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The Weekender: Pinehurst, North Carolina

Play nine championship golf courses and explore a historic southern village

Just a little over an hour into my Uber ride from Raleigh-Durham International Airport, I noticed the roads became long and winding, lined with towering pine trees and historic homes. I knew I had arrived at The Village of Pinehurst without even looking at the GPS. We passed by a group of locals driving golf carts into town, while others clutched their morning coffee as they socialized among the shops, eateries, and the cutest little corner drug store you’d only see in the south.

Pinehurst is a super special golf destination. Avid golfers from New York City and beyond travel to its resort to play on nine legendary courses, and to walk the same fairways that Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer did. No other club in the country has hosted more championship tournaments than Pinehurst, and in 2024 its world-renowned No.2 course will once again be the site of the U.S. Open Championship. What you might not realize is that the area offers many luxury experiences for the non-golfer too. Below, find a complete guide to a weekend in Pinehurst, North Carolina.

Pinehurst Resort

Where to Stay:

All of Pinehurst’s accommodations are a short, complimentary shuttle ride away from resort’s golf courses. The majestic 230-room “Queen of the South” (also known as The Carolina Hotel) transports visitors back in time with its décor, pristine landscaping, and sweeping southern verandas. The hotel’s Ryder Cup Lounge (named after the 1951 Ryder Cup held at Pinehurst) is where golfers can unwind after a long day on the green. At the heart of The Village is The Holly Inn with its Jewel-toned Tiffany lamps, rich wooden detailing, and pretty botanical prints. A stay in one of its 82 rooms and suites means a two-minute walk into town (who doesn’t want that?).

The Carolina Hotel

Where to Eat and Drink:

Two of the best local spots are Drum & Quill Public House and Dugan’s Pub. Drum & Quill serves a mean gourmet burger, and you can’t go wrong with a hand-battered basket (think golden-fried chicken and shrimp). Stop by Dugan’s for a traditional Irish pub experience upstairs, where you’ll find the largest selection of import drafts and single malt scotches in the area, and live jams downstairs. The cool kid hangout for delicious local brews and barbecue is the Pinehurst Brewery Co.

Head to The Holly Inn’s 1895 Grill for a more formal dining experience. You’ll be greeted with the warmest welcome and a menu featuring land and coastal dishes infused with local ingredients. Be sure to try the Triple Chocolate Souffle for dessert (its kind of a big deal). Other popular spots include Elliotts on Linden, which offers a farm-to-table experience, and Theo’s Tarverna, a Greek Mediterranean restaurant serving traditional and modern cuisine prepared with its own olive oil made in Greece.

Pinehurst Brewing Co.

Breakfast (or afternoon) tea lovers will enjoy Lady Bedford’s Tea Parlour (yes, it’s as cute as it sounds). Its Victorian-era decor, linens, and fine china make it a special spot for ladies groups and mother-daughter outings. Opt for the Lady Bedford’s Afternoon Tea, which is a three-tiered tray filled with fruit, scones, tea sandwiches, savories, and more.

What to Do:

Pinehurst Resort’s nine courses date back to the late 1800s. Don’t leave without playing all the most famous courses including No.2, which is the resort’s crown jewel boasting complex holes and smooth greens. Its designer, Donald Ross, referred to it as the as the “fairest test of championship golf [he had] ever designed.” You should also make time for Jack Nicklaus’s No.9, set alongside long leaf pines, streams, and grassy swales. Fans of Tiger Woods might want to check out No.7, the course where he won his Pinehurst title in the 1992 Big I Junior Classic.

The Village of Pinehurst

The quaint New England-style village is the perfect place to treasure hunt. Peruse the vintage memorabilia at the Old Golf Shop (and talk golf history with the owner), or shop for unique clothing, accessories, and gifts at boutiques such as Gentlemen’s Corner, The Village Fox, Cooper & Bailey’s, Cool Sweats, or  The Pinehurst Olive Oil Company. After a few hours of shopping (or golfing), treat yourself to a Champion’s Massage, Vanilla Bourbon Scrub, or a dip in the saline pool at The Spa at Pinehurst.

If you have time, take a 20-minute trip outside of Pinehurst to Southern Pines, where you’ll find a vibrant town concentrated on one strip. It’s home to an eclectic collection of storefronts including the flagship of popular handbag brand Riveter (featured on Shark Tank), which supports military spouses.