Sandhills sojourn

Style Travel

August 31, 2022

Clubs optional: Picturesque Pinehurst is a classic choice for an enchanting weekend getaway.

by Cathy Martin | styling + production by Whitley Adkins | photography by Mira Adwell

hair + makeup by Davisha Dadone | models Elaine Metcalf and Carmen York represented by Ursula Wiedmann Models

On location in Pinehurst, North Carolina  | Special thanks to Pinehurst Resort

Left: Derek Lam 10 Crosby Merlin polo sweater, $350, and Emerie fringe skirt, $450, Rachel Comey Shiona earrings, $105, all Showroom; See by Chloe suede platform sandals, stylist’s own; Simitri fringe clutch, $225, Sloan; Addison Weeks Graves cuff, similar at 

Right: Zimmermann Anneke cut-out long dress, $850, Poole Shop; Maison Monik necklaces, $82-$98, Sloan; Alexandre Birman tan sandals, $210, JT Posh; Illesteva Sicilia sunglasses, $220, Monkee’s of Charlotte; E.B. Jewelry Studio Cleo cuff bracelet, $120,; DeMellier Nano Montreal purse, $425, Showroom

Photographed at the Carolina Hotel

For first-timers, the sight of the Carolina Hotel coming into view as you turn onto Carolina Vista Drive is a sight to behold. The two-hour drive from Charlotte to Pinehurst — past farms, fields and forests, if you choose to pass through the Uwharries — offers not the slightest hint of the stately grandeur just down the road.

The majesty of Pinehurst Resort, which is anchored by the century-old Carolina Hotel, is rivaled by the enduring charm of the village itself. Designed by Frederick Law Olmsted — the prolific Boston landscape architect behind the early design of Charlotte’s Dilworth neighborhood — the quaint village with its tree-lined, curved streets and turn-of-the-century architecture hearkens to another time.

The history of the resort and village are intertwined and date to 1895, when Boston businessman and philanthropist James Walker Tufts purchased 5,800 acres of land for $1 an acre. He envisioned Pinehurst as a health retreat — the area’s pine woodlands were thought to have healing properties. Golf was introduced in 1898, and within a few short years, the resort’s focus shifted to leisure travelers.

Today, golf is still at the heart of everything in Pinehurst, which is located in the south central part of the state known as the Sandhills. The sandy soil is conducive for the construction of golf courses, and there are more than 40 in the area. But amenities like a rejuvenating spa, equestrian activities, and charming boutiques and restaurants in both the village and neighboring Southern Pines make Pinehurst an ideal weekend destination for couples or a girls’ getaway — whether or not you set foot on the fairway.

Alexis floral pleated skirt, $159, JT Posh; Victoria Beckham velvet turtleneck top, $390, Showroom; Etro leather belt with gold buckle, $415, and Bajra dip-dyed shawl with leather fringe, $635, both Capitol; Twine & Twig mid pendant necklace year 8, $150, Sloan; Marion Parke leopard print ankle-tie sandals, model’s own. 

Photographed at the Pinehurst Harness Track

Franklin, a miniature palomino, is a fixture at this 111-acre equestrian facility, a winter training center for Standardbred horses since 1915. Dressage and other events are held from May to September, but the Spring Matinee Races in April, a town tradition complete with lavish tailgates and fanciful hats, is the highlight of the year, according to track superintendent Scotty Freeman. The Village preserved the track in 1991 when developers threatened to build 80 homes on the property and restored the on-site Fair Barn exhibition hall, now a popular event venue. The track is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Left: Erdem Hydra crop top, $675, and Rhode Stevie short, $225, both Poole Shop; Krewe STL Nylon blonde sunglasses, $395, Sloan; Sheila Fajl Game Day Everybody’s Favorite hoop earrings, $80, Monkee’s of Charlotte; Addison Weeks Bendall bangles, $240 each; shoes model’s own

Right: A.L.C Lexi dress, $518, Sloan; Beloved blue and white beaded necklace, $75, IG @belovedblueandwhite; Zara Basic Collection floral sandal, $22, JT Posh; Le Specs Air Heart sunglasses, $69; Sloan; Khiry Khartoum II ring, $865, Showroom

Photographed at a private home with Frank Riggs of Carriage Tours of Pinehurst Village

Frank Riggs operates Carriage Tours of Pinehurst Village — guests can hop aboard a four-seat horse-drawn carriage and learn about the town’s history from the longtime resident. Riggs moved to Pinehurst 50 years ago and managed the Pinehurst Stables for 25 years. His equestrian background, combined with a natural interest in history, led him to begin offering half-hour tours to visitors more than 40 years ago. A popular stop on tour is the home where sharpshooter Annie Oakley lived from 1916-1922. “People are surprised to learn that Annie Oakley wintered here for six years,” Riggs says. As the story goes, “She had a dog named Dave, and she could shoot an apple off Dave’s head.” When he’s not giving tours, Riggs can often be seen driving around town in his 1931 Ford Model A Deluxe Roadster, shown here.

