• Photo: Jon Bilous / Shutterstock


Highlands is a tiny town of only 900 people, but the surrounding area swells to 20,000 or more in summer and fall, when those with summer homes here flock back, like wealthy swallows of Capistrano. At 4,118 feet it is usually cool and pleasant when even Asheville gets warm. The five-block downtown is lined with upscale shops, antiques stores, restaurants, and coffeehouses, and there's a sniff of West Palm Beach in the air.


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