A vacation is supposed to be about rest and relaxation. In today's world, with cell phones, televisions and more, one tends to not truly "get away from it all" when on vacation.
At the High Hampton Inn in Cashiers, N.C., guests take a refreshing step back in time to an era where peaceful relaxation, without the distractions of today's "hurry up" world, is the theme.
Since 1922, the High Hampton Inn has been about getting out of your room or away from your cabin, and out into the world of nature.
Surrounded by the Blue Ridge Mountains, with eight hiking trails, a crystal clear, 35-acre lake for canoeing and swimming, tennis courts and a wonderfully fun golf course, there is no need to stay locked in your room. Unless reading that novel in a truly quiet place, alone and away from everything, is just what you ordered.
To encourage guests to get outside and enjoy the beauty that surrounds this 1,400-acre resort, there are no televisions or phones in the rooms. Guests at the inn have found that truly being away from it all helps them relax and enjoy a true vacation. With so much room to roam, it's even possible to enjoy your own spot where the rest of the family cannot find you.
I discovered that many guests are return visitors who travel to the resort with generations of family members in tow. Spending a long weekend or a week together, without heading to the mall or sneaking off to the movies, gives many families time to reconnect, rejuvenate and grow together, something many of us are missing in our hectic lives.
Our room was quite cozy, with a beautiful view of Hampton Lake, Chimney Top Mountain and Rock Mountain. While there was no air conditioning, being 3,600-feet up in the mountains, the evenings were pleasantly cool and the days mild.
The High Hampton Inn, situated in what is called "Waterfall Central" in North Carolina and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, offers such long-standing customs as afternoon tea, dressing in coat and tie or dress for dinner and casual conversation. The inn is quite rustic, and may not appeal to those looking for bright lights and nightclubs, but many find it a welcome change. So much so, that they return year after year, generation after generation.
There is a children's program to keep the young ones occupied and entertained, as well as giving the adults time to relax. The children build crafts, play games and even had a parade using golf carts they decorated while we were there.
Being avid golfers, my son and I had to test the course. The course at The High Hampton Inn is by no means long. Measuring just more than 6,000 yards from the tips, you will find yourself playing a relaxed, controlled round surrounded by nature's finest beauty.
The course's defense is a plethora of elevation changes and tall, thick pines, hemlock, and mountain laurel surrounding the fairways. The par-3s are particularly tough, and the eighth sits along Hampton Lake with a breathtaking view of the entire resort.
The greens are about the best I've played in years. I had forgotten how wonderful bent grass greens are. Like the resort they are not speedy, but more measured and sure of pace.
There is not a single bunker on the property, so I'd suggest leaving the sand clubs at home, and instead, bring a trusty fairway wood or hybrid that you can hit nice and straight.
While my son and I were playing golf, my wife enjoyed a relaxing facial at the new Hampton Spa. Judging by the beautiful, relaxed glow of her skin when I saw her later, I'd have to say her time there was just what she needed.
The dining room is where we enjoyed all of our meals. Everything is buffet style, with the soup coming out an hour before dinner service begins. I strongly suggest trying the soup every day!
We were overwhelmed at the amount of food. While not fancy by any means, meals feature very southern "family" cooking. Of the meals we enjoyed, my family declared the barbeque lunch the best of the bunch. Breakfasts are especially filling with eggs, fruits, grits and a lot more to choose from. There is no excuse for a guest here to start or finish the day hungry.
Currently High Hampton Inn is celebrating Oktoberfest, and with the changing of the leaves, is truly a beautiful setting. To find out more and schedule your visit, drop by the website www.highhamptoninn.com or call them at (800) 334-2551.
James Stammer has been an avid golfer and golf enthusiast for nearly 40 years. He hosts the Thursday night golf show on WSTU 1450-AM. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.