Life in the Triangle
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, Raleigh and Durham are collectively referred to as “the Triangle.” Chapel Hill was named one of the top 10 US Best Places to Live by US News and World Report, Raleigh was named the #2 US Best Place to Live, Work and Play by Kiplinger, while Forbes ranked Raleigh as the #1 Best Place for Business and Careers.
If you are looking for an an online summary of all of the weekly goings ons in the triangle, check out Triangle On The Cheap!
Over the past several years the food scene has exploded in the triangle. Southern Living named Durham the “South’s Tastiest Town,” Bon Appetit Magazine named Chapel Hill “America’s Foodiest Small Town,” and Southern Living named Raleigh among the “Top 10 Tastiest Towns in the South.” In 2015, nine of North Carolina’s chefs and bakers were among the semi-finalists for the James Beard Award. These included bakers at Scratch bakery in Durham, and La Farm Bakery in Cary. Best Chef in the Southeast semifinalists hail from Nana’s in Durham, Panciuto in Hillsborough, Vin Rouge in Durham and Mateo in Durham.
Breweries and Wineries
There are more than 125 breweries and brewpubs in North Carolina, more than any other Southern State. In October 2014 five NC breweries took home medals from the Great American Beer Festival. Check out Botanist and Barrel, Starrlight Mead, Ponysaurus, and Hi Wire for some delicious brews and/or wines.
Teahouses and Coffee Shops
Visit Honeysuckle Tea House, a neat tree house tea house about 15 minutes from campus, Caffé Driade (which is a coffee shop in the woods), Bean trader, Joe Van Gogh, Carolina Coffee, and People’s Coffee.
Visit the markets in Carrboro and Durham. If you are interested in a smaller affair, check out the one in Hillsborough. While we’re at it, two nearby farms—Spring Haven Farm and Maple View Farms—host events all year long and feature lots of goats and ice cream.
Outside the Triangle, 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 10 national parks, 29 state parks, and a number of natural areas from the mountains to the sea, NC offers a variety of recreational activities ranging from hiking, bicycling, rock climbing, and fishing.
- Eno River State Park
- Johnston Mill Nature Preserve
- North Carolina Botanical Gardens (trails behind the main garden area)
- Umstead State Park
- Occoneechee State Park
- Jordan Lake
- Falls Lake
- Duke Botanical Gardens
- Bolin Creek Trail
- Day trip to Hanging Rock or Pilot Mountain
You may have already heard of UNC’s claim to fame for its basketball, baseball, and 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 Hornets. 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. Feel free to also check out Wine Down Wednesdays at La Vita Dulce, Blue Note Grill, Glass Jug Beer Lab, Motorco and Vecino’s. 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.
Come find out for yourself what it’s like to live in “Blue Heaven!”
Home Away From Home
Our campus, our town and our people are all part of the mystique that makes students call Chapel Hill “home” for four years — or for a lifetime.
Chapel Hill routinely ranks as one of the best college towns and best places to live in the United States — a reputation guided by the diverse social, cultural and professional opportunities that flow between the campus and town. From live music and eclectic dining to quiet trails and parks, discover more about Chapel Hill.
36 Hours in Chapel Hill
by The New York Times