Saturday, December 5, 2015

Another End, Another Beginning...

Winter Schedule:
The Inn is open Dec 28 through Jan 24, and will be closed Jan 25 - Feb 17.
Miss Rebecca's Cottage is ALWAYS open with 25% off Jan - Mar.


This is the only time of year when we have the opportunity to ask ourselves this question!  The busy part of the season is over, the phone isn't ringing (as much), and we aren't working seven days a week buying groceries, baking, and trying to keep things shipshape for a parade of guests. January & February will bring  guests on weekends, a little snow, some end of year accounting (how could our expenses add up like that?), confirming advance reservations, tying up loose ends and getting ready for a yearly vacation. Spring means prioritizing projects and maintenance, updating our internet presence, and deciding how to confront yet another season in Highlands. As you can imagine, there aren't many breaks in the action when you run a "Mom-and-Pop" business like this one.

But December is quiet.  Leaf Season, Thanksgiving, Culinary Festival, and the Christmas Parade are over and there is a little lull in Highlands.  Most people are home going to holiday events, finishing school projects, and preparing for family gatherings. So we take a break and try to rest and reflect a little.

The answer to the question lies in the photo above.  This magnificent view of Whiteside Mountain is right in our neighborhood on Big Bear Pen Road - a two minute drive from the Inn. There is also a newly reclaimed hiking trail, the Kelsey Trail, which takes you from the Inn through the woods to this same location in about 30 minutes. But remarkably, we lived here 30 years before we discovered  how close and accessible this iconic scene was.

 There is ALWAYS something new & different to discover about Highlands!! It is an ever-changing canvas that is being painted over time with remarkable embellishments.  It has evolved from a cute but sleepy little mountain village into a dynamic town with a vibrant, pedestrian-friendly Main Street, year-round events in visual and performing arts, and new venues from which to enjoy the outdoors -  a new in-town park with ice skating, a year-round indoor public swimming pool, and a system of walking trails that connect town streets with nature areas. Forget the country clubs - the new sought-after place to live is IN TOWN!!

So, the answer is - it's INTERESTING!!  Our town is interesting, our guests are interesting, and it's interesting to see how we can continue to operate when the trend is toward pricey luxury hotels. We love being able to offer a reasonable alternative while providing our guests a quality experience in food and accommodations.  Doing this is a creative challenge and is one of things we love most about running a B&B.  Fifteen other B&Bs have opened and closed in our 3 decades here, and I suppose our time for that will come, too.  Maybe sooner, maybe later - but at least right now, we know that every single day, we will have something interesting to do!!

We hope to be your hosts in 2016 for our 33rd Season,
 so call now for the best choice of rooms.

Donna & Chris Alley, Innkeepers Since 1964
541 Hickory Street, Highlands NC
(828) 526-2060

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

To B or not to B?

Even at a B&B, there are options for NOT having breakfast!

Maybe you are just not a happy morning person like the ladies above; or maybe you are a super-early riser; or you have a golf, ziplining, or rafting date; or you have to attend a brunch, meeting or other event; or maybe you're on a special diet or perhaps you just don't care for breakfast. Either way, that doesn't mean you shouldn't stay at Colonial Pines Inn!

Here's the thing: any room in the main building that is normally a B&B room can come without breakfast for a discount! Just let us know at the time you make your reservation and we won't prepare anything for you (you can still have coffee or tea), and we will adjust the price of your room. We shop, bake, and prep way ahead, so you can't change your mind at the last minute and still get the discount, but with plenty of advance notice, we are happy to accommodate.

The Bargain Basement (Sunflower Room as some call it) does not include breakfast and is a good choice if you are on a budget. The Guest House Apartment or Miss Rebecca's Cottage do not include breakfast either and are appropriate if you need a kitchen or plan to stay more than a few days.

To see some examples of what we might serve for breakfast on a given day, go to our recipe blog:
If you are on a special diet but still want breakfast, please give us advance notice and, if at all possible, we can prepare something that will fit your program.
Bon Apetit - or Not!!
541 Hickory Street
Highlands NC 28741
(828) 526-2060
Donna & Chris Alley
Innkeepers Since 1984

Friday, March 27, 2015

Fine Feathered Friends


Ready for something new in Highlands? Curtis Wright Outfitters offers an unforgettable experience as a hawk or falcon follows you from tree to tree, circles in the sky and then returns to your glove! This is an up close and personal "hands on" meeting with a bird of prey where you will accompany a licensed falconer such as Peter Kipp (above) and learn about the time honored sport of falconry.

Beautiful tail feathers of the Red-Tail Hawk.  Look closely underneath to see the soft and fluffy white down feathers.

 Me holding the calm and gentle hawk - who is wearing a hood.  If you are ready for this adventure or want more information contact Peter at (828) 553-5036, or go to

June 6 & 7 Weekend Special:
Stay at The Guest House Apartment
or Miss Rebecca's Cottage
and enjoy your second night at

Arrive MON and your THIRD NIGHT is

Special June 2015 weekly rate $950!

We hope to see you soon in the mountains!

Donna Alley, Innkeeper
541 Hickory Street
Highlands, NC 28741
(828) 526-2060

Friday, January 2, 2015

Happy New Year!!


Like this little bunny, we just wanted to stick our heads out to wish you a
HAPPY 2015!!

It has been unusually warm in Highlands, and the bunny came out of his rabbit hole the other day and visited our backyard feeder area which was a madhouse of hungry winter birds who were totally unbothered by his presence.  Over the past year, we've also had mama bears with cubs, bobcats, red squirrels (locals call them boomers), coyotes, and hawks - not to mention the proliferating chipmunks. least they were proliferating until the hawks showed up!

Beat the winter blahs with a visit to Highlands:
Check out off-season activities at
the Highlands Chamber of Commerce website.



  This separate, private, in-town rental house is ALWAYS open!
Check out the details HERE and email for availability and a quote. Pricing varies with the number of guests and bedrooms used, so don't be put off by the fact that it has three bedrooms if your group is small.
 The house is only 1300 square feet and it's easy to close off the unnecessary bedrooms and give you a lower price!  Cozy and warm with good heat and a stone fireplace in the great room, Miss Rebecca's is a comfortable winter rental.  Walk right out your door and up Sunset Rocks, stroll the Nature Center across the street, or take the "rabbit-hole" sidewalk to shops & restaurants - only 1/3 mile from the cottage.

Open mid-April through mid-December
Perfect for two or three guests in a cabin-like environment adjacent to the Inn.  Add The Bargain Basement on the lower level for two additional guests to enjoy the entire building for your group of five guests. Breakfast is not included but may be available with advance notice if the Inn is not full.
Other breakfast options are available neaby on Main Street.

Have a wonderful 2015 and we hope to see you as we begin our 
32nd Year as Innkeepers!!

Donna & Chris Alley, Innkeepers Since 1984
541 Hickory Street
Highlands, NC 28741
(828) 526-2060
(866)526-2060 Toll-Free