Around the Area
An incredible amount of fun is offered in the Sapphire Valley area. Visitors can choose to be adventurous or find serenity, or seek both in the same day. Nearby Cashiers has a lot of fun annual events and restaurants, and the devotion to making memorable mountain getaways has created a culture of friendly service.
Sapphire and Cashiers, and the surrounding areas, are a nature lover’s paradise. Enjoy hiking (and photographing) cascading waterfalls, take a spa day and relax with restful mountain views. You could choose to play a challenging golf course, mine for gems, take a lake boat tour, go horseback riding and, in the winter, hit the ski slopes. Shop for artisan crafts, visit the farmer’s market and then, when you’ve worked up an appetite, dine at local restaurants and brew pubs.
From the guests who have visited here many times, and from our local staff, we developed these recommendations for you.
Skin care, massages, body treatments and enhancements are offered at Canyon Spa, which has, “a calming environment with cozy fireplace, sitting porch, three treatment rooms and intimate waiting areas.”
Book a kayak or canoe tour, take a fly fishing excursion or visit their taproom. They also have special events, from fly-tying lessons to darts tournaments.
Highlands Biological Station
The station has Highlands Botanical Gardens, which is open year-round, dawn to dusk, free of charge. There are trails, wildflowers, a lake and a creek, and it is a great place to picnic. The Highlands Nature Center offers year-round events and activities as well as summer nature camps.
Sapphire National Golf Club
If you’re looking for exciting elevation changes and gorgeous mountain views, Sapphire National Golf Club has a 4.5-star rating from Golf Digest and recently underwent a multi-million dollar renovation. Everyone talks about its dramatic par-4 13th hole beside a waterfall and the on-site partnership with Sapphire Mountain Brewing Company.
Ski Sapphire Valley
Of course you can ski, and your family can also enjoy snowboarding, a snow tubing park and winter zip line tours.
Whitewater Equestrian Center
They created the perfect solution for when some family members want to saddle up, while others might prefer to hang back. Those who want to trail ride will also learn about local lore, plants and animals while enjoying gorgeous scenery. Non-horseback riders can hang out at the barn and do some gem mining.
Red Bird Golf Links
The 9-hole “Red Bird” course at the Red Bird Golf Links facility in Sapphire, North Carolina features 1,265 yards of golf from the longest tees for a par of 30. Designed by Reid Horne, the Red Bird golf course opened in 2001. Sapphire Master Valley Association manages this facility.
Sapphire Valley Racquet Club
Sapphire Valley Resort Racquet Club offers seasonal private lessons, group clinics, social events, round robins, drop-in groups and more. Rates are very affordable.
Renting boats at Fairfield Lake
Sapphire Valley’s Fairfield Lake is the most picturesque recreation facility in Western North Carolina! Enjoy a leisurely boat ride on Fairfield Lake, a 55+ acre lake complete with boathouse, dock, rentals and swimming beach.
Call the Sapphire Valley Community Center for onsite activities.
Open seasonally, Appalachian Harvest uses hand-picked fruits and veggies to create preserves (including no-sugar), cobbler and pie fillings, hot pepper jellies, picked foods, flavored butters and more.
Cashiers Farmers Market
A must-stop for visitors and locals who enjoy fresh foods, the Cashiers Farmers Market opens for the season each year in mid-April. In addition to produce, you can pick up barbecue, spices, condiments and more.
This collection of French “unusual and hard-to-find” antiques was hand-picked by the owner and imported to her mountain shop.
Get equipped to discover waterfalls, experience fly fishing or enjoy a mountain day hike at Highland Hiker, where advice and local knowledge comes with your purchases.
Go on the hunt for quality fashions at bargain prices at Victoria’s Closet, a consignment shop for men and women.
Mountain Fresh Grocery & Wine Market
It’s a grocery, a deli and a sit-down restaurant serving gourmet coffee, wine and beer. Mountain Fresh Grocery & Wine Market serves breakfast, lunch baskets, dinners and fresh cake slices, and offers frequently changing specials like a take-out dinner for four with in-house smoked barbecue, slaw, bacon/apple baked beans and yeast rolls for $23.
The Orchard Restaurant & Event Barn
The recipe philosophy of a few fine ingredients crafted simply into extraordinary dishes is executed well at The Orchard, where dinners are served and complemented by a creditable wine list. Start with charcuterie featuring local cheeses and cured meats, and then savor dishes like Appalachian Trout Almondine, Hawkins Venison Filet, or Fairfield Breast of Duck served with toasted almond jasmine rice, baby kale, orange demi-glace and crystalized citrus apple marmalade. The Events Barn, in a pretty mountain glade surrounded by gardens and trees, is available for private events.
Food lovers will appreciate breakfasts, brunches, lunches and dinners that start with whole bean coffee and continue with dishes that are upscale, but not fussy. A few choices include Crab Cake Benedict, Croissant Sandwich with Hollandaise, Philly Cheese Steak Omelet, Ginger Chicken Salad, Black Bean Burger Wrap, Buckhead Flame-Grilled Burgers, Lobster Stuffed Mushrooms and a St. Louis-Stye Rack of Ribs. During winter, hours slim down to breakfast and lunch, Wednesdays through Sundays.
Slab Town Pizza
They’ve got your specialty pizzas, calzones, salads, prime rib sandwich and tiramisu. Slab Town is open for lunch and dinner and can cater events or host large groups.
Wild Thyme Gourmet
From Southern favorites like Fried Green Tomatoes to Salmon over Puff Pastry, lunch and dinner are served indoors or outside at this haven for foodies and wine lovers.
The Zookeeper Bistro
Breakfast, lunch and Sunday brunch are served at The Zookeeper Bistro, with choices like Caramel Apple French Toast, Biscuits & Gravy, Omelets, salads and several sandwiches, including the pressed Roasted Turkey with brie, apples and cranberry mayo on wheat bread.
EXPLORE THE BLUE RIDGE MOUNTAINS
Sapphire Valley Travel Guide
Seven Sites for Mountain Family Fun From toddlers to teens and ages beyond, there are exciting and interesting family activities in the Sapphire Valley area. Whitewater Falls, Cashiers Near Cashiers is an amazing waterfall that is the highest...read more
Five Awesome Sapphire Valley Restaurants One of the best parts of vacation is trying new restaurants, and the Sapphire Valley area has some great ones. Mica’s Restaurant & Pub, Sapphire Please everyone in the group with friendly food at this roomy restaurant with a...read more
Six-Pack of Sapphire Valley Extreme Sports The mountains beckon thrill seekers who live for the rush of adrenaline that comes with zip lining, white water rafting, skiing, snowboarding and more. Check out these extreme sports opportunities in the Sapphire...read more