Recently I got to spend a few days in the Sandhills and loved discovering all the fun things to do in Pinehurst, NC.
Pinehurst began as a resort town for the middle class and is widely known as the golf capital of North Carolina and Home of American Golf.
If you aren’t a golfer though, don’t worry! There’s plenty to do for you too. My mom and I visited and neither one of us are into golf but we still had a fun time.
So if you want to know some of the most popular things to do in Pinehurst and the surrounding area, you are in the right place.
- Best Things to Do in Pinehurst, NC
- 1. Take a Walk at the Sandhills Horticultural Gardens
- 2. Relax on the Porch at the Carolina Hotel
- 3. Grab a Pint at Pinehurst Brewing
- 4. Stroll Through the Village Arboretum
- 5. Watch the Races at Pinehurst Harness Track
- 6. Learn Local History at The Tufts Archives
- 7. Shop Local in the Village of Pinehurst
- 8. Take Your Kids to the Camelot Playground
- 9. Play a Round of Golf
- 10. Eat at Amazing Pinehurst Restaurants
- 11. Get a Treatment From the Spa at Pinehurst
- 12. Take a Walking Tour Through Pinehurst
- Other Things to Do Near Pinehurst, NC
- Wrap Up: Things to Do in Pinehurst, NC
Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase through this link, I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Thanks for keeping Stuck On The Go going! I was hosted by the Pinehurst, Southern Pines, and Aberdeen Area CVB for my time here. All opinions are my own.
Best Things to Do in Pinehurst, NC
The Village of Pinehurst is small but very walkable with a number of attractions in a concentrated area. The surrounding Moore County is also beautiful and I recommend exploring outside of the village as well.
1. Take a Walk at the Sandhills Horticultural Gardens
If you love gardens or scenic places to walk then the Sandhills Horticultural Garden is the perfect place for you to visit.
There are winding paths that you could get lost in for hours and you’ll find something blooming here all year round. September and November are the months you’ll see the least blooms.
On our visit in early February, we got to see the camellias and flowering quince blooming and we could tell the daffodils were very close.
The gardens are free to enter but donations are accepted and you can pick up a map in the Visitor Center. They also have clean restrooms here.
There are 11 different garden spaces plus a Native Wetlands walking trail.
This was one of my favorite things to do in Pinehurst so I highly recommend taking an hour or two to walk through the gardens.
2. Relax on the Porch at the Carolina Hotel
Even if you aren’t a guest at the Carolina Hotel, you can still enjoy their bar area, restaurants, and even the rockers on the porch.
The Coffee House is located right off the lobby at the Carolina Hotel and you can pick up coffee, hot chocolate, or even a cocktail. Grab your beverage of choice and then a seat on their expansive porch.
If you’re interested in dining here, the Carolina Dining Room is a popular choice and famous for its breakfast buffet.
Another popular place at Pinehurst Resort is The Deuce located in the Resort Clubhouse. It overlooks the 18th hole of Pinehurst No. 2 and offers a great casual dining option with cocktails and craft beer on draft.
3. Grab a Pint at Pinehurst Brewing
Speaking of craft beer, you won’t find a better place for it in The Village than Pinehurst Brewing. The building itself is very cool as it’s located in an old steam plant that was built in 1895.
You’ll find details throughout the building that give a nod to its history. Especially the tables and chairs that are made from valves and pipes that were repurposed.
The smoke stack outside was also reconstructed and the trellis over the beer garden resembles the train tracks that brought in the coal back in the day.
So the atmosphere is pretty neat but the beer and food are what keep people coming back. BBQ and smoked meats are their specialties but they also have sandwiches, salads, and pizza.
We ordered their beer cheese and pretzel sticks to share and they really hit the spot. I also tried a flight of their beer and my mom went with the cider. They have a selection of wine and cocktails too.
They source their spirits from North Carolina distilleries which I loved. There is a large parking lot here but it’s easily walkable from the shops and restaurants in Pinehurst too.
