Historical Georgian-Style Inn Bordering Renowned Championship Golf Courses
Legendary Scottish architect Donald Ross designed more than 400 golf courses throughout the United States, building in various topographies and climates. But upon retirement, he preferred to settle amid the pines of southeastern North Carolina—an area that he helped to define as "the cradle of American golf." Today, Mid Pines and Pine Needles Golf Clubs in Southern Pines, North Carolina, preserve two of Ross's enduring designs for a new generation of players. After a day on the links at Mid Pines, guests retire to rooms filled with local antique furnishings at Mid Pines Inn, a 103-room Georgian-style manor recognized on the list of Historic Hotels of America.
Recently restored to the exact specifications of its original layout in 1921, the Mid Pines course has hosted many national competitions, including a USGA championship. Glittering ponds and sandy bunkers dot the fairways and lead up to Ross's signature crowned greens. Across Midland Road, the slightly larger Pine Needles course also showcases Ross's knack for seamlessly incorporating natural terrain into his designs. After a match, golfers can whittle number 2 pencils into golf pencils at The Terrace or dress up for the Crest Dining Room, whose menu of classic American fare changes nightly.
The homey Mid Pines Inn opened in tandem with the eponymous golf course in 1921. Antique furnishings—such as wooden writing desks and handmade cushioned rockers—lend to its old-fashioned charm. Deluxe rooms overlook the golf course or front garden entrance. For an interlude from golfing, take advantage of the ping-pong, pool, and foosball tables at the onsite game room.
Sandhills Region, NC: Natural Beauty and Mannered Charm
The Sandhills region is known for fabulous golf: dozens of courses are spread around the villages of Southern Pines, Aberdeen, and Pinehurst, including the illustrious Pinehurst No. 2. But it’s also steeped in traditional southern character, which comes out in its small towns lined with art galleries and antiques. The entire town of Cameron is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and has no fewer than 12 antique shops, some of which display heirloom furniture and crafts. And the region's clay-rich soil has translated into a wellspring of handmade pottery. Visitors can experience this rich tradition with the vast displays at the North Carolina Pottery Center in Seagrove.