Chapel Hill is a college town with history.

A college town, with history

Chapel Hill is best known as the home of The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill: a internationally-ranked university that claims the title of the oldest place of undergraduate study in the United States. With over 18,000 undergraduate students and a condition that requires first-years to live on campus, it’s no surprise to find students around the city’s most popular locations.

That being said, there are a million things to do in Chapel Hill, no matter how close or far you are from being an undergraduate student. Here are some must-sees.

The Ackland Art Museum

Located right on the edge of UNC-Chapel Hill’s campus, The Ackland Art Museum offers a wide variety of art ranging from contemporary American photography to European masters. Museum access is free and open to the public. They also offer a plethora of activities and events including gallery talks, tours, and films.

Most recently this past October, the museum commissioned artist Patrick Dougherty to create their first on-site outdoor exhibit in nearly 20 years entitled Step Right Up. Comprised of five individual stickwork sculptures, its construction was made possible with tree saplings from Duke Forest and the Triangle Land Conservancy. Undergraduates were even given the opportunity to aid Dougherty in material collection.

The exhibit is expected to be on display until August of 2018 and is definitely a sight to see.

Cat’s Cradle

While located in neighboring Carrboro, Cat’s Cradle is a cornerstone of Chapel Hill and undergraduate nightlife, offering students and locals the opportunity to see indie and national talent live. As a popular music venue in the Triangle, (the Research Triangle, a region defined by Duke, North Carolina State, and UNC-CH Universities,) Cat’s Cradle has been providing entertainment for over 40 years.

The venue has hosted groups such as Nirvana, John Mayer, Ugly God, and Caravan Palace. Be sure to check their schedule before taking your next trip to Chapel Hill.

Top of the Hill Restaurant & Brewery

Commonly known as “TOPO,” this restaurant uses locally-grown ingredients and brews their specialties on-location. With a newly remodeled outdoor deck, this is a popular spot for students on the weekends as well as football game-nights.

Be sure to check out their superb menu during the day, or join in on the celebrations at night.

The Yogurt Pump

Since 1982, The Yogurt Pump, locally known as “Yopo,” has offered novelty flavors of frozen yogurt to students and locals. With a quaint, cute style and unique flavors that change to fit your variety of preferences, this favorite is a popular hangout with quality food you won’t regret trying out.

Morehead Planetarium & Science Center

Known as the first planetarium on a U.S. college campus, this location once trained astronauts for NASA. Nowadays it is a prime location to for scientific activities and exhibits for the whole family.

Be sure to check out it’s GlaxoSmithKline Fulldome Theator for a galactic experience on the largest full-dome exhibit on a college campus in the world.

Explore and enjoy

With large exhibits and attractions as well as countless gems hidden away, Chapel Hill is a destination for any vacation or hungry traveler. Be sure to continue to explore and enjoy the home of the Tar Heels.


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