Land of the Pines

No matter where you go in Pinehurst, a village in Moore county near the town of Southern Pines, the namesake trees are always in view. They elevate the North Carolina Sandhills’ natural beauty, dotting the landscape of some of the nation’s finest golf courses, including the village’s historic Pinehurst Resort—designed by Frederick Law Olmstead, the landscape architect behind New York’s Central Park and the Biltmore estate—one of the country’s only National Historic Landmark Districts. While Pinehurst is known as the “Home of American Golf,” the New England-style village, founded by Bostonian James Walker Tuft in the 1890s, offers much more than just excellent teeing. Restored historic buildings in Pinehurst’s downtown are now home to superb eateries, highlighting some of the region’s finest ingredients, as well as old-timey pubs perfect for socializing with the town’s friendly residents, who number around 16,000. Quaint shops and galleries are dispersed throughout Pinehurst Village and the area’s natural beauty extends outside of the village proper; the nearby Uwharrie National Forest offers 1,600 miles of trails for hiking and bicycling within its 51,000 National Forest System acres.

EAT

Ironwood Cafe

This beloved American eatery in the heart of historic Pinehurst has become the centerpiece of the town’s growing food scene, with lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch menus that boast fine ingredients and seasonal produce. Dishes range from contemporary to classic Southern to unique offerings like Pork Osso Bucco, Bi Bim Bap Stir Fry and Huevos Rancheros Scramble. ironwoodpinehurst.com

Elliott’s on Linden

This hidden gem specializes in farm-to-table fare, with a focus on showcasing the region’s farmers and culinary artisans, sourcing everything from grits to heirloom tomatoes locally. The eclectic menu highlights fresh ingredients, in dishes like cornbread and country-ham-stuffed chicken breasts, pear and stilton salad, and seared scallops with parsnip curry puree, tangerine beurre blanc and coriander dust. Pair your dinner with a seasonal craft cocktail made using North Carolina spirits. elliottsonlinden.com

Ashten’s Restaurant

The crest hanging over the door of Ashten’s Restaurant in Southern Pines—a curious depiction of a lion and a unicorn fighting over a crown roast, with the Latin inscription “not new things but in new ways”— sets the tone for the fare found at this traditional yet contemporary eatery. The menu features unexpected takes on Southern dishes (and Southern dishes with an ethnic twist), such as crispy artichoke lollipops, Southern Bimbop and Reuben eggrolls. Save room for a scratch-made dessert. ashtens.com

DRINK

Pinehurst Brewing Co.

Pinehurst’s newest brewery occupies the historic 1895 Village steam plant. Much of the original brick and steel was used in the restoration of the building, and its signature smokestack now proudly bears the brewery’s name. Pinehurst Brewing features craft beers from renowned head brewer Eric Mitchell, with seasonal brews added throughout the year. Enjoy house-smoked meats including brisket, pulled pork and sausage, plus traditional Southern sides, salads, pizza and sandwiches. pinehurstbrewing.com

Pine Scone Cafe

For coffee and breakfast, try Pine Scone Cafe’s handcrafted coffee and espresso drinks. Classic cappuccinos, mochas and chai lattes, as well as bubble tea, smoothies and an Espresso Frappa—essentially a frappuccino—round out the drinks menu, while delicious baked scones give you the fuel you need for the front nine. pinesconecafe.com

Drum & Quill Public House

This traditional Irish watering hole in old town Pinehurst has a neighborhood bar feel, with a good drinks selection, fun decor and a compelling backstory. The pub’s name derives from esteemed golf writer Bob Drum’s secret weapon, his quill, and it pays tribute to Pinehurst’s golf history prominence by honoring the Grand Slam—the four major tournaments golfers seek to win in one year in order to earn the status of a true golf legend. drumandquill.com

DO

Sunrise Theater

On a cold or rainy day, catch a film at the historic Sunrise Theater on Broad Street in downtown Southern Pines. Originally a hardware store dating to 1898, the building was converted to a movie theater in the 1940s and now features weekly showings of first-run and independent films, as well as musical concerts and live community theater. sunrisetheater.com

Sandhills Horticultural Gardens

The Sandhills Horticultural Gardens feature 27 acres of plant life across ten different gardens which students at Sandhills Community College diligently maintain. Get lost in the Sir Walter Raleigh Garden’s holly maze, bring a picnic lunch to eat in the Fruit and Vegetable Garden, stop and smell the Rose Garden’s blooms and admire local artists’ sculptures throughout. sandhillshorticulturalgardens.com

One of a Kind Gallery

Besides golf, Pinehurst is well known for its talented artists and potters. One of a Kind Gallery in downtown Southern Pines features 24 local artists and their works, including paintings, wood sculptures, photographs, candles, pottery and more, displayed in a bright, three-room gallery. oneofakindgalleryllc.com

STAY

The Carolina Hotel

Located on the grounds of Pinehurst Golf Resort, The Carolina Hotel makes for the town’s most lavish stay. The century-old hotel’s grand facade is an impressive introduction to one of more than 200 guest rooms. The exquisite Carolina Dining Room, coffee shop and Ryder Cup Lounge are frequented by well-known golfers. Enjoy regular tee times, relaxing spa treatments and complimentary afternoon tea. pinehurst.com/accommodations/the-carolina-hotel

Pine Crest Inn

This bed and breakfast exudes a rustic Southern charm, complete with cozy rooms, a friendly staff and made-to-order breakfast each day, with a special buffet on Sundays. The inn’s dinner-service restaurant is popular among guests and the public alike. pinecrestinnpinehurst.com

Jefferson Inn

Located just down the road from the Village of Pinehurst, the boutique hotel’s vintage aesthetic includes cottage-style furniture, plantation shutters and antique decor, with a touch of modern luxury. 15 guest rooms and one-bedroom suites boast generously sized beds with custom-made duvets and pillows, and Egyptian cotton sheets. jeffersoninnsouthernpines.com

Latest posts by Lauren Kruchten (see all)