Pinehurst, Southern Pines and the Sandhills NC are famous for golf, but if you aren’t a keen golfer, you can still find much to see and do. Nature, history, culture and locals who are happy about the thriving tourism scene will welcome every kind of visitor to this amazing area of North Carolina. Below you will find the most comprehensive guide to the Sandhills NC area out there including:
- Brief History Of The Area
- General Things To Do
- Info And Stats
- Important Area Links
- Top Articles On The Sandhills NC
- Area Musts and Recommendations
- Our Top 5 Picks
- The Best Weekend Itinerary
- Article Archives
Brief History of Pinehurst, Southern Pines and The Sandhills
The Sandhills were settled by Highland Scots in the early 1700s then Southern Pines was established later in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Pinehurst was founded by businessman James Walker Tufts in 1895. One of the main reasons people fled to the area was because the Pinehurst NC weather was always so nice. Beautiful days in the summer and mild in the winter but with four seasons.
Pinehurst, North Carolina itself has a rich history dating back to 1895 when the village was founded. The first settlers in Pinehurst were Scottish golfers who built what is now known as the historic Pinehurst Resort. This resort became known as one of the premier golf resorts in America and served many notable visitors including U.S. Presidents Woodrow Wilson and Dwight Eisenhower.
The village is also home to several historic sites including the Carolina Hotel, Pinehurst Harness Racing Track and Country Club of North Carolina. With its combination of historical attractions and recreational activities, it is easy to see why Pinehurst has become a popular destination for both visitors and locals alike. The charm of this small town is undeniable and it truly embodies the spirit of southern hospitality. Whether you’re visiting for a weekend getaway or looking to make Pinehurst your home, the village offers something for everyone.
What To See And Do In Pinehurst, Southern Pines and The Sandhills
There is an overwhelming array of activities to enjoy in this area, so plan your time carefully to make the most of your visit.
Everyone will enjoy a carriage ride through the downtown area of Pinehurst as soon as you arrive. Passing by historic homes and the quaint village streets on a horse-drawn carriage is the perfect introduction to Pinehurst.
The Weymouth Center and Gardens is one of our favorite outdoor things to do in Southern Pines NC. It is such a pretty place to roam around. There are manicured trees, water features, beautiful flowers and sculptures at every turn. The 1920s mansion built by writer James Boyd and his wife Katherine is glorious.
This has to be at the top of most everyone’s list of things to do in Pinehurst NC; Play golf At Pinehurst No. 2. This will most definitely make all your golfing buddies back home envious. The course has hosted many world-class events, including the 1936 PGA Championship and the 1999 and 2005 U.S. Opens. It is an iconic course not to be missed.
Seeing carriage races at the Pinehurst Harness Track is an exhilarating experience. You also could see horse, car or dog shows and even rugby matches.
Weymouth Woods in neighboring Southern Pines NC is a natural area with hundreds of acres of wooded forest, signposted hiking trails and wildlife.
Walking around the charming downtown Southern Pines area is a treat with stunning historic architecture, shopping, dining and interesting landmarks. You can catch a show at Sunrise Theater or on a laid back day during your visit catch a new release at the movie theater in Southern Pines NC.
Where To Stay In Pinehurst, Southern Pines and The Sandhills
When it’s time to relax after a long day of exploring, your accommodation will be a welcome haven. With plenty of options, here are some of our favorites.
The lovely Holly Inn is one of the best Pinehurst NC hotels. It dates back to 1895 and was the first hotel in the historic village. Rooms are plush and traditionally decorated with the theme continued throughout the charming property.
The Carolina is a grand hotel with a 100-year-old history reflected in the interiors and grounds. There are 230 guest rooms at The Carolina and villas ideal for families or small groups opposite the main building.
The Jefferson Inn, one of the hotels in Southern Pines NC we always recommend to friends, is a boutique stay that won’t break the bank. The three-star hotel has comfortable rooms and excellent service and you can catch live music at the bar several times a week.
Where To Eat In Pinehurst, Southern Pines and The Sandhills
Warm and cozy restaurants, charming pubs and high-end dining can all be found in this area with a vibrant food and drink scene.
