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Sandhills Region Has Plenty to Explore for U.S. Open Attendees

While the Pinehurst and North Carolina’s broader Sandhills region may be famous for being home to some of the world’s best golf courses, the area has a spectacular cultural scene as well. If you’re one of thousands of folks who will be in town for the men’s and women’s U.S. Open Championships during the next couple of weeks here are few things not to miss:

Join the N.C. Symphony for a
free concert June 13


Free Concert by the North Carolina Symphony
In celebration of the U.S. Open coming to Pinehurst, the N.C. Symphony will perform a free concert, Friday, June 13, at 8 p.m. on Pinehurst’s Tufts Park. The concert will feature Beethoven’s power 5th Symphony and also include “Sketches from Pinehurst,” which was written by the Symphony’s own Terry Mizesko when the U.S. Open came to Pinehurst in 2005.

Be sure and check the Symphony’s Facebook page for any weather updates.

Local Galleries
Moore County, where Pinehurst is located, has some wonderful art galleries to explore, and the Arts Council of Moore County in downtown Southern Pines is the best place to start. The gallery there features local, regional and national artists. There is also a lovely shop where you can purchase local art.

If you’d like to bypass visiting the Council in person, it produces a fantastic online list of local galleries, artists and studios in the area.

Literary Heritage in Southern Pines
The Sandhills area region is also known for having a rich literary heritage. A great starting point to exploring that heritage is the Literary Trails of Eastern North Carolina guidebook, produced by the N.C. Arts Council and published by UNC Press.

One of the more famous authors from the area is James Boyd. Boyd’s Southern Pines estate is now the Weymouth Center for Arts & Humanities, which in turn is the home to the North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame. Weymouth played host to many great writers during its time including William Faulkner, the editor Maxwell Perkins, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Thomas Wolfe and others, and the Hall of Fame now there is certainly worth a visit.

Revolutionary War re-enactors at House in the Horseshoe


Revolutionary-Era History
The site of a significant Revolutionary War skirmish, House in the Horseshoe State Historic Site is about a 30-minute drive north of Pinehurst. Aside from the fascinating Revolutionary tale Horseshoe tells, it’s worth a visit to see some cutting edge archaeological work that will be taking place there during the next couple of weeks.

Seagrove Pottery Area
The jewel of the region’s cultural scene is perhaps the Seagrove pottery area. Home to more than 100 potters, many of whom open their studios to visitors, the heart of pottery mecca is just under 45 minutes north of Pinehurst. Originally attracted to the region for its abundant clay deposits, the craftsmen of area were able to survive a few decades longer than many others displaced by factory-produced ceramics because of their remote location and need for jugs from the local whisky distilling industry.

Stop by the North Carolina Pottery Center in Seagrove to find out more about the pottery history in Seagrove and across the state. The center, designed by famed architect Frank Harman, is a great jumping off point for deeper discovery.

Farther Afield
If you’re looking to explore more of North Carolina’s rich arts and culture, some other places that are relatively nearby (within an hour and 15 minute drive) that are worth checking out include:

  • Town Creek Indian Mound in Mount Gilead is a world-class archaeological site focusing on early Native American culture, specifically that of the Pee Dee civilization
  • Fayetteville’s Museum of the Cape Fear interprets and explores the history of southeastern North Carolina
  • The N.C. Museum of History in Raleigh tells the story of 14,000 years of North Carolina history all under one roof
  • On the premiere art museums in the South, the N.C Museum of Art, also in Raleigh, has a permanent collection which spans more than 5,000 years, from ancient Egypt to the present

What are you most looking forward to about your trip to Pinehurst? Or if you’re a local, what are your favorite cultural destinations? Tell us in the comments.

For more ideas on exploring North Carolina’s rich arts, history and culture, check out our weekend roundup series and the N.C. Arts Council’s arts trails websites.

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