A rustic wonderland nestled in the North Carolina mountains is the woodsy oasis you've been looking for. High Hampton is a historic landmark property that's been given new life by the owners of one of our most beloved destinations, Blackberry Farm. Preserving the historic elements while implementing modern touches is a balance that has been beautifully achieved in every room of this legendary property. From the original wood-paneled walls to the colorful tapestries and linens, our room was the perfect balance of masculine and feminine, old and new, rustic and soft. It's the kind of place you dream of when you want to disconnect from life's busyness and rediscover nature through childlike eyes.
The Inn served as a cozy respite for us between adventures and activities. The textural layers of our room--the original woodwork, the soft linens, and brass bedside lamps-- created an inviting space primed for curling up under the covers and diving into a book. Something unexpected that we loved was the absence of televisions in the rooms, which helped encourage us to unplug from technology and become one with the Blue Ridge Mountains. While our room felt quaint, it featured an incredibly spacious bathroom and walk-in closet--something Chris and I always appreciate. A booking tip to note: if you plan to visit High Hampton with your family, we recommend reserving the Halston Cottage Suite--each of the four rooms are connected to a charming living room where you can reconvene at the end of the day, while all four have their own private entrances to the outdoors.
Upon arriving at High Hampton, Robert greeted us and took us on a tour of the property, educating us on the vast history of the resort dating back to 1922. Understanding the history of such a special place (including some friendly ghost stories!) made for a magical stay. Chris and I began each day with a workout in the fitness center, which has everything from Peloton bikes to TRX and Pilates studios. Any time of day at High Hampton is best spent outdoors surrounded by the Carolina High Country, so we partook in a game of croquet in the afternoon, followed by a refreshing drink afterward called "The Lakeside Ricky." As always, Chris can't visit any location without hitting the green, so we took a tour of the Tom Fazio 18-hole golf course to set up his tee time!
The seemingly endless options of outdoor activities offered plenty of opportunities to take in the beautiful lake framed by the picturesque North Carolina mountains. Lilah and I enjoyed a mother-daughter sunset hike after touring the stunning Dahlia gardens, Chris and Lilah paddled out on a canoe to fish for crappie, bass, and trout, and we all three shared plenty of laughs while kayaking through the lake. Whether you're interested in a family-friendly hike, or a more rigorous experience for seasoned hikers, there are numerous options throughout High Hampton's grounds. And if you're looking to hit the courts, they offer five tennis courts (where we scheduled lessons for Lilah), four pickleball courts, and a basketball court (ideal for our boys!). After a long day on the water, I snuck away to The Spa for their signature deep massage, which incorporates local healing herbs and scents gathered from the ground's garden--highly recommend!
Ping pong and corn hole are available on the lawn, as well as card games in the lobby including Old Maid, UNO, and checkers--a nostalgic touch reminiscent of my childhood. Not only does the resort offer a wide variety of outdoor activities, but they also made sure to include plenty for the young guests! From games to hikes, the Kids Club offers fun adventures daily for guests ages 5-12, and you can even catch the property's miniature donkeys--Ed and Fred--outside on your way in!
At High Hampton, they pay as much attention to the fare as they do the grounds. We enjoyed breakfast together at The Dining Room, comfortable space with spectacular views and a mood-setting, wood-burning fireplace. I enjoyed the garden greens with a sunny-side-up egg, Chris chose the egg white vegetable frittata, and Lilah loved their blueberry and lemon zest ricotta pancakes--a delicious start to our days! Mitch's Lakeside is the perfect spot to grab drinks for the pool or a casual lunch. We popped in and ordered the blackberry mule before heading to The Tavern for lunch. At The Tavern, I enjoyed their beets and watercress salad with salmon, Chris chose the caesar salad with salmon, and Lilah dined on their tavern burger and gave a glowing review! Before dinner, Chris and I snuck away for a wine tasting (we recommend the Generations of Wine tasting) before reconvening with Lilah for a three-course dinner back at The Dining Room. Chris enjoyed the fresh North Carolina trout, I chose the fresh garden lettuce salad, followed by the roasted chicken, and Lilah dined on the leek and potato soup, followed by the sweet tea fried chicken. To finish off a spectacular meal, I savored the peaches and cream cake while Lilah relished her favorite item on the menu: fresh blueberry sorbet.
Chris and I recommend High Hampton for our outdoor-loving, adventure-seeking clients and can happily say it's now on our family's list of "must go back" destinations. The charm and history of High Hampton are enough to make you fall in love, and if you fall hard, there are residences available to make it your full-time home. Trust us--you'll be tempted.