Friday, May 24, 2019

Whiteside Mountain from the Top of Big Bearpen

You can almost reach out and touch it!!

Many thanks to Ronnie & Marty, recent guests at Colonial Pines Inn, for this amazing photo of Whiteside Mountain!  I've seen this view many times, but I usually go in the off-season when it's gray & rainy, and I've never taken a shot this beautiful. Those granite cliffs are popular for rappelling and viewing peregrine falcons and you can also see some of the development that is not popular with area naturalists.

Big Bearpen is a neighborhood not far from the Inn which is designated as a wildflower preserve. Its developers protected a space offering this view of Whiteside Mountain, and another looking toward Sunset Rock. 

Walking a portion of The Kelsey Trail (one block from the Inn) to a cul-de-sac at the top of Big Bearpen will reward you with both of these views. You'll walk through a virgin forest on a beautifully laid out trail constructed by the Highlands Greenway Association, and you'll join up with Big Bearpen Road to finish out your trip. There are some impressive houses up there - which means you can also drive.

On your next visit, just ask for the map we've created showing the path to follow for walking or driving.  You'll be rewarded.

Come See Us in the Mountains!!! Soon!!!

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


Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Open for 2019 - Our 36th Year as Innkeepers!!!!!!!!!

Why visit Highlands?

Hummingbirds in April
Trillium & Purple Rhododendron (above) in May 
Light Pink/White Rhododendron in June 
Events & Festivals (see below) all Summer
Leaf Changing and crisp, cool days in Fall
The Highlands Food and Wine Festival (the biggest event of the year)
 in November
But we've always said that, without a doubt, the most important commodity Highlands has to offer is:
No one ever mentions this in articles about the wonders of Highlands, but you will notice it when you drive up the mountain and step out of your car, and again when you leave this plateau and drive to the lowlands. 
If only you could bottle it up and take it with you! 
But the next best thing is to visit often.

Plan ahead for these once a year special events: 
Highlands Motoring Festival Jun 6-9
Highlands Playhouse Live Theater Jun 20-Aug 17
Highlands Craft Fairs June 29-30, Aug 24-25 & Oct 12
July 4 Celebration, BBQ, & Fireworks
Cashiers Craft Fairs Memorial Day & Labor Day Weekends
Highlands-Cashiers Chamber Music Festival Jul 5-Aug 11
Highlands Food & Wine Festival Nov 7-10

 We hope to see you soon in the mountains!

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

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Scenes From A Snowy Winter in Highlands

 Colonial Pines Inn on a crisp, snowy day
 Carolina Blue Sky at The Episcopal Church
 Miss Rebecca's Cottage - Open Year-Round
Log Cabin Cut Glass Museum just down the street

It's been a beautiful winter here in Highlands and things are currently calm around town. Miss Rebecca's Cottage (above) is always open for your peaceful winter getaway with its stone fireplace and great location half a mile from the center of everything. Winter Discounts are in effect!
 Check it out at and call us for a personalized quote.It can be booked at, but if you call us direct at (828) 526-2060, you will avoid their fees.
You'll love the quieter side of Highlands and you might experience a beautiful blanket of snow anytime up until the end of April!

Colonial Pines Inn B&B, The Guest House Apartment, and The Sunflower Room will open April 1 and booking now for the upcoming season will get you 2018 rates. You can always relax on our porch, but if you want something more to do (other than boutique shopping, fine dining, hiking to nature areas & waterfalls) check out the following websites. There are so many events throughout the season that it's hard to keep track of them, but these websites are trying:

We'd love to see you in Highlands in 2019!!
Call us at(828) 526-2060 to discuss the possibilities.  B&B rooms are booked only by phone.  The Guest House Apartment and The Sunflower Room can be booked on Airbnb, and Miss Rebecca's Cottage can be booked on VRBO.Our website has links to those sites, but calling us direct will allow us to help you pick the right space and you will avoid added fees.

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


Tuesday, December 11, 2018

The Table is Set...

