Things To Do

To Be Young and Happy: A Kid's Guide to the Plateau

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You sip strong coffee, reclined in an Adirondack chair, ankles resting on the railing of your deck. You take in the view of early morning Lake Glenville and smile at a little family of ducks gliding past your dock.  A hummingbird hovers over a nearby flower and that’s when you hear it.
“Mom, I’m bored.”
My own mother might have rolled her eyes, but that was way before children went to robotics classes on the weekends, learned Chinese in kindergarten, and could program a home’s electronics system in thirty seconds flat.
Fortunately, the Plateau offers infinite variety of activities for all tastes, many of which are a breathtaking change for children tied to computers and tablets during the school year.
The possibilities range literally from A to Z, as in art classes to zip lines, and even include some things to do on those dreaded rainy days. And, many experiences and activities can be had free of charge.
Starting at A, as in animals, High Hampton Inn (828-743-2411) offers a llama “show and tell” Thursdays at 4 p.m. and Saturdays at 2 and 4 p.m. Your children can mingle on the lawn, pet the animals and learn interesting llama lore.  If this is a hit, you may want to consider playing nine holes of golf with one of the llamas as your caddy. Call Craig Hartle, High Hampton’s director of golf, to make arrangements to have a llama (supervised by a handler) carry your bag for nine holes. Family memories start here!
B is for vacation Bible School, and a random survey of area churches makes clear that summer guests are warmly welcomed. Most are for one week of mornings and include music, art, and play.
C is for Chattooga River, site of Sliding Rock, a favorite destination for family outings, thanks to its slippery rock face slide into a natural swimming hole.
D is for day camp at the Sapphire Valley Resort (828-743-7663) which offers walk-in, half-day or full-day experiences that include swimming, sports activities, art projects, and treasure hunts. The counselors are beloved by the regulars, who enjoy being recognized by them throughout the town on weekends.
E is for Highlands’ Easely an Artist (828-526-2933), open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 to 2. Walk-ins are welcome (children under 6 will need an adult with them) and the studio provides canvas, paints, brushes, easels and aprons.  In addition, a children’s day camp will be offered each Tuesday this summer from 10-3. All your child needs to bring is a sack lunch.
F is for fly fishing. Local options include the Western North Carolina Fly Fishing Trail (800-962-1911), the first and only fly fishing trail in the United States.  Its fifteen stops offer brook, brown, and rainbow trout, open waters and small streams. Guide service, as well as beginner’s instruction, is also available through Brookings Anglers, with locations in both Cashiers (828-743-3768) and Highlands (828-482-9444).
G is for gem mine, as in Jackson Hole Gem Mine in Highlands (828-524-5850), where children can receive instruction and help with gem identification. The mine is protected from rain, so weather is never an issue.
H is for horses and Arrowmont Stables in Cullowhee (828-743-2762) offers great experiences for all ages and skill levels.  David Sellers explains that children, beginning at age 6, will enjoy their trails. Every ride begins with a 45-minute orientation, during which the children receive helmets, learn basic safety practices and meet their horses. There are five trails from which to choose, depending on experience level, and the outing usually lasts about two and a half hours.
I is for indoor swimming, available year-round at the Highlands Pool Complex (828-526-1595), next to the Civic Center. Extended summer hours begin on Memorial Day. The pool is enclosed in glass, making it delightful rain or shine.
J is for jet ski, awaiting you at Lake Shore Marina (828-743-9998) on Lake Glenville. The rentals come with gas, and dogs up to 100 pounds ride free!
K is for kayaks, also available at Lake Shore Marina on Lake Glenville.
L is for library, and there is no greater resource than the Albert Carlton Library in Cashiers (828-743-0215) or the Hudson Library in Highlands (828-526-3031).  Both offer calendars rich in offerings for children, like reading programs that reward independent reading, Lego Club, “crafter-noons,” weekly story times and special presentations from notables like Professor Whizzpop and the Snakes Alive expert. The calendar also includes regular showings of movies like “Moana” and “Trolls.”
M is for movies, and the Highlands Playhouse (828-526-2695) is one of the nicest venues for screen entertainment.  Movies are shown Fridays through Tuesdays and include a wide variety of offerings, many suitable for children. Great snack bar too!
N is for Highlands Nature Center (828-526-2623), a wonderful hands-on learning center for all ages. Children can see a working honeybee hive, play scientist at the microscope stations and dive into the “touch and learn” table centers. Check the Center’s calendar for special programs this summer, like “Going Batty” and “Salamander Meander”.
N is also for National Registry of Historical Places, of which Cashiers’ Zachary Tolbert House is one.  In addition to offering tours on Fridays and Saturdays from 11-3, which could be of interest to older children, the setting offers beautiful walking trails and a shaded pavilion perfect for picnics.
P is for playground, and nothing beats Cashiers’ Village Green to induce creative play and just plain healthy exhaustion. Designed by local children in 2002, this play space includes slides and swings, lots of climbing structures and even a playhouse and puppet theater.
Take a picnic to enjoy under shaded shelters nearby.
R is for Red Bird Golf Links (828-743-1991), a public driving and nine-hole executive course in beautiful Sapphire Valley. Check the calendar for golf clinics, open to all ages.  
S is for sun and sand which can be enjoyed in full at the Pines Recreation area on Lake Glenville. Open sunrise to sunset, the area features a swim beach, fishing pier, and a free life jacket loaner board.
T is for tennis. Public tennis courts are available through the Cashiers Recreation Center (828-631-2020). Check out a key from the Center’s office and enjoy the courts, which are located near the Cashiers swimming pool. First come, first serve (no pun intended).
V is for visual arts, and for visual arts there is no place like the Bascom (828-526-4949), the jewel of Highlands. Eight children’s day camps are offered throughout the summer, according to Billy Love, the director of education, with instruction in painting, pottery and mixed media. Additionally, the Bascom offers “art by appointment” whereby a child can receive one-on-one private instruction. Check out the family events too, like the old-fashioned barn dance.
W is for Whiteside Mountain, a wonderful two-mile hike along the Eastern Continental Divide. It’s a relatively easy hike, perfect for children eight years or older, along with their parents or grandparents, and offers breathtaking views as well as informational plaques along the way. You’ll see the signs on Highway 64 between Cashiers and Highlands and find easy parking inside the park area.
Y is for “Yosemite of the East,” another name for Panthertown Valley in Sapphire Valley. Acre upon acre of beautiful mountain valley, featuring waterfalls, streams, rare vegetation and wonderful hiking trails.  It is recommended that a visitor allow at least a half day to enjoy the site. Bikes are welcome on main trails.
Z is for zip line and children have choices: Highlands Aerial Park (828-526-8773) offers a variety of options for youngsters, including the “Brave Indian” for children five years and older and the “Mountain Top Canopy Tour” for those at least eight years old. In Sapphire Valley (828-743-7663), children eight and older can experience the “Vordach,” which includes training and thirteen zips.
The clever reader has noticed the lack of an O, Q, U or X activity and there will be no apologies offered, because the variety of children’s activities goes way beyond a mere a,b,c listing.  
As proof, where else can children experience the once-in-a -lifetime experience which will be ours this summer when Cashiers becomes shrouded in darkness for nearly two and a half minutes August 21?  The Cashiers Eclipse Festival, which will celebrate the out-of-this-world happening, is the most perfect retort to the whine of “there’s nothing to do...”  
 

