Summer Getaways: Highlands, North Carolina

Your perfect summer vacation may be just around the corner

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    Photo: Andrew R. Slaton

The Nantahala National Forest and its lush, shady mountains, in North Carolina’s western corner, are as rugged as the southeast gets. What’s more, the average July high in Highlands is 79 degrees. Get a room at the historic Old Edwards Inn and Spa downtown (from $250), then hike to nearby Sunset Rock, fish for eager rainbow trout in the Cullasaja or Chattooga Rivers (both within five miles), or mountain-bike nearby Panthertown Valley, a depression surrounded by 200-foot granite cliffs (rentals from $36).

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