Chapel Hill, the largest municipality in Orange County, has been nicknamed the "Southern Part of Heaven," having the best of small town living in a unique cosmopolitan environment.The community is centered around the University of North Carolina, the nation's first state university. Carolina is noted for its excellence in the arts, sciences and humanities and is an international leader in public health, medical research, business and computer technology. The "Tar Heels" also excel in athletics, particularly basketball!!
Chapel Hill|Carrboro Chamber Of Commerce
Chapel Hill. The perfect college town. This historic place of ivy-covered buildings and fanciful dreams. Near the heart of North Carolina between the mountains and the sea, the town sits on a lofty hill, shaded by ancient oak and poplar trees. Settled in the late 1700s, Chapel Hill is home to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, this country's first state university. Downtown on Franklin Street, charming shops fill the many brick buildings. Throughout the year, people gather together to share a cafe latte, buy an ice cream cone, or just watch the parade of students go by. Here, you can take in a first-run movie and still get real buttered popcorn, or shop for a uniquely crafted wedding band.
In these parts, sports are a focus of life, and Dean Smith's basketball players aren't the only ones playing to sell-out crowds. Chapel Hill is also home to important high school championship games and NCAA regional and national tournaments. After the game, visitors can choose from a large collection of restaurants, ranging from Tex-Mex to French Country, New Orleans Cajun, Eastern European, and New-Style Southern cooking.
The older streets of Chapel Hill are lined with historic houses and charming cottages. The Horace Williams House, a 19th century farmhouse is headquarters for the Chapel Hill Preservation Society. For an old-fashioned rose garden, you may want to head to the display outside the Morehead Planetarium. Early NASA astronauts studied celestial navigation at the planetarium, and star shows are still offered there. For more garden walks, travel behind the planetarium to the Coker Arboretum, a stroller's dream with its wisteria-laden pergola. Farther afield, but still close by, is the North Carolina Botanical Garden, the largest natural garden of its kind in the southeast. Art lovers frequent the Ackland Museum, one of the East Coast's finer small collections. For theater buffs, it's the Playmakers Repertory Company. Nearby, you will find the N.C. Collection, the largest library on a single state in the country.
From golf courses to country stores, there is enough here to occupy several days. Choose from full-service hotels with renowned service or long-term lodging for extended visits. Stay as active as you like, or just kick back and relax. Orange County is a haven for bicyclists, hikers, bird watchers, canoeists, and nature lovers. Traveling here is easy. I-85 and I-40 pass through the area, and the Raleigh-Durham International Airport serves as a central point for national and international travelers. Need help planning a visit? Call the Chapel Hill - Orange County Visitors Bureau for a complete visitor's guide and calendar of events, or stop by one of our four welcome centers.