By Kimberly Button
The Pinehurst area is home to some surprising destinations that cannot be found anywhere else in the world. From quirky attractions to one-of-a-kind historical collections, make sure you see all of the places that make Moore County in the North Carolina Sandhills so unique.
NC Literary Hall of Fame
In the Boyd House at the Weymouth Center for the Arts and Humanities you will find the North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame. This small collection honors the authors and poets that have been inducted into the Hall of Fame, including Maya Angelou, Carl Sandburg and O. Henry. Be sure to explore the entire Boyd House, which was the home of author James Boyd, who wrote Drums, which has been called one of the best novels about the American Revolution. Outside, there are acres of grounds to explore, with gardens, fountains and longleaf pines.
Taxidermy Hall of Fame
One of the most unique places in Southern Pines has got to be the Taxidermy Hall of Fame, which also is an antique tool museum and creation museum, too. Plus, the museums are located in a Christian bookstore that also sells fudge. It is a lot to see in one place! Walk through two levels of taxidermied North Carolina wildlife, along with an overwhelming amount of displays on antique tools and other fun finds. Every surface has something to look at, even the ceilings! Be sure to get a sample of fudge on your way out. It is delicious!
North Carolina’s first digital mural trail can be found in Carthage. This small town has massive murals depicting the unique history of this region in Moore County. Scan the QR code found on each mural to watch a video that explains the art and history behind the paintings.
The Tufts Archives preserves the fascinating history of Pinehurst. Along with archives of the foundation of the village, you will also find an extensive collection of Donald Ross archives, including original golf course designs and flags from over 200 of his golf courses.
Largest Holly Garden
The largest accessible holly collection on the East Coast is found in the Ebersole Holly Garden in the Sandhills Horticultural Gardens in Southern Pines. There are over 350 cultivars in the garden.
While Patrick Dougherty’s imaginative stick art has been seen around the world, he got his start in Southern Pines, where he grew up roaming the woods and cultivating a love of nature. Dougherty’s fanciful sculptures are made from natural materials such as sticks and vines. One of his stick work pieces can be found at the Sandhills Horticultural Gardens. Kids and adults love walking through the sculpture that creates several life-sized rooms, perfect for play and photo-taking.
Superhero Fire Hydrants
Fire hydrants have become works of art in Aberdeen. Eleven hydrants were decorated as a variety of superheroes, including comic book characters and real-life heroes, with a tribute to POW-MIAs. Walk through downtown Aberdeen and see if you can find all of the unique pieces of art.
Sandhills Woman’s Exchange
The longest running women’s volunteer organization in the United States is the Federation of Woman’s Exchanges, which was started in the 1830s. The Sandhills Woman’s Exchange was started in 1923 to help the women and families of the then-rural area earn an income.Now one of only 15 remaining members of the Federation of Woman’s Exchanges, the Sandhills Woman’s Exchange sells handmade crafts in a log cabin that was moved to Pinehurst by James Tufts, the developer of the village. In addition to the handicrafts, lunch is served during the week in the historic cabin. Soups and sandwiches are on the menu, but we suggest you get one of the popular quiches!
The Misty Morning Ranch in Robbins raises ostriches, the largest birds in the world. Visit the farm for a behind the scenes look at the methods used to raise the sustainable beef alternative. You can even purchase ostrich meat or ostrich oil to bring home.
Pinehurst No. 2
One of the most famous golf courses in America is found in Pinehurst. Pinehurst No. 2 has hosted more single golf championships than any other course in the United States. Designed by Donald Ross in 1907, the renowned course will continue to be the site of future U.S. Open Championships in 2024, 2029, 2035, 2041 and 2047.
R. Riveter is a Made in America handbag company that employs military spouses with flexible work that will follow them even as they move every two to three years as their service member is transferred. Spouses assemble parts of the products at home and the bags and accessories are assembled in America. The founders of R. Riveter appeared on ABC’s Shark Tank and teamed up with billionaire Mark Cuban as an investor to expand their business. The flagship store is located in Southern Pines.
Kimberly Button has been writing about her home state of North Carolina for 25 years in national and international magazines, as well as her travel website, Wanderful World of Travel. When not exploring urban cities and towns, she can be found with her husband in National Parks and state parks sharing the best outdoor destinations for their website CouchPotatoCamping.com. Follow along on their adventures on YouTube or Instagram.