Highlands is an incorporated town in Macon County in the U.S. state of North Carolina. Located on a plateau in the southern Appalachian Mountains, within the Nantahala National Forest, it lies mostly in southeastern Macon County and slightly in southwestern Jackson County, in the Highlands and Cashiers (pronounced "cashers") townships, respectively. The permanent population was 924 at the 2010 census. The population swells to 10,000-15,000 during the season from spring to fall.
Highlands was founded in 1875 after its two founders, Samuel Truman Kelsey and Clinton Carter Hutchinson, drew lines from Chicago to Savannah and from New Orleans to Baltimore. They felt that the place where these lines met would eventually become a great trading center and commercial crossroads.
In the 1930s the town became a golfing mecca when Bobby Jones of Atlanta and some of his well-heeled golfing buddies founded the Highlands Country Club. Today that club is one of seven successful residential country club communities in the area. The Highlands Country Club is south of Highlands on Dillard Road (North Carolina Highway 106).