The Reach of Art: A Visit to the Bascom

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Cross the covered wooden bridge just off Franklin Road in Highlands, and you will find yourself on the magical campus that is The Bascom. Set on six lush acres of what was once Cranes Horse Farm, this extraordinary center for the visual arts is a sensory treat for anyone who loves art. You know you are somewhere special long before you walk through the door. To ones right is the original horse barn which has been transformed into a ceramics center. The main building, designed by the Atlanta architectural firm of Lord Aeck Sargent, is composed of wood, glass, and stone to pay homage to the natural materials that are native to our part of the world. A walking nature trail surrounds the campus, containing a variety of site-specific sculptures comfortably positioned among indigenous plants and flowers. An outdoor amphitheater, tiers defined by stone seating, is the perfect setting for weddings, classes, and guest lectures. Like the warm hostess that she is, Teresa Osborn, meets me at the Centers front door. As executive director, she quickly explains how she sees the Centers three important missions: exhibition, education, and outreach. This is no hushed gallery of hands-off, important artnor is it intended to be. The exhibition aspect of the Centers mission is everywhere you look, as the 30,000 square feet of space abound with remarkable pieces created by artists from the Southeast, many of whom call the Blue Ridge Mountains home. Oil paintings mix comfortably with photography and pottery, the occasional piece of primitive furniture and whimsical pieces like a room-size tree composed of discarded clothing. One can also find jewelry, basketry, and wood-turned vessels here. The collections are fluid so visitors can enjoy a totally unique experience each time they come. A fun aspect of this art center is the opportunity for hands-on creativity. Check out the smARTspace loft on the third floor, and try any of many self-directed art activities. A wishing tree downstairs invites visitors to write their deepest desires on papers to hang from a tree. The wishes are as random as you would expect, from I wish I was a horse to I wish I could destroy my computer and phone. These two areas speak to Teresas deepest passion: that art be a unifier, accessible to all, regardless of income, ability, or anything else. Education is unquestionably a big part of The Bascoms mission as well. The Center offers artist residencies, fellowships and internships in ceramics, photography, sculpture and community, which is a teaching position involving outreach to all ages. Residencies range from two weeks to one year and afford artists housing, teaching opportunities, unlimited studio access, and the opportunity to sell their art. The community at large is a huge focal part of the educational component, and an adult education calendar offers a palate-pleasing menu of everything from Playing in the Clay to Highlands Landscape Photography. In addition to after-school classes during the school year, area children (and visiting grandchildren) are invited to eight different art day camps in the summertime. Private lessons, too, are available for all ages through Art by Appointment. Outreach, says Teresa, warming to a subject dear to her heart, is a yearlong activity, diverse and widespread. Area youth are served through school programs: the Boys and Girls Clubs, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and the Gordon Center for Children, to name just a few. The needs of our adult community are addressed through programs like those at Cashiers and Jackson County Senior Centers, the Center for Life Enrichment, the Chestnut Hill retirement community, and the Eckerd Living Center. It is no small feat that admission to this visual feast is free. Thanks to year-long sponsors, such as Delta and The Chaparral Foundation, The Bascom is accessible to everyone. A robust membership lends further support, as do various sponsors of individual exhibits. The vision for this Center began in the 1980s, when Watson Barratts estate made possible an exhibition space in the Hudson Library. Proceeds from the sale of his family home on Satulah Mountain founded The Bascom, which honors the maiden name of his wife, Louise Bascom Barratt. Although he died in 1962 when Highlands was still a village, his belief in the need for a permanent gallery was prescient. Today, more than 20,000 individuals visit The Bascom each year, and that does not include all those who learn and create at the Center, or the thousands of people who are enriched through the outreach programs. A centerpiece of Teresas delightful, art-cluttered office, is a charming piece of decoupage, teeming with buttons and ribbons and miniatures, created by a gentleman who struggled with developmental challenges. His family, she says, was stunned and thrilled to see how much joy he gleaned from the compilation of this masterpiece, and she keeps it in a place of honor to remind her always, of the life-changing possibilities of art. The Bascoms ever-growing impact in the community is a living testament to Watson Barratts foresight and a gift to all of us who call these mountains home.

