There & Back: Pinehurst

This road trip leads to more than golf

The Carolina Hotel

It’s no secret that the quaint village of Pinehurst built its reputation upon one thing — golf.

Drive Time

From Holly Springs: 60 minutes

From Fuquay-Varina: 70 minutes

Located an hour southwest of Holly Springs, the “Cradle of American Golf ” is a bucket list destination for fans of the game, boasting 10 courses nestled into the scenic landscape of the Sandhills. It is well worth the trip just to experience the 1907 Donald Ross masterpiece, Pinehurst No. 2, a course that few others in the world can rival.

“Everybody who is somebody has played Pinehurst,” says Ben Bridgers, director of golf and Pinehurst Country Club manager. “We get to walk around where all the greats have played and major championships (held), so it feels a little bit like you’re back in time.”

Fine dining at the Carolina dining room, inside the Carolina Hotel

The trek down U.S. 1 to Pinehurst leads to plenty of top-notch golf, but folks in the Triangle looking to get away for the weekend will find more than tee times and putting greens. A trip to Pinehurst is an adventure fueled by relaxation, fun activities and good food.

“It’s a nice way to get away from the traffic, the hustle and bustle, and come back to a quaint little village that puts you in a good mood,” Bridgers says.

Shopping in the village of Pinehurst

Boston entrepreneur James Walker Tufts began turning dreams of a New England-style resort community into reality after purchasing nearly 6,000 acres of land in 1895.

More than 125 years later, Pinehurst Resort remains in touch with this history, sticking to the original framework and purpose of the land. As you approach the Carolina Hotel, tall, captivating longleaf pines create a sense of tranquility that builds excitement for what the trip could hold. The largest of five lodging accommodations at the resort, the hotel is wrapped by long porches with rocking chairs that look out onto manicured grounds.

Pinehurst Brewing Company

Inside, the comfort of cozy rooms, walls of historical photos and the fine dining of the Carolina Dining Room makes it tempting to remain tethered to the hotel, but there is much more to explore, starting with the Spa at Pinehurst right next door. The full-service spa is open daily for massage therapy, facials and body treatments to help you unwind.

The Resort Clubhouse, a hub for all golf needs, is the heart of the resort encircled by lush green grass and golf courses that have been sculpted and perfected over generations.

Driving range known as Maniac Hill

The clubhouse is also home to The Deuce, a soup and sandwich restaurant with a picturesque view of the sprawling landscape overlooking the 18th green of Pinehurst No. 2. While you are munching on a house-made pastrami sandwich, an occasional stray ball may fly into the outdoor seating area.

When it’s time for a change of scenery, retail therapy awaits at the Village of Pinehurst, a walkable district located in the resort’s original buildings. Two blocks of cottage-style storefronts include restaurants, art galleries, boutiques and a cupcake shop.

The spa at Pinehurst

The village is also a good place to meet locals who can share the best aspects of living in Pinehurst.

If you go: Play The Cradle

A full day of golf isn’t for everyone — The Cradle, a par-three course, is the perfect compromise to enjoy golf when time is precious.Added in 2018, the course is a fan-favorite, accommodating new players and the experienced.

“It’s a little nine-hole course, 789 yards. It’s just so much fun,” says Ben Bridgers, director of golf.

The course can be completed in an hour, leaving plenty of time to explore the rest of what the resort offers. At a cost-effective $50 per player, replay rounds are free all day if you have the time.

“I’m not a golfer and I think it’s special,” says Ann Carter, a resident since 1946. “Everyone is very friendly, and the town is very green.”

Carter has seen Pinehurst transform into the bustling tourism destination it is today. Even with recent travel restrictions, golf in Pinehurst remains a popular draw.

Just a few blocks from the village, the Pinehurst Brewing Company has added to the area’s appeal since opening in 2018.Housed in the historic steam plant that once provided power to the Village of Pinehurst, the brewery is a relaxing place to linger, sitting inside or out. The creations of head brewer Eric Mitchell pair well with barbecue, pizza and other American classics from the kitchen.

The resort boasts a number of dining options, from Southern cooking to upscale pub fare. For a formal dinner, the 1895 Grille and the Carolina Dining Room strut high-class experiences. “We want to make sure the guests are entertained, surprised and well fed, of course, during their stay,” says Thierry Debailleul, executive chef at Pinehurst Resort and Country Club.

Whether you’re in search of leisure or sport, a road trip to Pinehurst is the perfect escape from the Triangle, and a journey that will send you home relaxed and refreshed.

Learn more about Pinehurst Resort at

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