Ashton’s oozes charm and sophistication with American-style farm-to-table dishes with special nights like Friday and Saturday three-course chef’s tasting menus with wine and Sunday family-style suppers.
For those looking for one of our favorite restaurants in Southern Pines NC, The Sly Fox is an English alehouse with international pub food on the menu. You can play darts and listen to live music after your filling meal.
With an entrance that looks more like a house than a restaurant, Pinehurst Track Restaurant is deceiving. Inside you have hearty breakfast and lunch meals to keep you going all day long. This family-own business knows how to feed people with generous portions and great service.
The mile-high key lime pie at the Carolina Dining Room is famous so save room for it after indulging in executive chef Thierry Debailleul’s seasonally changing menu that makes the most of local produce and ingredients.
Head to Southern Prime if you are craving some quality steak that might mean dining on top-notch 28-day aged steaks or dry-aged ribeye steaks seasoned and prepared on the 1400-degree char-grill. Steak lovers will be impressed!
- Population 13,000
- Pinehurst, Southern Pines, Sandhills
- Home To Historic Pinehurst Golf Resort
Looking for a house for sale in Pinehurst North Carolina?
THE PINEHURST/SANDHILLS NC MUSTS
The Weymouth Center for the Arts and Humanities in the Sandhills NC is a beautiful culmination of literature, music, hospitality and conservation. You don’t want to miss a visit to the Weymouth Woods.
Pinehurst Brewing Company
Calling all craft beer lovers! Pinehurst Brewing Company is serving up the best local brews. As one of the best restaurants in Pinehurst NC, we think it has the best BBQ in the golf town. We also highly recommend the 1895 Lager!
The Old Church
As one of the best airbnbs in Pinehurst, the church B&B is unlike any other. Centrally located, this renovated church can sleep up to 14 guests, with no limit to activities from the fire pit to the pool table and chef’s kitchen.
TOP FIVE PICKS
Where To Stay
- Carolina Hotel
- The Old Church Airbnb
- The Magnolia Inn
- The Holly Inn
- Pine Crest Inn
What To Eat
- Elliotts on Linden
- Lisi Italian
- Ironwood Cafe
- 1895 Grille
- The Carolina Dining Room
Grab A Drink
- Pinehurst Brewing Company
- The Deuce
- Dugans Pub
- Drum & Quill
- Mr. B’s Pub
- Village at Pinehurst
- Cameron & Co
- Old Golf Shop
- Pinehurst Olive Oil Co.
- The Gentleman’s Corner
Things To Do
- Pinehurst Harness Track
- Thistle Dau
- Pinehurst Golf
- Sandhills Horticultural Gardens
- The Village Wine Shop
Arts & Culture
- Weymouth Center
- Tufts Archive
- The Carolina Philharmonic
- Sunrise Theatre
- Arts Council of Moore County
Spas & Wellness
- The Spa At Pinehurst
- Pinehurst Fitness Center
- Raven’s Wing
- Hand & Stone
- First Health Fitness
- Weymouth Woods
- Sandhills Horticultural Gardens
- James W. Tufts Memorial Park
- Reservoir Park
- Aberdeen Lake Park
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THE PERFECT WEEKEND IN THE SANDHILLS NC ITINERARY
- Stay at the Magnolia Inn
- Explore downtown Pinehurst with a carriage ride
- Enjoy an Italian meal at Lisi Italian or delicious pub fare at Mr. B’s Pub for a more casual dinner
- Grab some specialty ice cream at Scrollicious
- End the evening with a nightcap at Magnolia Inn’s Villagio Bar
- Grab a diner breakfast at The Village Cafe
- Play a round of golf at Pinehurst No. 2. Not a huge golf fan? Enjoy a quick warm-up at Thistle Dau before starting your day elsewhere!
- Spend some time at The Weymouth Center
- Lunch and afternoon brews at Pinehurst Brewing Company
- Enjoy a session at the Spa at Pinehurst
- Fancy dinner at The Carolina Dining Room
- Grab a coffee at Roast Office in Pinehurst Village
- Shop around the Village at Pinehurst
- Visit the Pinehurst Harness Track
- On your way out of town, stop and grab lunch at one our favorites, Drum & Quill