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UNC Bell Tower at Night
The Morehead-Patterson Bell Tower is lit blue with a projection of 2020 to celebrate the class of 2020.

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. The Chapel Hill, Raleigh, Durham area is 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. And Forbes ranked Raleigh as the #1 Best Place for Business and Careers.

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. This makes it one of only a few Universities in the nation to offer a full complement of health professions programs.


Photo by Chapel Hill/Orange County Visitors Bureau

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 August of 2019 Southern Living wrote about Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill’s cultural and entertainment highlights, naming the Triangle an urban oasis that is one of the “most dynamic corners of the South.”

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. 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, Vin Rouge in Durham, and Mateo in Durham.


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. Tucked in the Blue Ridge Mountains, historic Asheville offers scenic, cultural and historic experiences, elegant cuisine. Also, it offers 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.


Photo by Jeffrey Camarati/UNC Athletics

The Triangle is a major sports hub with year-round opportunities for sports fans. Our campus is famed for its championship teams (notably men’s basketball and women’s soccer). In total, UNC teams have won 40 NCAA team championships.

However, off campus you have the 2006 Stanley Cup champion Carolina Hurricanes less than 30 minutes away in Raleigh. In nearby Cary, you can watch two professional soccer teams, the NWSL’s North Carolina Courage and the USL’s North Carolina FC. Also, baseball fans can treat themselves to a night at the beautiful Durham Bulls Athletic Park. This minor-league team was made famous by the 1988 movie Bull Durham.

However, if that wasn’t enough, a two-and-a-half hour drive will take you to North Carolina’s other major sports hub: Charlotte. The Queen City is well-known for NASCAR and the Charlotte Motor Speedway. Yet it’s also home to the NFL’s Carolina Panthers, the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets, MLS’s Charlotte FC, and the Charlotte Knights Minor League Baseball team.

Furthermore, golf lovers can enjoy the nearby, award-winning UNC Finley Golf Course just outside of campus. On top of that, there are numerous excellent golf courses throughout the state.


Photo by Erik Andersen

The University also has a rich offering of performing arts. Throughout the year, there are musical and theatrical performances at various venues on and near campus. Specifically, you’ll find the newly renovated Memorial Hall and the Paul Green Theatre, home of the University’s Department of Dramatic Art.

Without a doubt, art lovers will find plenty to do here. Orange County has almost three-dozen art galleries, and museums abound in the surrounding area. This includes the Ackland Art Museum on the UNC campus and the North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh.

Also, those looking for live music will find venues of all sizes in the area. Venues range from the small, intimate club atmosphere at Cat’s Cradle in Carrboro to several outdoor amphitheaters in the Triangle. Take in some live music and 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!

36 Hours in Chapel Hill

by The New York Times