A Year-Round Guide to Franklin and Nantahala

    What We Love About Pinehurst When Pinehurst comes to mind, so does golf. Since its beginning, the charming village and the beloved game have been intertwined. With nearly

Rosemary and Goat Cheese Strata

    What We Love About Pinehurst When Pinehurst comes to mind, so does golf. Since its beginning, the charming village and the beloved game have been intertwined. With nearly

The Cradle golf course in Pinehurst

Your Guide to Pinehurst

 


 

What We Love About Pinehurst

When Pinehurst comes to mind, so does golf. Since its beginning, the charming village and the beloved game have been intertwined. With nearly 40 exceptional golf courses in its radius — and as host of the U.S. Open for the fourth time this year — Pinehurst has earned its spot among the game’s top destinations.

But before golf, this swath of Sandhills was the remains of a pine forest, clear-cut for turpentine. As far as James Walker Tufts, a Boston businessman and philanthropist, was concerned at the turn of the 20th century, the barren land was the perfect place for a retreat — a village-like resort for those recovering from respiratory ailments to convalesce in a moderate climate with clean, pine-infused air.

Those original resort buildings, roads, and paths remain, imparting a timelessness to Pinehurst’s everyday activities. Walk to the boutiques and restaurants in the village center and indulge in the best of shopping and dining. Enjoy the outdoors, whether you’re hitting the links or the greenway. As storybook-like chapel bells mark the passage of time — and each hour finds you happy and relaxed — you’ll quietly pledge to make this trip a regular occasion.

 

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Where to Have Breakfast (or Lunch)

Pinehurst Track: What opened in 1915 as a place to train horses in the winter months now sells the morning staples you need to get your day going. Their blueberry pancakes may top “best of” lists, but their classic breakfasts with home fries and bacon or sausage come up quick on the home stretch.

Agora Bakery & Café: If you are a fresh-baked bread lover, Agora will become your new favorite spot for breakfast or lunch. Co-owner Ginny Tran began her baking career with elegant macarons that can still be found on the menu, but we’re partial to the stuffed liege waffle, a fluffy, thick waffle stuffed with strawberries, rolled in pearled sugar, and topped with Nutella. (Better make that two.)

Start your day with a croissant and macchiato from Agora Bakery & Café, or for a literary edge, check out The Roast Office, where you can sip a hot coffee while perusing the titles on the shelves at Given Book Shop, which shares the space with the coffee shop. Photography courtesy of Pinehurst, Southern Pines, Aberdeen Area CVB

The Roast Office: For a lighter breakfast or lunch, check out this coffee shop and restaurant in the town’s historic post office building. After a latte and a nibble of their famous coffee crumble cake, wander through the adjoining Given Book Shop — the community-driven used bookstore that gives money back to the local library.

The Villager Deli: Pinehurst locals know the best place for a long lunch is the The Villager Deli, right in the heart of historic Pinehurst. The restaurant has been serving solid breakfasts and gourmet sandwiches, salads, soups, and burgers for more than four decades. After lingering over your meal, you might as well go all-in with a slice of their Kentucky Derby pie.

Pinehurst No. 2’s course conveniently concludes at The Deuce, where you can wrap up your game with a much-deserved libation and elevated pub fare. Photography courtesy of Pinehurst, Southern Pines, Aberdeen Area CVB

The Deuce: Golf lovers refer to The Deuce as the 19th hole because it’s situated right on Pinehurst No. 2’s 18th. You don’t have to love the links to love The Deuce, though. With indoor and outdoor seating, a rich, leathery vibe, and can’t-be-beat pub fare from burgers and tots to salads and wings, The Deuce is all aces.

 

 


 

What Attractions to See

The Village of Pinehurst: Known for designing Central Park and the Biltmore House grounds, landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted was hired to give the Village of Pinehurst the feel of a New England Village. Brick sidewalks meander along curving roads, populated with restaurants, boutiques, and galleries housed inside historic Colonial-Revival buildings. The route is framed by mature magnolias, oaks, and, of course, pines.

