10 Things to do in Chapel Hill, North Carolina: Must-Do Activities and Sights

Are you looking for the best things to do in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, is a charming town with lots to offer. You can explore historic neighborhoods or attend a Tar Heels basketball game. The town caters to nature lovers, foodies, and sports fans alike. Keep reading to find out the top activities and sights in this lively Southern town.

Must-Visit Attractions in Chapel Hill

The Old Well

The Old Well in Chapel Hill has a long history dating back to the early 1800s. Originally, it provided water for the university campus. Today, it is an iconic symbol of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, drawing visitors and photographers.

For current students and alumni of UNC-Chapel Hill, The Old Well represents tradition, academic excellence, and school pride. It is a popular gathering place for various events, including celebrations and graduation photos. The structure serves as a reminder of the university’s rich history and strong community spirit.

When exploring Chapel Hill, Hillsborough, Carrboro, or Orange County, make sure to visit The Old Well. It is a must-see attraction in addition to local favorites like Franklin Street, Weaver Street Market, and the Carolina Basketball Museum.

Morehead Planetarium

Morehead Planetarium offers interactive exhibits and shows. They engage visitors in the wonders of space, astronomy, and science.

Guests can explore the mysteries of the universe in a fun and educational way through hands-on activities and stunning visual displays.

Morehead Planetarium also advances STEM education and outreach in Chapel Hill and surrounding communities. They offer school programs, field trips, and workshops to enhance understanding of scientific concepts.

This commitment to education inspires the next generation of scientists and innovators in Orange County.

With a focus on discovery and learning, Morehead Planetarium is a must-visit attraction for visitors of all ages in Chapel Hill. It offers a unique and enriching experience for those interested in stargazing, astronomy, or expanding knowledge of the cosmos.

Carolina Basketball Museum

The Carolina Basketball Museum has exhibits and memorabilia displaying UNC basketball’s history and success. Visitors can see vintage jerseys, championship trophies, interactive displays, and multimedia presentations. The museum showcases key moments, players, and coaches, capturing the essence of UNC basketball. It pays tribute to the team’s accomplishments and contributions to the sport.

A visit to the museum in Chapel Hill is a must for fans and observers to appreciate the Tar Heel basketball program’s legacy.

UNC Campus

UNC Campus in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, has the iconic Old Well, a historical landmark at the heart of the university.

Visitors can explore the Carolina Basketball Museum to learn about the Tar Heel basketball legacy.

Architectural highlights on UNC Campus include the Carolina Inn, Siena Hotel, The Baxter, and Weaver Street Market.

For art enthusiasts, the Ackland Art Museum and Morehead Planetarium offer a rich cultural experience.

Outdoor lovers can enjoy the Eno River, Bolin Creek Trail, and Occaneechi Village. Families can visit kid-friendly spots like Kidzu and local parks.

Foodies can savor the diverse range of restaurants on Franklin Street and beyond, including Caffé Driade, Carolina Brewery, and Lantern.

Whether seeking a cozy work space, live music venues, or craft brew options, UNC Campus in Chapel Hill, with neighboring Hillsborough, Carrboro, and Orange County, offers a wide array of activities for all interests.

Things to Do and See in Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Outdoor Fun in Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill has a lot of outdoor activities for both visitors and locals.

You can check out historic Franklin Street with its many restaurants.

Or enjoy a leisurely walk at Weaver Street Market.

If you love nature, Bolin Creek Trail and Eno River offer beautiful hiking spots.

Families can have fun at Kidzu or the Carolina Basketball Museum.

History enthusiasts can visit UNC-Chapel Hill’s Ackland Art Museum.

During winter, you can hang out at Caffé Driade or Lantern for music and craft beer.

Whether you want a chill day at the park or a cultural visit to the Old Well, Chapel Hill has it all for outdoor enjoyment.

Exploring Franklin Street

Franklin Street in Chapel Hill has a rich history. It is the main road connecting the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with the town.

Visitors can enjoy a variety of shops and restaurants on Franklin Street. These include unique local shops and a range of international cuisine options.

Landmarks in the area include the Old Well, Carolina Basketball Museum, and Ackland Art Museum. Outdoor enthusiasts can explore the nearby Eno River for hiking and picnicking.

For entertainment, there are live music venues and performing arts shows. Families with kids can visit spots like Kidzu and the Morehead Planetarium.

Health-related activities are also available, such as fitness classes at local gyms and outdoor recreation at Occaneechi Village.

For a cozy workspace, options like Caffé Driade or local craft brew at Carolina Brewery are ideal. Whether you’re looking for a hangout spot, great places to eat, or simply want to immerse yourself in the area’s history and charm, Franklin Street and its surroundings have something for everyone in Orange County.

Local Eateries for Foodies

When exploring the vibrant food scene in Chapel Hill, foodies will discover a range of must-visit local eateries. These places offer delicious cuisine and unique dining experiences.

From cozy cafes like Caffé Driade to iconic spots along Franklin Street, there are many options to choose from. Craft brewpubs such as Carolina Brewery also provide a diverse array of options to satisfy any palate.

Hidden gem restaurants like Lantern offer a culinary adventure. Live music venues and hangout spots like The Baxter not only serve great food but also create a fun atmosphere.

For health-conscious dining, places like Weaver Street Market focus on organic and locally sourced ingredients. Food enthusiasts can also enjoy events at the Carolina Inn or Siena Hotel.

