Cashiers

The land value in this area is high in value, making it difficult for middle-income people to live in the area. Cashiers and the nearby towns of Highlands, Glenville, and Sapphire make up a popular mountain vacation area near the southern end of the Blue Ridge Mountains, the easternmost front of the Appalachian Mountains. Cashiers is surrounded by scenic views, waterfalls and Nantahala National Forest lands. Visitors and vacation home owners from all over the southeast enjoy hiking, mountain biking, golf and fly fishing during the warm months of the year.

As of the 2000 census, the community had a total population of 196. During the season, the population swells to 20,000 (May to October). Cashiers is pronounced locally as if it were spelled cashers, and is one of a few communities in the area popular with tourists and owners of vacation homes.

Cashiers receives an average of 87.57 inches of precipitation annually, over 7.25 inches a month, making it one of the rainiest places in the eastern United States.

Highlands

Located on a plateau in the southern Appalachian mountains, within the Nantahala National Forest, it lies mostly in southeastern Macon and slightly in southwestern Jackson counties, in the Highlands and Cashiers townships, respectively. The permanent population was 909 at the 2000 census. The population swells to 10,000-15,000 during the season from spring to fall.

The official average elevation within town limits is 4,118 feet, making it one of the highest incorporated municipalities east of the Mississippi. The annual rainfall approaches 90 inches due to the orographic lifting effect of storms coming from the lower elevations. This rainfall and, counterintuitively, the abundant sunshine, create a lush and verdant microclimate which delights botanists.

Highlands owes its cooler weather to its altitude. Astride the Eastern Continental Divide, the town's elevation contributes to its relatively cool summers and abundant rainfall, averaging 87.57 inchesper year. Average snowfall is only 6 inches (15 cm), largely due to the fact that Highlands is further south and east in the Appalachian Mountains. Areas of similar elevation on the northwest side of Appalachian region, such as Banner Elk, are not as protected from periodic blasts of Arctic air and receive more substantial snowfall. Regardless, Highlands is one of the very rare locations at this latitude that has an average high of 78°F in July, far lower than the rest of the American South.

Blue Ridge Mountains - Southwest