Boasting more than 600 courses across the entire state, North Carolina is, without a doubt, one of the most popular places for golfing vacations. From lavish resorts to rolling vibrant-green hills, there’s no better place for putting in the US.
If you’re looking to take a golfing tour, then we’re here to help. We’ll take you through some of the best courses around and highlight where you should stay and eat while you’re there. We’ve also thrown in a few added extra activities, so you can take a break from the lawns to find something else unique while you’re traveling.
Best places to play golf in Burlington
Ideally situated along the banks of the Haw River, The Valley Golf Course is an expansive and breathtakingly beautiful site where golfers can really test their skills. A little quieter than nearby Pinehurst, the course has a wonderfully relaxed feel that makes it a touch more peaceful to play golf in Burlington.
The course features a full round of 18 holes that will keep players going from dusk until dawn, making it one of the best of Burlington’s golf courses. You’ll find many twists and turns that require a skill of shot shaping, but tackling the obstacles of the green is what makes it so fun. No matter which hole you’re tackling, you’ll be gifted the soothing sound of the river rushing by behind you.
The course offers fantastic rates to play either nine or 18 holes, with some packages including a cart to help you get around. However, don’t be afraid of heading out on foot, as you’ll be treated to spectacular views of the river and tree line.
If you’re a golfing newbie, reserve lessons with one of the onsite experts. You’ll spend the morning perfecting your swing before heading out to play against friends.
Hotels in Burlington
Make your stay in Burlington that touch more exuberant when you stay at The Acorn Inn, just a 15-minute drive from The Valley Golf Course. Guests are welcomed into lavish suites with plush king-size beds, whirlpool tubs, and separate living space with an ambient fireplace. You’ll be treated to an exquisite breakfast spread of freshly-baked pastries and cooked meats to give you enough energy in time for tee-off.
Courtyard by Marriott Burlington is a straightforward yet contemporary hotel in Burlington with all the amenities you would need for your golfing vacation. Grab a Starbucks coffee in the morning, then head back for cocktails and dinner in The Bistro. There’s also a lavish outdoor pool and fitness center so you can unwind your own way.
Where to eat in Burlington
Sample authentic Italian cuisine at il Centro Alimentari, one of the best restaurants in Burlington. The menu changes daily to keep up with the seasonal changes of ingredients, but always includes classic Italian dishes. Twirl forkfuls of fresh pasta mixed with homemade walnut pesto or sink your teeth into chicken parm topped with melted mozzarella.
Grill 584 is a fiery haven for meat lovers, where mouth-watering cuts of beef, chicken, and lamb are marinated and grilled to perfection. Order the well-marbled New York Strip with special Grill 584 seasoning and a side of your choice, or try the Maui Mahi Mahi for a pineapple twist.
More things to do in Burlington
In 1771, the Regulators fought against the militia of Governor William Tryon over the cost of land, which became known as the Battle of Alamance. Visitors can now explore the Alamance Battleground State Historic Site in the south of Burlington to walk in the footsteps of those fated soldiers. Visitation is free of charge and guided tours can be reserved upon request. You’ll have a chance to peruse the John Allen House, which is furnished with historic relics and antiquities and features a traditional smokehouse.
Animal lovers will enjoy a visit to the Animal Park at the Conservators Center. The center is home to more than 20 species, including lions, bobcats, ring-tailed lemurs, and the arctic fox. Reserve a spot with a public tour or meet the animals for yourself on a guided tour.
Best places to play golf in Pinehurst
Earning the title “Home of American Golf,” Pinehurst boasts an abundance of golf courses. With so many stretches of green available to trial, there’s something for every level of player in this town.
Pinehurst No.2 has maintained the top place of best golf courses in the area since the mid-1990s. An iconic course, it has hosted more championship competitions than any other course in the country, among which were the U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open Championships. All players are welcome, but it should be noted that this is a notoriously advanced course.
