The ethereal light wakes me but it’s the cool and smoky mountain air that keeps me awake, ready to begin a full and rich day swathed in cashmere and golden leaves. Here in the Southern Appalachian mountains, right over the Georgia-North Carolina border, is Highlands, NC, a town enamored with its own natural beauty and vibrant people. Mornings begin  at the Old Edwards Inn, a cozy and lux retreat. Inn goers have been coming here for generations and there is a familial, relaxed attitude that compliments the romantic currents of the popular fall destination.
The impressive art community of Highlands is inspired by its resource-rich surroundings. A leisurely and intimate day can be spent wandering the town, exploring the galleries on foot.  Stroll the quaint streets and alternately visit shops offering antiques and handmade wooden toys. Hike the Whiteside Mountain and Dry Falls. When ready to retire, the spa at Old Edwards is waiting, as is a bountiful local feast. Another cherished favorite, Paoletti’s, has the best wine menu in town. Ask for Julio.
I keep the spirit of the mountains with me. I indulge in the autumnal colors with a deep red nail. I remember the distinct, smoky scent of the mountains with a candle and I feel the plush, textural surroundings in luxurious bedding. I see the light of the Highlands reflected in simple gold details decorating my own home.
-Lauren Finney
Drawing on years of experience in fast and luxury fashion, Lauren Finney’s expert editorial eye has contributed to a myriad of publications, from The Huffington Post to Vogue. Lauren’s blog, Where The Style Things Are, is the chic chronicle of a postmodern woman from the South making her way in New York City.
October 2012