Just over an hour from Raleigh you can find Pinehurst, the “Home of American Golf”. There is something special about Pinehurst that is hard to put into words, but I will try my best! The town itself is known for golf, but it really is so much more than that. Pinehurst is timeless, where tradition and culture remain unchanged in an ever-changing world. It is a feeling of stepping back in time to true Southern hospitality, connecting with those around you and enjoying the simpler things in life.
Pinehurst is a family friendly destination with so much to do, there’s never a bad time to visit. On this trip, we left the kiddos at home and took a couples getaway in December to Pinehurst Resort. It absolutely blew my mind – the attention to detail and hardworking staff ensure your trip is unforgettable. After this experience, I know we will be back with our children very soon.
I have compiled a list of the three A’s: Accommodations, Adventures, and Appetite! If you have any questions about the Pinehurst or our trip please shoot me an email!
Nothing says Southern charm like the Carolina Hotel at Pinehurst Resort. The Carolina Hotel is iconic, there is so much to do on the property and the restaurants are what foodie dreams are made of. As you drive up the way to the resort, it slowly emerges from behind the trees and your jaw drops. It is stunning – classic, timeless and full of history. The perfectly trimmed hedges in front boast “Pinehurst” proudly, and you instantly feel like a part of something. There is a camaraderie among the guests, as if everyone is an old friend.
We visited in December during the holidays and the resort was completely decked out, it felt like a Hallmark movie (only way better). The resort has it all: from world class golf, an exceptional spa, and tennis, there is something for everyone. Our room was very modern and impeccably clean, with a king bed, huge walk in shower, and refrigerator.
Lodging is available at three historic hotels: the majestic Carolina, the charming Holly or the relaxed Manor. This Four-Diamond resort offers 9 signature golf courses, with the prestigious Pinehurst No. 2 golf course by Donald Ross hosting many championships, including the 2014 US Open and upcoming 2024 US Open.
Golf – You can’t go to Pinehurst and not think of hitting the green, it is called the “The Cradle of American Golf” after all. Pinehurst Resort has nine courses that will challenge your skill and leave you with a smile on your face, regardless of how you play. Their courses are aptly named No. 1 – No. 9, Thistle Dhu (the first miniature golf course in the US), and the Cradle short course. While all of their courses are top notch, Pinehurst No. 2 is the Centerpiece of Pinehurst Resort. It has served as the site of more single golf championships than any course in America and hosted back-to-back U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open Championships for the first time in 2014. The championship returns in 2024, which is sure to be a popular time to visit.
My husband had the pleasure of playing No. 2, something he has always dreamed of, and it did not disappoint. Even in the winter, the course was well maintained, challenging, and most importantly – FUN! He had a fantastic round and really loved the course – sadly he did not get a 2 on No. 2 (which earns the coveted chip)… maybe next time! The Cradle short course is nine-holes that even the newest to the game can enjoy, I walked this course twice with him, and it really was enjoyable. The vibe on this course is fun, in every single aspect. We were told that in the summer people play in their bare feet – yet another reason to go back!
Spa – While my husband was on the course, I retreated to the spa to find some tranquility. Let me tell you… peace and relaxation were found here from the moment I walked in the doors. The Spa at Pinehurst is second to none, from the staff to the treatments and facilities – everything is outstanding. The best part? You have access to the facilities the whole day of your spa service – making this my favorite stop of the trip (can’t blame a mom for taking advantage when away from the kiddos!). I had a dreamy hot stone massage the alleviated any remaining stress from my body – it was amazing! Afterwards I sipped on smoothies (free and delicious), hot tea and snacks while reading and relaxing. I spent six house (yup… I sure did) in and out of the hot tub, sauna, and steam room – and even finished an entire book while here. Ok I need to stop talking about it or I will just start driving back there!
Shopping – I did not take advantage of the quaint picturesque downtown of Pinehurst, but there were some super cute local shops that are definitely worth a visit. We did visit Pinehurst Clubhouse and bought my husband a signature golf shirt – a momento to remind us of our visit!
Carolina Dining Room – It is hard to come across a restaurant that has delicious food, impeccable service, and elegant ambiance to boot… but Carolina Dining Room has accomplished all three of those, seemingly effortlessly. It goes back to what I mentioned earlier with that feeling of stepping back in time to true Southern hospitality… The Carolina Dining Room is where that really shines. First lets talk about the breakfast buffet – I can now see why people call it the “famous” buffet – it has everything! The options here are endless, and everything is delicious. There is fresh made omelets, a fruit bar, hot bar with bacon, sausage, quiche, and so much more. Are you drooling yet? And one more thing that really sets it off – the live pianist that plays beautiful classical music while you dine. Ugh take me back already!
Now let’s chat about dinner. If you chose the meal plan option with your stay Pinehurst Resort (which I highly recommend), you get the breakfast buffet and a three course meal for dinner included. So when we sat down and were presented with the options – my eyes got wide and my stomach was rumbling. We ate here two nights and I can confidently say that you cannot go wrong with anything on this menu. I highly recommend the Oysters Pinehurst and shrimp & grits for an appetizer. For you entree, the Steak Diane and Sea Scallops were out of this world. And the Mile-High Key Lime Pie is worth it alone for the wow factor. I am not a key lime pie fan and I LOVED it! Okay okay… did I mention I want to go back?
The Deuce – Overlooking the historic 18th hole of Pinehurst No. 2, The Deuce is a great stop for lunch or an afternoon drink. We stopped here to have lunch on our last day and enjoyed cold beers and the buffalo chicken tacos (yum!). It was especially fun to watch the players finish up on the iconic course.
Ryder Cup Lounge – This casual restaurant and bar is located in the Carolina Hotel, and we stopped here to have a drink while waiting for our room. I would highly recommend an Old-Fashioned with Woodford Reserve No. 5 (specially made for the resort)- so good! The food smelled amazing though we didn’t have any – it looked quite good.
Until next time…