65 Magnolia Road, Pinehurst; 800-526-5562. Rates: $110 per person; includes breakfast and dinner. Golf packages available.
This 106-year-old white mansion has a prime location in the Pinehurst Village. And with only eleven guest rooms all restored to Victorian elegance, you feel you've moved back into a more comfortable time. The front porch is great for sitting and there's a fabulous pub.
Pine Crest Inn
Dogwood Road, Pinehurst; 910-295-6121. Rates: Per person, from $71 (small room) to $91 (telephone cottage).
Ross owned this 32-room inn for more than twenty years, making it hallowed ground. Besides sleeping under photos of golf's greats, in warmer months, fueled by libations from Mr. B's Lounge, guests have chipping contests into the lobby fireplace. Rooms are large and the food is a treat: Your waitress will recommend the pork chops . . . listen! Come not for white-glove service but for an appreciation of golf.
Pine Needles Lodge And Mid Pines Inn
1005 Midland Road, Southern Pines, 800-747-7272; 1010 Midland Road, Southern Pines, 800-323-2114. Rates: Per person, from $80 to $150 per night; includes meals.
These alternatives to the Pinehurst Resort, just southeast of town, don't offer quite the same experience, but each is more viable since coming under the same ownership (Peggy Kirk Bell and family). The 112 rooms at Mid Pines were recently renovated, and the seven villas are perfect for large groups. The Pine Needles experience is more rustic and casual, a contrast to the fairy-tale atmosphere that can overtake you at Pinehurst. Rooms are enormous and the food is superb.
You can take USAirways (800-428-4322) directly into the Southern Pines Airport. Otherwise fly to Greensboro (eighty miles northwest) and rent a car; you'll avoid traffic around Raleigh and Charlotte.
Shopping There are numerous fine shops in the Village. Go to Robert's Golf & Tennis (910-944-2757) for supplies.
Seagrove Pottery Take 220 north for twenty minutes and you'll be in the 200-year-old pottery hot spot. Shop in the studios.
Zoological Park, Asheboro; 336-879-7000. Located fifty minutes north of Pinehurst off 220, this is one of the world's top zoos.
North Carolina Speedway, Rockingham; 910-582-2861. Busch and Winston Cup Series races, November 3 and 4.