It is a place meant for the fortunate few. An area blessed with abundant beauty. Breathtaking falls. Gorgeous homesites. And while the migration to Highlands and Cashiers, N.C. goes on, so too, the cost of living here goes up. As one smart bumper sticker points out, "Paradise Ain't Cheap."
When visitors come to the cool mountain destinations of Cashiers and Highlands, N.C., there's one question they always ask first. That question: "Where are the waterfalls?"
The falls are major attractions in these beautiful hills, where few places in the nation offer better outdoor activities or living areas. But, tacked to the bulletin board in William McKee?s real estate offices in Cashiers is a bumper sticker that warns all.
It reads simply: "Paradise Ain't Cheap."
For the most part, that sums up living in Cashiers, where it is not uncommon to see a billionaire driving down the road in a beat-up Jeep. Where wealth abounds. And where those fortunate enough to afford living here find it the ideal escape.
Home in the Mountains: Our Annual Retirement & Relocation Guide From July/August 2006 Issue
There is much to love about our Blue Ridge towns. Toss out any notion that in small towns there is "nothing to do". Pick any community and discover historic Main Streets, scenic state parks, exciting festivals, thriving arts and eclectic cuisine. The only thing missing from these quaint towns is the hurried pace and headaches of living in major metropolitan areas.
"It's never been 80 degrees on our porch," says Midge Rothermel, "and we don't have air conditioning."
Eight years ago, Rothermel and her husband, Jim, a retired obstetrician/gynecologist, packed up their lives in St. Petersburg, Fla., where AC was an essential, and headed for the mountains.
"It's the first cool weather heading north, only a one day drive from central Florida," Rothermel explains. They discovered Highlands, N.C. after visiting fellow Floridians at their summer homes in the rolling mountains.
"Once you're here, it's an incredible community," Rothermel says. "It has all the joys of a small town." With a population of about 3,000, Highlands has more than a view to offer its residents.