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Things to Do and See in Chapel Hill-Carrboro

Top Chapel Hill-Carrboro Attractions


Chapel Hill and Carrboro share a main street, a school system and a local Chamber of Commerce. But they are each very much their own towns with their own personalities and governments. However, because of their proximity, it makes sense to cover the top things to do together. Here, in no particular order, are some recommendations.

1. The Old Well

The Old Well on the UNC Campus in Chapel Hill.

Visit the Old Well on the Carolina campus. This iconic campus fixture is the symbol of the university. Lore has it that drinking from it will bring good luck. While you're on campus, see if you can spot these other landmarks: the Davie Poplar Tree, Wilson Library, Memorial Hall and the Bell Tower.

2. Buy a T-Shirt on Franklin Street

Franklin Street is the heart of downtown Chapel Hill and borders the UNC Campus. A stoll down East Franklin from Henderson to Columbia will take you past upscale boutiques like Design 149 and Julians. It is also the place to pick up Tar Heel t-shirts and other Carolina mementoes. If you get hungry you'll find plenty of restaurants along the way.

3. Eat

Chapel Hill-Orange County CVB

Bon Appetit called our area the "Foodiest Small Town in America." The above link only covers a fraction of our fabulous restaurants. A more comprehensive list is coming soon. If you need a recommendation before I can get the article written, feel free to email me.


4. The NC Botanical Gardens

The 900-acre North Carolina Bontanical Gardens has hiking trails, formal gardens, displays of native plants and a beautiful visitor center.

5. Carr Mill Mall and Main Street in Carrboro

An old cotton mill, once slated for domolition--was reborn as the Carr Mill Mall and serves as the center-piece of downtown Carrboro. Anchored by local co-op grocery Weaver Street Market, the building, shops and surrounding lawn are a hub of community activity.

6. Jordan Lake

NC Division of Toursim/Bill Russ

The Jordan Lake Recreational Area is less than 20 minutes from downtown Chapel Hill. It's a local favorite for fishing water-skiing, kayaking and sailing. The 14,000-acre lake is also the summer home to a large population of bald eagle nesting pairs.

7. People Watching at Open Eye Cafe

Open Eye Cafe is a local coffee shop in the heart of Carrboro. Award winning baristas. Free WiFi. Comfy couches.

8. Carrboro Farmer's Market

Carrboro Farmer's Market
Chapel Hill/Orange County Visitors Bureau

A Carrboro fixture since 1979. Open year-round on Sundays, and operating at multiple locations on summer Wednesdays and Thursdays.

9. 2nd Friday Art Walk

On the 2nd Friday of each month, the Ackland Arts Museum and local galleries in Chapel Hill and Carrboro open their doors between 6-9 p.m. Many offer live music and refreshments. Often the artists are on hand to discuss their work.

10. Fearrington Village

Fearrington Village is a collection of shops, restaurants, gardens and homes centered around the historic Fearrington Inn and Restaurant. The inn is a Relais and Chateaux property and always at the top of media lists for the one of the best places to eat and stay in the world. Fearrington Village is also home to a herd of Belted Galloway Cows, known to local children as the "oreo cows."

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