A favorite among local players is Mid South Club, just a few minutes from central Pinehurst. Arnold Palmer designed this picturesque resort, and it covers over 500 acres, including stretches of pine forests and several lakes. Guests of the resort can purchase luxury golf packages, which also include a few rounds at connecting courses. Spend a night of bliss in your private lodge or cottage, then wake up with the sun the start swinging between the pines.
Hotels in Pinehurst
Many of Pinehurst’s most popular golf courses also serve as resorts, so you can head out to the lawn as soon as you wake up.
The Carolina Hotel features 230 deluxe rooms and suites, each including complimentary valet, room service, and walk-in showers and bathtubs. Take a dip in the heated outdoor pool before to the Carolina Dining Room or Ryder Cup Lounge for a delectable evening meal.
For a rustic and indulgent stay, Holly Inn is the perfect place to stay. This beautiful white-paneled inn was the first hotel to be introduced to Pinehurst in 1895 and has retained many of its original features. Sitting in the center of the village, the inn has 82 rooms that exude comfort. Sleep between sumptuous sheets after feasting on hearty plates of succulent beef and homemade pasta at The Tavern.
Where to eat in Pinehurst
Ironwood Café is known for its contemporary American cuisine, specializing in seafood and steak platters. Whether you’re visiting for lunch, dinner, or Sunday brunch, you’ll be served creative plates bursting with flavor. Start your day with stacks of French toast topped with seared banana and maple syrup, or sample the fried calamari and prime ribeye steak with whipped potatoes for dinner.
Overlooking the 18th hole of Pinehurst No.2, The Deuce is a sophisticated and ambient eatery that serves generous plates of classic pub fare. Take your pick of stacked burgers with a side of chunky fries or order platters of wings doused in BBQ sauce, blue cheese, and ranch dressing.
More things to do in Pinehurst
It might be the golf capital of America, but there’s plenty more to do in Pinehurst should you need a break from putting.
If you have a spare afternoon, take a hike through Reservoir Park. The trail will take you through lush woodland and around the lake, which reflects crystal-clear images of the surrounding trees. There’s plenty of picnic tables lining the lake, so you can rest your feet for a bite whenever you need.
Heritage lovers will delight at the Cameron Historic District, which features many distinctive structures from the 1870s. Take a stroll around town to find the original sheriffs building and absorb classic southern charm.
Best places to play golf in Mooresville
Step your studs across the vibrant green lawns of Mooresville Golf Club, an award-winning course that puts out all the stops. Each of the 18 holes offers a new and unique experience from the last, but all are perfectly maintained to make it one of the most popular Mooresville golf courses.
If you’re new to the game or are simply hoping to brush up on you’re already experienced skillset, Mooresville Golf Course offers private lessons with expert trainers. Whether you’re just looking for a 30-minute intro or a full-package lesson packed into an hour, the on-site experts will have you swinging with confidence in no time.
The exuberant 18,000-square foot Mooresville country club is where you can head for a drink after a day of putting. It’s also where you can enjoy fine dining at The Nines Bistro, which is open to the public and members. Spend your day prowling the lawns, then fill up on cooked-to-perfection salmon steaks and fresh garden salads with a refreshing glass of wine to wash it down with.
Hotels in Mooresville
The Hilton Garden Inn Charlotte/Mooresville is a stylish and relaxed Mooresville hotel less than a 10-minute drive from Mooresville Golf Club. Guests can benefit from free parking, an on-site restaurant, and room service. There’s also an indoor pool and fitness center that guests are welcome to use at their leisure and a gorgeous outdoor patio to enjoy a glass of something delicious on an evening.
Aloft Mooresville blends southern hospitality with a modern twist. The design of the hotel is bright and colorful yet sleek and contemporary. Every room is uniquely designed and features large and comfortable beds, 55” flat-screen TVs, and rainfall showers. From here, you’re a mere stone’s throw away from Lake Norman, where you can try your hand at canoeing or paddleboarding.
