A few weeks ago, our family made the 3 hour trek down to Pinehurst for a weekend that is absolutely one of my favorite weekends every year. For those of you who are like, Pinehurst? What the heck is Pinehurst?, just ask your boyfriend, husband, father, or any other golf fanatic (females included…we don’t discriminate!). It’s one of the best golf towns in the world with many renown courses, including No. 2, where the U.S. Open was played in 2014.

It’s a picturesque village about an hour (give or take) south of Raleigh, NC where true southern hospitality and graciousness abound. Time slows. Drawls surround you. Pine needles cover the grounds in the midst of bright, colorful blooms on azaleas. And you feel right at home.

ANYWAY… here’s a little insight to one of my favorite towns below the Mason-Dixon line. Where to stay, eat, shop, and golf….all right here for you.

Places to stay:

the Carolina Hotel at Pinehurst

  • This is THE main hotel located at Pinehurst. Situated in the midst of the resort of Pinehurst and within (semi) walking distance of the clubhouse, golf courses, and the village, this is the most well-known place to be. It’s a little pricey, but absolutely stunning and quintessentially southern. Sip sweet tea on one of the massive porches overlooking the grounds or spend the afternoon on the course or at the spa. There also is a tea everyday in the lobby from 4pm-5pm.

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the Holly Inn

  • This gem is located in the Village of Pinehurst, close to cute boutiques and restaurants. It’s actually the first hotel in Pinehurst, built in 1895. It’s gorgeous with that old-south decor and homey vibe. While it’s super convenient to the Village, you probably are going to have to drive or golf-cart-it to the Pinehurst clubhouse and golf courses. Check out the package deals on their website for the Holly Inn and the Carolina Hotel before booking!

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the Magnolia Inn

  •  This quaint little B&B is also located in the Village. Definitely the most budget-friendly, while still being extremely cozy and convenient! Check out their packages as well! Sorry guys, no good pic of this hotel. 

Mid-Pines and Pine Needles

  • Owned by co-LPGA founder, Peggy Kirk Bell, these two places are right up the road from Pinehurst, near the town of Southern Pines. (literally, there are pine needles everywhere. EVERYWHERE. hence the name ‘pine’ in everything down here). Both have amazing golf courses (that I’ve had the privilege to play!) that are women-friendly and beautiful and both have a very different feel to their lodging. Pine Needles feels like a lodge. Literally. There’s a fun game room for the kiddos, a rustic restaurant and bar area overlooking the course, and spacious rooms. And wood beams everywhere….swoon. Mid-Pines is definitely more traditional and southern, and absolutely beautiful.

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Mid-Pines

Places to eat:

  • Donald Ross Grill (located in the clubhouse at Pinehurst)…oh.my.gosh. Please get their Bbq on the cornbread. I promise you’ll thank me later. No matter what you get, the food is the bomb.com. When you’re done, walk down the Hall of Fame (not sure if it’s actually called that, but I’ve nicknamed it that) to the Pro Shop. Tons of Pinehurst goodies can be found in there.
  • The Tavern at the Holly Inn. Great American food in a super cool, old-antique bar.
  • The 1895 Grill at Holly Inn. Fine dining with great southern cuisine.
  • Villager Deli. Located in the heart of the village, this is a great lunch spot with sandwiches, sides and desserts.
  • Hickory Tavern. Great bar located in Pinehurst.
  • Ashtens. Located right up the road in Southern Pines, this can be as fancy or casual as you want it. Order in the fine dining area, or go back to the ‘pub’ area and order from that menu.
  • Dugans. Restaurant upstairs with a basement bar. Think Irish pub.

Places to shop:

  • In the Village:
  • In Southern Pines (brace yo-self):
    • Swank – cutest coffee shop with quirky little gifts
    • Belli Bambini- adorable kids clothes
    • Framer’s Cottage- beautiful home decor and accessories
    • Monkee’s of the Pines – upscale, trendy fashion carrying the latest name-brand clothes and accessories
    • Living on the Bliss – affordable, fun, and a little ‘country’ (think flowy tops, leather bracelets, cowboy boots)
    • Denker’s- lots of cute clothes, shoes, jewelry, and a Vera Bradley collection that will rival any store’s I’ve seen
    • The Mockingbird- no heads up here because I love this store SO MUCH. I’m maintaining mystery in hopes that you just go check it out. just think AWESOME.

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had to add in this pic of Sawyer and I from last year (we slacked on pics this year), who is such a trooper on these shopping days #sorrynotsorry #chubbycheeks

Where to golf:

  • The most obvious answer….Pinehurst. No. 2 is the most famous, but due to the US Open, they’ve changed the feel of the course. Think dust and dirt and brown. No. 4 and No. 8 are big favorites of the men in my family, so maybe give those a try should you not be able to get on No. 2. To be honest, No. 4 and No. 8 were bigger hits than No. 2 as far as the actual courses were concerned. It was just cool to play No. 2 because of the history there.
  • Mid-Pines and Pine Needles. Both are great courses with enough challenge to make it fun, but not like you want to break every.single.club over your knee. BEAUTIFUL courses too. I love the 18th hole on Mid-Pines course.
  • Dormie Club. One of the guys who owns this course also owns a golf antique shop that is really really worth a trip to see in the Village. He’s got some of the coolest, craziest stuff in there. This is a fairly new course that is definitely challenging. People seem to either love it or be pretty blah about it. Either way, it’s been a top rated course since it’s been constructed, so it’s worth a round!
  • Southern Pines Golf Club. This is a stunning course that was a big hit with everyone who golfed there in our group. Definitely would recommend adding it to your itinerary!

Just a quick little plug too, the reason we go down every year is for FCA (Fellowship of Christian Athletes) Golf Camp. My dad sits on the national board for this ministry and this is one of the times each year that they decide to convene. So we decide to turn it into a family weekend away. side note: if you have kids that love golf between the ages of 12-17, this camp is ridiculously cool. The kids live the high-life by staying at the Pine Needles Resort with PGA instruction everyday, play some courses grown men only dream about playing, and TobyMac sponsors it. Which means free concerts and playtime with one of the best Christian artists around. Best of all? Friendships made and spiritual growth. Never heard a single bad word about it. 

Hope this helps when you go to plan your next trip! We’d love to hear feedback if you’ve stayed at any of these places as well, or if you have any other cool suggestions.

Written by Blaire

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