A stroke of timeless tradition

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One of Americas favorite backyard pastimes is one that distinguishes Cashiers and Highlands from many other mountain towns. What is it? Croquet. The traditional game played with wooden mallets and balls brings laughter and competition to the area known for its lush landscape of waterfalls and golf courses. From tournaments to weekly gatherings, summer on the green takes on a whole new meaning with over 1,600 croquet players in the highlands of Western North Carolina. It is a sociable spectacle where teams face off to hit a ball through a course of hoops or wickets (as Americans have named them). Croquet dates to the 1400s, but it didnt become a recreational activity in the United States until the 1860s. The game turned into a tradition for many East Coast families, and has remained part of the lifestyle on the Highlands-Cashiers Plateau. Despite its French name, croquet is very English. The polished appearance of the wisely dressed players and immaculate grass can be deceiving. Players must outwit their opponent(s), creating a slight dog-eat-dog aspect to the game. If you can manage to roquet, or hit a rivals ball, you might gain a slight edge with gaining an extra shot. Strategy is the key, as you should consider not only your current shot, but the one after that and the one after that, making this game an authentic technical challenge. The classic game of croquet brings the community together for social events throughout the season. With clubs offering wine and wicket hours, it is common to see players sip their favorite vintage in between running a hoop.

The Plateau offers a myriad of courts for the croquet-lover to choose:

the Chattooga Club is an East Coast croquet treasure with its world-class courts and facilities. Offering a nostalgic feeling of the early 1900s with its scenery and services, the club is postcard perfection. It is a United States Croquet Association (USCA) member club.

Cedar Creek Racquet Club is minutes from both Cashiers and Highlands with a course overlooking its lake. Down-to-earth in nature and perfect for a family-friendly escape, its named one of the top twenty tennis facilities in the country by World Tennis Magazine.

Burlingame is nestled among the Blue Ridge Mountains and adjacent to the Horsepasture River. It is breathtakingly beautiful, and its croquet lawn is an integral part of member activities. It is a United States Croquet Association (USCA) member club.

The Country Club of Sapphire Valley is known for Wednesday Twilight Croquet, Friday Croquet Mixer, and Sunday Wine and Wickets. Prefer to watch? Take in the serene vista from the Mountain Verandah and watch the competitive spirit unfold. Highlands Country Club is distinctive with its Donald Ross designed golf course and unspoiled mountain landscape. Tuesdays and Thursdays play host to Wine and Wickets at this alluring, sociable croquet lawn.

Cullasaja Club is known for its par-72 championship golf course designed by Arnold Palmer, as well as Ravenel Lake, and the cascading waters of the Cullasaja Rivers; however, the private club opened a full-size croquet court, The Lawn at Cullasaja, in 2013.

Highland Falls Country Club is set amongst heart-stirring long-range views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Enjoy the social game while breathing in fresh mountain air, or visit with friends on the croquet pavilion, which offers a wood-burning fireplace, wet bar, and washrooms.

Lake Toxaway Country Club is set amongst peaceful woodlands, offering a regulation-sized croquet lawn. With a 20-acre golf learning center, five Har-Tru tennis courts, and a private lake, this club is deeply rooted in scenic elegance. It is a United States Croquet Association (USCA) member club.

Trillium Links & Lake Club is the perfect lake escape in the Blue Ridge Mountains. It is a private residential, lake, and golf community known for wine and wickets each Monday and Thursday afternoon during the season.

Tips to enhance your croquet game: Use a regular golf ball rather than a croquet ball when practicing. Keep your head down and make good contact in the ball, and take note of your swing. This will help you recognize how fast or hard you are hitting the ball, creating a more precise rhythm for your swing.

Vero Beach to Asheville

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The airline originated to enhance the flying experience. With a goal to make your time flying more personal and hassle free, Elite Airways is bringing Western North Carolina and Florida travelers good news. With a new nonstop flight between Vero Beach Regional Airport (VRB) in Florida to Asheville Regional Airport (AVL) in North Carolina, residents and visitors now have the ability to travel between the two destinations Thursdays and Sundays.

