Welcome to Chapel Hill
Artsy, collegiate, upbeat
A vibrant town known for its incredible local arts scene, Chapel Hill is anything but insignificant. Home to numerous museums and historical sites, but most notably, the cradle of one of the nation’s oldest public universities — UNC-Chapel Hill’s college town charisma, glitzy nightlife scene, and hot culinary scape makes it ideally set for families and individuals seeking the quintessential small-town lifestyle with a robust personality. At its heart, Franklin Street radiates like a life force, teeming with excellent places to shop, dine and entertain the soul. With plentiful sunshine and over 730 acres of open spaces, keeping up an active, recreational lifestyle is a norm in Chapel Hill. Explore the leafy streets to uncover stunning residential abodes meticulously crafted to meld with the landscape. From mid-century ranches to turnkey craftsman homes and lofty mid-rise apartments boasting excellent curb appeal.
What to Love
- Scholarly charisma
- Artistic flair
- Foodie haven
- Active social life
- Charming downtown
Suffused in a balance of urban and suburban vibes, life in Chapel Hill is rich and flavorful. It doesn’t matter whether you want to live, work, or play, there’s something for every mood and choice. Locals are enamored with the town’s eco-friendly atmosphere, dazzling restaurants, parks, and excellent educational facilities, while UNC students will often be found hanging out at the Varsity Movie theatre on the main street or catching all the basketball action live at Dean Smith Center.
Dining, Entertainment & Shopping
With the sheer variety of restaurants to choose from in Chapel Hill, even the most discerning eaters will be spoiled for choice. Experience unmatched luxury at the sophisticated Il Palio Restaurant. Tucked in the Siena Hotel, this AAA Four-Diamond restaurant epitomizes the creme-de-la-creme of elegant dining and traditional Italian hospitality. Rooftop feasts paired with draft beer await at Top of the Hill Restaurant & Brewery, where guests are served locally sourced dishes of lizard chips, sweet potatoes, and salads.
At Lantern Restaurant, meals are crafted from a fusion of North Carolina farm produce and Asian flavors to be savored in the sleek modern dining room set. Enjoy soda-fountain food like deli sandwiches and hot dogs at Sutton's Drug Store, and pull up at Sunrise Biscuit Kitchen for country-style fluffy biscuits with cheese, egg, or meat combos. Street style tacos and Tex-Mex staples rule the roost at Que Chila Craft Tacos & Tequila where friends can share dishes and assorted margarita flavors abound to uplift the taste of lunch.
Things to Do
As a community of young people who crave constant excitement and fun activities to keep study and social life balanced, Chapel Hill certainly delivers on all fronts. College students will often be found cheering on the UNC Tar Heels basketball team at Dean E. Smith Center or strolling under the shady groves of trees and gardens of gorgeous flowering plants at the Coker Arboretum on the UNC campus.
Explore the stunning grey-walled halls of the Ackland Art Museum, filled with outstanding exhibits of African, Asian, and European Art, not to mention a varied collection of North Carolina pottery. All year-round, the museum hosts educational and inspiring programs for kids, families, and students. Chapel Hill lights up with festival spirit and bright lights every season with different celebrations coming up as soon as the year begins and before it fizzles out again. Celebrate Chinese New Year with the Light Up Festival in February, always full of music, dancing, a bright lantern parade, and dragon dances among other things, or join in on musical fun at Fridays on the Front Porch in The Carolina Inn.
Apart from the historic University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill is home to some of the nation’s top-rated schools. A few of these highly acclaimed institutions include: