Tucked into the peak of Flat Top Mountain and surrounded by thick forests, Skyline Lodge has been playing host to travelers for almost a century. This year, Charleston-based The Indigo Road Hospitality Group reimagined and revived the historic forty-seven-room property. Originally designed by a student of Frank Lloyd Wright, the lodge’s most recent renovation pays homage to both its 1930s roots and its 1960s heyday. Nowhere is the hotel’s history more on display than in its vibrant courtyard, where the tunes of Ella Fitzgerald serenade guests playing bocce on lush green turf atop what was once the retro lodge’s swimming pool. The hotel’s undeniable highlight is its restaurant, Oak Steakhouse. The first steakhouse in the area, it’s quickly drawn a see-andbe-seen crowd from neighboring Cashiers and Highlands. Kick off an evening here with a craft cocktail on the patio with its panoramic mountain views. End your evening back in the courtyard, where groups gather for s’mores around warm firepits under twinkling string lights, all set to the soft sounds of jazz. It’s the perfect spot to soak in both the cool mountain air and the lodge’s colorful history. skyline-lodge.com  

Chasing Waterfalls

This part of North Carolina is known as the Land of Waterfalls, with hundreds in the area. From your room’s balcony at Skyline Lodge you’ll hear the sounds of Big Creek Falls and Lauren Falls through the woods below. Nearby, the seventy-five-foot Dry Falls is an easy walk from roadside parking, while other local spots like Ranger Falls and Glen Falls offer more challenging hikes. You can actually drive beneath Bridal Veil Falls. For the ultimate up-close experience, pack your bathing suit for the swimming hole at Highlands’ Secret Falls.