Elite airways prides itself on customer service. As a pet-friendly airline, they never charge change fees, and the first bag always flies free. Their goal is to provide a quality and memorable travel experience. The airline headquartered in Portland, Maine also offers service between the following cities:

Asheville, NC - Vero Beach, FL

Bimini, Bahamas - Melbourne, FL

Bimini, Bahamas - Newark, NJ

Halifax, Canada - Portland, ME

Melbourne, FL - Bimini, Bahamas

Melbourne, FL - Newark, NJ

Melbourne, FL - Portland, ME

Melbourne, FL - Sarasota/Bradenton, FL

Newark, NJ - Bimini, Bahamas

Newark, NJ - Melbourne, FL

Portland, ME - Halifax, Canada

Portland, ME - Melbourne, FL

Portland, ME - Sarasota/Bradenton, FL

Sarasota/Bradenton, FL - Melbourne, FL

Sarasota/Bradenton, FL - Portland, ME

Vero Beach, FL - Asheville, NC

Vero Beach, FL - Newark, NJ

President of Elite Airways John Pearsall stated, We look forward to providing the service in Asheville and sincerely thank airport and community leaders for their support.

Elite Airways operates CRJ 200s with 50 seats and CRJ 700s with 70 seats, which have an impeccable safety record. Early booking one-way flights start at $179 each way, but can go as high as $229. Round trip fares start at $358.

Nonstop jet service to Asheville is a unique addition at VRB, and one that has been highly sought after by passengers who would rather take a nonstop flight versus a ten hour drive. The airport is pleased to see new markets and travel opportunities open up to the area, and we thank Elite Airways for expanding its service at Vero Beach Regional Airport, said Airport Executive Director, Eric Menger.

Highlights of Vero Beach: The small coastal town is quite charming and offers a quaint main street with boutique shopping, the beach, ceviche at Gloria Estefans Costa dEste Beach Resort & Spa, and dinner at Ocean Grill.

Highlights of Asheville: The impromptu mountain city offers restaurants, craft breweries, and a variety of outdoor activities.

**Elite Airways also charters planes throughout the U.S., Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and South America.

A Mountain Christmas

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Christmas on the Plateau is much more than a single day or a week. It seems to begin the moment one pushes away from the Thanksgiving table.

The kick-off event takes place the day after Thanksgiving, November 24, so that any guests in town for one holiday can immediately begin celebrating the next. The place to be is Cashiers' Village Green, where from 2 to 5 p.m., Santa and Mrs. Claus will be in the Village Green gazebo to hear the Christmas wishes of local boys and girls. There will be games, a few tasty treats, and hot drinks as guests await the traditional lighting of the Cashiers Christmas Tree, a spectacular 65-foot spruce. The lighting will take place between 5 to 6 p.m., accompanied by holiday music. Stay to roast marshmallows and make s'mores around the fire pit.

Meanwhile, over at the Bascom Center for the Arts in Highlands, there will be Gingerbread Workshops at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. on both Friday, November 24 and Saturday, the 25. Families should register in advance to attend and come prepared to build personalized gingerbread houses, which will be entered in a contest for Bascom gift certificates.

On Saturday, November 25, Mr. and Mrs. Santa will make their way to Highlands at Kelsey-Hutchinson Founders Park. An added attraction will be the reading of the Christmas story by local ministers. Song books will be distributed for a community sing-along and local merchants will be offering hot chocolate and cookies. The tree lighting, which takes place at 6:30 p.m., will be especially dramatic as all the other business lights will be turned off for that special moment.

If you're in the park for the tree-lighting, be sure to check out the ice-skating rink which will be open extra hours during the Christmas holidays. The charge to use the rink is just $5 and ice skates are provided. The rink, which opened for the 2017-2018 season on November 9, will be available for extended hours throughout the holiday season beginning each day at 1 p.m. For more information regarding the holiday schedule, call the Highlands Recreation Department at 828-526-3556.

With the lighting of these community Christmas trees and the season's kick-off comes thoughts of a tree for one's own home. There is no better place to find a live tree than here in Western Carolina, where Christmas tree farms are a cottage industry. Our region's elevation, excellent soil, and well dispersed rainfall contribute to its deserved reputation as a reliable source for Christmas trees

A perfect place to visit is the 80-acre Tom Sawyer's Tree Farm in Glenville, where families can choose and cut their own Fraser Fir trees, measuring from three to 12 feet. While the tree is being packed to take home, visitors can check out the farm's charming village populated with Christmas elves, a craft tent for creating Christmas art, and a storytelling room. Move to the big red barn for food, drink, and evergreen selections, participate in a scavenger hunt and then drop off letters to Santa at his own post office. A ride in a horse-drawn carriage can round out a memorable experience. Tom Sawyer's is open through the season until Christmas Eve for people arriving to the mountains later in December. Please note, because of his busy schedule in December, Santa will only be at the farm on weekends.

Of course, you could choose to create a truly indelible family memory with the Christmas Tree Package from Old Edwards Inn in Highlands, the luxury hotel which is included on the National Register of Historic Places. Spend one night, enjoy dinner at Madison's, and take in such family-friendly amenities as popcorn, holiday movies, and games in the Kelsey Game and Theater Room. You can even ask an elf to come to your room to tuck in the children. Awake the next morning and drive to a local tree farm with a voucher for a five-to-six-foot Christmas tree. Now that's a holiday kick-off!

