By Meghan Grant
If you’re looking for a great getaway spot, Pinehurst and Southern Pines are a quick 1.5 hour drive from Raleigh and provide wonderful locations for a romantic weekend away. Whether you are looking for a place to be able to park your car for the weekend and stroll through town or a getaway that feels like you’ve stepped into an English manor, these towns make for lovely excursions to spend quality time together.
If you opt to stay in Pinehurst, then you must book your stay at the iconic Carolina Hotel. There is so much to do on the property and the restaurants are fabulous. Here are 8 things to do in Pinehurst for your weekend getaway.
Grab Happy Hour at Ryder Cup Lounge: After checking in at the Carolina Hotel, head to the Ryder Cup Lounge for happy hour. Order the parmesan garlic wings to snack out before heading out to the porch to sit a spell.
Enjoy Supper at the Tavern at Holly Inn: Take a leisurely walk through the Village of Pinehurst to supper at the Tavern at Holly Inn. Their homemade potato chips are the perfect start to the meal. Order The Down South Burger which is served with fried pickles, pimento cheese, bacon, and coleslaw and the Peruvian chicken tacos. The bar is antique and was transported from Scotland for the space. It’s beautiful, masculine, with a delicious menu and excellent service.
Experience the Legendary Breakfast Buffet in the Carolina Dining Room: It’s no wonder the Carolina Hotel is famous for its buffet breakfast in the Carolina Dining Room! There are so many options no matter your preference, but the hashbrowns and French toast are a must!
Spend the Morning at the Spa at Pinehurst: Spending the morning at the spa is such a wonderful way to unwind and relax. One of my favorite amenities that the spa offered were their smoothies. They came around at various points offering freshly made smoothies that were tasty and not too heavy. Book a massage and plan to stay and relax by the pool post treatment.
Have Lunch at Dugan’s Pub: Dugan’s Pub is a delicious spot for traditional bar food while catching a game. I ordered the bacon cheeseburger while David had the blackened chicken sandwich. It’s a casual, fun environment with good food!
Stroll the Village and Enjoy the Greens: The earliest planned resort was designed with 100 acres of beautiful spaces, including the Village greens. It is such a beautiful walk through the resort and around the Village. While we preferred to walk to our destinations, there is a shuttle that will take guests around as well. The shops in the Village are really cute and make for a fun afternoon of exploring and chatting with people in the area.
Sit a Spell on the Front Porch: The fern-lined porch on at the Carolina Hotel is a wonderful place for a happy hour and a nightcap. It’s a great spot to catch a nap or read a book as well.
Dine at Pinehurst Brewing Company: Pinehurst Brewing Company is located in the historic steam plant building in the Village of Pinehurst. The building has a variety of seating options, including an outdoor patio, and the century old building has some of its original details, like the huge wooden ceiling beams and the exposed brick, but also has really interesting light fixtures. They have an eclectic menu featuring BBQ, wood fired pizzas, and sandwiches. Whatever you do, order the beer cheese with pretzels and fried cheese curds, pickles, and okra for starters. For dinner, we recommend the shrimp po’ boy and the Power Plant pizza. And, of course, their brews are mighty tasty, too!
Southern Pines is a quaint, quintessential Southern town and it has a lot going on! While Southern Pines was slow to develop because of the sandy soil, it quickly became an important spot as railroads developed in the 19th century. The historic district of Southern Pines is split with the still active railroad and offers delicious restaurants, fun breweries, quaint shops, and lots to do outdoors! Plus, it’s quite a beautiful drive into town from Raleigh, past the horse farms and gorgeous homes.
Start your weekend at Duncraig Manor & Gardens, the historic bed and breakfast. This 12,600 square foot home offers a tranquil getaway that is just a short drive or walk from downtown Southern Pines. Proprietors Caroline and Don make you feel right at home and create such a welcoming environment on their splendid property.
Catch Live Music at First Friday: This monthly event runs May-October and is a fun community event to catch live music on the grassy knoll beside the Sunrise Theatre. There are food trucks, vendors, and Southern Pines beer available for purchase while listening to local bands.
Dine al fresco at the Sly Fox Pub: The Sly Fox offers a menu of elevated European and Indian Pub food with patio seating areas, including one area under a beautiful ivy-covered wall. Order the burgers because the Locavore and the Pub burgers are delicious options! Also, sub the fries for the mac & cheese! You won’t regret it.
Enjoy a Night Cap at Ashten’s: Ashten’s is a restaurant staple in Southern Pines, having been open since 1997. Their bar offers an expansive drink selection, plus small bites. The interior concept is elegant, yet comfortable, inspired by an English manor. It also has outdoor seating, making it a perfect spot to people watch.
Grab a Cup from Java Bean: If you’re out for a stroll in downtown, definitely stop and grab a cup from Java Bean. This coffee shop has lots of outdoor seating with great coffee and pastries. It is cash only, so be sure to bring cash to get your coffee!
Try a Crepe at Betsy’s Crepes: This gem serves breakfast and lunch, featuring sweet and savory crepes, plus soups, paninis, and salads. Betsy’s also offers gluten-free crepe options. Don’t let the line deter you–it moves quickly!
Browse the Shops in Historic Southern Pines: Southern Pines has such a walkable downtown, and there are so many unique shops to browse. Monkee’s of the Pines has such a gorgeous selection of women’s fashion, jewelry, and accessories. They also carry brands that are woman-owned or are eco-friendly. Riveter specializes in hand-made bags from military uniforms, a business started by two military spouses. The shop also has a variety of gift items as well, such as R. Riveter candles. A personal favorite is audacious, with citrus and cedar notes. Against the Grain Shoppe features over 75% of their inventory from small businesses right in Moore County.
Lunch at Bell Tree Tavern: Bell Tree Tavern is a great, local spot to grab lunch and catch a game. Or, you might opt to enjoy the expansive, dog-friendly patio. The chicken quesadilla and chicken BLT wrap were fantastic! And whatever you do, order the fried okra!
Have a Pint at Southern Pines Brewing Company: Check out Southern Pines Brewing Company‘s newest location on Pennsylvania Ave. The taproom offers gorgeous outdoor seating with views of downtown, heaters for cooler evenings, and food trucks. There are lots of options on tap, including wine, too! The Mexican Lager and the Man of Law are must-try brews. When ready for a second round, walk a block over to Southern Pines Growler Company for a choice of 32 types of beers from all over the state and country. Both places are pet-friendly, too.
Enjoy a farm-to-table meal at Scott’s Table: Scott’s Table offers an exceptional dining experience with welcoming service and delicious food! Scott’s Table focuses on using quality, fresh ingredients and selects produce and portents in from local North Carolina sources. Start your meal with pimento cheese, which is served with crostini. The blackened chicken sandwich and the local seafood entree are delicious options!
Stretch your Legs at the Southern Pines Reservoir Greenway: This 2.1 mile loop is a great way to stretch your legs as you walk around the Southern Pines Reservoir.
Check Out the NC Literary Hall of Fame at Weymouth Center for the Arts and Humanities: This fabulous venue is claimed to have started the Southern literary revival and hosted writers such as Thomas Wolfe and F. Scott Fitzgerald! The property was the first nature preserve in the North Carolina parks system. The Weymouth Center houses the North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame and the grounds are open daily. Tours of the magnificent Boyd House are offered during weekdays. Check out this page for more on the history of this gorgeous property and the Boyd family’s impact on Moore County.