..and we're getting ready for a BIG family Christmas! Our individual pub tables are put together in a LONG banquet shape and both sides of the family will be coming from Georgia, Colorado, Michigan, and Virginia.  Chaos will reign and cooking will be done. Let the eating begin!!!

Here's our 2018 Christmas Toast and we share it with you:

Let kitchens warm from heated stove
Let Grandkids tell how far they drove
Let hugs be tight and fights be few
Let babies burp and Grandpas, too
Let plates be full and laughs be long
Let food be good and bonds be strong
Let love be near and never roam
Let Joy come in and fill our home

Happy Christmas!

After the turkey, ham, and all the trimmings are served, presents will be opened, and the next day they will all pack up and leave. But we won't be lonely for long, because we'll be getting ready to re-open and serve YOU a gourmet candlelight breakfast!

Join us to avoid the after Christmas blues, 
and ring in the New Year in festive Highlands!
 The Inn will be open Dec 28 through Jan 1.

 Holiday lights are twinkling all over town, the shops are open with the best prices of the year, and restaurants offer quiet dinners or late New Year's parties with dancing & champagne.  Or simply bring in a pizza (we recommend Mountain Fresh) and sit by our fire to welcome the first minutes of yet another year, reflect on the past, and look toward what's next.

Speaking of that, now is a good time to think about your Summer and Fall plans for visiting the mountains.  Highlands continues to grow and rooms become scarce at the last minute.  

Miss Rebecca's Cottage is open ALL YEAR (with winter discounts) and B&B rooms will re-open in April. Rooms can be reserved by phone (828) 526-2060 and the cottages can be booked on Airbnb or VRBO (but remember, calling us direct incurs no fees and is cheaper). We welcome your calls or emails anytime!!

Whatever you do, we wish you the Happiest Christmas ever, and a New Year filled with all the best  along your life's journey!!

Love from US to YOU - Donna & Chris, Innkeepers Since 1984

541 Hickory Street
Highlands NC 28741
(828) 526-2060

Friday, October 19, 2018

It's a Late Fall and We Still Have Rooms!!!

On October 19, this beautiful maple tree on our property was completely green, but we'vet had our first nights with temperatures in the 30s, so that is FINALLY setting off the process. There is color showing around town and we're predicting that the FIRST TWO WEEKS IN NOVEMBER will produce the elusive PEAK OF THE LEAVES.

This is good news in a way, because now there are still rooms available for all you folks who don't like to plan ahead.  This is your year to enjoy a last minute Fall!!



The Guest House Apartment is filled for the rest of the seaon.

Miss Rebecca's Cottage is available Nov 4 - Nov 6,  Nov 12 - Nov 14, and other dates after Leaf Season and throughout the winter.

This availability can change fast so call us now!! (828) 526-2060

Please note that we have had one cancellation for the weekend of the Highlands Food and Wine Festival Nov 8-10. Tickets to the event have been sold old, but you can still enjoy the music on Main Street without even buying a ticket. However, it's not too late to plan ahead for next year for this fabulous event that is getting noticed all over the Southeast. Check it out!

Hope to see you soon in the Mountains!

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

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

"Connect to Protect" in Highlands

Colonial Pines Inn is the latest location for a "Connect to Protect" Pollinator Garden installed by our daughter, Heather Alley, of the Mimsie Lanier Center for Native Plant Studies at the State Botanical Garden of Georgia in Athens.

Pollinator Gardens have been planted by Heather and her staff in various locations around Georgia. She carefully selects plants in an effort to educate and support wildlife by providing nectar, pollen, food, and shelter.
Go to  Connect to Protect, to learn more about this important program, 
for valuable information about their important work in saving native plants for use in habitat restoration, endangered species recovery, and introduction to the gardening and green industry community.
Heather chose plants specifically for our area and growing conditions. Science & Conservation staff and Education staff from the State Botanical Garden of Georgia will work with you to customize your Connect to Protect garden to suit your site and individual needs. Contact them at

An informative sign explains the program and helps foster an appreciation for the connections between plants, animals, and people.

