Things to do in Chapel Hill, NC

Get Your Bearings in Chapel Hill

By Biju Sukumaran
Travel Expert

Stay
Eat
See & Do
Party
Shop

Where to Stay

Hotels in Chapel Hill include a range of accommodations. Budget options include Best Western and Days Inn, which includes free breakfasts and Wi-Fi access. Mid-range hotels include the Sheraton and Holiday Inn Chapel Hill, which contains conference rooms for events like business conferences and weddings. Several luxury options, like the Siena Hotel and the Franklin hotel are located along historic Franklin street, while the Carolina Inn is located on the university campus (but close to many of the city's attractions).

Caution:

Make reservations in advance for the high-end hotels, as rooms tend to get rented out ahead of events like games or graduations.

What to Eat

Many restaurants in Chapel Hill are located around Franklin Street. Allen and Sons is a local favorite located just north of the city serving up pit-roasted barbecue. Crooke's Corner and Mama Dip's serve up Southern comfort food like shrimp and grits, while Squid's Restaurant is your best bet for quality seafood, complete with a patio and an oyster bar.

Caution:

Many restaurants will not let you use their restrooms without purchasing food.

Things to See

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, one of the oldest public universities in the nation, is the biggest attraction in the city. Several other attractions located on campus include the Morehead Planetarium and Science Center, which holds sciences demonstrations and productions in addition to planetarium shows. The Carolina Basketball Museum displays over 100 years of basketball history in the state.

Hot Tips:

Varsity Theater on Franklin Street was a historic movie theater that closed in 2009, but has recently been renovated and reopened.

Places to Party

Many nightlife options are located along historic Franklin Street. Kildare's Irish Pub is one such establishment, offering a wide array of drinks, pub food, live music and screens tuned to a number of sports channels. Tyler's Taproom is another popular pub which serves a large selection of beers and holds a weekly pub quiz.

Hot Tips:

He's Not Here is Michael Jordan's establishment of choice when he's in town.

Where to Shop

The city has a number of bookstores like The Bookshop, a used bookstore, and Flyleaf Books, an independent store that sells a combination of used and new books. The Music Loft and Carrboro Music specialize in musical instruments, while PTA Thriftshop sells a number of used items including books and clothing. Several markets, including Weaver Street Market and Carrboro Farmers' Market sell a number of food products.

Hot Tips:

Carrboro Farmers' Market is only open on Wednesday and Saturdays (Wednesdays only from spring to fall).

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