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8 Things to Know BEFORE Moving to Southern Pines, NC

Written by Brittany Slagle

In Moore County, nestled in the North Carolina Sandhills, sits the sleepy little hamlet of Southern Pines. Southern Pines has a long and storied past, having opened its doors in 1884 as a winter health resort for those from the north. This town has grown and flourished over the years, welcoming a varied community of 14,000 people. Living in Southern Pines is like living in a thick suburb with plenty of parks, restaurants, shops, and outdoor activities. 

Situated just eleven minutes from Pinehurst, Southern Pines is well-known across the country as a haven for equestrians and horse-related activities. Known as “Horse Country,” you can find miles of riding paths and major horse ranches around the place.

Let’s check out eight things to know before moving to Southern Pines, NC.

1. Check out Southern Pines Historic District

Southern Pines was merged into a single entity in 1931 after having been initially split into “East” and “West” sections.

Several historical sites in the region are also recognized by the National Register of Historic Places, which serves as a means of commemorating and celebrating the area’s rich past. The Southern Pines Historic District is another must-see; it is home to over 490 buildings that have been preserved from as early as 1883 to the present day. Located in this district is the Shaw House, a Federal and Greek Revival structure that has the distinction of being the oldest surviving house in Moore County. 

2. Horse riding is a big deal

Even if Southern Pines isn’t quite the horse center of the globe, it certainly has its own unique reputation among equestrians, on par with places like Ocala, Florida, and Lexington, Kentucky. Equestrians of all skill levels and those who love horses flock to this area because of its stellar reputation around the world. The sandy, soft terrain in Southern Pines provides excellent footing for horses and makes riding a pleasure for riders.

With its stunning views, broad open areas, and miles of riding trails, Southern Pines is widely regarded as one of the most attractive and varied horse-riding communities in America. Numerous private horse ranches call Southern Pines home, and they have access to some of the world’s finest amenities. Located on 4,000 acres of public woodland, the Walthour-Moss Foundation is a wildlife sanctuary and park with miles of pathways perfect for equestrian riding.  Anyone interested in horses, whether they are just learning to ride or already have a horse to board, will find what they need at Southern Pines.

3. Explore the outdoors at Reservoir Park or Weymouth Woods

Southern Pines is a perfect choice for those who love spending time outside. Everybody can find something they love in the town’s vast park system, which includes lakes, walking paths, and kid sports activities. Have a picnic in Reservoir Park or take a stroll in Weymouth Woods with your furry friend. 

Go see the Rose Garden and the Children’s Garden, which are maintained by horticulture students from Sandhills Community College, at the Sandhills Horticulture Gardens if you’re in the mood for some serenity and beautiful flowers.

4. Moore County School District serves the city

Southern Pines is a popular spot for tourists, and it often hosts golfers from Pinehurst and the nearby districts. As time has passed, though, Southern Pines has truly transformed into an ideal spot for family life and retirement. A growing number of military families are relocating to Southern Pines, which is conveniently located between Fort Bragg, Pope Field, and Camp Mackall.

Moore County School District officials have announced plans to construct two additional schools in the region to meet the needs of an expanding student body. These cutting-edge facilities and excellent public schools are sure to please any family with school-aged children, thanks to their stellar reputation for academic excellence. 

 Those interested in pursuing further education have North Carolina’s premier community college option at Sandhills Community College in Southern Pines. 

5. It rains a lot but it doesn’t snow much in Southern Pines

Fortunately, when compared to the national average, Southern Pines’ weather is often mild and consistent. Southern Pines receives 47 inches of rain annually, compared to 38 inches nationwide. Moreover, yearly snowfall in the United States is 28 inches, compared to just 3 inches in Southern Pines. 

Even though Southern Pines is rather wet during the rainy season, it still manages to enjoy 213 sunny days annually, which is more than the national average of 205 sunny days. 

6. Check out the Weymouth Center for the Arts and Humanities or the Creation Museum

Art and culture lovers can also find a lot to enjoy in Southern Pines. 

In 1941, author James Boyd purchased an estate he had called Weymouth and promptly made it available to the public as a park for all to enjoy, eventually becoming the Weymouth Center for the Arts and Humanities. The 26-acre estate, which includes a longleaf pine forest and gardens, is now devoted to preservation efforts by this cultural center. Recitals, concerts, and writer residencies are held daily at the Weymouth Center for the Arts & Humanities. 

Located in Southern Pines, the Creation Museum offers an unforgettable adventure through the area’s fascinating history as you explore a collection of stuffed animals and tools for woodwork. In addition, you can find a Christian bookshop, an antique tool museum, and the Taxidermy Hall of Fame. 

7. Living costs in Southern Pines are 1% higher than the national average

The cost of living in Southern Pines is 1% higher than the national average. While other expenses such as groceries and utilities cost much less than in other cities, housing takes the major bulk of this town’s living costs, with a median home price of $458,313.

Compared to the national average of $38,433 and North Carolina’s annual cost of living of $38,661, a single adult in Southern Pines spends $40,728 on housing, food, child care, transportation, healthcare, taxes, and other essentials.

8. A higher-than-average crime rate

Southern Pines has higher crime rates than the national average. Specifically, the violent crime rate in Southern Pines is 24.8, compared to 22.7 per 1,000 nationally. The property crime rate is 50.4, much higher than the national rate of 35.4. 

Residents of Southern Pines are thus more likely to be victims of crime than those living in other parts of the nation. People who live in Southern Pines should take safety measures including using security systems, locking doors and windows, and storing valuables securely while they are not in use.

Final Thoughts

Nestled in the sandhills of North Carolina, Southern Pines is known for its equestrian culture, historic charm, outdoor recreation, and thriving arts scene. However, its higher-than-average crime rate and cost of living are factors to consider.

 While the area offers many enticing features, prospective residents of Southern Pines would be prudent to thoroughly research its downsides, take safety precautions, and budget accordingly.

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