Community & County

 

Worst Intersection

Traffic Circle

Plan ahead, people, especially if it’s around shift-change time at the hospital. You’re not going to just fly through on a weekday. That’s magical thinking.

2. Merger from Old U.S. 1 to U.S. 1 South
3. U.S. 1 and 15-501

 


 

Favorite Local Couple

Baxter and Taylor Clement

They’re cool, they’re funny and they run an awesome Southern Pines business at Casino Guitars. Plus they’ve got a chic apartment right upstairs. How is it possible to say “New York City” and “Southern Pines” at the same time? The Clements can.

2. Frankie and Jennifer Moree
3. 
Pat and Bonnie McGowan

 


 

Most Dog-Friendly Business

Lowe’s Home Improvement

Lowe’s squeaked by, we suspect, because the store is so big, who’s going to see you bring a dog in in the first place? On the plus side, some Lowe’s stores have hired veterans who have service dogs working with them. Sure that dog is cute, but can it color match? 10845 US 15-501 Hwy, Southern Pines • (910) 693-1010 • www.lowes.com

2. Swank
3. Southern Pines Growler Co.

 


 

Best Retirement/Assisted Living Community

Penick Village

For more than 50 years, Penick has been helping its residents age gracefully and with tremendous dignity in a quality environment. And you won’t be kicked out if you outlive your money. 500 E Rhode Island Ave, Southern Pines • (910) 692-0300 • www.penickvillage.org

2. St. Joseph of the Pines
3. Belle Meade

 


 

Best Local Bizarre News Story of 2017

Lost & Found Marijuana

The cops are still hoping someone turns up to file a “lost property” claim. For once, it pays off not to have your name sewn into something.

2. Woodlake Dam
3. Target in Coming

 


 

Best Local Water Activity Spot

Rassie Wicker Splash Pad

Fun for all ages, but the adults need to be especially careful. Those little kids trying to get under the dump bucket have sharp elbows. 10 Rassie Wicker Dr, Pinehurst

2. Reservoir Park
3. Pinehurst Lake

 


 

Best Holiday Event

Festival of Trees

Held annually as a fundraiser for the Sandhills Children’s Center, the Festival of Trees is an amazing tour de force of creativity. Some trees cost thousands to buy, but don’t worry, there’s plenty for bargain hunters as well.

2. Pinehurst Tree Lighting
3. Blessing of the Hounds

 


 

Best Farmers Market

Downtown Southern Pines Park

Start your Saturday morning off with a cup of coffee, some comfy clothes and head on to Southern Pines’ Downtown Park where you can meet your friends, listen to some chill tunes and check out all the freshly grown and produced goodies. 145 SE Broad St, Southern Pines

2. Moore County Farmers’ Market
3. Pinehurst

 


 

Best Dog Park

Reservoir Park

Nature trails may or may not be your thing, but they’re certainly your dog’s thing. Grab her, a leash and head to Reservoir Park off N.C. 22 for some beautiful trails and quiet time — and meet more than a few four-legged friends along the way. Southern Pines Reservoir Park Trail, Pinehurst

2. Martin Park
3. Pooch Park in the Pines

 


 

Best Fundraiser Event

Festival of Trees

Don’t feel badly if you can’t buy that wine tree for $8,000 or even the Star Wars Collectibles for $500. There’s plenty of opportunities to give at this beautiful annual event for the Sandhills Children’s Center.

2. Sunrise Theater Blues Crawl
3. Taste of the Pines

 


 

Best Employer

FirstHealth

The folks at FirstHealth’s operations across the region take great pride in where they work. Many could go to any health system and chose FirstHealth for its work environment. 155 Memorial Dr, Pinehurst • (910) 715-1000 • www.firsthealth.org

2. Sandhills Community College
3. Southern Pines Brewing Co.

 


 

Best Playground

Camelot Park, Pinehurst

Let ye young imaginations run wild in this grand castle-like playground. Fun for the little ones, but be careful about following your tike, lest ye get thyself stuck. 90 Woods Rd, Pinehurst

2. Southern Pines Park
3. Rassie Wicker Splash Pad

 


 

Best Community Event for Kids

Movies in the Park

Bring your camp chairs, blankets and lots of popcorn and snacks. The whole family can have a leisurely Friday night under the stars and watch the latest family movie. Expert tip: Put the little ones in PJs before the movie starts. They won’t make it through. 145 SE Broad St, Southern Pines

2. Spring Fest
3. Festival of Trees

 


 

Best Place to Take Your Kids on a Rainy Day

Play Escape

No one wants to repeat the scene in “The Cat in the Hat,” and Play Escape offers an excellent indoor spot for the kiddos to get their ya-ya’s out while you put a hot cup of coffee in. 103 Perry Dr, Southern Pines • (910) 246-2342 • www.playescapenc.com

2. Sandhills Bowling
3. Southern Pines Library

 


 

Best Bang for Your Buck Golf Course

Seven Lakes Country Club

Each round of golf includes breakfast, lunch and two draft beers. It doesn’t get more value-oriented than that. 126 E Devonshire Ave, West End • (910) 673-1092 • www.7lakesgolf.com

2. Knollwood
3. Elks Club

 


 

Best Place to Volunteer

Habitat for Humanity

You don’t even need to drive a nail straight; they’ll teach you on a Habitat Build project. Or if that’s not your thing, there’s plenty of painting to be done. Or work in the resale store. There’s no lack of volunteer opportunities at Habitat. (910) 295-1934 • www.sandhillshabitat.org

2. FirstHealth
3. Moore County Animal Shelter

 


 

Best Parade

Southern Pines Christmas Parade

There’s nothing like a small-town holiday parade, and in Southern Pines you get a little bit of everything that makes these events special: school bands, holiday floats, dancers, fire trucks, businesses and Santa at the end.

2. Pinehurst Fourth of July
3. Carthage Christmas Parade

 


 

Best in Hospitality and Guest Services

Chick Fil A

Fast, pleasant and competent service in a fast-food restaurant? It’s no wonder this stood out for voters in this category. 10735 S. US Highway 15/501, Southern Pines • (910) 692-6646 • www.chick-fil-a.com

2. Pinehurst Resort
3. Pinehurst Spa

 


 

Worst General Assembly Bill

HB 2

So bad, even state lawmakers eventually changed it.

2. HB 13
3. HB 279

 


 

Best Place to Frolic Outside

Downtown Southern Pines

This sort of depends on your definition of “frolic.” You can do it all in Southern Pines: window shop, play Pokemon on your phone, shoot hoops, walk the dog, hang out and drink a beer or just sit and watch the world — and loud trains — go by.

2. Reservoir Park
3. Weymouth Woods

 


 

Best Road to Be Driving on When the Sun Sets

Youngs Road

You get the breath-taking sunsets along with the pastoral settings of horse farms. And still just a couple minutes to town.

2. Morganton Road westbound
3. Airport Road

 


 

Best Charity Run

Reindeer Fun Run/Eggnog Jog

Go on, strap on those jing bells and reindeer antlers. Make a fool of yourself as you run through the streets of Aberdeen, all for a good cause — and keeping warm at the same time.

2. Turkey Trot
3. Shamrock ‘N’ Roll