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10 great things to do in and around Pinehurst, according to our local experts

Woodlake Country Club, near Pinehurst, allows limited public play during the US Open.

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Welcome to Pinehurst. You have chosen a good week to visit. But sorry. No. We can’t find a tee time for you on No. 2. The popular course is booked solid for the modest US Open, and the resort that hosts it is also busy.

However, don’t worry. There are many other things to do around these parts, including golf. Ran Morrissett, architecture editor for GOLF Magazine, has lived in the Southern Pines neighborhood for more than 30 years. Here are his 10 recommendations for eating, drinking and relaxing in the area – which will still leave viewing time at No.

Reservoir Park in Southern Pines, NC
The two-mile trail around Reservoir Park is a relaxing walk with stunning views.

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1. Reservoir Park

No water at Pinehurst No. 2. But there are more at Reservoir Park, a 165-acre green space with a lake in the center. The two-mile trail is a great way to get your steps in. The park is open daily from dawn to dusk, and entry is free.

2. An unbeatable breakfast

Since it first opened, in 2010, in a cozy location in the town of Southern Pines, Betsy’s Crepes has grown in size and reputation. Today, it counts as a local institution, best known for its sweet and savory crepes (although it also serves delicious soups, salads and paninis during lunch). The atmosphere remains as warm and welcoming as ever, as is owner Betsy Markey, who has run the place since day one.

Betsy Markey at her famous crepe place in Southern Pines, NC
Betsy Markey at the famous crepe place named after her.

He runs Morrissett

3. Tips on swinging from a guru

Golf is a never-ending quest, and I know of no better guide than Doug Thompson, at Hyland Golf Club, a great value community course in Southern Pines. Thompson keeps things simple, and his intuition is evident.

4. A great round of golf

Woodlake Country Club, home to the newly renovated Ellis Maples design, is a private property. But it is open for outdoor play during the week of the US Open for a reasonable fee of $125 for walkers. If you score within four shots of your handicap, Morrissett says he’ll buy you a beer.

Chapman's Food & Spirits in Southern Pines, NC
Chapman’s version of the martini is the “Marytini,” made by Mary herself.

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5. Killer cocktails

It’s five o’clock somewhere. And even if it wasn’t, Morrissett would still belly up to the bar at Chapman’s Food & Spirits in Southern Pines. Ask for the Marytini, made by none other than Mary herself, with blue cheese, olives and Tanqueray gin.

6. Best burgers and dogs

The best hot dogs on a swing? That’s a toss-up, Morrissett said, between Pine Needles and Southern Pines Golf Club. Try them both and decide for yourself. The burger category brings a lot of competition. But Morrissett’s short list includes Ashten’s, Southern Prime Steakhouse, Chapman’s and 195 Southern Fusion.

7. The perfect pie

For the best pizza this side of Naples (Italy, not Florida), Morrissett points to Vito’s Ristorante & Pizzeria, where the cellar is stocked with hard-to-find Italian wines at all price points.

8. Out of this world al fresco dining

For that, grab a seat on the patio at Ironwood Restaurant, which serves modern American cuisine in the heart of historic downtown Pinehurst.

Weymouth Woods Sandhills Nature Preserve
A hiking trail in Weymouth Woods, a nature reserve in the Sandhills region.

He runs Morrissett

9. A classic picnic

Ups and downs at Pinehurst No. 2 is no picnic. If you’re looking for that, Morrissett recommends stocking up on meat, cheese and crackers at Southern Whey, in the town of Southern Pines, and heading to the Weymouth Woods Sandhills Nature Preserve, where miles of hiking trails wind through the sandy terrain. we read its name.

10. American immersion

In our modern age, it is hard to find a commercial center that is more like Mayberry than the town of Southern Pines. For the full Opie’s experience, all within one block, grab a drink at the Ice Cream Parlor Restaurant, enjoy a glass of wine on the patio at The Wine Cellar (yes, we know, Opie wasn’t of drinking age, but he is), and takes in an indie film at the Sunrise Theatre.

Josh Sens Editor

Golf, food and travel writer, Josh Sens has been a contributor to GOLF Magazine since 2004 and now contributes to all areas of GOLF. His work has been honored in The Best American Sportswriting. He is also the author, with Sammy Hagar, of Are We Having Any Fun Yet: The Cooking and Partying Handbook.

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