Relaxation and renewal have been synonymous with North Carolina’s Sandhills region since the early 1900s, when well-to-do visitors escaped northern winter chill to come here. A great spot for a weekend getaway, the Pinehurst, Southern Pines, Aberdeen Area is a place to watch sunsets from the comfort of a rocking chair, or play golf on some of the nation’s best courses.
In fact, 40 championship golf courses are available within a 20-minute drive of each other including Pinehurst Resort, named 2014 Golf Resort of the Year by the International Association of Golf Tour Operators. In Southern Pines, the home of women’s ‘Golfaris,’ Pine Needles Lodge & Golf Club has hosted several U.S. Women’s Opens.
Visitors also appreciate the area’s inviting towns, with tree-lined streets full of galleries, antiques stores and cozy boutiques, plus uncommonly good restaurants. Wine is a big focus here too. North Carolina ranks 10th nationally for wine and grape production, and multiple wineries operate throughout this area.
Special events include the monthly Thursday evening Sounds on the Grounds Summer Concert Series, held at Weymouth Center for the Arts & Humanities. Blankets and lawn chairs are welcome and you’ll find plenty of food trucks, beer, wine and community tables on hand too. Now here are some other great ways to explore and enjoy the Pinehurst, Southern Pines, Aberdeen Area of North Carolina on a weekend getaway.
Wineries, Tastings and Tours
What could be better than an afternoon of wine tasting? In the 2014 N.C. Winegrowers Cup competition, Cypress Bend Vineyards won best-of-category rose for its Blush Native American varietal. The Wagram vineyard and winery operates on land owned by the same family since 1807 and nurtured by the Lumber River. Sip wine amid the vines, or on the patio. At Black Rock Vineyards and Winery, nine red and five white grapes create more than a dozen wine varieties.
Several shops in the Pinehurst, Southern Pines, Aberdeen Area offer wine tastings, too. At Sandhills Winery, tastings often feature North Carolina wines, with an enormous selection of wines overall. Inside The Wine Cellar & Tasting Room in Southern Pines, sample 20 to 25 wines each week. Artisanal cheeses, a beautiful patio and self-serve dispensers of premium wines enhance your visit. Pinehurst’s Village Wine Shop hosts wine tastings too, stocking many international wines as well as golf- and wine-inspired objects for purchase.
Area breweries make some of the South’s best beers, with local ingredients and a passion for quality. Tours at Southern Pines Brewing Company showcase the brewing skill of former Green Berets, Micah Niebauer, John Brumer and Jason Ginos, whose flagship beers include Duck Hook cream ale, Man of Law IPA and Plowman’s Folly.
At Railhouse Brewery beers primarily incorporate malted barley. Veteran Brian Evitts distributes the brews in the Carolinas, Georgia and South Korea. Visit the game-filled pub, or take a brewery tour.
After 18 holes, or an afternoon of wine tasting, Pinehurst spa treatments are the perfect way unwind. Luxury abounds inside The Spa at Pinehurst, awarded 4 stars by Forbes Travel Guide. Sink into a massage table or get pampered with a therapeutic bath. Aberdeen’s Utopia Spa specializes in foot care and treatments, as well as therapeutic massages and facials, while at Massage Envy-Pinehurst-Southern Pines, you can relax during a Swedish massage, or a Vitamin C-rich facial.
Enjoying Live Music
On spring to fall evenings, the Village of Pinehurst hosts its Live After 5 Concert Series, where live music and food trucks meet wine, beer and other beverages. From classic beach music to swing, the free event at Tufts Memorial Park welcomes picnics and lawn chairs.
In Southern Pines food and beverage vendors enhance First Friday events on The Preservation Green near the Sunrise Theater. Shows feature Appalachian-inspired music, Delta blues and much more. During the Annual Blues Crawl each July, artists play at local wine cellars and pubs within walking distance of the Theater. All-access wrist bands cover performances, with food and drink available at individual venues.
Throughout the summer, The Magnolia Inn frequently hosts live music in the evening. In Aberdeen, The Rooster’s Wife celebrates North Carolina’s performing arts with year-round programming, while building a tradition of live music.
Four-time Local’s Choice Award winner for Best Live Entertainment, The Jefferson Inn in Southern Pines features live music four nights a week, or enjoy Hollywood blockbuster soundtracks and classical Bach during North Carolina Symphony concerts at nearby Pinecrest High School.
Outdoors enthusiasts will find plenty to do here. At Reservoir Park a 95-acre lake invites fishing and boating. You’ll find 10 miles of hiking and nature trails and even an 18-hole disc golf course. The Aberdeen Recreation Center, Picnic Shelter & Gazebo are available for rent through the Aberdeen Parks and Recreation Department. It’s a great start to a summer afternoon spent on the 2-mile lake trail and enjoying the water by boat (no gas engines).
In addition, pack a picnic and head to Hillcrest Park, where disc golf and volleyball courts beckon. You’ll also find baseball/softball fields and concessions. In Southern Pines, Weymouth Woods Sandhills Nature Preserve introduces visitors to longleaf pine forests that once filled millions of acres in the Southeast, along short easy trails. It’s also home to the oldest longleaf pine tree. Learn about indigenous flora and fauna in the visitor center too.
At Sandhills Community College, the 32-acre Sandhills Horticultural Gardens features 14 English-inspired gardens with different themes, and a native wetland trail. Canoeing and kayaking are favorite activities at Ray’s Mill Park, in Aberdeen, as well as fishing from the new pier.
Historic Homes Walking Tours and Archives
It’s easy to get a taste of area history while strolling along tree-lined streets, and historic architecture in Southern Pines. The Historic Pinehurst Walking Tours book includes information about 32 cottages built during the late 1800s and National Historic Landmark designation in the Village of Pinehurst. The book outlines four walking routes with historic details and original photos.
Learn more about Pinehurst’s early years inside Tufts Archives at Given Memorial Library. Dozens of golf course flags line walls near archival materials documenting Pinehurst’s history, from its founding by James Walker Tufts in 1895 to the present.
Steeped in Southern hospitality, lodging in the Pinehurst, Southern Pines, Aberdeen Area frequently pairs outstanding golf courses with quality rooms. Sandhills favorite Talamore Golf Resort features well appointed 2- and 3-bedroom villas with spacious living areas, full kitchens and even washers and dryers. There are great golf course views and very affordable golf packages available too.
Nationally known for its nine golf courses, Pinehurst Resort features luxury accommodations and dining too. Another favorite is Pine Needles Lodge & Golf Club, where chalet-style lodges sit amid fragrant pine forest near quaint downtown Southern Pines.
BBQ to Bison Dining
Pinehurst-area restaurants feature plenty of unique, eclectic fare (see video). You’ll find traditional dishes with a twist at Ashten’s, with an ambiance reminiscent of an old English manor house. Delicious meals that showcase the bounty of local farms are created at 195 American Fusion Cuisine in Southern Pines.
Set amid towering pines, along historic Midland Road, Pinehurst’s Ironwood Cafe is the only local restaurant serving USDA Certified Prime Angus Beef. You’ll also find chicken, fish and pork dishes on the menu, as well as pasta entrees. In Carthage, terrific barbecue plates at The Pik-n-Pig feature smoked ribs, chicken or Boston butt served with traditional sides. Multiple area restaurants feature Mexican or Asian cuisine too. Add in cozy cafes and coffee shops for a multi-faceted dining experience.
Whether you prefer golfing and hiking, or exploring history and great flavors, there are many ways to enjoy a long weekend in the Sandhills. To learn more and plan your perfect trip, explore our website.