Pinehurst / Southern Pines, North Carolina

Best Places to Retire in North Carolina


The villages of Pinehurst (population 8,400), Southern Pines (population 11,000) and Aberdeen (population 5,200) are all located in Moore County, in south central North Carolina.  The region, also called the Sandhills area, dates from the early 1700s and is rich in both English and Scottish history and tradition.  It offers a cosmopolitan elegance today, yet has maintained a small-town atmosphere.  There are boutiques, art galleries, and specialty shops, and there are many dining choices including fine dining, dinner theatre, cafÈs, or local pubs.

The area is best known as a ìgolf Meccaî and as host to US Open championships.  It attracts visitors from around the world to its over 40 courses and has been ranked as #3 on a list of ì50 Greatest Golf Destinations.î  There is also great tennis, cycling and hiking trails, canoeing, fishing, and much more. The area is also known as ìhorse countryî for its many equestrian activities, including polo, harness racing, steeple chasing, and as the training site for equestrian champions.

The Sandhills area offers many cultural and historic activities and sites.  There are museums, summer theaters, antique fairs, and arts and crafts festivals throughout the area.  It is also is conveniently located from 45-90 minutes from major metropolitan centers.

Arts & Culture

The Arts Council of Moore County in Southern Pines is a leading force in promoting the visual, literary and performing arts in the area.  It sponsors a variety of programs, including an annual Fine Arts Festival.  There are an estimated 2,500 members.

The Performing Arts Center in Southern Pines is home to the Sandhills Little Theater, which presents four productions a year, and a host of other cultural and entertaining events.

Weymouth Center for the Arts & Humanities, located in Southern Pines, offers a chamber music series, lecture series and fine arts series. http://www.weymouth

Pottery making is an art that has been active in the northwestern corner of Moore Countysince the 1700ís.  Many studios are still creating this traditional pottery and some potters are fourth and fifth generation artisans in the family business.  There are an estimated 94 studios open year-round in the county.

Historic Sunrise Theater in Southern Pines offers concerts, plays, movies and other events.

The North Carolina Symphony performs frequently in the area and acclaimed guest artists appear as well.

Sandhill Regional Library System –

Cumberland County Coliseum Complex, Fayetteville, is a multipurpose complex that includes the 13,500-seat Crown Coliseum, a 60,000-sq. ft. Expo Center, a 5,500-seat arena and a 2,430-seat auditorium. 910-323-5088,

Felton J. Capel Arena is located on the campus of Fayetteville State University. This 4,000-seat facility is home to the Broncos and accommodates many sporting events and shows. (910) 672-1324,

The Paul R. Givens Performing Arts Center is located on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Pembroke.  With over 1,600 seats, the center is home to four professional performing arts series, the Broadway and More Series, Distinguished Speaker Series, Nostalgia Concert Series and Family Night Out Series, and other events such as Act 1 Diner’s Club and University Theatre and Broadway hits.

The Odell Williamson Auditorium is a 1,500-seat performing arts facility on the Brunswick County Community College campus.  Events include major performers in concert and productions such as the Nutcracker Ballet.


Southern Pines Recreation & Parks Department operates a system of parks that include Reservoir Park, Downtown Park, Memorial Park, Morganton Road Sports Complex, Pool Park, Rounds Park  and the Greenway Trail System.  The parks offer a wide range of programs and activities, including fishing, boating, picnic areas, playgrounds, lighted tennis and basketball courts, horseshoe courts, lighted outdoor racquetball courts, shuffle board, sand volleyball, athletic fields for softball, baseball, soccer and football, and swimming pools.  The Trail System is designed for both cycling and pedestrian use.

The Moore County area (which includes Pinehurst, Southern Pines, Aberdeen, Pine Bluff, and a number of other small communities) has been called ìThe Golf Capital Of The World.î  There are over 40 courses within a 25-mile radius.  Some of them are among the very best championship layouts in the world.

Tennis is popular in Moore County and there are over 100 quality courts available and Pinehurst annually hosts the Pinehurst Senior Classic Tournament.

The Carolina Horse Park is located on 250 acres between Aberdeen and Raeford, about 12 miles south of Southern Pines.  The ìCompetition Center for the New Millenniumî was developed as a permanent site for national and international equestrian competitions.  It showcases dressage, steeplechase, combined driving, hunter/jumper and horse trials.  A complete list of events is included on their web site,

Pinehurst Harness Track offers a complete schedule of equestrian events, including polo matches, dressage, competitions, shows and other events.


Sandhills Community College, chartered in 1963, has a 240-acre campus and is comprised of eight instructional buildings, a student center, maintenance facility, auditorium, and library.  College credit enrollment is about 4,000 students a year and continuing education brings enrollment to over 10,000.

Other colleges/universities within commuting distance from Pinehurst include:
Richmond Community College, Hamlet, NC (about 30 miles)
Central Carolina Community College, Sanford, NC – (about 28 miles; enrollment: 2,400)
Fayetteville Technical Community College, Fayetteville, NC – (about 37 miles; enrollment 4,800)
University of North Carolina at Pembroke, Pembroke, NC – (about 40 miles; enrollment 2,800)
Fayetteville State University , Fayetteville, NC – (about 45 miles; enrollment 3,500)
Campbell University, Buies Creek, NC – (about 53 miles; enrollment 5,300)
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC – (about 64 miles; enrollment 22,300)
Guilford Technical Community College, Jamestown, NC – (about 65 miles; enrollment 4,800)

Senior Programs

Moore County Department of Aging has as its mission the promotion of independence and dignity for older citizens.  It provides them access to both resources and services that enhance their quality of life.


FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital, located in Pinehurst, is an acute care, non-profit hospital, licensed for 400 beds.  It has a medical staff of over 160 physicians and serves a 16-county region.

Other nearby hospitals include Sandhills Regional Medical Center in Hamlet (27 miles), FirstHealth Richmond Memorial in Rockingham (28 miles), and Central Carolina Hospital in Sanford (28 miles).


Raleigh-Durham International Airport, which is the nearest major airport, is 72 miles from Pinehurst.

Piedmont Triad International Airport in Greensboro is 83 miles from Pinehurst.

Moore County Airport is located 4.6 miles from Pinehurst. (910) 692-4287


The average temperature for January is 40.6 degrees with a high of 50.6 and a low of 30.5.  During April, the average temperature is 60.3, with a high of 72.9 and a low of 47.7.  July, which is the hottest month, has an average temperature of 79.4 degrees, with a high of 87 and a low of 69.


The Pilot –

Property Taxes

Moore County Government Office –

State Taxes

Chamber of Commerce

Moore County Chamber of Commerce –

State Aging Agency


Southern Pines – 4.6 miles
Carthage – 10 miles
Sanford – 29 miles
Fayetteville – 39 miles
Rockingham – 32 miles
Raleigh – 70 miles
Greensboro – 66 miles
Charlotte – 78 miles
Winston Salem – 99 miles

« Back to the City Index
« Back to the State Index