Tufts Archives: Within Given Memorial Library, the archives that serve as a one-room museum brim with artifacts of all types. Cases filled with photos, maps, and documents chronicle the village’s history, from its original barren fields to the professional golf champions who have graced the golf greens.

World Golf Hall of Fame: Originally founded in 1974, the World Golf Hall of Fame will become part of the U.S. Golf Association’s Golf House Pinehurst campus when it opens in the summer of 2024. Examine artifacts of golf greats, such as Jack Nicklaus, Annika Sorenstam, and Donald Ross. While the exhibits at the hall of fame are permanent, the museum galleries of the USGA Experience on the building’s bottom floor will rotate on a regular basis, so there will often be new displays to check out on follow-up visits.

Golf Memorabilia at the Carolina Hotel and Resort Clubhouse: Although displays of historic Pinehurst golf keepsakes at these Pinehurst Resort mainstays were removed for renovations, they will return in late spring 2024. Within both the hotel’s historic hallway and the main clubhouse, photos and other visual records document champion golfers, significant moments, and other milestones here in the “Cradle of Golf.”

 


 

Where to Golf in Pinehurst

The Cradle: While all of Pinehurst Resort’s 18-hole courses require players to be a member or a resort guest, The Cradle — a nine-hole course with fantastic green complexes and deep bunkers — is open to the public. To book a tee time, call (855) 835-0771 a day before you want to play.

Take your time enjoying the rolling green complexes at The Cradle. Photography courtesy of Pinehurst, Southern Pines, Aberdeen Area CVB

Thistle Dhu: Taking the concept of mini golf to the next level, this 18-hole putting course features immaculate greens, unexpected undulations, and picturesque Pinehurst views. Thistle Dhu is open to Pinehurst Resort guests and the public — no green fees or tee times required.

The dramatic elevation changes across Pinehurst’s new No. 10 course pose a fresh challenge to golfers in the Sandhills. Photography courtesy of Pinehurst, Southern Pines, Aberdeen Area CVB

Pinehurst Resort’s newest course: The highly anticipated No. 10 course opens in April 2024. Its dramatic design will reflect the best of the Sandhills: native wiregrass, towering longleaf pines, rolling hills, and extensive sandscaping. Golfers may not expect the 75 feet of elevation change, however, strategically designed by Tom Doak to take advantage of rugged dunes originally carved by 20th-century mining operations.
 

 


 

What to Do Outdoors in Pinehurst

Rassie Wicker Park: This community park abounds with recreation opportunities. Play a round of tennis, a game of bocce, or try shuffleboard on the park’s courts. You’ll also find a soccer field, an in-line hockey rink, and a playground at the park. Cool spray from the splash pad helps tone down the sizzle on summer days.

Rassie Wicker Park walkways in Pinehurst, NC

Follow the walking trails through Rassie Wicker Park’s 103-acre space. Photography courtesy of Pinehurst, Southern Pines, Aberdeen Area CVB

The Village Arboretum: At this outdoor oasis, trails meander through a collection of distinctly different gardens, connected to Rassie Wicker Park by greenway. Visit the restored longleaf pine savannah, magnolia garden, flowering tree garden, perennial garden, and more.

Pinehurst Greenway: On this winding path through Pinehurst, walk from Cannon Park to Rassie Wicker Park to the castle peaks at Camelot playground, or peddle your way through the Village Arboretum among the colorful blooms and lush foliage. You could also use the trail to travel through historic neighborhoods to village shops. Find parking at either end of the 7.6 miles of greenway on Forest Drive in Village Acres and at the intersection of Linden Road and Foxfire Road.

Historic home, a stop along the Pinehurst Walking Tour

Get familiar with Pinehurst’s iconic landmarks during a self-guided historic walking tour through the village. Guided group tour options are also available with advance registration. photograph by Pinehurst, Southern Pines, Aberdeen Area CVB

Historic walking tour: To learn about Pinehurst’s early years, head to the Tufts Archives, where you can find a copy of Village of Pinehurst: A Historic Walking Tour. The book details four routes around the village, allowing you to explore the past with fascinating facts about both iconic landmarks and lesser-known locations.