4. Stroll Through the Village Arboretum
If you need to walk off some of that food and beer after Pinehurst Brewing or maybe have a morning walk after breakfast then the Village Arboretum is the perfect place.
It’s also walkable from the Carolina Hotel and shops of Pinehurst but it takes about 10 minutes. The trails here meander through 35 acres of land and there are a few special stops along the way.
The pergola is one of the main points of interest with large wooden beams, brick columns, and benches spaced underneath. On the other side of the grassy meadow below the pergola is a large pavilion.
Throughout the arboretum, there are three beautiful, rustic bridges. You can also find a secluded smaller pavilion with rocking chairs and a chessboard which would make for a cute date spot.
You can walk through a restored long leaf pine forest and see the Magnolia garden, perennial garden, and flowering tree garden.
5. Watch the Races at Pinehurst Harness Track
There are multiple equestrian facilities in the area surrounding Pinehurst and one of the most popular is the Pinehurst Harness Track.
Go have breakfast at the Pinehurst Track Restaurant and you may see the horses practicing. They’re known for the blueberry pancakes!
Check their list of events if you want to see something specific but the winter is when they typically practice with the horses. The Spring Harness Races are the highlight of the season so make plans to come see those!
6. Learn Local History at The Tufts Archives
James W. Tufts was the founder of Pinehurst and the visionary behind the resort. At The Tufts Archives, you can see artifacts from Mr. Tufts himself, photos from The Village since 1895, and items related to Donald Ross.
If you are interested in learning how this area came to be what it is today, then this is a great stop for you. It’s located in The Given Library and is free to visit.
Make sure to pick up a copy of the Village of Pinehurst Walking Tour book but I’ll share more on that later.
7. Shop Local in the Village of Pinehurst
The Village is full of unique, locally-owned shops in Pinehurst and you could spend a few hours browsing the shops. Longer if you are an avid shopper.
One of my favorites was Pinehurst Olive Oil Company where they sell specialty olive oils, balsamic vinegar, and products made in NC.
Cooper & Bailey’s is a very popular women’s boutique with clothes, accessories, and shoes. Given Tufts Bookshop is a used bookstore where you can also visit The Roast Office – one of the best coffee shops in town.
Village Wine Shop is a must-visit if you need to pick up a bottle of wine or some craft beer for your stay. Purple Thistle Kitchen & Co has kitchenware and home goods galore.
Bump & Baby is an adorable baby store that also sells maternity clothes. If you need a sweet treat while walking around, stop in at C.Cups Cupcakery or Agora Bakery.
8. Take Your Kids to the Camelot Playground
Have kids and need to tire them out? Head over to the Camelot Playground where they can run and climb their little hearts out.
The playground is clean, there are public restrooms, and the playground resembles a castle so little imaginations can run wild here.
Do note that in the castle play area, it can be hard to keep kids in a good line of sight so if they like to run around and explore on their own you’ll want to keep a close eye on them.
9. Play a Round of Golf
As one of the most iconic things to do in Pinehurst, NC, this one had to make the list. If you want to golf at Pinehurst Resort then you’ll likely have to stay in on-property lodging.
This does not apply at The Cradle though which is their 9-hole course that’s only $50 to play. Call Pinehurst Resort for a tee time.
If Pinehurst Resort isn’t on your bucket list, there are nearly 40 total golf courses in the surrounding area so you have plenty of others to choose from.
10. Eat at Amazing Pinehurst Restaurants
There are some great restaurants in Southern Pines, but Pinehurst also has a flourishing culinary scene.
Agora Bakery and The Roast Office are two of the best coffee shops and I had a fantastic breakfast at Agora Bakery.
The Carolina Dining Room, Pine Crest Inn, and Pinehurst Track Restaurant are all known for their breakfast as well.
For casual dining, you can’t go wrong with The Deuce, Drum & Quill, or Pinehurst Brewing Company. If you want something upscale then go for Elliotts on Linden, 1895 Grille, or Ironwood Cafe.