The month-long celebration continues the following week with Highlands' Olde Mountain Christmas Parade, Saturday, December 2 at 11 a.m. This tradition draws participation by area marching bands and school groups and boasts a live nativity scene including real camels, the Mountain Garden Club Dancing Ladies and, of course, Santa Claus. Small children are encouraged to bring bags for the candy that is distributed from the various floats. The merchants in Highlands will be competing in a holiday window decorating contest, making Main Street and surrounding streets perfect for strolling all day long.

Cashiers hosts its Christmas Parade on Saturday, December 9, at noon. This year's parade is titled Silver and Gold Bells, It's Christmas Time in the Village and honors the Village Green's 25th anniversary and the Volunteer Fire Department's 50th. Look for another appearance by Santa and then head to the nearby Community Center for the tenth annual Christmas luncheon showcasing Cashiers Cares. The luncheon provides a timely opportunity to learn about the work of this neighbors helping neighbors organization which supports ten local charities. A hot dog luncheon will be provided by Cashiers Rotary Club, and Santa (he's everywhere!) and Mrs. Claus will be guests of honor for those wanting photos.

Christmas, of course, would not be Christmas without special music and The Cashiers Adult Community Chorus is practicing for its Christmas concert to be presented in the Sanctuary of the Cashiers United Methodist Church on Sunday, December 3 at 3 p.m. Selections include the God with Us! cantata, Handel's Hallelujah Chorus, and Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah.

Another community offering on December 5 at 7:30 p.m. is the Rhythmic Circus performance of Red and Green at Western Carolina University's Bardo Performing Arts Center. A family-friendly celebration of the season, Red and Green is a song and dance extravaganza of rapid-fire tap backed by a seven-piece band.

Of course, merchants from Highlands to Cashiers will be a big part of the holiday spirit with lots of festive temptations. One must-see is the famed Christmas Cottage on Main Street in Highlands which has been a local landmark for more than thirty years. Richard Osborne, who owns the shop with his wife Teresa, says that Downton Abbey and Game of Thrones themed ornaments are very popular this year, as is an electric climbing Santa who walks up and down a ladder that can be leaned against a wall. Animated Christmastime televisions are also flying off the shelves. A visit here will fortify you for the rest of your holiday shopping and preparations.

And, before you know it, it's here!

Packages wrapped, family safely gathered, pantry fully stocked. By Christmas Eve it's time to slow down and remember what the season is all about.

BMW Performance Center is your personal danger zone.

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Are you ready for an afternoon thrill? If you like your hands behind the wheel and want to take an engine to its limits with no fear of blue lights in the rear-view mirror? Make your way to the BMW Performance Center in Spartanburg, South Carolina.

Your day begins with the basics by getting to know your instructor and the cars. Professional drivers provide insight into each of the BMW vehicles. You quickly graduate to a course designed to challenge your skills, where you learn how to properly maneuver the vehicles around obstacles.

At the performance center you are encouraged to test the brakes-stopping on a dime on a wet track, or open up the engine from zero to sixty in under five seconds. The course not only tests the limits of the car, it will test yours. This bucket list experience is a great day or two escape from the Plateau.

My favorite part of the day was the timed lap race in the M240i. Speed, cut corners, but dont knock over the cones, all while trying to beat your friends times to earn bragging rights. If you apply your skills, you could win the best time of the day. I finished in 24.3 seconds, and I challenge you beat it.

What cars do you get to experience and test drive to the max?

BMW M240i Horsepower: 320 Torque: 330 lb-ft Weight: 3,535 lbs 0-60: 4.6 seconds

BMW 340i Horsepower: 320 Torque: 330 lb-ft Weight: 3,695 lbs 0-60: 4.6 seconds

BMW 650i Horsepower: 445 Torque: 480 lb-ft Weight: 4,275 lbs 0-60: 4.3 seconds

BMW X3 Horsepower: 300 Torque: 300 lb-ft Weight: 4,230 lbs 0-60: 5.3 seconds

BMW X5 Horsepower: 300 Torque: 300 lb-ft Weight: 4,680 lbs 0-60: 6.1 seconds

The excitement and laughter alone is worth it. The fun of skidding around a circular wet track and nearly losing control of the car is a rip-roaring blast. When you understand the type of car you are driving, your insight into speed, braking, lane-changing, and taking fast corners brings your driving skills and entertainment to a whole new level.

Whether youre with your buddies or your spouse, this experience is something you wont soon forget. The center also offers corporate retreats. A little healthy competition and fun is always good for office morale. With an onsite cafe offering options for every diet, you are well taken care of during your day-long adventure.

Want to try your skills off-road instead? The two-day driving school provides you the opportunity to pilot the X vehicles through various terrain obstacles and adverse conditions you may not think the cars (or you) can handle.

Sometimes you just need to step on the gas pedal and get out there. Open it up, channel your inner race car driver and show them what youre made of. If youre ready for acceleration, perhaps its time to cross racing off your bucket list.

If you find yourself wanting more, test your hand at the M School Experience, where you only drive the M Series vehicles; its an experience guaranteed to quench your thirst for speed.

Warning: You could get hooked.

P.S. - If you have a new driver in your family, they also offer a driving school for teens!

All drivers classes start at $849.

BMW Performance Driving School 1155 SC-101 Greer, SC 29651 1-888-345-4BMW bmwperformancecenter.com

Silver Creek hosts Humane Society PAWS-A-THON!!

