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23 Things to Do in Moore County (Annual Events and Year-Round Attractions)

Published by Carl Hedinger. Last Updated on June 22, 2024.

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When discussing things to do in Moore County, North Carolina, golf, Southern Pines, and Pinehurst come to mind.

Of course, there’s more to this county in the famed Sandhills region, where Eastern and Central NC meet. There’s the wonderful Weymouth Woods Sandhills Nature Preserve and the lovely towns of Aberdeen and Carthage, among many more places to visit in Moore County.

Sharing this area with you also reminds us that there are so many places to see within this one county. So whether you’re moving to the area, a seasoned local, or anyone in between, we made this NC travel guide to help you.

Here’s how we’ve organized the guide, starting with how to find Moore County on a map and its neighbors:

  • Where is Moore County?
  • Moore County Towns
  • Where to Stay in Moore County
  • Annual Events
  • Things to Do This Weekend (and All Year!)
  • Where to Eat in Moore County (the Best Restaurants)
  • NC Craft Breweries
  • Related Moore County NC Travel Guides

Read More: 50 of the Best Day Trips from Raleigh (Fun Getaways!)

Featured Partner (The Home of American Golf)

Screenshot of Home of American Golf Website 2024

Our featured partner for this travel guide to Moore County is the Pinehurst, Southern Pines, Aberdeen Area Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB), also known as the Home of American Golf.

The destination will host the 124th U.S. Open at the venerable Pinehurst No. 2 golf course in 2024. In 2029, it will once again host the men’s and women’s U.S. Opens on consecutive weeks. Future U.S. Opens are set for 2035, 2041, and 2047.

This year, the area also welcomes the return of the World Golf Hall of Fame, a new destination distillery (BHAWK), and the town of Carthage toasts its first brewery with the opening of The Buggy Factory by Southern Pines Brewing Company.

Learn More About the Home of American Golf

Where is Moore County in North Carolina?

Map of North Carolina highlighting Moore County Image Credit David Benbennick Public domain via Wikimedia Commons
Image Credit: David Benbennick, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

As mentioned, Moore County is located in the Sandhills region, where the Piedmont region of Central North Carolina and the Coastal Plains region of Eastern North Carolina meet. Major highways that pass through Moore County include NC-24, US-1, US-15, and US-501.

Moore County borders nine counties in North Carolina, including:

  • Chatham County (North)
  • Lee County (Northeast)
  • Harnett County (East-Northeast)
  • Cumberland County (East)
  • Hoke County (Southeast)
  • Scotland County (South)
  • Richmond County (Southwest)
  • Montgomery County (West)
  • Randolph County (Northwest)

Since Moore County neighbors Cumberland County, it’s within a short drive of Fayetteville. The county is also within 2-1/2 hours from the following cities:

Travelers from Durham and Raleigh typically take US-1 to reach the area and US-15/US-501 to reach Moore County from Chapel Hill.

Moore County Towns

A full list of incorporated communities in Moore County includes:

  • Aberdeen
  • Cameron
  • Carthage (County Seat)
  • Foxfire
  • Pinebluff
  • Pinehurst
  • Robbins
  • Southern Pines
  • Taylortown
  • Vass

Moore County’s population is projected to grow throughout the 2020s. As of the 2020 census, the population was about 100,000.

Pinehurst is Moore County’s largest community with a population of 18,000, while Southern Pines follows in second with around 15,000 people.

Read More: The Greatest Small Towns in North Carolina (+ Our Top 10 Picks)

Where to Stay in Moore County

Like us, you may head out to Moore County for a day trip, but these amazing places to stay will convince you to extend your time here.

Pinehurst Resort

Address: 80 Carolina Vista Dr, Pinehurst, NC
Check Availability

Romantic Getaways in North Carolina Pinehurst Resort

Pinehurst Resort is the pinnacle of lodging in Moore County. While you don’t have to be a resort guest to enjoy all of its offerings, the Resort does comprise four historic hotels.