Where to eat in Mooresville
With the signature motto “good times and good food”, you know you’re in for a treat at Jeffrey’s. The two-story red-brick restaurant exudes comfort and laid-back vibes from the moment you step inside. Enjoy your meal snuggled up next to the fireplace or dine alfresco on to the outdoor patio.
The relaxation of the venue matches that of the food, all of which is made with southern comfort in mind. Sink your teeth into a succulent Philly cheesesteak sandwich on a soft hoagie roll or something even more indulgent like baked brie in puff pastry with a decadent raspberry sauce.
More things to do in Mooresville
North Carolina is a big contributor to the tobacco industry, so it makes sense to get involved while you’re here. After a full day playing golf on the green, head over to Mooresville’s local cigar lounge at Casa de Montecristo.
A full-service bar that also serves hand-crafted cocktails, proper ales, and food, while away the evening in a cloud of fragrant smoke. The entire lounge covers more than 5,700 square feet, including the comfortable lounge, cigar store, and two separate outdoor patios. Their wide array of high-end brands including Cohiba will leave you amazed. You’ll love topping off a day of golf by puffing on a stogie and sipping something strong.
Best places to play golf in Selma
Cardinal Country Club is one of Selma's most central and atmospheric golf courses, so it is surely not one to miss. It’s just off the I-95 and easy to reach, with all the expected offerings of a quality golf course from the moment you arrive. It’s a semi-private course, so it offers all the sophisticated amenities of a typical country club while still offering tee times for non-members to reserve in advance.
Grab your bag of clubs and get ready to explore this spectacular golf course. You’ll pass an abundance of lush greenery and woodland areas, as well as pleasant streams and ponds. The golf course is the perfect place to play on your own, in pairs, or in small groups of five,
Hotels in Selma
The Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott Smithfield/Selma is just a 15-minute drive from Cardinal Country Club along the I-95. It’s a sophisticated yet straightforward hotel, making it the perfect place for you to base yourself when enjoying a golf vacation through Selma and North Carolina. Fuel up with a hearty complimentary hot breakfast and make full use of the indoor pool and steam room.
A little further out with a 30-minute drive into Selma but offering a touch more personality, the Morning Glory Inn in nearby Clayton is quaint, decadent, and charming. This 1907 Victorian building covers an expansive 6,400-square feet, with every room featuring exquisite antiques. There are two parlors for guests to unwind and a gorgeous wrap-around porch to sit out and enjoy a pleasant North Carolina evening. Take a stroll around the gardens or enjoy a quiet evening in your opulently decorated room. Make sure you make it downstairs in time for the gourmet breakfast – pancakes, waffles, French toast, and eggs made every way are sure to get you started for the day.
Where to eat in Selma
Everyone likes a slice of pizza, and Selma’s Pizza Inn is one of the best pizzerias around. Whether you’re looking to dine in, take away, or snack on the curbside, you’ll find classic pizzas and unique pies on the menu. The dough is hand-made fresh every day, and there’s even a garlic buttery crust specialty. Go traditional with the pepperoni max or try something a bit different like the alfredo cheese or loaded baked potato pizza with sliced potatoes, bacon, and ranch dressing. There’s also buffalo wings and pasta dishes up for grabs, as well as Stromboli, pizza twists, and pizza desserts.
Not sure what you’re in the mood for? Grandsons Buffet is an all-you-can-eat buffet that specializes in southern comforts. Load up on fried chicken, seafood, barbecue, and creamy mashed potatoes. There’s also southern sweet tea on tap, so you can wash it down to fill your plate again for round two.
More things to do in Selma
Keeping up with North Carolina’s rich tobacco heritage, pick up premium cigars at Selma’s luxury JR Cigar Outlet. Open seven days a week, stop by to browse the shelves to hand rolled cigars, each with a unique taste wrapped in quality papers that perfectly match the tobacco. Expert tobacconists will guide you through popular rolls like the Montecristo wraps. If you’re a pipe smoker, you’ll also be able to pick up tins of fresh tobacco.