Last updated July 9, 2021
The soft “hush” of the wind blowing through the trees was music to my ears as I walked around the lake at Half-Mile Farm.
I’d come to this mountain spot hoping to find a little peace and quiet for an evening. What I found was the perfect spot to rest, recharge and just be.
Located in the charming western North Carolina town of Highlands, Half-Mile Farm is part of the Old Edwards Hospitality portfolio of luxury accommodations and specifically for guests 18 and older.
Highlands has always been a go-to getaway spot for me, as it’s about a 2.5-hour drive from where I live in Atlanta. But, typically, I stay at Old Edwards Inn and Spa, which is centrally located in town.
This visit, I wanted to be away from the hustle and bustle, and opted to book a room at Half-Mile, which is about two miles out of town, tucked away on 14 acres of rolling hills, lakes and streams.
During my visit, Half-Mile’s General Manager Jack Austin told me, “You stay at Old Edwards in town to ‘do,’ but you come to Half-Mile Farm to just ‘be.'”
And from what I experienced, I think that Jack’s words capture the Half-Mile experience perfectly.
If you’re looking for a vacation spot where you can enjoy the great outdoors and then spend the evening snuggled up in luxurious lodgings, read on to learn why I think Half-Mile Farm is just the place for you.
1. Embrace the outdoors.
Whether it’s wandering along Half-Mile’s creekside walking trail or borrowing a yoga mat from the front desk to enjoy a practice on the dock overlooking the lake, there’s something to suit everyone’s activity level and nature needs.
I love walking in the woods, and the weather was beautiful the day I visited, so I spent much of my outdoor time exploring the paths and gravel roads surrounding the property.
In addition to complimentary yoga equipment, guests also have access to mountain bikes, fishing rods and tackle, stand-up paddleboards and all that you need to take a canoe out on the lake. (Kudos to the couple I watched who boldly decided to take out a canoe and fish from it!)
Plus, you have privileges at Old Edwards Club, where you can swim, play tennis, work out or dine in the fantastic Grill Room when you book a round of golf. The six-mile drive from Half-Mile also features a stunning view of Whiteside Mountain.
If sitting still sounds like your cup of tea, you can lounge by the heated mineral pool (available during warmer months) and jacuzzi or in one of the Adirondack chairs by the fire pit overlooking the lake.
Or, repeat one of my most peaceful moments of the visit—enjoy a late-afternoon beer in a rocking chair and watch the clouds float across the sky.
2. Sleep tight.
With a glass of wine and a good book, I climbed into the Jacuzzi tub in my room and flipped on the jets. Hello, blissful evening. But the tub is just one of the many reasons why you’ll be obliged to stay in your room if you experience a rainy day during your visit.
Half-Mile offers a variety of lodging options ranging from cozy cabins sprinkled across the property that accommodate families and larger groups to more traditional rooms at the inn.
I opted for a Courtyard Balcony King Fireplace room that came complete with a fireplace, four-poster king-size bed that felt like sleeping on a cloud, a patio that overlooked the woods that surround the property (which meant I could leave my door open and listen to the rain as I fell asleep) and my favorite Molton Brown toiletries.
But the thing that I loved most about my home-away-from-home was the seamless blend of luxury with touches that made me feel as if I were staying at a country inn.
For example, there was the cute writing desk tucked into the corner and the welcoming armchairs where I just wanted to read my book for hours.
3. Indulge in a solo spa experience.
If you’ve read any of my other articles here at Vacayou, you know that I rarely pass up an opportunity for a spa treatment. However, this particular getaway was all about enjoying a little nature and reading my book in front of the fire—and less about indulging in spa time.
But, on my next visit, I will absolutely be trying Half-Mile Farm’s Serenity Suite, which is available daily from 11 am to 5 pm. Without ever leaving the property, guests can enjoy a variety of massage therapies.
You can spend some quality time with your significant other over a couples’ massage or open your energy channels and increase your range of motion with the Grapevine Thai Massage.
Or, opt for the treatment that is highest on my to-try list: the Herbal Garden Bath. It sounds like 110 minutes of soaking, exfoliating and massage heaven.
4. Treat your taste buds.
Snickerdoodles, chocolate chip or white chocolate macadamia nut? Choosing which of the fresh-baked cookies available in the main house 24/7 will likely be the most taxing decision you face during your stay. (Personally, I always gave in to the snickerdoodles.)
With that said, when you visit Half-Mile, be sure to bring your appetite. I love beautiful food and drink, so I was charmed by all of the complimentary sips and nibbles included in a visit.
For example, my day started with tea in the main house, followed by a delicious farm breakfast of yogurt and fruit and quiche with a side of potatoes and country ham. Then, in the early evening, hors d’oeuvres ranging from cheese and crackers to crispy chicken wings were served.
You can also enjoy lunch, dinner or a picnic (not included), courtesy of J. Henry Tavern, which offers a light menu and full bar on the property. I highly recommend the BLT sandwich—but the Half-Mile Smash Burger also looked amazing.
The menu is ever-changing, but if it is available, don’t forget to order a side of the pimento cheese with pita chips. You’ll thank me.
5. Enjoy the best of both worlds.
Now, what I like best about Half-Mile is that if you don’t want to leave the property, you don’t have to. But, the beauty of its location is that if you do want to explore the restaurants, shopping, and other activities that Highlands has to offer, you’re a picturesque five-minute drive away from town.
Plus, a complimentary shuttle runs between Half-Mile and Old Edwards Inn and Spa in the evenings, so you don’t have to disrupt your relaxation by driving.
Had I been staying at the property for longer than a day, I likely would have ventured into town to enjoy dinner, especially since Half-Mile guests have signing privileges at the restaurants of Old Edwards Inn including Madison’s Restaurant and Wine Garden and Four65 Woodfire Bistro + Bar.
Start planning your wellness getaway to Half-Mile Farm.