Outdoor recreation opportunities in Orange County, such as Bolin Creek Trail or Eno River, are perfect for exploring and enjoying nature.

Best Activities for Each Season

Spring in Chapel Hill

Spring in Chapel Hill offers many outdoor activities to enjoy. You can go for a hike along the Eno River or have a picnic in the Hillsborough parks. If you prefer staying central, check out the Chapel Hill Park Locator for spots like Bolin Creek Trail or Weaver Street Market. When it comes to dining, Chapel Hill has a diverse culinary scene. Try delicious dishes at places like Caffé Driade and The Baxter.

Explore the cozy cafes and lively eateries on Franklin Street for a true taste of Tar Heelculture. Whether you’re walking in Carrboro or enjoying a treat at Time Out, Chapel Hill’s food scene will satisfy your taste buds in the lively spring season.

Summer Fun in Orange County

Orange County in the summer has a lot to offer.

  • You can explore Chapel Hill and Carrboro, or enjoy the Eno River for some peace.
  • Hiking on the Bolin Creek Trail or visiting Occaneechi Village are great for outdoor lovers.
  • Foodies will love dining options at places like Weaver Street Market and Carolina Brewery.
  • Get a taste of culture at the Ackland Art Museum or Carolina Basketball Museum.
  • Families can have fun at Kidzu Children’s Museum or catch a show at performing arts venues.
  • Don’t forget to visit Franklin Street and Chapel Hill Mall for shopping and entertainment.
  • Whether you prefer lavender fields at Lavender Oaks Farm or chilling at Caffé Driade, there’s something for everyone in Orange County.

Fall Foliage in Hillsborough

The colorful fall leaves in Hillsborough are best seen at the Eno River or along the Bolin Creek Trail.

These spots are great for relaxing walks or picnics among the changing leaves.

During fall, don’t miss the Fall Foliage Festival in Hillsborough. It features local artists, live music, and craft beer tastings.

Explore the history of Occaneechi Village or enjoy fall treats at Weaver Street Market in nearby Carrboro.

For a longer visit, unwind at Caffé Driade or Carolina Brewery in Chapel Hill.

Families can enjoy health-focused activities at Kidzu Children’s Museum or find parks for outdoor fun in fall weather.

Winter Activities Near Carrboro

Winter activities near Carrboro offer many options for visitors. Visitors can explore the picturesque Eno River in Hillsborough. They can also stroll down Franklin Street in Chapel Hill. Food lovers can enjoy local cuisine at Chapel Hill restaurants. They can grab a cup of coffee at Weaver Street Market.

For a cultural experience, visitors can explore UNC-Chapel Hill’s performing arts scene. They can also visit the Ackland Art Museum. Families with kids can have fun at Kidzu or enjoy the outdoors at Bolin Creek Trail.

Those looking for a cozy hangout spot can check out Caffé Driade or Time Out. Craft brew enthusiasts can visit Carolina Brewery for a taste of local beer. To stay active during the winter months, visitors can explore the Park Locator for outdoor recreation options. They can also enjoy live music venues in the area.

Whether seeking health-related activities or simply looking for a relaxing winter escape, the options near Carrboro are endless.

Weekend Getaway Options in Chapel Hill

Exploring the Carolina Inn

Guests exploring Chapel Hill, North Carolina should definitely check out the historic charm of the Carolina Inn. This iconic establishment gives visitors a peek into the past with its classic architecture and community ties.

The Carolina Inn not only holds historical value but also offers various amenities and services to make guests’ stay enjoyable. There are cozy work spaces and kid-friendly activities, catering to all ages.

Whether guests want to explore nearby areas like Hillsborough or Carrboro, the Carolina Inn is a convenient base. Its close proximity to UNC-Chapel Hill, the Morehead Planetarium, and the Old Well allows visitors to deeply engage with the local culture.

Moreover, guests can venture into surrounding towns like Chapel Hill Mall, Weaver Street, and Franklin Street. These areas offer diverse dining choices, live music spots, and outdoor fun options.

UNC Special Sites to Visit

UNC Special Sites to Visit in Chapel Hill, North Carolina offer a variety of attractions for different interests. Here are some highlights:

  • Explore the historical landmark of the Old Well, known as a symbol of good luck for UNC students during exams.
  • Visit the Morehead Planetarium for interactive exhibits and shows about the wonders of the universe.
  • Delve into the rich history of UNC basketball at the Carolina Basketball Museum for sports enthusiasts.
  • Experience diverse art forms at the Ackland Art Museum for a cultural outing.
  • Enjoy the tranquil beauty of Eno River or Bolin Creek Trail for outdoor enthusiasts.
  • Check out interactive exhibits at Kidzu Children’s Museum or the historical Occaneechi Village for families with kids.
  • Discover diverse dining options on Franklin Street or craft brews at Carolina Brewery for foodies.
  • Relax at cozy spots like Caffé Driade or hangout at Weaver Street Market for a chill vibe.
  • Explore health-related activities and catch live music venues in Chapel Hill and surrounding areas like Hillsborough, Carrboro, and Orange County.

Final thoughts

Chapel Hill, North Carolina has many great things to do and see:

  • Check out the local arts scene
  • Visit the historic Franklin Street
  • Enjoy the beautiful North Carolina Botanical Garden
  • Explore the Ackland Art Museum
  • Take a stroll around the University of North Carolina campus

Whether you like history, nature, or art, Chapel Hill has something fun for you.

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