In many ways, Chapel Hill is the quintessential college town. It’s home to the first public university in the United States. You’ll see references to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill everywhere, from the fire trucks painted Carolina blue to the “Tar Heel” mentions in the names of many businesses.
The University’s oldest quads, McCorkle Place and Polk Place, stretch from the heart of campus to Chapel Hill’s main street, Franklin Street, where students find shopping, dining, and night life just steps from campus. Although Chapel Hill has a population of nearly 60,000 people (including thousands of University students, faculty, staff, and alumni), its downtown has a small-town feel.
Just one mile from campus, Chapel Hill merges effortlessly with Carrboro, a smaller town that boasts its own film festival and music festival. Both towns share a school system and public transportation but have separate governments.
Visit each town’s website to find all kinds of helpful information, from bicycle trails to local parks to voter registration. The Chapel Hill/Orange County Visitors Bureau website provides listings of hotels, restaurants, events, and things to do in the area.
Larger cities are nearby — Durham (home to Duke University and North Carolina Central University) within 15 miles, Raleigh (home to North Carolina State University and several colleges) within 30 miles, and Greensboro (home to North Carolina A&T University and UNC Greensboro) within 50 miles.