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CHHS announces our first-ever PAWS-A-THON Pledge Drive for the Shelter Pets!This four-hour "telethon" takes place onSunday, December 29th from noon-4pm. We will be taking pledge donations over the phone by our volunteers and staff at the offices of our sponsor and host, Silver Creek Real Estate Group. Silver Creek is a great friend to the animals, and they have graciously donated their offices and phone lines for our inauguralPAWS-A-THON.

On Sunday, December 29th from noon-4pm please call (828) 743-1999and make a pledge to support the shelter pets! No donation is too big or too small, because every dollar counts and supports our no-kill shelter and our mission of rescue, spay/neuter and adoption for abandoned and neglected animals.
How yourPAWS-A-THON pledge helps the shelter pets:
  • $10 pays for a rabies vaccination
  • $20 provides a pet with a microchip
  • $30 feeds a shelter pet for a month
  • $50 will spay or neuter a dog or cat
  • $100provides a pet one year's worth of medications
  • $500 supports our "Laurel Fund" for special medical needs animals
  • $1,000 sponsors an entire day of spay/neuter with the H.E.A.R.T. of North Carolina for 27 animals

Mark your calendar for December 29th from noon-4pm to participate in our first-ever PAWS-A-THON! We look forward to taking your call, and we thank you for your support of the shelter pets at the Cashiers-Highlands Humane Society!

PAWS-A-THON HOTLINE DEC. 29th, NOON-4PM:

(828) 743-1999

In These Mountains Presents: This is My History by Kenn Kotara

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The Highlands Plateau offers abundant inspiration to local inhabitants, visitors, and artists of the area. The Bascom is pleased to announce the work of Kenn Kotara, of Asheville, NC, in this year's In These Mountains. His exhibition, This is My History, includes works that are contemporary, abstract, and grid-based.Kenn Kotara

Opening Reception: Saturday, November 16, 5 to 7 pm Artist Talk: 5:30 pm, FREE Giving Trees and Nog Off

The Bascom's annual holiday event is a celebration of local non-profit organizations.

Giving Trees: Local nonprofit organizations decorate holiday trees that are displayed around The Bascom with donation boxes.

Nog Off: Participate in our Homemade Eggnog Competition by sampling and voting for your favorite! Saturday, November 16, 5 to 7 pm. FREE!

Cashiers NC Fireworks Postponed!

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fireworks2The Village Green has postponed the Fireworks Extravaganza due to weather and standing water on the lawn at the Village Green Commons. The event will be rescheduled for later in the season. You can visit the Village Green's website for updates at www.villagegreencashiersnc.com.

Lake Glenville NC Visitors & Real Estate Guide

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Lake Glenville, North Carolina

The crown jewel of the Glenville community at 3,942 feet above sea level Lake Glenville is the highest lake east of the Mississippi. With a surface area of over 1,400 acres and 26 miles of shoreline, Lake Glenville draws visitors from all over the Southeast to its pristine waters and glorious scenery. The high elevation provides pleasant climates year round, as well as incredible views of the lake, mountains, forest and waterfalls that are common in the region. Whether fishing, boating or swimming in this extraordinary lake, once you set foot in Lake Glenville, gently stirring her glassy surface, you'll feel a stirring in your own heart. This feeling keeps visitors returning year after year, as they continue to build upon their special memories of days spent at the lake.

Lake Glenville is located in close proximity to the historic resort village of Cashiers, providing its residents with an opportunity to shop and dine to their heart's content. Homes on Lake Glenville provide the best of both worlds waterfront home combined with mountain home. A handful of Glenville communities provide a country club environment, all of which celebrate the natural beauty of the region.

Communities on Lake Glenville, North Carolina

You will never forget the sight of your first sunset over Lake Glenville and the mountains beyond. Silver Creek Real Estate Group has included below a list of some of Lake Glenville's most exciting communities and subdivisions. To find your ideal mountain lake home, contact Silver Creek Real Estate Group. Our experienced brokers are authorities on the local market, and know where the very best views and fishing holes on Lake Glenville can be found.

Big Ridge

Offering some of the most breathtaking vistas of Western North Carolina's mountains and valley below, the Big Ridge community is an eclectic blend of family farms and multi-million dollar estates. Local Christmas tree farms add to the mystique and character of this special community. Nearby Lake Glenville and the resort village of Cashiers offer many opportunities for fun to residents of Big Ridge. Lake Glenville is a fully recreational lake, affording many prospects for boating, water sports, swimming and fishing for residents and visitors to the area. The lake is 1,400 acres in size with 26 miles of natural shoreline for sunbathing and picnicking. Lake Glenville is the highest lake east of the Mississippi River and has three public boat launches and one marina. For the urban adventurer, the town of Cashiers is widely known for its cultural arts, unique shopping village and upscale dining establishments.