It was a family project, and Heather had help from son Owen
 and father Chris, owner of Colonial Pines.
Many Thanks to All Three!

Come see our beautiful new garden!
Colonial Pines Inn Bed and Breakfast
541 Hickory Street
Highlands NC 28741
(828) 526-2060

Monday, March 12, 2018

Opening for the 2018 Season on March 23...

...and it won't be long until these delightful little guys are back to say hello to our Moon Feeder on the front porch.  They bring a bit of fantasy to the mountains and we eagerly await their arrival!

After a Snowy January and a Spring-like February, we are currently (in mid March) experiencing occasional snow flurries followed by cold winds revealing clear blue skies. Surely this means Spring is on the way!

It was a busy winter and we did what innkeepers do in the off-season - catch up on things there is no time for in Summer & Fall.  That means doctor appointments, holidays with family, taxes, a couple of great vacations, sprucing up the Inn, and some old-fashioned relaxing.

Having done all that, we are ready to have guests again, and it will feel good to get back into a routine.  After this many years in innkeeping, we just wouldn't know what else to do!  Our across-the-street innkeeper friends from the former 4-1/2 Street Inn report that they miss innkeeping but are settling into a comfortable retirement while their former building is a bee-hive of activity and getting ready to open as a nine-bedroom rental house.  It's been interesting to watch the transformation! We're happy to welcome all their past guests who still seek out an authentic B&B run by the owners who live in the building and prepare a sumptuous home-made breakfast, served in the dining room or on the breezy wrap-around porch.

We offer a little of everything, so if a separate cottage is more to your liking, check out our two vacation rentals which can be booked online:
Miss Rebecca's Cottage
 The Guest House Apartment


Thanks for visiting our blog and we hope to hear from you soon!

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


Tuesday, January 23, 2018

A Snowy Start to 2018!

Side View
At times this winter, Miss Rebecca's Cottage looked like this.

View from Driveway
 At other times, it looked like this.

Well, you know how weather predictions are, and we can't guarantee which scenario you'll end up with, but we can guarantee a great deal on accommodations at Miss Rebecca's Cottage through April
 with these off-season discounted prices:

January & February $800
March & April $900

2 adults $175 per night
4 adults $225 per night
6 adults $300 per night

If some in your group are children, or you're planning to stay more than two nights, call or email for an even more discounted quote. Check out Miss Rebecca's Cottage at for photos and details - but call us direct to avoid their fees and get a lower price.

Right in town at 31 Gibson Street on a beautiful, private 2/3 acre.  Right across the street you'll find the Highlands Nature Center and immediately adjacent is the popular Sunset Rock Hike.  You'll love the 1/3 mile walk to the center of town through the "rabbit hole" sidewalk.

Rabbit Hole Sidewalk to Center of Town

LOTS!! In-town ice skating, indoor heated pool, live theater and other events at the Performing Arts Center, first run movies at Highlands Playhouse, bluegrass & country rock at Ugly Dog Pub, and much more!!  Check out the winter & spring offerings at and, each of which keeps a calendar of events. Or just live like a local and enjoy the serenity of off-season Highlands without the crowds!

Here at Colonial Pines Inn, we're hibernating or vacationing until Spring and if we're out of town, our amazing housesitters are available to answer calls. We're taking reservations now for the busy Summer & Fall Seasons and for special events such as the Highlands Food and Wine Festival in mid-November (check it out at 

Colonial Pines is one of the few establishments in Highlands that includes a fantastic homemade and beautifully served breakfast. With reasonable prices, we are popular (if we do say so ourselves) and  we'd love to have you try us for the first time  - or have you back if you been with us before!!

If you don't care about breakfast and want  more space than just a room, check out The Guest House Apartment, and if you're on a budget, try The Bargain Basement. Both are in the little guest house adjacent to the Inn.


We look forward to seeing you in Highlands in 2018!!

