The best place to shop is Highlands in western North Carolina


Brevard, which also has a vibrant shopping scene (and plenty of white squirrels), is about an hour from Highlands.


Wondering where to go for your next shopping spree?

USA TODAY readers voted Highlands, a city in western North Carolina, one of the best in the United States for “Best Small Town for Shopping.”

Highlands offers shoppers dozens of local small businesses to explore. Visit the window shop (or shop!) for jewelry, outdoor gear, clothing, candy, home goods and more. To learn more about the shopping scene in Highlands, visit

“The quaint Main Street of the small town of Highlands, North Carolina is a shopper’s paradise stocking everything from sportswear, giftware, European and American antiques, home decor and accessories, art and kitchenware,” USA TODAY 10Best told USA TODAY.

Highlands is about a five and a half hour drive west of Raleigh.

This city came in fifth place on the list. First place goes to Frenchtown, New Jersey.

The top 10 annual Readers’ Choice Awards are determined by reader votes. The initial selections came from travel experts choosing the top 20 nominees in a number of categories, including Best Art Museum, Best Farmer’s Market, Best Outdoor Water Park and more.

Home prices in western North Carolina are changing

If you’re curious about how home prices have changed in the western part of our state, the graph below, using data from the Redfin metro area, examines the percentage change in home prices in the western part of our state. Highlands over the past year.

Redfin did not have data available for Highlands, but there was data available for nearby Cullowhee and Brevard, both about an hour from the commercial hotspot.

The the median price of houses in Brevard has mostly increased over the past year. The Brevard houses have had a percentage increase of nearly 9%compared to July 2021.

The median home price in Cullowhee has fallen throughout the past year. Cullowhee homes have had a percentage drop of nearly 24%compared to July 2021.

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Kimberly Cataudella (her) is a duty reporter for The News & Observer.

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