  • The Carolina Hotel: Nicknamed the “Queen of the South,” Carolina Hotel has welcomed guests to Pinehurst for over a century. The hotel has 230 rooms and suites to choose from. Stay here and you can enjoy the Carolina Dining Room, said to have the best breakfast in golf, and the new Coffee House located in the lobby.
  • The Manor: The Manor recently underwent a renovation that transformed the historic 1923-era building into a contemporary and classic hotel. The Manor has several comfortable and modern rooms, as well as two private hospitality suites that can hold up to 20 people.
  • The Holly Inn: The Holly Inn was Pinehurst’s first hotel, opening to the public in 1895. It has retained its historic charm and Queen Anne-style architecture and allure. Choose from three room types, a traditional, a suite, and a bi-level suite, all of which are decorated with warm floral patterns and colors. The Holly is also conveniently located in the heart of the Village.
  • The Magnolia Inn: Perfect for smaller groups, the Magnolia Inn is a centrally located quaint retreat. The 1890s-style building welcomes guests with a double-story wrap-around porch before opening up to a gorgeous interior. The Magnolia’s suites are an ideal mix of rustic luxury and modern, each with their own special charm. The renowned Villaggio Ristorante & Bar, which we’ll touch on, is also here.

Read More: Unique Luxury Resorts in North Carolina

Mid Pines Inn & Golf Club

Address: 1010 Midland Rd, Southern Pines, NC
Check Availability

Southern Pines also has a golf resort in the form of Mid Pines Inn & Golf Club. Mid Pines prides itself on the Southern hospitality that has characterized its accommodations since it was built in 1921.

The Georgian-style manor is a gorgeous place to stay in Moore County.

Mid Pines offers rooms in the main hotel building, including Suite, Golfview, and Innview. The rooms are all uniquely decorated with patterned wallpaper, rustic decor, and bright lighting.

Additionally, there are private villas dotted along the Mid Pines Golf Course for rent. The villas range in size from six to 12 people and offer amenities such as kitchenettes, patios, game rooms, and more.

Read More: 50 of the Best Day Trips from Durham

Annual Events in Moore County

Things to Do in Moore County NC
  • Pinecone Pathways (March and April): Pinecone Pathways is a popular collaboration between Moore County and Starworks in nearby Montgomery County. Each March and April, 100 beautiful custom-made glass pinecones are hidden along trails in Moore County, and the CVB sends out weekly announcements about which trails to find them on. Special prizes accompany the pinecones, making this one of our favorite annual Moore County events.
  • SpringFest (April): Southern Pines’ downtown comes alive each spring for the annual SpringFest. Two blocks of Broad Street will be cordoned off to allow for local and regional vendors to showcase their wares. Over 160 vendors from across the state exhibit, including paintings, jewelry, metal art, photography, and more, in addition to food and souvenirs.
  • Antiques Fair (May and October): On the first Saturday in May and October, Cameron hosts an antiques fair that is well-attended and one of the best annual events in Moore County.
  • North & South Golf Tournaments (June to August): Throughout the summer, Pinehurst welcomes a revolving wave of tourists and participants alike for the North & South Golf Tournaments. There are different categories, including amateurs and seniors.
  • Pinehurst Barbecue Festival (End-August): Besides golfing, Pinehurst also knows how to celebrate barbecue! The Pinehurst Barbecue Festival is a weekend-long affair featuring all styles of NC Barbecue, including Eastern- and Lexington-style.
  • Tour de Moore Classic Bicycle Race (September): Labor Day weekend in Southern Pines is marked by a large bicycle race hosted by the Sandhills Cycling Club. It’s an exciting race to watch, but if you’re feeling up to it, try your hand at the 28-mile, 50-mile, or 100-mile track!
  • Holly Arts & Crafts Festival (October): During the Holly Arts & Crafts Festival, over 100 local artists, including woodworkers, glassblowers, and more, attend. Business owners also participate, offering sales and free samples.
  • Oktoberfest (October): Oktoberfest is a wonderful fall event in the town, with traditional food, drinks, and more fun. The festival also starts with a few hours dedicated to kids’ events, called Kinderfest.

