The Southern Part of Heaven
Come visit Chapel Hill and see why it's special. There's almost an incomparable mystique about this place. Home to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, our town holds fond thoughts for those who attended the university or lived here.
We are certain that after visiting, you'll keep those same great memories. Get caught up in the magic of Franklin Street in the heart of Chapel Hill with its eclectic boutiques, fantastic restaurants and Tar Heel memorabilia shops. Stroll the historic campus and mingle among the lively students. See a star show at the Morehead Planetarium and Science Center or visit the North Carolina Botanical Garden, the largest natural botanical garden in the southeast. Wile away an afternoon at one of our many museums, make plans to see a play at PlayMakers Repertory Company, or take in the ballet at the newly renovated Memorial Hall. Fun family festivals abound throughout the year.
Play a round of golf at the award-winning Finley Golf Course. Or of course, cheer on the North Carolina Tar Heels at one of dozens of sporting events throughout the year.
Whether your visit brings you to Chapel Hill for business or pleasure, you'll find Chapel Hill a special part of North Carolina and truly the Southern Part of Heaven.
Courtesy of the Orange County Visitor's Bureau
Top 10 Things To Do in Chapel Hill / Orange Co.
1. UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA CAMPUS
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is the first state-supported university in America, which was chartered in 1789. The 729-acre campus is now part of a 16-unit statewide system and has an enrollment of 27,000 students, with a 3,100-member faculty.
2. FRANKLIN STREET DOWNTOWN CHAPEL HILL
Sports Illustrated has said that Chapel Hill is the best college town in America, and Franklin Street (named after Benjamin Franklin) is one reason why. With more than 300 diverse businesses, “Franklin Street” is the heart of town, where the famous have walked, the famous and not-so-famous have celebrated great sports victories and many more have been entertained simply by strolling its length to see and be seen.
3. A SOUTHERN SEASON GOURMET EMPORIUM
What started out as a tiny coffee roastery in 1975 has grown into a 60,000-sq.ft. landmark gourmet food and kitchen accessories marketplace that New York Times food critic Craig Claiborne referred to as “wall to wall and floor to ceiling, a visual and gustatory delight."
4. CARR MILL MALL & WEAVER STREET MARKET
Carrboro is the kind of small southern town where the past and the present seem to be fused together. Weaver Street Market is the heart of Carrboro. It’s the place to gather, to meet, and to shop. Fittingly, it’s just in front of the old Carr Mill building, a relic from an industrial past, in the present serving as a shopping mall full of eclectic stores. Down the street, The ArtsCenter is one-stop-shopping for anything about the arts. Next-door is the Cat’s Cradle, the institution that helped the area earn its designation as the “next Seattle” when it comes to the music scene.
5. HISTORIC HILLSBOROUGH
Hillsborough, just fifteen miles from Chapel Hill, has more than 100 late 18th century and early 19th century buildings including the beautifully restored Ayr Mount Historic Site (c.1815); the Old County Courthouse (1844), cited by the Library of Congress as one of the finest Greek Revival structures; and the Orange County Historical Museum. Hillsborough was the scene of many important events during the Revolutionary and Civil War periods, and home to a signer of the Declaration of Independence. Today, Hillsborough is a writers’ colony that boasts many award winners. Here you’ll also find flea market treasures, unique jewelry and home goods stores, gourmet restaurants, coffee shops and pastoral views.
6. DEAN E. SMITH CENTER, HOME OF THE TAR HEELS
The Tar Heel basketball team has produced famous players and garnered numerous championships and awards over the years while playing under the roofs of Carmichael Auditorium and the Dean E. Smith Center, completed in 1986. The structure is only one of 14 facilities that make up the Tar Heel athletics program, comprised of 26 separate sports.
7. PLAYMAKERS REPERTORY COMPANY AND MEMORIAL HALL
Founded in 1919, PlayMakers is North Carolina’s premier not-for-profit professional theatre company, performing five different plays from October to May in its intimate Paul Green Theatre on the UNC campus. In addition, the new Memorial Hall, built in 1885, rebuilt in 1931 and renovated in 2005 at a cost of $18-million, hosts world-renowned performers, events and elegant ceremonies. Other popular performance venues include the Cat’s Cradle and The ArtsCenter in Carrboro, plus many small nightclubs. In fact, the Squirrel Nut Zippers, Superchunk, Archers of Loaf, James Taylor, Southern Culture on the Skids and Ben Folds Five are among the notable musical acts whose careers began in Chapel Hill.