 


 

Where to Shop

The Pinehurst Olive Oil Company: There’s regular oil and vinegar, and there’s The Pinehurst Olive Oil Company’s oils and vinegars. For nearly two decades, this has been the place to elevate your cooking. The company stores more than 40 olive oils in classic fustis, which preserve their unique flavors. Their spectrum of flavored and balsamic vinegars are sure to send your taste buds flying. They also make curated gift baskets for you to bring back for a friend (or yourself).

Old Sport & Gallery: Have you ever been on the hunt for a truly one-of-a-kind item? Old Sport and Gallery can make it happen for you. Specializing in autographs (now’s your chance for that signed Dwight D. Eisenhower photo!), rare books, collectibles, and home furnishings, Old Sport gives a shopping experience that’s part museum, part big dreams, and part just-what-you-didn’t-know-you-were-looking for.

Couple shops at The Village Wine Shop.

Sip on a glass of something new while you browse the shelves at The Village Wine Shop for your next bottle. Photography courtesy of Pinehurst, Southern Pines, Aberdeen Area CVB

The Village Wine Shop: Look no farther than the place that offers “wine, coffee, beer, and cheer” for the perfect afternoon browse. The Village Wine Shop offers pours by the bottle or glass, indoor and outdoor seating, and keep an eye on their calendar for special events like live music and wine tastings. You can stop in with your friends for a glass and take a bottle for the road to keep the merriment going all day long.

Clothing Boutiques: If you came to Pinehurst with a golfer but aren’t really a fan yourself, this might be the best time to upgrade your style. Fortunately, Cooper & Bailey’s and Gentlemen’s Corner are both ready to help. Cooper & Bailey’s can outfit you in feminine wear from head to toe. Check out their local Pinehurst-made merchandise. Gentlemen’s Corner has beautiful, timeless menswear and the most current brands.
 

 


 

Where to Grab a Drink

Carolina Vista Lounge: A fresh update of Carolina Hotel’s Ryder Club, the lounge features an expanded cocktail bar in a casually elegant setting. Kick off the evening with your favorite mixed drink. Or make a nightcap of the From the Rough, a dealer’s choice from a rotating selection of barrel-aged cocktails.

Kevin Drum behind the bar at Drum & Quill in Pinehurst, NC

What’ll ya have? Drum & Quill owner Kevin Drum will make sure your glass is never empty. Photography courtesy of Pinehurst, Southern Pines, Aberdeen Area CVB

Drum & Quill: Whether you take your whiskey neat or prefer a whiskey sour, there’s a drink for you here. Choose a table out front for prime people watching. From this vantage point, you’ll see golf carts putter by, and if it’s the weekend, strains of an acoustic guitar could waft from the dining room. Lunch and dinner fare include bar favorites like tacos and burgers.

Dugan’s Pub: If imports or Scotch are your drink of choice, the large selection of import drafts and single malt scotch will hit the spot. There’s a bar in the upstairs dining room, and the basement bar hosts live music and karaoke nights, so you can come for a drink and stay for an evening of fun.

Originally built in 1895, this historic steam plant powered the Village of Pinehurst. Today, Pinehurst Brewing Company’s live music nights, cold brews, and on-site smokehouse power the community in a different way. Photography courtesy of Pinehurst, Southern Pines, Aberdeen Area CVB

Pinehurst Brewing Company: At the restored power plant, enjoy a crisp 1895 Lager surrounded by vestiges of the past. Valves and pipes from the plant’s early days now serve as table legs and light fixtures, and the old brick walls remain blackened from years of exposure to steam boilers. It’s a place where friends gather to drink Pivot IPA while playing cornhole in the beer garden.

 


 

Where to Have Dinner

Lisi Italian: This charming eatery inside the Theatre building focuses on simple, authentic Italian cuisine. How about the crispy, square-crust pizza topped with meatballs and ricotta? Or ravioli stuffed with wild mushrooms, smothered in Reggiano parmigiana cream? After dinner, duck into Augie’s Room, the cocktail bar opened by Lisi’s owners, also in the building. Complete the speakeasy vibe by ordering a Lavender French 75, made with lavender simple syrup, gin, fresh lemon juice, and a splash of champagne.