A.W.A.K.E. MODE open reverse cardigan, $230, and Jonathan Cohen abstract print pant, $750, both Showroom; Xirena Channing shirt, $168, Poole Shop; Addison Weeks Bendall gemstone cuff, $310, and Whitten stud earrings, $72; Christina V. trade beads, $249, Monkee’s of Charlotte; Schutz brown suede sandals, $49, JT Posh

Photographed at the Carolina Hotel

Pinehurst Resort’s signature white rocking chairs — its covered porches and terraces are lined with them — offer a place for guests to unwind and cool down after a round. After a recent lobby refresh at the Carolina Hotel, a new outdoor seating area with fire pits is nearing completion, and guest-room renovations are underway as the resort looks toward 2024, when the U.S. Open comes to Pinehurst for the fourth time. It’s one of three hotels operated by the resort: The Manor Inn is a 43-room hotel that opened in 1923 and was updated in 2019. The Holly Inn, Pinehurst’s first hotel built in 1895, has 82 guest rooms and is located in the historic village.

Left: Byrdie Golf Social Club short-sleeve Hayden dress and shorts, $245; Sarah Bray Wildflower sun hat, $200

Center: Byrdie Golf Social Club caddie suit, $215.

Photographed at Pinehurst No. 2

Golf was introduced to Pinehurst in 1898, and in 1900 James Walker Tufts hired Scottish golf course architect Donald Ross to direct golf operations. After redesigning Pinehurst’s original course (now known as No. 1), Ross designed No. 2, which today is perennially ranked among the top U.S. courses. A statue of American pro golfer Payne Stewart sits behind the 18th green, commemorating his 1999 U.S. Open victory in which he defeated Phil Mickelson by a single stroke. Caddy Russell Bauer, shown here, has worked at the resort for 14 years.

Left: Matthew Bruch checkerboard midi skirt, $465, Showroom; Chaser Hamptons T-shirt, $56, JT Posh; Aldo red, white and blue handletop purse, $29, JT Posh; Byrdie Golf Social Club Under Par hat, $35

Right: Karina Grimaldi summer print dress, $308, Monkee’s of Charlotte; Rachel Comey Paul bag, $425, Showroom

Photographed in Pinehurst Village

Frederick Law Olmsted’s landscape architecture firm was commissioned to design the village in 1895, the same year he created the landscape design for Biltmore Estate in Asheville. With its Queen Anne and Colonial Revival architecture, Pinehurst was designed to feel like a New England village. Stroll through the Village Green and Memorial Garden, along the sandy paths that give the region its name. The Village Deli is bustling at lunchtime, as are nearby Drum & Quill tavern and Agora Bakery & Cafe. A couple of blocks north of the village is Pinehurst Brewing Co., located in a renovated steam plant originally built to provide electricity for the resort. Head brewer Eric Mitchell was previously head brewer at NoDa’s Heist Brewery in Charlotte. The menu features an array of barbecue (pulled pork, brisket and chicken, smoked on-site), pizzas, sandwiches and salads.  

Left: Lela Rose striped midi dress, $1,690, Capitol; Simitri fringe clutch, $208, Sloan; Alexandre Birman black leather sandal, $119, JT Posh; Addison Weeks Carter cuff, similar at

Right: Roksanda Neisha open-back dress, $1,830, Capitol; Simitri Kaa clutch, $246, Sloan; Alexandre Birman tan sandals, $210, JT Posh

Photographed at the Pine Crest Inn

As Pinehurst became a popular winter destination among Northerners coming down to play golf, the Pine Crest Inn opened in 1913 to accommodate more visitors. The inn was owned and operated by Donald Ross and James McNabb from 1921 to 1948.

Left: Carolina K Fiore blouse, $295, Monkee’s of Charlotte; Victoria Beckham sequin flared midi skirt, $490, Showroom; Zara Basic Collection floral sandal, $22, JT Posh; Schumacher X Pamela Munson purse, stylist’s own; Maggoosh Alegria open long earrings, $195, Showroom

Right: Matthew Bruch wide-leg pleated pant, $495, and popover shirt, $325, Showroom; Isabel Marant Louama belt, $390, Poole Shop; Noelle Munoz Jewelry Gypsy earring, $365; See By Chloe suede platform sandal, stylist’s own; Simitri Ombre 2.0 fringe clutch, $225, Sloan 

Photographed at The Cradle

In 2017, Pinehurst Resort introduced The Cradle, a nine-hole short course designed by architect Gil Hanse. The course complements the resort’s nine 18-hole courses and its Thistle Dhu putting course. The name is a nod to Pinehurst’s nickname as the Cradle of American Golf. Photographed with Jeff Elkins and friends visiting from Asheville and New Jersey.  SP

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