8. NORTH CAROLINA BOTANICAL GARDEN
The largest botanical garden in the southeast, established in 1966, consists of nearly 700 acres of preserved land with nature trails, carnivorous plant collections, aquatics and herb gardens, and revolving exhibits of artwork with a horticultural theme. The garden also administers the historic Coker Arboretum, established in 1903, and the recently upgraded 93-acre Battle Park, established in the late 1800s by University President Kemp Plummer Battle, known as “the Southern Thoreau.”
9. ACKLAND ART MUSEUM
The museum has a collection of more than 15,000 objects that broadly cover the history of European painting and sculpture, including masters such as Rubens, Delacroix, Degas and Pissarro, and is strong in Asian art and works on paper, with some North Carolina pottery and folk art.
10. NEARLY 300 RESTAURANTS, BARS AND NIGHTCLUBS
Ah, but the food... With about 120,000 residents, Orange County has one of the largest concentrations of diverse, multi-ethnic restaurants, eating places, bars, breweries, lounges, nightclubs, pubs and sports bars in the country: about one for every 435 people!
Courtesy of the Orange County Visitor's Bureau
Chapel Hill Accommodations Close to UNC Hospitals
- The Carolina Inn
211 Pittsboro Street, Chapel Hill; phone (919) 933-2001; toll-free (800) 962-8519. 184 rooms. An historic AAA Four-Diamond hotel with a Mobil Four-Star restaurant, offering gracious Southern hospitality and elegance. Located on the campus of UNC-CH, one block from charming downtown shops and restaurants. Walking distance to UNC Hospitals.
- Aloft - Chapel Hill
1001 South Hamilton Road, Chapel Hill; phone (919) 932-7772
New, very nice modern hotel, less than 5 minutes from the hospital. Reasonably priced in a great location. Free shuttle service within a 5 mile radius, including the hospital (7 a.m.-7 pm. Special rates: 15% AAA discount. *Highly recommended by residents.*
- The Siena Hotel
1505 East Franklin Street; Chapel Hill; phone (919) 929-4000; toll-free (800) 223-7379; 68 rooms & 12 suites. An elegant AAA Four-Diamond boutique hotel offering exceptional service amid fine antique furnishings. Classic Italian cuisine served in Il Palio, NC's only AAA Four-Diamond Italian restaurant. Shuttle service, including free shuttle to the hospital.
- The Franklin Hotel
311 West Franklin Street, Chapel Hill; phone (919) 442.9000, Toll Free: (866) 831.5999; 67 guest rooms, including 7 penthouse suites with private patio balconies and stunning views. Luxury boutique hotel on Franklin Street, nestled in the heart of enchanting downtown Chapel Hill, walking distance to campus and UNC hospitals, and free shuttle service to the hospital M-F, 7 a.m. - 6 p.m.
- Hampton Inn & Suites Chapel Hill/Durham
6121 Farrington Road, Chapel Hill; phone (919) 403-8700. Shuttle service, including free shuttle service to the hospital.
- Sheraton Chapel Hill
One Europa Drive, Chapel Hill; phone (919) 968-4900; toll-free (800) 325-3535.
168 rooms & 4 suites. Offering special rates for "UNC Housestaff applicants."
- Marriott Courtyard
100 Marriott Way, Chapel Hill; toll free (800) 321-2211, phone (919) 883-0700. One mile from UNC Campus. Next door to the Friday Center. NO shuttle service.
- Residence Inn by Marriott – Chapel Hill
101 Erwin Road, Chapel Hill; phone (919) 933-4848
Separate living & sleeping areas, fully equipped kitchen; UNC Hospitals discount. Shuttle service to UNC Hospitals.
- Homewood Suites Hilton
3600 Mt. Moriah Road, Durham; phone (919) 401-0610 or 1-800-CALLHOME. Exit #270, off I-40. Offering special rates for "UNC Housestaff applicants."
- Hilton DoubleTree - RDU Airport/RTP
4810 Page Creek Lane, Durham, NC; phone (919) 941-6000
Shuttle Service, free airport shuttle and within 5 mile radius (does not include hospital)
- The Fearrington House
2000 Fearrington Village Center, Pittsboro, NC 27312. (919) 542.2121
The Fearrington House Restaurant and Country Inn is a member of Relais & Chateaux, an association of the finest restaurants and hotels in the world, and is the only property in North Carolina to receive both the prestigious Five Diamond from the American Automobile Association and Exxon Mobil's Five Star Award. Just minutes from Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill, NC. No shuttle service.
- Days Inn
1312 North Fordham Blvd (US Highway 15-501), Chapel Hill; phone (919) 929-3090; toll-free (800) 329-7466). 50 rooms, 2 suites. Close to UNC and UNC Hospitals.