Read More: The NC Tripping Events Calendar

Things to Do in Moore County This Weekend (and All Year!)

Those events have a special place on our calendar, but these are things to do in Moore County NC this weekend and throughout most of the year:

  • Camelot Playground
  • Cameron Historic District
  • Carthage Murals
  • Downtown Aberdeen
  • Downtown Southern Pines
  • Mid Pines Inn and Golf Club
  • Pinehurst Resort
  • Sandhills Horticultural Gardens
  • Shopping Village of Pinehurst
  • Thistle Dhu Miniature Golf
  • The Tufts Archives
  • Weymouth Center for the Arts
  • Weymouth Woods Sandhills Nature Preserve

Camelot Playground

Address: 90 Woods Rd, Pinehurst, NC

Things to do in Pinehurst Camelot Playground

We start this section with one of our favorite family-friendly places in Pinehurst. The majestic Camelot Playground is inspired by the legend of Arthur and his kingdom of Camelot, and its structures resemble medieval castles.

Camelot Playground is in Cannon Park, which has plenty of space for kids to play and shaded seating areas for parents to relax.

Read More: 7 Wonderful Aquariums in North Carolina and How to Visit Them All!

Cameron Historic District

Cameron’s historic district features a variety of historic buildings, including homes, churches, and commercial buildings. Many of the buildings in the district have been carefully restored and preserved.

As mentioned, the town is also known for its antique shops, where you’ll find many unique and valuable items. Antique finds include furniture, artwork, and collectibles.

Read More: Excellent Day Trips from Wilmington Within 2 Hours

Carthage Murals

Things to do in Southern Pines Carthage Murals

The county seat, Carthage, is a small, charming town with some of the state’s most gorgeous murals.

Renowned Chapel Hill artist Scott Nurkin has painted three murals in Carthage, all within walking distance of one another. The murals are along Monroe Street and between Ray Street and Marion Street.

Several other murals are in the works around town. Strolling Carthage and looking for hidden murals is a great way to explore Moore County.

Read More: Asheville River Arts District and Nearby (20+ Essential Things to Do!)

Downtown Aberdeen

Downtown Aberdeen NC

Downtown Aberdeen is a lovely place to visit, tucked away from US-1 south of Southern Pines. Main St and Sycamore St are lined with local shops and restaurants.

Mason’s Grocery and Restaurant (111 N Sycamore St., Aberdeen, NC) is one of the best in the county, and we’ll mention it in more detail shortly (see “Restaurants”).

In the picture above, you see us peering into Hit Point Games (118 W Main St., Aberdeen, NC). The retro gaming lounge has collectibles galore, weekly Pokemon tournaments, classic video games, and much more.

Read More: 27 Terrific Things to Do with Kids in Fayetteville and Cumberland County

Downtown Southern Pines

Things to Do in Southern Pines Downtown Train Station

Downtown Southern Pines is usually one of the first places we head to while in Moore County.

Southern Pines is unique in that active train tracks cross its downtown Broad St. Amtrak’s Silver Service/Palmetto Train services here, usually with one northbound and southbound per day.

After taking in its charm, we love perusing the town’s local shops. One of our favorites is the Country Bookshop (140 NW Broad St, Southern Pines, NC), which also tops our list of the best bookstores in North Carolina.

Mid Pines Inn and Golf Club

Address: 1010 Midland Rd, Southern Pines, NC

Mid Pines Inn and Golf Club is an internationally renowned golf course just down the road from downtown Southern Pines.

The golf course was built in 1921 by Donald Ross and has hosted many national competitions, including the 2002 USGA Senior Women’s Amateur Championship.

The owners restored the club in 2013, but it remains exactly as it was first built. Today, it is a member- and guests-only course intended for friendly competitions. You can stay on-site at The Inn or in one of their Private Villas. 

