountain is a mountain that offers a National Recreation Trail along 700-foot cliffs. Depending on visibility, hikers can see Blue Ridge Escarpment, Chattooga River headwaters, Highlands and Cashiers, and northern South Carolina.
The tall, majestic Glen Falls are among North Carolina's most beautiful waterfalls. The fall, wide falls are a favorite subject for nature photographers and are free to visit. Visitors must wear high-traction shoes and refrain from attempting to cross the falls on foot.
Located between Franklin and Highlands, North Carolina, The Callasja River Gorge is part of the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area. The gorge and its waterfalls can be accessed via U.S. Highway 64 and State Road 28, or the Waterfall Byway.
The breathtaking Cullasaja Falls are located next to Route 64 in Highlands, NC. The parking lot is quite small, and sits just off of the highway, in the midst of an extremely dangerous, high-accident portion of it. Avoid visiting Cullasaja Falls during rush hour.
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US 64, Nantahala National Forest, Highlands, NC MoreLess Info
A $4 parking fee grants visitors admission to the Cliffside Lake Recreation Area. This popular destination is excellent for hiking, biking, grilling and fishing. Visitors who wish to fish must have a valid North Carolina fishing license.
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Up to 40 researchers can live and work at the research station that is part of the Highlands Biological Station, Nature Center and Botanical gardens. Meanwhile, in another part of the facility, school programs and summer camps teach children about the biodiversity of the Southern Appalachian region.
Summer theater takes center stage at the Highlands Playhouse in Highlands, North Carolina. The theater is open from June to mid-October. Its most popular musicals include Nunsense, Little Shop of Horrors and Bye Bye Birdie.
Located in Highlands, North Carolina, the Bascom is a six-acre campus and visual arts facility. Opportunities are available for artists through educational and residency opportunities and featured events. An 87-foot covered bridge greets visitors at the entrance.