Best of the Pines is an annual people’s choice event, presented by The Pilot newspaper, that honors the businesses, individuals, organizations and ideas that make Moore County a better place to live. Here’s how it works: 

The Nominating Phase

When: Monday, June 7 – Friday, June 25
Where: Right here, on
How: One nomination per category. The ballot saves your nominations according to your email address, so you can exit the ballot and come back later to do more. If you nominate a business on Monday but then change your mind a few days later, you can return and write in that new place that just opened around the corner. There is no final “submit” button.

Who: Just about any business in Moore County is eligible to be nominated in their appropriate category. Some exceptions apply.

The Final Voting Phase

When: Opens July 14
Where: Right here, on
How: One vote per category. And that’s it. There’s a lot to love about Moore County, which means there are lots of categories. And we want you to be able to vote for all your favorites, at your own pace.

If you vote for a nominee on Monday, you can come back on Tuesday and change your mind. There is no final “submit” button. Whatever you’ve voted for under your email address at when the contest closes will count as your one vote in that category.

The Event

What: A big celebration for the top 3 winners in each category!
When & Where: Wednesday, September 15, 2021 at The Fair Barn in Pinehurst

The Magazine

What: A big, beautiful magazine full of the top 3 winners in each category
When: Sunday, September 19, 2021
Where: In The Pilot newspaper all over Moore County
Who can advertise: Anyone! Placing an ad isn’t dependent on the ballot and won’t affect the results.
How to place an ad: Contact or 910-692-7271  

The Artwork

Thank you to the incredibly talented Laurel Holden for our contest illustrations this year! Laurel is a Moore County native and we’re thrilled to incorporate her work into Best of the Pines 2021.

In 2020, we added more categories, streamlined the online ballot, and made it easier for businesses to encourage their fans to vote. In turn, the community made the year one for the record books – with over 22,000 voters and a total of more than 230,000 votes cast across all categories.

This year, we’ve added more categories based on feedback we’ve received throughout the year.

We hope you enjoy the results — and life in The Pines — as much as we do.