Living & Working - UNC Environment

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is located in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, a town with approximately 45,000 people. As the nation’s first state university, it is a vibrant campus rich in history and tradition. As a part of the University campus, UNC Hospitals is surrounded by the UNC School of Medicine, the UNC Health Affairs Schools of Dentistry, Nursing, Pharmacy, Public Health and Social Work, the UNC Health Care System, and the Health Sciences Library, making it one of only a few Universities in the nation to offer a full complement of health professions programs.

Chapel Hill’s main drag, Franklin Street, borders the campus and offers a variety of options from quick lunch, fine dining, quiet coffee shops, a hopping nightclub, or a bar where you can catch some live music on the patio - you’ll find it all here. With its collection of restaurants, clubs, bars, and boutique shops, Franklin Street is the heart of Chapel Hill's vibrant nightlife and downtown scene. The town has a historic district, art museums and galleries, parks, malls, and many recreational facilities.

Chapel Hill, along with Raleigh and Durham, comprises the three cities of the triangle which contains the Research Triangle Park. The RTP is often referred to as the Silicon Valley of the East, recruiting the world’s top talent in fields such as biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, information technology and telecommunications, among others. Nearby Durham and Raleigh have several shopping malls, universities, museums and lively downtown areas. Durham’s Southpoint Mall was rated by USA Today as one of the “10 Great Places to Spend It All in One Place.” Truly, the Triangle is one of the best places to live - just read about the accolades of the RTP for yourself.

Outside the RTP, North Carolina’s beautiful beaches and Outer Banks are as close as a two-hour drive, and the Appalachian mountains in the western part of the state are only about an hour farther away. Warm weather features whitewater rafting, while cold weather brings snowboarding and skiing. Historic Asheville, tucked in the Blue Ridge Mountains, offers scenic, cultural and historic experiences, elegant cuisine, as well as the renowned Biltmore Estate with its garden and winery, and the famous Grove Park Inn resort and spa. Between North Carolina’s 12 national parks, 29 state parks, and a number of natural areas from the mountains to the sea, there are a variety of recreational activities ranging from hiking, bicycling, rock climbing, and fishing

You may have already heard of UNC’s claim to fame for its basketball, baseball, men’s and women’s soccer. However, off campus you have the 2006 Stanley Cup champion Carolina Hurricanes only twenty minutes away. Those who prefer baseball can treat themselves to a night at the beautiful Durham Bulls Athletic Park watching the minor-league team made famous by the movie Bull Durham. A two and a half hour drive to Charlotte will take you to the homes of NASCAR, the NFL’s Carolina Panthers, and the NBA’s Charlotte Bobcats. Golf fans can enjoy the nearby, award-winning UNC Finley Golf Course just outside of campus and numerous other golf courses throughout the state.

The University also has a rich offering of performing arts. There are musical and theatrical performances throughout the year at various venues on and near campus, including the newly renovated Memorial Hall and the Paul Green Theatre, home of the University’s Department of Dramatic Art. Art lovers will find plenty to do as Orange County has almost three-dozen art galleries, and museums abound in the surrounding area, including the Ackland Art Museum on the UNC campus and the North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh.

Those looking for live music will find venues of all sizes in the area, ranging from the small, intimate club atmosphere at Cat’s Cradle in Carrboro to the giant outdoor amphitheater in Raleigh. On any given night, you might find yourself listening to the next James Taylor, Squirrel Nut Zippers, Superchunk, or Ben Folds Five, all of whom got their start in Chapel Hill.

Also in the surrounding areas are the excellent public schools of Orange, Durham, and Wake county that year after year are named as having some of the best schools in the country. Here are just a few of the waves these schools have made:

  • #20 Top Places to Educate your Child (Durham) -- 2012
  • Top 10 Public Schools in Large U.S. Cities (Raleigh) -- 2012

No matter what you are interested in, UNC and the rest of North Carolina truly offers something for everyone.

Come find out for yourself what it’s like to live in “Blue Heaven!”