Guests can enjoy tee time on the beautiful golf course and multiple dining options, including their terrace and dining room (Pop’s Lounge) or the Pine Needles Lodge & Golf Club across the street.

Read More: 25+ of the Most Romantic Getaways in North Carolina

Pinehurst No. 2

Address: 1 Carolina Vista Dr, Pinehurst, NC 28374

Pinehurst No 2 Things to Do in Moore County NC

Sitting on 2,000 acres of gorgeous land, Pinehurst Resort has ample space for golfing, tennis, and other outdoor activities. Nine 18-hole golf courses are available, and Pinehurst No. 2 is among the best in the United States.

Several prestigious golf tournaments have occurred here, including the U.S. Open Championships, U.S. Women’s Open, PGA Championship, and the Ryder Cup.

Sandhills Horticultural Gardens

Address: 555 Lindbergh Place, Pinehurst, NC

Things to do in Southern Pines Sandhills Horticulture

The Sandhills Horticultural Gardens are a hidden gem located on the Sandhills Community College campus. The construction of the Gardens began in 1978 with the Ebersole Holly Gardens, a plot containing the largest holly collection on the East Coast with 28 holly species.

Since then, the Gardens have added multiple gardens and plots and have grown to 32 acres.

Visiting the Sandhills Horticultural Gardens is one of our favorite free things to do in Moore County! The Gardens feature plots dedicated to roses, conifers, and succulents, rotating displays, gazebos, and more.

What’s more, the gardens are almost entirely designed and maintained by college students!

Read More: Botanical Gardens in North Carolina

Shopping Village of Pinehurst

Things to do in Pinehurst Downtown

Before Pinehurst became the heart of American golf, its founder, James Walker Tufts, initially designed it as a New-England-inspired village.

The community’s goal was to emphasize a slow lifestyle rooted in nature and wellness, primarily as a way to revitalize his own health.

Today, the Village of Pinehurst is a charming community with plentiful shopping, dining, and recreation. One of the best ways to explore the Village is by horse-drawn carriage. The New-England-style streets and architecture are perfect for carriage travel.

Lining the brick sidewalks are many local boutiques and businesses. Check out businesses like:

  • Old Sport & Gallery (Harvard Bldg, 95 Market Square, Pinehurst, NC) for golf collectibles
  • Sparrows (100 Magnolia Rd Suite 104 & 10, Pinehurst, NC) for upscale furniture and decor
  • Form V Chocolates (15 Chinquapin Rd, Pinehurst, NC) for a delicious treat

Read More: 10 Ways to Support Amazing Local Businesses in NC Today

Thistle Dhu Miniature Golf

Things to do in Pinehurst Thistle Dhu

Thistle Dhu is the perfect family-friendly (and free!) activity to do while at Pinehurst Resort. It is an 18-hole putting course that’s perfect for a warm-up before or cool-down after a round or for those who want to play on the legendary Pinehurst green!

Thistle Dhu was constructed in 1919 by James Barber, a former resident of Pinehurst estate, before it became a resort. Barber constructed this putting course in his backyard, which eventually led to the rise in the game of miniature golf.

Today, the course is free for guests and visitors to experience right outside the Pinehurst Resort Clubhouse. Putters can be rented for free at the Cradle Short Course.

The Tufts Archives

Address: 150 Cherokee Rd, Pinehurst, NC

Things to do in Pinehurst Tufts Archives

The Tufts Archives is an impressive anthological collection of the history of Pinehurst. It highlights all of the town’s history from 1895 to the present, including the founders of the Resort and Village.

The Archives is in the Given Library, just across from the Holly Inn (155 Cherokee Rd, Pinehurst, NC), and is free to enter.

Inside the Archives, visitors can view an extensive collection of private artifacts, including original maps of the course designs, early photos of the Village, and James Tufts’ original marble and silver 19th-century soda fountain.

