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Kathy Walker
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Pinehurst Hotel

Pinehurst and Southern Pines are centrally located in North Carolina, so there are a lot great options for day trips. Some favorite destinations in the Pinehurst area are within 30 or 45 minutes – other are about an hour away.  Here are a few favorites - each of these day trips involves a short drive from Pinehurst. Travel times listed are estimated from the Pinehurst Traffic Circle.

Fearrington Village (50 Min), Pittsboro, NC - Quaint shops, a luxury Inn and a handful of restaurants, including the only true 5 Star Restaurant in North Carolina. Great place to spend a morning or afternoon. Our favorite shops are Dovecote Home & Garden and McIntyres Bookstore, which is fabulous; and every Tuesday from April – Nov, there's a great farmer's market with a lot of organic selections.. Tel: 919.542.2121. Website: Fearrington.com. 

Seagrove Pottery Tour (40 Min), Seagrove, NC - The northern part of Moore County is home to families who have been potters for centuries. Over 100 world class potters have their studios near Seagrove. Some of the potters are 4 th generation artists, and others are transplants from other parts of the country. To get to Seagrove from the traffic circle, just take 211 West to US 220 (a/k/a I-73/74). Then take 220 North until you get to the Seagrove exit. Website: Seagrovepotteryheritage.com.

Morehead Planetarium (1 Hour), Chapel Hill - UNC's Planetarium, and a favorite of every kid who grew up in North Carolina. Combine this trip with a stop at Spanky's (Website: SpankysRestuarant.com) in downtown Chapel Hill. Tel: 919-962-1236. Website: MoreheadPlanetarium.org. 

Cypress Bend Vineyards (40 Min), Riverton, NC - Close to the town of Wagram and home to Cypress Bend, located on the Lumber River. It's a neat place to go, and their wines are now available at The Fresh Market in Southern Pines. Tel: 910.369.0411. Website: cypressbendvineyards.com.

Special Forces Museum (40 Min), Fayetteville – Learn about the history and sacrifice of the bravest Americans with life-sized exhibits and real stuff. You will walk out prouder to be an American than ever. Tel: 910.643.ASOM. Website: ASOMF.org

Town Creek Indian Mound (70 Min) near Troy, NC, - This popular State Historical Site is centered around the archaeological excavation of a thousand year old American Indian settlement. Tel: 910.439.6802. Website: NChistoricsites.org/town/Town.htm 

North Carolina Museum of Art (1 Hour), Raleigh, NC – North Carolina's flagship Museum, featuring permanent and travelling exhibits and an incredible outdoor Summer film series. The Museum also has a very good restaurant and coffee shop. Or, on the way up to Raleigh or on the way back, one of the locals favorite restaurants is Lucky 32 (Tel: 919.233.1632, Website : Lucky32.com), conveniently located just off US # 1 in Cary on Tryon Rd. Tel: 919.839.6262. Website: NCArtMuseum.org

NC Museum of Life & Science (80 Min), Durham - This state of the art museum is a great place to learn about everything from Dinosaurs to the Space Program. You'll be surprised. Great restaurants in Durham close to the Museum: Magnolia Grill (MagnoliaGrill.net), Georges Garage and others (ghgRestaurants.com) Tel: 919-220-5429. Web: Ncmls.org 

Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University (80 Min), Durham, NC – Duke's museum is a wonderful place to see great art, and the building itself is a work of art designed by renowned Architect Rafael Vinoly. The café at the museum is worth visiting even if you aren't there for the art. Plus, you get to see the beautiful Duke campus. Tel: 919-684-5135. Web: Nasher.Duke.edu.

NC Museum of Natural History (70 Min), Downtown Raleigh - Close to the Fayetteville Street Mall, the Capitol Building and all State Legislative Buildings. Just a few blocks from Café Luna (cafeluna.com) a unique Italian café. Tel: 919-807-7900. NCMuseumOfHistory.org 

Ackland Museum of Art (1 Hour), Chapel Hill – The Art Museum at the University of North Carolina, located in Chapel Hill. Combine this or any other visit to Chapel Hill with dinner at either Crook's Corner (crookscorner.com) or 411 West (411West.com). Tel: 919-966-5736. Website: Ackland.org 

Rankin Museum of American Heritage (30 Min), Ellerbe, NC – A very neat small museum that won't take long to tour. You can plan this trip in conjunction with a trip the nearby Ellerbe Springs Inn (Website: EllerbeSprings.com) for some country gourmet cooking. Both are in Ellerbe, and in the Summer, you will pass a lot of roadside fresh vegetable stores in the countryside. Tel: 910-652-6378. Web: RankinMuseum.com.