What Makes Chapel Hill So Cool
Since it's home to the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill is one of the three anchoring points of the Triangle. But there's more to this town than its world-class university. Step off of the historic college campus and you'll find friends, neighbors, and longtime residents sampling craft beer on Franklin Street, jogging and biking along greenway trails, shopping for the latest brands at University Place, and spending hot summer days at the Chapel Hill Aquatic Center.
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University of North Carolina
America's oldest public university naturally has its fair share of intrigue. Chartered in 1789, the University of North Carolina (fondly known as Carolina or UNC) set high standards for higher education around the state and around the nation, a prestigious reputation which this school continues to maintain more than two centuries later. Today, students and Chapel Hill residents alike enjoy strolling through the scenic campus, visiting cool landmarks like the Old Well and the Davie Poplar, and attending all kinds of cultural and sporting events. (If you're going to root for the home team, you should know that UNC's biggest rival is Duke University down the road in Durham.)
Restaurants, bars, theaters, gyms, boutiques, apartments, and historic buildings are packed within a mile-long stretch of Franklin Street, which skirts alongside the north end of UNC's campus. Popular with new students and longtime Chapel Hill residents alike, Franklin Street is where people go to grab a coffee or a beer, celebrate a Tar Heel victory, and enjoy a night on the town. During the year, Franklin Street shuts down to cars as pedestrians flock to the street to attend pep rallies for Carolina sports, shop for arts and crafts at the Festifall Arts Festival, and watch a parade during the holidays.
Because of all the shops, restaurants, events, and nearby homes, Southern Village looks and feels like Chapel Hill's second downtown. The small shopping center is centered around a large grassy green and amphitheater, which hosts everything from outdoor concerts to a farmers' market, and extends out to connect with nearby neighborhoods, parks, and public schools. Be sure to catch a movie at the independent Lumina Theatre, pick up groceries from the Weaver Street Market, order coffee from La Vita Dolce, and finish the evening with an event on the lawn.