Read More: The NC Museum of History in Raleigh (+7 Things We Love About It!)

Weymouth Center for the Arts

Address: 555 East Connecticut Avenue, Southern Pines, NC

Things to Do in Southern Pines NC Weymouth Center for the Arts

The Weymouth Center for the Arts & Humanities is a 26-acre estate that was constructed as the former home of author James Boyd and his wife, Katharine Lamont Boyd.

Today, it is a cultural center that carries on the Boyds’ legacy of a community space that welcomes writers, artists, creatives, and more.

The Weymouth Center encompasses the surrounding gardens and longleaf pine forest. The 9,000-square-foot Boyd House also serves as a writers’ residency, a site for poetry readings, dramatic performances, musical concerts, and recitals.

James Boyd’s study is home to the North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame, established in 1996. The center is open year-round and even leads to the Boyd Round Timber Tract of Weymouth Woods (see next). 

Weymouth Woods Sandhills Nature Preserve

Address: 1024 Fort Bragg Road, Southern Pines, NC

Southern Pines Weymouth Woods

Speaking of Weymouth Woods Sandhills Nature Preserve, this is the living legacy of the longleaf pine trees that once dominated much of Central North Carolina.

The 900-acre state park is proliferated with these pine trees, some of which are hundreds of years old, a rarity in the South due to centuries of deforestation.

Weymouth Woods is home to the oldest living longleaf pine (via the Boyd Tract), as well as red-cockaded woodpeckers, pine barrens, tree frogs, bog spicebush, fox squirrels, and various wildflowers.

11 well-connected trails run through the park, all of which are relatively short. The shortest trail is 0.1 miles, and the longest is a 2.6-mile loop.

The trails are also horse-friendly, with some dedicated trails for equestrians. There are also ranger-led hikes and a visitor center that dives into more detail about the flora and fauna and history of the park.

Read More: 100+ of the Best Hiking Trails in North Carolina

Where to Eat in Moore County

One of our favorite things to do in Moore County is to find something delicious to eat. There are several options, but these are the best in the area!