11. Get a Treatment From the Spa at Pinehurst
While this is a bit of a splurge, I’ll be honest it is not as expensive as I expected to get a massage or body treatment at the Spa at Pinehurst.
If you are on a budget but still want to do something relaxing, Sunday – Thursday you can purchase a Tranquility Pass. For $50 you get all-day access to the wet areas in the spa.
12. Take a Walking Tour Through Pinehurst
There are a couple of options for walking tours through Pinehurst. One is self-guided via a book and the other is a guided tour booked through Pinehurst Resort.
You can purchase Village of Pinehurst: A Historic Walking Tour from the Pinehurst Visitor Center or the Tufts Archives. There are four different tours included in the book along with photos, fun facts, and so much more.
If taking a guided tour is more your style then you can book one through Pinehurst Resort. The cost is $250 for a group of up to 10 people. The tour covers the history of Pinehurst and many of its iconic buildings.
Other Things to Do Near Pinehurst, NC
Pinehurst is only 10 – 15 minutes away from Southern Pines and Aberdeen which have plenty of things to do in their own right.
If you’re willing to drive a bit further then the surrounding Moore County has so much to offer.
13. Visit Nearby Southern Pines
As I said, there are tons of fun things to do in Southern Pines. Like Pinehurst, it has a quaint downtown area where you can do lots of shopping and try many different restaurants.
Don’t miss the new Rec Room where you can play old arcade games. You can also visit many other breweries on the Pour Tour Passport.
Check out the Historic Shaw House and Red’s Corner which is a Food Truck Park. Can’t miss restaurants downtown include Betsy’s Crepes, Chapman’s Food & Spirits, and Ashten’s Restaurant.
14. Hike at Weymouth Woods
Weymouth Woods is the perfect place for a hike near Pinehurst and Southern Pines. As part of the state park system, the trails here are very well-maintained and well-marked.
The Visitor Center has clean restrooms and there are picnic tables nearby. For a quick and easy walk, the Bower’s Bog Trail is great. Pine Barrens, Lighter Stump, and Pine Island are some of the most popular trails.
If you want something longer then hike out to the Holly Road Trail and take that loop. The scenery is beautiful and you’ll find many birds here so bring binoculars if you have them.
15. Make a Stop on the Mural Trail
If you love murals, then you’ll love the Carthage Mural Trail and the other mural spots in Aberdeen and Southern Pines. In Carthage, you’ll find five murals downtown that depicts the history of Moore County.
At Furniture of the Pines in Aberdeen, you’ll find a set of wings that you can take a picture with. There is another interactive mural at The Cigar Shop in Aberdeen.
One of the newest murals in the area is in Southern Pines on the side of Scott’s Table. It highlights the importance of horses to Southern Pines.
16. Visit a Local Farm
One of the most memorable experiences that I had while in Southern Pines was visiting Misty Morning Ranch which is a local ostrich farm.
In addition to meeting the ostriches and being able to feed them, we got to see their horses, cows, goats, pigs, and peacocks.
They were so funny to watch! This was a new experience for me so I really enjoyed seeing how their farm was set up and watching the personality that these birds have.
17. Check Out Reservoir Park
If you want a peaceful place to sit and think or a scenic place for a walk that isn’t too far from town, then Reservoir Park is a great place.
You’ll have to walk a little ways from the parking lot if you want some peace and quiet, especially on the weekends but it is so worth it.
There is a trail that goes around the entire lake that’s part of the Southern Pines Greenway System so it connects with other trails in the system.
If you have the proper license you can also fish here and there is a disc golf course.
Wrap Up: Things to Do in Pinehurst, NC
There you have it – my suggestions for fun things to do in Pinehurst, NC! If you love walkable towns, amazing restaurants, and scenic places then you’ll love Pinehurst.
Of course, if you’re a golfer or in the equestrian world then I’m sure you’ve already heard of Pinehurst and know why you should go!
It’s an underrated getaway in North Carolina and the perfect place to visit especially for rest and rejuvenation.