Elliots on Linden patio, fried pies, and dinner table.

Unwind on the patio at Elliotts on Linden before heading inside for an elevated dining experience where local ingredients shine. Photography courtesy of Pinehurst, Southern Pines, Aberdeen Area CVB

Elliotts on Linden: Chef Mark Elliott has an inventive approach to cooking: His seasonal dishes, prepared with ingredients sourced from regional farms, put spins on homey favorites. The chicken and waffles, for example, stuffs the chicken with corn bread and country ham and finishes it with a honey chipotle glaze, all served with a savory cheddar waffle.

Maxie’s Grill and Tap Room: This cozy neighborhood sports bar has lots to choose from — sandwich classics like Reubens, BLTs and the like; burgers and dogs hot off the grill — but the wings are a crowd favorite. Take a seat at the bar, order a dozen, and cheer for your favorite team with the tap room crew.

Scallops from Ironwood in Pinehurst, NC

Beyond fanciful flavors, dishes at Ironwood offer a feast for the eyes. Photography courtesy of Pinehurst, Southern Pines, Aberdeen Area CVB

Ironwood: The eye-catching front door — a patchwork of colors, textures, and designs — invites guests to savor the restaurant’s certified prime Angus steak, grilled mountain trout, and the juicy Ironwood burger. Dine in the open air on the large, covered veranda, situated among the vines and planters.

Pinehurst Resort restaurants: Whether you’re staying there or elsewhere, you’re welcome to dine at the resort. Choices include the 1895 Grille, the authentic Scottish bar at The Tavern, and The Carolina Vista Lounge, which serves shareables, handhelds, and large plates for both lunch and dinner. Carolina Hotel’s Dining Room offers a selection of steak cuts.
 

 


 

Where to Stay in Pinehurst

Magnolia Inn: This 1896 architectural gem with 10 spacious and newly redesigned rooms rests in the heart of Pinehurst Village — a short walk to quaint shops and restaurants. But you don’t have to leave the property to indulge in Villaggio Ristorante’s fresh pasta, steaks, and fish.

The Carolina Hotel: Complete in time for the 2024 U.S. Open, Carolina Hotel (affectionately called “the Queen of the South”) boasts guest room renovations reflecting Pinehurst’s historic charm and comfort with all-new, custom-built furniture, as well as new fixtures and finishes, lighting, and soundproofing. Just as impressive are the newly redesigned gathering spaces, including both the coffee shop and the veranda. Don’t pass on the opportunity to settle into the plush outdoor sofas, warmed by your own toasty fire pit.

Pine Crest Inn: Settle in at this charming and comfortable home, originally owned by Donald Ross, aka, the father of modern-day golf course architecture. Start your day with the full breakfast menu (we recommend the McPine Crest Breakfast Sandwich: one egg on a buttered English muffin with a touch of hollandaise sauce and bacon). Round it out at the on-site Mr. B’s Pub & Grill, a local’s favorite bar where all are welcome.

The Old Church: For a divine lodging experience, rent the 1919 church-turned-B&B, complete with warm hardwoods, stained glass windows, and elegant chandeliers. With more than 5,300 square feet and soaring ceilings, The Old Church accommodates up to 14 guests between its five bedrooms with a combination of queen and twin beds.
 

 


 

Explore More in Pinehurst

A First Timers’ Guide to Pinehurst & Southern Pines

A Triangle couple explores the Sandhills for the first time — and shares their itinerary for a perfect spring getaway.

Beyond Pinehurst: Your Guide to Exploring Moore County

In four small towns in the Sandhills, you’ll find that history and artistry have deep roots in the Carolina clay. Discover one-of-a-kind pottery, murals, artwork, and antiques — and some delicious spots to fuel up in between stops.

3 Perfect Days in the Sandhills

There’s much more to charming Pinehurst and Southern Pines than just hitting the greens. Here’s where to stay, what to do, and where to eat on a relaxing weekend getaway.

 

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This story was published on Feb 20, 2024

Lara Ivanitch

Lara Ivanitch is a freelance writer who resides in Raleigh.