  • Ashten’s Restaurant (140 E New Hampshire Ave, Southern Pines, NC): Ashten’s joined Southern Pines’ line-up of great restaurants in 1997 when sisters Ashley and Quenten combined their names and experiences. The interior is designed to represent an Old Traditional English manor, and the menu specializes in farm-to-table global cuisine with a Southern flair. Choose from dishes such as crab cakes, salmon, and burgers, and top it off with a delicious dessert.
    Things to do in Southern Pines Betseys Crepes
  • Betsy’s Crepes (27 SW Broad St, Southern Pines, NC): Crepes are one of the best ways to start your day, so it’s no surprise that Betsy’s is usually packed with customers at all hours of the day. We once ordered a crepe with peanut butter, Nutella, banana, bacon, egg, and cheese, a combination also known as the Superman! Beyond delicious crepes, Betsy’s also offers standard breakfast items like waffles, French toast, and omelets.
  • Carolina Dining Room (80 Carolina Vista Dr, Pinehurst, NC): Carolina Dining Room is Pinehurst Resort’s largest and most classic dining space. In menu options such as Mediterranean mezze platters, salmon, and select cuts, the expertise of the Resort’s executive chef, Thierry Debailleul, truly shines.
Restaurants in Southern Pines Chapmans poutine
  • Chapman’s Food and Spirits (157 E New Hampshire Ave, Southern Pines, NC): Chapman’s is a collective enterprise by Kitty Hopkins, a longtime Moore County native, and Peter Hamm, a culinary expert. Chapman’s serves American fare, with weekly rotating specials. Our absolute favorite thing on the menu is the cajun crawfish fries—you can thank us later!
  • The Coffee House (80 Carolina Vista Dr, Pinehurst, NC): For the perfect morning pick-me-up, we suggest the Coffee House located in the Carolina Hotel. The all-day eatery serves all types of caffeinated drinks, as well as pastries and light lunch options such as salads, wraps, and sandwiches.
Southern Pines Ice Cream Parlor
  • The Ice Cream Parlor (176 NW Broad St, Southern Pines, NC): A Southern Pines staple, the Ice Cream Parlor has faithfully served Moore County since 1976. Their homemade ice cream is absolutely delicious and encompasses vegan-friendly options, too. The Parlor is also great for a quick bite in the form of a classic hot dog or burger.
Masons Restaurant and Grocery Aberdeen NC
  • Mason’s Restaurant and Grocery (111 N Sycamore St, Aberdeen, NC): The first time we ate at Mason’s was after Weymouth Woods, and this place is the perfect post-hike restaurant. Southern favorites, scratch-made biscuits, and cocktails are a few of the delicious reasons to visit. Mason’s doesn’t take reservations, so we highly recommend you get here as early as possible for breakfast and lunch.
Things to do in Southern Pines Sly
  • The Sly Fox Pub (795 SW Broad St, Southern Pines, NC): The Sly Fox is a modern take on a traditional British gastropub, a no-frills restaurant focused on the highest quality comfort food and drinks. The pub serves a variety of classic British eats with an innovative twist, including fish and chips, Indian curries, and chicken pot pie, among others.
  • SoPies (130 W New Hampshire Ave, Southern Pines, NC): SoPies is our readers’ and followers’ favorite pizza place in Southern Pines! The pizza joint serves NY-style pizza by the slice or pie, fulfilling all your NY pizza cravings right here in Moore County, North Carolina.
  • Villaggio Ristorante and Bar (65 Magnolia Road, Pinehurst, NC): Located in the Magnolia Inn, Villaggio Ristorante is one of Pinehurst’s most fine dining establishments. The restaurant opened after the Magnolia Inn changed ownership in 2019 and has quickly become a local favorite for its upscale Italian cuisine. Enjoy an elegant dining experience with top-tier service and menu choices such as antipasti, gnocchi, and affogato.

Read More: 20+ Mouthwatering Restaurants in Fayetteville (and Cumberland County)

Moore County NC Craft Breweries

Moore County has some wonderful breweries that could challenge any of the biggest names in North Carolina. Here’s where to grab a craft beer in the area:

Things to do in Southern Pines Hatchet Brewing
  • Hatchet Brewing (490 SW Broad St, Southern Pines, NC): The taproom is great for kids and also dog-friendly. A great selection of board games keeps the atmosphere great for friends, too! Along with a great atmosphere, you’ll find quite a few IPAs but additional options for every kind of beer drinker.
Things to do in Pinehurst Brewing
  • Pinehurst Brewing Company (300 Magnolia Rd, Pinehurst, NC): Pinehurst Brewing is a popular community spot centrally located just outside the town’s main Village. Inside a historic steam plant building, this is the perfect spot to enjoy a tasty brew and a dish from their special smoked barbecue menu, including a wood-fired pizza or juicy brisket.
North Carolina Breweries Southern Pines Brewing
  • Southern Pines Brewing (565 Air Tool Dr #E & 205 W Pennsylvania Ave, Southern Pines, NC): Southern Pines Brewing Company was the first brewery in town and has grown into several locations. The original taproom (Air Tool Dr) offers test batches of select beers that come out weekly. Southern Pines Brewing also offers hard ciders by the glass and a mix of seasonal and mainstay beers at its second location.

Read More: Tasty North Carolina Breweries (The Best of the Best!)

Want to Know More About Moore County NC?

If you know Moore County, you’ll know that it’s filled with fun places to visit. Highlighting the lesser-known places and best-known things to do is why this guide was such a fun one to write.

Are you familiar with these things to do in Moore County? Let us know in the comments.

When exploring the area, remember to share your adventures in our North Carolina Travel Facebook Group! Photos are most welcome!

Moore County NC Travel Guides

We’ve mentioned Moore County in many of our NC travel guides. Here are a few examples for you.

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