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

Friday, November 10, 2017

A Recipe That CAN'T BE BEET!

The Greenes from Newnan GA enjoy breakfast at the Inn

The Laurel Magazine recently featured our recipe for


The Laurel Magazine is a beautiful monthly publication and your best source for all things Highlands. Each cover features a gorgeous original painting by a local artist and we are proud to display copies on our coffee table for guests to enjoy and take home. The Laurel is your go-to source for information on events, the arts, dining, venturing out, history, health, real estate and much more. In addition, the ads are well-designed and informative.
 Before your trip to Highlands, always check out the current issue online at

The Inn will be open Dec 27/28/29/20/31
 and then we will take a break until Spring.
Hope to see you soon in the mountains!!

with fireplace sleeps two to six and
is OPEN ALL YEAR with winter discounts.
Call or email for availability!!

Colonial Pines Inn Bed and Breakfast 
Donna & Chris Alley, Innkeepers Since 1984
541 Hickory Street
Highlands, NC 28741
(828) 526-2060 10am-10pm

Friday, August 25, 2017

Eclipsed Eclipse

We decorated eclipse cookies as the day began with a bright and beautiful blue sky. BUT around 1pm, grey clouds formed and took over the entire sky. HEY this is Highlands - a temperate rain forest - so no surprise there!!  Undaunted Ian, our guest from Virginia who had been tediously checking the cloud cover for the past two days, decided that the best thing to do was drive down the mountain to Franklin. Guests and family members followed him like the Pied Piper, and that was a good decision - they were able to enjoy the full awesome show!!
In Highlands, we didn't fare as well. My sister & I sat through the crickets and the eery 2.5 minutes of darkness here at the Inn, and then suddenly, we heard cheers coming from the crowd that had gathered a few blocks away in the park. The clouds cleared in just the right spot and we whipped out our glasses to view the tiniest crescent of the sun peeking out from behind the dark moon.  It was awe-inspiringly beautiful and for the next hour, we had a clear view of the show.

 So, the predicted massive numbers of eclipse-chasing day trippers didn't arrive. Highlands didn't need all the rented porta-potties, didn't run out of gas or groceries, and didn't have to block roads or rescue hikers or deal with massive traffic jams or accidents. But there was music all day in the park, the hotels were full, most vacation homes were occupied, and a good time was had by all!!
Join Us to experience Highlands Magic every day of the year at
Highlands NC 28741
Donna & Chris Alley, Innkeepers Since 1984
(828) 526-2020 10am-10pm

Sunday, March 5, 2017

See the 2017 Total Solar Eclipse in Highlands!

The following paragraphs are from
Michael Zeiler,
where you can find a massive amount of relative
information and some amazing maps!

You cannot completely prepare yourself for the sight of a total solar eclipse. When totality arrives, you will experience primal emotions and wonderment at the unspeakable beauty of the corona and the panoply of colors and light as you've never seen before. You will involuntarily scream, gasp, or perhaps cry at this astounding vision.
You will be looking straight down a billiard shot of the Earth, Moon, and Sun lined up perfectly. By celestial coincidence, the Sun and Moon's apparent disks in the sky are nearly the same. This serendipitous fact allows the Sun to be completely covered during eclipse yet also allows us to see the Sun's atmosphere, its corona. The corona is hidden from us all our lives except for the very special moments during the total solar eclipse.
When you look at the eclipse, you will perceive the blackest black imaginable surrounded by the Sun's ever-changing atmosphere, the corona. The quality of light is stupendous with an amazing light show of iridescence, scintillation, and delicate colors.

See the path through the US here:

See the path of totality for Highlands here:

The first phase begins at 1:07 pm on Mon Aug 21
with the TOTAL phase at 2:35pm lasting for 2min 32sec.
It will be completely over by 4:01pm.

Visit us in Highlands for the 2017 Solar Eclipse

Colonial Pines Inn Bed and Breakfast
541 Hickory Street
Highlands NC 28741
(828) 526-2060
Call or email NOW for availability!!