Top 20 for 2020

So much to do, so much time in the upcoming year. “Explore, relax and enrich” is our motto at the Home of American Golf. Ranked in no particular order are our Top 20 recommendations for things to see and do around the Sandhills in 2020. For additional information, please visit our new website at and enjoy our 2020 Destination Guide.

1. Shop for antiques in Cameron.

Cameron has become a destination for the serious collector, tradesperson and those just interested in local history. The Cameron Antiques Fair has been named by the Southeast Tourism Society (STS) as one of the STS Top 20 Events for the month of May.

2. Afternoon of loops at The Cradle.

Pinehurst Resort has crafted one of the most fun and family friendly ways to thoroughly enjoy and celebrate the game that put the Sandhills on the map. Laughs … and aces … galore.

Dugan's Pub

3. Bend an elbow.

Among the things that we particularly enjoy around the Sandhills are a round of golf followed by an ice-cold brew. Make the rounds to test some of the area’s best craft beers including The Deuce, Pinehurst Brewing Company, Southern Pines Brewing Company, Drum & Quill Public House, North & South Bourbon Bar at Manor Inn, Dugan’s Pub, Llama Pen Sports Bar & Grill, Mr. B’s Lounge at the Pine Crest Inn, Railhouse Brewery, The Sly Fox Pub and the Southern Pines Growler Company.

4. Enjoy a hike.

Our Sandhills area boasts a smorgasbord of offerings for outdoor enthusiasts, including Aberdeen Lake Park, Bear Creek Trail System (Robbins), Pinehurst Greenway, Southern Pines Greenway Trail System, Walthour-Moss Foundation and the Weymouth Woods Sandhills Nature Preserve and more.

5. Dance to free music during the summer.

First Friday in Southern Pines runs from May through October as does Live After Five in Pinehurst, only on the second Friday of the month. Both these events are free and feature a variety of live bands and genres of music. Food trucks and beer also make an appearance.

6. Attend … or better yet, if you still qualify, play … in a U.S. Kids Golf event.

During the U.S. Kids & Teens World Golf Championships played throughout the Sandhills during the summer, more than 1,500 of the best junior golfers in the world descend upon the Sandhills to compete for individual titles in a variety of age groups. Don’t miss the Parade of Nations in the Village of Pinehurst to support these current and rising stars in the world of golf.

7. Experience the Festival D'Avion.

The five branches of men and women who have served in the Armed Forces and those who have retired from military service are recognized during the Festival D’Avion. Experience a variety of static aircraft and military equipment displays, along with a unique collection of special events, activities, entertainment, and food & beverage options for the entire family.

8. Visit one of our Garden Spots.

The Sandhills has numerous, beautiful garden spots, including the Sandhills Horticultural Gardens, Weymouth Center Gardens, The Village Arboretum, Campbell House Park, and The Healing Garden at FirstHealth of the Carolinas. Visitors and locals alike don’t have to go far to find inspiration at the hand of Mother Nature.

Kids Zone at Springfest

9. Celebrate Spring in Southern Pines.

One of our very favorite events is Springfest, which takes place the last Saturday in April in historic downtown Southern Pines. Free to attend, two blocks of both sides of Broad Street are blocked off for arts, crafts, games, rides, food, entertainment and more. More than 160 vendors from all around North Carolina and the country display beautiful artwork and crafts including paintings, jewelry, metal art, photography, woodwork, designs from nature and other amazing creations.

10. Enjoy a nutritious and delicious breakfast.

Most important meal of the day. Favorite spots include Betsy’s Crepes, Broad Street Bakery & Café, Carolina Dining Room, Mason Restaurant & Grocery, Pinehurst Harness Track and The Villager Deli.

Pottery Industry Sign

11. Discover the pottery of the Sandhills.

This includes northern Moore County and the uniquely named hamlets that surround Seaprove in rural Randolph County. This region of artisans has made the area one of the nation’s largest communities of craftsmen. Along some of North Carolina’s most scenic byways, there are nearly 100 shops to visit within a 20-mile radius. During one unique weekend in late April, visitors have the opportunity to tour pottery studios, enjoy special events and marvel at this season’s kiln openings.

Mid South Clubhouse

12. Play some of our legendary golf courses.

The Pinehurst, Southern Pines, Aberdeen Area has a storied golf legacy unlike any other destination in the country. Along with the nine layouts at Pinehurst Resort & Country Club, there are two more of Donald Ross’s most exemplary work across the street from one another at Pine Needles Lodge & Golf Club and Mid Pines Inn & Golf Club (and yet another at Southern Pines Golf Club), offerings designed by Arnold Palmer and Rees Jones at Talamore Golf Resort, a pair of fun courses at Foxfire Resort & Golf Club and of course, the memorable, Mike Strantz-designed Tobacco Road Golf Course in Sanford, among many others.

Shopping in Southern Pines

13. Shop in downtown Southern Pines.

Strolling the main streets of Southern Pines, you’ll find an abundance of quality shop owners providing unique and specialized products, including Knickers, Mockingbird on Broad, R. Riveter and The Heritage Flag Company. Around the Sandhills, there are plenty of homegrown stores, boutiques and service providers to help you find that home-run gift.

14. Thrill to the Spring Matinee Races.

For more than 70 years now, the Pinehurst Parks & Recreation Department and the Pinehurst Driving & Training Club have hosted the Spring Matinee Races at the Pinehurst Harness Track, a 111-acre equestrian facility that has been a winter training center for standard-bred horses since 1915.

Aerial view of Pinehurst No. 4

15. Play one of America’s best public golf courses.

Following a recent Gil Hanse revival, Pinehurst No. 4 served as a companion to No. 2 in hosting the 2019 U.S. Amateur. Now, Golf Digest has released its 2020 rankings of America’s Best New Courses and Pinehurst No. 4 has been ranked the second-best public course. According to the magazine: “The course seems to meld itself into the landscape. There are times where you see Course No. 2 next door; the two look like they belong together.”

16. Celebrate the Carthage Buggy Festival.

The annual Carthage Buggy Festival is a family festival featuring free entertainment, children’s rides, a classic car show and continuous stage entertainment. More than 130 food and craft vendors line the streets of historic downtown Carthage to commemorate the famous Tyson and Jones Buggy Factory that produced the carriages essential to life in rural North Carolina from the mid-1800’s to the 1920’s.

17. Enjoy a beer tasting extravaganza.

A staple of the Sandhills, the popular Pours in the Pines returns to the beautiful and historic Weymouth Center. Featuring 50 different types of beer, local food truck vendors and live music, proceeds benefit The Special Forces Association, Chapter 62 and the Southern Pines Rugby Club.

Village of Pinehurst

18. Sip, sample, and stroll your way through the village.

We think Reds, Whites and Brews is the perfect way to sip, sample, stroll and celebrate our country’s Veterans during Veterans weekend. The merchants in the historic Village of Pinehurst pair craft brews, red and white wines with holiday inspired tapas sure to make your taste buds dance. Celebration kicks off at the VGA Club House on Chinquapin.

19. Experience Robbins Farmers Day.

Following humble beginnings, the Robbins Farmers Day has grown: it now spans three days and boasts live music, food and craft vendors, as well as a fireworks display. Adding to the already full slate of entertainment are carnival rides and a tractor parade. With the exception of the carnival rides, all of the weekend’s entertainment is free.

20. Enjoy Autumfest.

Presented by the Arts Council of Moore County and the Southern Pines Recreation & Parks Dept., since 1978, Autumnfest features live entertainment, arts and craft booths, delicious food, a 5-K Run, a one-mile Fun Run & Health Walk, youth sprint races and children’s activities.