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Viewpoint

By Mary Griffin
Staff Writer

Moore County, the oasis in the middle of the Sandhills, offers residents and visitors alike a quality of life rivaling larger cities. 

Each Moore County town has its own flavor and unique qualities that make it worth a visit. 

With its quaint ­shopping districts, restaurants and parks, quaint neighborhoods dotted with cottages and grand communities with stately homes, it’s no wonder why so many visitors choose to stay and adopt this area, either as their new home or home away from home. 

Golf communities surround the area, ­letting die-hard golfers live where they play. Likewise, equestrian communities have cropped up all over, with riding paths and plenty of space for horses to roam. 

Whether it’s haute cuisine or a good slice of pizza on the menu, the county boasts top chefs and  elegant dining, ­down-home cooking, or a quick bite on the go, and even hip coffee houses. 

The arts scene is alive and quite well in Moore County, attracting a hip, ­youthful audience as well as the ­highbrow art connoisseur. Comedy, drama, dance and lectures fill calendars with local plays, nationally known ­performers and appearances by ­celebrities. Art work, both local and national, are exhibited throughout the Sandhills. Local bands appear in the area’s many coffee houses, auditoriums and larger venues like the Fair Barn. 

Western Moore County, along with neighboring Randolph County’s Seagrove, is well known for its ­traditional and art pottery. Various ­techniques and glazes have transformed the age-old utilitarian craft into an art form that many have come to ­appreciate and collect.

The county is a rural haven that boasts the services found in a more ­cosmopolitan area.

Education is a large contributor to growth and success in Moore County. From public to private, from faith-based to learning centers, the evolving nature of educational choices available in the county reflects the area’s growing and diverse population.

Moore County Schools offer K through 12 instruction for approximately 12,000 students. The curriculum includes targeted programs like ­work force development for special needs, ­education for gifted students, art education and advanced placement courses in all three high schools. 

The county is also home to many charter, faith-based, private, preschool and learning centers.

On both the public and private fronts, along with the post- ­secondary education scene, Moore County is home to a variety of schools. Charter, 

faith-based, private, preschool and learning centers provide quality education for the ­county’s children and young adults, as well as working and retired citizens. 

Sandhills Community College ­provides quality higher education opportunities for students of all ages. SCC was the first to offer a college transfer degree for associates in arts, fine arts, general education or science. SCC offers 41 technical, certificate and diploma programs. In addition, Sandhills Community College offers six bachelor degree programs through ­partnerships with St. Andrews Presbyterian College and the University of North Carolina at Pembroke.

Moore County is home to one of the state’s most innovative and progressive health care systems. FirstHealth of the Carolinas, a private, not-for-profit health care network, is headquartered in Pinehurst with nearly 4,000 employees serving 15 counties. FirstHealth treats its patients in three hospitals, a skilled nursing facility, centers for inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation, hospice, community outreach programs, centers for health and fitness, primary care practices, EMS critical care transport services, a nonprofit insurance plan, foundation and many other services.

Shopping has grown into another ­popular pastime in the Sandhills. While the golfers play, their “widows” shop, and shop owners all over Moore County have seen to it that visitors come away with special keepsakes that will forever remind visitors of their Sandhills stay. Residents have their choice of big box convenience stores and one-of-a-kind boutiques. 

Of all the services and qualities that make Moore County special, it’s the ­people who make it home. Whether you’re a resident or a visitor, you’ll be greeted on the streets by warm, ­friendly faces always willing to say hello, help you with your bags, hold the door open, send you in the right ­direction or give you suggestions as to where you can grab a bite to eat.

 

Mary Griffin is writer/designer for The Pilot. Contact her at 693-2482 or by e-mail at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it