Life in Chapel Hill
Video created by the Chapel Hill/Orange County Visitor Bureau
Why We Love Chapel Hill, NC
The Town of Chapel Hill is one point of the “Triangle Area.” Chapel Hill and the campus of the University of North Carolina have a distinctive beauty and charm. “The Southern Part of Heaven,” as it has long been known, is a friendly, exciting, academic community. Although the resources of the area are comparable to those of a much larger metropolitan community, the setting is that of a small town.
In addition to the extensive UNC undergraduate, graduate, and medical campus, some of the attractive features of life in Chapel Hill include shopping in many specialty shops and bookstores, dining in a variety of excellent restaurants, and a strong public school system. The area also offers places of worship for all faiths, excellent public and university libraries, public television and radio stations, and live entertainment in local clubs and night spots. And few can escape the excitement of NCAA sports with UNC Athletics.
The mild climate with four distinct seasons and many sunny days provides numerous recreational choices. Joggers and bikers are ever present on the streets, greenways and trails. Tennis, handball, squash and racquetball courts are in excellent supply. Indoor and outdoor pools provide plenty of water for lap swimmers. For serious athletes, there are road races and even mini-triathlons in the local area. The Chapel Hill Parks and Recreation Department has organized team sports in softball, basketball, soccer and volleyball. Fishing and boating are popular pastimes on University Lake and on the much larger Jordan Lake just eight miles from Chapel Hill.
Just a few miles away, the City of Durham, another point of the Triangle Area, is a blend of deep history and a new, revitalized and contemporary metropolis. Home to Duke University and the Duke University Medical Center, Durham complements the strong medical and educational traditions of its neighbors in Chapel Hill. Many of our residents live in Southwest Durham in the communities of Woodcroft, Woodlake, and Hope Valley Farms.
The final point of the Triangle belongs to the State Capitol, Raleigh. Raleigh is thirty minutes from Chapel Hill and is home to North Carolina State University and the WakeMed campus. Located with the borders of the Triangle is the rapidly growing Research Triangle Park (RTP). This is a cluster of modern research and office facilities sponsored by industry, government and academic institutions. RTP combines the resources of UNC, Duke University and NC State University as well as the North Carolina Biotechnology Center and the North Carolina Supercomputing Center. Other organizations include the National Humanities Center, National Center for Health Statistics, the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, and the Environmental Protection Agency Laboratories. Companies such as IBM, GlaxoSmithKline, SAS Institute, and Data General have large installations.
Only a few hours to the west, the North Carolina Mountains offer many opportunities for hiking and camping throughout the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and the Cherokee, Pisgah and Nantahala National Forests. 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.
Even closer, just east of the Triangle, North Carolina offers some of the most beautiful beaches on the entire eastern seaboard. Wilmington offers a unique beach experience with the historic downtown, the beautiful Cape Fear beaches, an abundance of watersports, and excellent angling opportunities. Drive north along the coast and the Outer Banks and the pristine Cape Hatteras National Seashore will offer a quiet alternative to the busy beach towns both north and south of the Carolinas.