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Bridge Creek

The 155 lush, unspoiled acres that Bridge Creek is built upon was acquired from descendents of the original owners of the 1872 Land Grant the Choate, Buchanan and Long families. This unique community invites its residents to enjoy a lifetime of special memories on the mountain, memories that will be passed down from generation to generation just as the land on which the community lies was shared. Entryway to Bridge Creek is through a rustic covered bridge over gentle Norton Creek, immediately giving one the sense of history and wonder and the feeling of taking a step back in time. Three trout streams wind their way through the community, offering plenty of opportunities to splash in the cool water, rest in the warmth of the sun-soaked shore, or grab a pole and go fishin' for supper. Miles of hiking trails abound for the explorer. Picnicking in the Spring House Pavilion, swapping tall tales by the fire at the Buchanan Chimney Garden, and playing games with friends and neighbors at the Family Sports Garden are all wonderful examples of activities that hearken back to a simpler time and amenities that coexist beautifully with nature. Home sites in Bridge Creek range in size from one to five acres, offering panoramic views of Lake Glenville or miles of mountain ranges. A short drive from the historic village of Cashiers, Bridge Creek is founded on the belief in paying homage to the past through its Great Camp style home designs and honoring the gifts of nature.

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Buck Knob Island

Located at the heart of Lake Glenville, Buck Knob Island consists of just 19 private luxury home sites of approximately one acre in size 16 along the shoreline and 3 on the interior of this serene, tree-lined island. Residents of the island may park their cars under covered parking or dock their boats at Buck Knob Landing on the mainland, and take a water taxi to their truly exclusive island home. Golf cart paths wind through the island making travel throughout the property not only convenient, but fun. Boat docks are also permitted in front of each lakefront residence. The Island HOA maintains a full-time Resident Caretaker to assist with concierge services and prepare the homes for the residents' arrival.

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Buck Knob Landing

Resting on the east end of Lake Glenville, this incredible lakefront community is perfectly positioned for amazing views of the sun setting over the lake and mountains in the distance. With fully recreational Lake Glenville as the heart and soul of Buck Knob Landing, the "Landing" refers to the bustling community dock which is open to all residents.

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Cullowhee Forest

Located in a part of Western North Carolina that is extremely proud of its waterfalls, Cullowhee Forest is named for thestunning cascades that can be found throughout the region. Set along the spectacular Tuckasegee River, home sites in Cullowhee Forest encompass beautiful natural settings with some of the most awe-inspiring views of the river and Blue Ridge Mountains beyond. Wildlife abounds in this remote rural community deer, rabbits, squirrels, native birds and more can be found roaming freely. Homes in Cullowhee Forest range in style from traditional to contemporary, but all adhere to strict architectural guidelines and honor the beauty of the natural environment. While this unique community provides its residents with the peace and quiet of rustic mountain life, the shops, restaurants and entertainment of the resort village of Cashiers are just 10 short miles away.

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Glen Laurel

Located a short 30-minute drive from Cashiers, Cullowhee and Franklin, North Carolina, the lovely Glen Laurel community lies at the north end of Lake Glenville. Residents of Glen Laurel have easy access to all of the pleasures that Lake Glenville has to offer boating, waterskiing, jet skiing, swimming, fishing and more. The community offers amazing views of the lake and surrounding mountains.

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Glenshore

One of the more established lakefront subdivisions on Lake Glenville, Glenshore is a gated community featuring some of the most beautiful multi-million dollar homes in the area. Many are designed and constructed by local custom home builders, and adhere to strict architectural guidelines intended to complement the pristine natural setting. Each home site is individual, offering unique perspectives of the lake, forest, mountains or all of the above. Glenshore on Lake Glenville offers its residents all of the pleasures the lake has to offer boating, waterskiing, jet skiing, swimming, fishing and more.

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The Lake Club

Nestled on 150 acres along the shoreline of Lake Glenville near the resort village of Cashiers, North Carolina, The Lake Club is a private community offering the very best of mountain and lakefront living. Touted as a place where memories are created and traditions continue to grow, The Lake Club is a very special family-focused development featuring 36 estate-sized home sites and a quaint cottage division. Special attention and careful planning have been given to the architectural and environmental covenants within this exclusive gated community in order to preserve and celebrate the pristine natural setting.

One of the finest examples of this concentration toward marrying architecture to its environment is found in The Lake Club Lodge. Exquisitely designed by renowned architect Tom Greene and Associates to be reminiscent of an Adirondack camp from a bygone era, The Lodge features native poplar bark, locust wood and stone accents. This well-appointed clubhouse is an ideal place where friends and neighbors can gather together near the stacked stone fireplace or enjoy breathtaking views from one of many covered porches. Another popular Lake Club amenity, The Marina, is not just a place where homeowners can park their boats; it also offers a generous sundeck to soak up the sun on large Adirondack chairs and an enclosed swimming area, safe from passing motor boats and jet skis. In addition, The Lake Club Meadow is a two-acre park set at the heart of the community where neighbors can play a game of horseshoes or warm themselves by a bonfire under a sea of stars on a cool fall evening.The Meadow also offers many beautiful natural features, ideal for strolling or splashing including streams, three ponds and hiking trails along a cascading waterfall. There is no shortage of fun to be had nearby, as well. Beautiful Lake Glenville provides 1,400 breathtaking acres for fishing, boating and watersports, and the historic villages of Cashiers and Highlands feature abundant choices for fine dining and eclectic shops for exploring.

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Sims Valley

At the turn of the 20th century, Willis and Laura Sims settled in a high valley with clear 40-mile vistas of the Great Smoky Mountains in the west. They built a rustic mountain home, lived off the land and raised their six children here. Today, the valley is home to Sims Valley a unique mountain community built in the same spirit as the Sims family homestead. It is a place of beauty, a place for families, a place where residents live in harmony with the nature that surrounds them.

