Overview for Highlands, NC

3,578 people live in Highlands, where the median age is 60.7 and the average individual income is $53,983.49. Data provided by the U.S. Census Bureau.

  • MEDIAN AGE - 60.7 years

Living in Highlands, NC

A community rich with natural beauty and unique attractions


Highlands is a beautiful neighborhood framed by temperate forests and mountain tops. Rising above the busy city at 4,118 feet, you will reach peak happiness in Highlands. An outstanding array of scenic views, nature trails, and unique attractions bring the community together. Commuters will appreciate the location as it is seated along Highway 64.

Homes for sale in Highlands, NC are mainly residential, with charming homes reminiscent of classic American architecture. In addition to the beautiful natural environment, the downtown area is booming with sophisticated shops and restaurants and an understated rustic atmosphere. Residents can enjoy some retail therapy at the specialty shops or a delicious meal at one of the many restaurants.

What to Love

Local Lifestyle

Highlands has the perfect mix of urban and cultural vibes while maintaining that small-town charm. The community takes pride in preserving its culture and shows off its uniqueness through art, music, history, and education. Walkable residential streets form connections throughout the town, allowing residents to bond with business owners. Family and friends can stroll through one of the many parks or spend the day at the art galleries.

Dining, Entertainment & Shopping

There’s no shortage of excellent restaurants in Highlands, so you will find something to suit your palette. Ristorante Paoletti has been serving premier, high-quality Italian cuisine since 1984. You haven’t had spaghetti and meatballs until you’ve tried Paoletti’s hand-crafted pasta and delicious Ricotta Meatball. If you want a refreshing cocktail with your meal, Four65 Woodfire Bistro pairs craft cocktails and rosé on tap with their famed woodfire pizza and fresh salads. And Wolfgang’s Restaurant and Wine Bistro is another great spot for intimate dining and delicious drinks. If you want a more innovative dining experience, the Oak Steakhouse at Skyline Lodge is a must. This steakhouse offers a unique approach to steakhouse dining atop the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Highlands is full of retail shops and specialty stores ranging from apparel to furniture. Rosenthal’s is a high-end boutique selling women’s fashion, including extravagant furs. This store’s unique styling and exemplary service make it one of a kind.

Located in historic downtown Highlands, J. Elliot Style offers classic, comfortable home furniture, upholstery, and interior design services.

This neighborhood is known for its deep history and exciting culture. There are multiple cultural and art centers throughout Highlands for residents to enjoy. The Highlands Performing Arts Center is an integral part of the community, providing space for all kinds of creative expression. 

Offering curated cinema and live productions, the Mountain Theatre Company is one of the oldest professional theater companies in the country.

Things to Do in Highlands, NC

The temperate climate and beautiful scenic views in Highlands provide the perfect backdrop for outdoor festivals and celebrations. Bear Shadow is an annual spring music festival and celebration in Highlands. The name comes from the unique bear-shaped shadow that emerges over the Blue Ridge Mountains during sunset. 

Wine enthusiasts flock to the Highlands Food & Wine festival for fabulous food, exciting music, and, of course, wine! Highlands Food & Wine is also a nonprofit organization on a mission to promote the town of Highlands.

The Bascom sits on six acres of park, welcoming guests to share the artistic experience. This art center strives to be a creative hub for creators and artists of all creeds and abilities. Visitors can see different art exhibits, take classes in their preferred art medium, and children can participate in enriching art education.