The Village of Pinehurst & Southern Pines
Story by Shane Sharp
The North Carolina Sandhills region, dubbed “The Home of American Golf,” is a must-visit for the “have clubs, will travel” set. But beyond the area’s 30-plus courses, charming towns, quaint shops, delicious dining and award-winning craft breweries await non-golfing visitors. The Village of Pinehurst and up-and-coming burg of Southern Pines offer plenty of itinerary options for a long weekend getaway. What’s more, these two historic hamlets are situated just five miles apart. So after making the four-hour trip from the Lowcountry, visitors can minimize their time spent behind the wheel and maximize enjoyment.
WHAT TO DO
OUT FOR A STROLL
Fill the day strolling the curvilinear lanes of the Village of Pinehurst, conceived by Frederick Law Olmsted in 1895. Or walk the grid-patterned streets of downtown Southern Pines, anchored by bustling Broad Street and the historic train depot housing its Welcome Center. For those preferring more structure, the Tufts Archives and Convention and Visitors Bureau in the village offer self-guided walking tour books.
EXPLORE AND MORE
To log even more steps, check out the 2,000-acre Weymouth Center in Southern Pines, the former home of poet and author James Boyd. The lush gardens are teeming with azaleas, weeping Japanese cherries, rhododendrons, and the area’s signature longleaf pines. Weymouth Woods is home to the world’s oldest longleaf pine tree; explore and see who’s the first to find it.
WHERE TO STAY
ROCK THE CRADLE
Pinehurst Resort, the “Cradle of American Golf” and home to five future U.S. Opens, is also the purveyor of three world-class hotels. The stately Carolina Hotel is the largest, with 230 rooms, while the Holly Inn and Manor lean toward boutique. Manor was recently renovated, including a new lobby bar (North & South) with an extensive whiskey list.
Duncraig Manor and Tanglewood Farm are two wonderful B & B options in Southern Pines offering decidedly different lodging experiences. For the area’s newest hotel, deviate to Aberdeen and bed down at the 103-room Hilton Garden Inn, featuring a full-service restaurant and bar.
WHERE TO EAT
DON’T MISS THIS PIGGY
No trip to the Tar Heel State is complete without sampling the local barbecue. The Pinehurst Brewing Co. serves up pulled pork, ribs and brisket, as well as wood-fired pizzas and craft beer brewed on-site. The famous Pik-n-Pig in nearby Carthage offers classic Carolina “cue” and a close-up view of planes landing and taking off at Gilliam-McConnell Airfield.
LEGENDARY LUNCH SPOTS
For midday meals, few small towns “do lunch” like Southern Pines. Sweet Basil’s Café & Grill offers plenty of vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free dishes. On a hot summer day, the Bell Tree Tavern, with its dark, cozy and cool interior, is the perfect spot for a juicy burger and a cold pint. Back in the village, foodies flock to Elliot’s on Linden to sample the creations of chef and owner Mark Elliott.
LIQUID LUNCH, WHO’S JUDGING?
If a liquid lunch is in order, the Southern Pines Brewing Company, Hatchet Brewing Company and Railhouse Brewery are locally owned and operated, serving a wide selection of lagers and ales.
When to visit
The Sandhills are a true year-round destination, and the Village of Pinehurst and Southern Pines offer several seasonally themed festivals and events.
•For barbecue aficionados, the Pinehurst Barbecue Festival debuts Sept. 3-5 over Labor Day weekend. The inaugural event will be held in the Village of Pinehurst and will offer tastings from the state’s top pit masters, cooking classes and live music.
•Autumn Fest is one of Southern Pines’ longest running festivals. Held on Oct. 2,
it features a 5K run, one-mile Fun Run & Health Walk, youth sprint races, children’s activities, live entertainment, arts and crafts, and local eateries.
•The Festival D’Avion, Oct. 29-30, will offer a unique collection of special events, activities, exhibits, entertainment and food and beverage options while honoring all five branches of the military. LL