Located between the historic towns of Cullowhee and Cashiers, Sims Valley provides their homeowners with the feeling of living within a national park, rather than a resort community. Intersected by winding nature trails, designed by Trail Dynamics (who often design for the National Park Service), Sims Valley offers many opportunities to let their residents' spirits soar with the natural splendor that is housed within this one-of-a-kind property. The peaceful sound of cascading waterfalls, the exotic fragrance of mountain laurel and native wildflowers and the awe-inspiring sight of the Smokies blend together for an exceptional outdoor experience. Go shopping or dining in Cashiers or Highlands, explore Nantahala National Forest, take a boat ride on Lake Glenville or enjoy the many amenities that Sims Valley has to offer.

The Sims Family Homestead still stands and now serves as community gathering place. In fact, there is no shortage of places for the community to gather together at Sims Valley. The Mountain Clubhouse contains a fitness center and spa, swimming pool, large great room with fireplace, caterer's kitchen, outdoor grill and two outdoor fireplaces, paired with some of the most amazing views available at the property. The Mountain Chapel located at the north end of the property offers an open-air gathering place for Sims Valley residents t enjoy a picnic, a roaring fire in the outdoor fireplace or breathtaking vista of the valley and the mountains beyond.

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Stonebridge

One of Lake Glenville's most exclusive neighborhoods, Stonebridge is comprised of just eight home sites many offering stunning views of the sun rising over the lake and as much as 300 feet of deep water along the shoreline. This distinctive waterfront enclave contains multi-million dollar custom homes designed by some of the Carolinas' finest architects, each shrouded by a thick canopy of hardwoods for added privacy and truly natural beauty. Whether looking out at the lake from an expansive rear deck, or looking up at the homes of Stonebridge from your boat on the water, the view will not disappoint!

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Stone Pointe

With a tagline that reads, "Imagine it's not just a dream anymore," Stone Pointe offers the ultimate combination of waterfront and mountain luxury living to its residents. Encompassing just eight remarkable home sites, Stone Pointe seeks to provide each resident with the security of a gated community, the privacy of heavily wooded lots and some of the most amazing vistas that Western North Carolina has become so famous for. Docks are pre-approved along the shoreline and each property offers direct access to beautiful Lake Glenville.

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Summer Cove

Located in a peaceful cove of Lake Glenville, the new Summer Cove community is comprised of 24 lovely acres of tree-laden lots with some along the shoreline. The community is accessed by way of Pine Creek Road at the north end of Lake Glenville. A charming drive through the magnificently maintained Black Angus Farm leads visitors to the entrance of Summer Cove. Proximity to the renowned towns of Highlands and Cashiers, oversized lots and the quiet cove location make this a highly desirable real estate opportunity. Best of all, Summer Cove offers its residents all of the pleasures Lake Glenville has to offer boating, waterskiing, jet skiing, swimming, fishing and more.

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Summer Hill

A prestigious gated community on Lake Glenville, Summer Hill encompasses 76 acres of custom-built luxury homes, heavily forested interior and waterfront lots. Community amenities include a lakefront pavilion, marina and tennis courts. Residents enjoy easy access to all of Lake Glenville's recreational activities, including boating, sailing, waterskiing, jet skiing, swimming and fishing.

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Trillium

True to its credo "Where Families Belong" Trillium is among the most exciting, family-friendly properties on beautiful Lake Glenville. Striking homes featuring Arts and Crafts and Adirondack style architecture line the community's streets, showcasing special characteristics such as stone and timber accents, poplar bark siding and exposed beams. Each home is designed to exist in harmony with the awesome show of nature that can be found throughout Trillium. The award-winning 18-hole championship golf course, designed by Morris Hatalsky, is as challenging as it is beautiful. Clinics and private lessons are available with the full-time pro on site. The less challenging par three Garden Golf course is a terrific amenity the entire family can enjoy without the worry of tee times and scorecards. A day of fishing in any one of Trillium's stocked ponds, picnicking at the Lakeside Pavilion or playing a game of croquet on the Arbor Lawn will bring new meaning to the word "carefree."

Set at the heart of the community, Trillium's clubhouse is an architectural masterpiece, combining mountain laurel accents with dry stacked stoned for an inspired gathering place that gives the feel of luxury housed within an old, rustic lodge. The clubhouse is an integral part of life at Trillium, offering residents casual dining in the Grille Room overlooking the 18th fairway, a wrap-around porch for world-class dining with a view and an expansive lawn for hosting special community events on holidays like Easter, Fourth of July and Labor Day. Gourmet dining is also available at The Landings, set at the tip of Lake Glenville, with opportunities for a romantic view of the sunset and dinner by candlelight.

Apple Orchard Park is Trillium's wildly popular fitness and wellness center, boasting three indoor clay tennis courts and state-of-the-art fitness equipment, as well as services like fitness classes and spa treatments. Central to it all lies Lake Glenville. Trillium has a fleet of boats available for rental canoes, kayaks, fishing boats, deck boats, runabouts and pontoons. Water ski equipment and other water sport items are also available to rent. A short drive to nearby Cashiers provides family members with a fun-filled day of shopping and strolling the streets of an historic resort village. There is no shortage to the number of adventures a family can have while living at Trillium.

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