We did a lot of research for this trip before we left Phoenix. As we near the end, we'll have some more to do on the finalists to make our decision. There are however a few places left we'll pass through that could still make the cut. Over the past couple days, we've been based in Rockingham, North Carolina at Sarah's aunt's and uncle's home. Amy & George have been generous and gracious hosts taking time out to show us things we didn't imagine.
Rockingham, North Carolina
Located south of the Research Triangle (NC State, Duke, University of NC) and east of Charlotte, the area is beautifully wooded and had several hidden gems. Rockingham has many impressive colonial houses and a small lake outside of town with affordable homes including a mill converted into loft condos. The condos are right on the lake and some even have windows looking right out to the water drop for the mill. Up until 2004, Rockingham had NASCAR racing at a track in town. It's up for auction since the race moved to Phoenix as its second NASCAR weekend of the year. The Rock is a drag strip across the street that continues to feature the best in drag racing.
A few minutes northeast of Rockingham we saw Pinehurst, home of the 2005 and 2014 U.S. Open golf tournaments. It also has a beautiful downtown area with many restaurants. Southern Pines had a similarly quaint downtown with the Amtrak line bisecting it. Fort Bragg is a huge military base in the area between Southern Pines and Fayetteville. The 82nd Airborne and many special forces units are stationed here and can be seen out training at times.