10 TOP Things to Do in Chapel Hill, North Carolina


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Most people think of basketball when they think of Chapel Hill. Or they may think of their warm memories as a student, faculty, or Tarheel family member. But Chapel Hill also has some amazing places to visit, even if you haven’t ever attended the school and aren’t a fan of basketball.

I lived in Chapel Hill for 3 years for graduate school, and like most people who go to UNC I have lots of fond memories there.

But even if you didn’t go to school there and are just visiting, there is lots to do here, from music to outdoors to food! Let’s look at some of the best spots.

Kayak at Jordan Lake

bobistraveling, CC BY 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

bobistraveling, CC BY 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Jordan Lake is an idyllic spot for a kayaking adventure. Located just thirty minutes away from Chapel Hill, the lake is the perfect oasis if you’re looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and take in some of the most peaceful scenery in the state. When I was in school at UNC, I had an inflatable kayak I took out here every chance I got!

The lake’s diverse terrain, conditions, and wildlife make it an ideal spot for novice and experienced kayakers alike. All that is needed for a day of fun on the lake is a kayak, a paddle, and a life vest. Jordan Lake is a great spot for a memorable kayaking trip and offers something for everyone. With its stunning views and abundant wildlife, it’s no wonder why it’s such a popular spot for kayakers.

Other amenities include showers, an auditorium and classroom, and amphitheater, and boat ramps.

Visit the Weaver Street Market

Located in the small town of Carrboro in North Carolina, Weaver Street Market is a unique grocery store and co-op that offers a variety of organic, sustainable, and local produce, meats, and cheeses. The store also provides prepared foods, artisanal goods, and other specialty items.

The Weaver Street Market team is passionate about sustainability, connecting customers to local farmers and producers, and supporting the local economy. It is their mission to help customers access a variety of quality food and products, while also supporting their local community.

Weaver Street Market works with local farmers to ensure their produce is ethically sourced and responsibly grown. They also work with producers to bring customers quality products that are made with integrity and respect for the environment.

The store offers a wide variety of organic and locally sourced produce, including fruits, vegetables, herbs, and spices. They also have an extensive selection of humanely raised meats and cheeses. Customers can find artisan goods like handcrafted soap, as well as specialty items like local honey and artisan jams.

In addition to the products they offer from their store, Weaver Street Market hosts regular events and farmers markets to support local businesses and artisans. These events provide the perfect opportunity for customers to get to know the people behind their food and products, as well as to learn about their impact in the local community. They also host regular events on their front lawn, including music and dance events.

Check out the Carolina Brewery

Founded in 1995, the Carolina Brewery is one of our favorite local breweries, serving up fresh microbrews for the community. They always have the ball game on during Tarheel season and host a range of events, from fundraisers for local schools and charities to beer tapping events, where. you can taste a fresh microbrew. They also sell their beer around Chapel Hill, so if you can’t visit be sure to pick some up at a local store.

Their restaurant has some great food, too – all made from scratch. We love their Adobo Salmon, served with Spanish rice, grilled vegetables, and avocado butter.

Go to a Concert at Memorial Hall

The Carolina Performing Arts (CPA) is an award-winning center for the performing arts located in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Founded in 1997, the CPA is dedicated to bringing world-class performances to the community and inspiring creativity through the art of performance. The CPA offers performances by world-renowned artists and renowned North Carolina artists, as well as a wide range of educational and community programs.

Since its inception, the CPA has presented more than 1000 acclaimed performances in all genres, including classical and new works, theater, dance, music, and educational programs. The CPA has become a vital part of the local and regional community, bringing together a variety of ages and backgrounds to celebrate the power of the performing arts.

The CPA has hosted renowned artists from around the world, such as Yo-Yo Ma, Renée Fleming, and Wynton Marsalis, and has supported the growth of local artists.

The CPA’s commitment to education and its commitment to regional and national audiences has made it a cornerstone of the Chapel Hill community. Through its Education and Community Engagement Program, the CPA works with local schools and organizations to create meaningful and engaging cultural experiences for students, teachers, and families. The CPA also organizes community events to bring people together and to create a sense of belonging.

Hear a Local Band at the Cat’s Cradle

For a real local music experience, check out the Cat’s Cradle. It is a class UNC establishment that has been hosting college and local bands since its establishment over 40 years ago. It features a small and more intimate setting to see up and coming bands, with a capacity of 750 people.

Here, you can catch top acts before they get huge. In fact, the Cat’s Cradle has hosted the likes of John Mayer, Nirvana, Joan Baez, and Iggy Pop.

Visit The Eno River

Bigfoot allgame, CC BY-SA 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Bigfoot allgame, CC BY-SA 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Eno River is a beautiful and peaceful body of water that runs through Orange and Durham counties in North Carolina. Spanning over 35 miles, the river is a source of recreation, education, and relaxation for the local communities.

The Eno River State Park is a popular destination for visitors wanting to explore the natural beauty of the area. From the banks of the river, visitors can enjoy a quiet stroll or a peaceful canoe ride, admiring the lush vegetation and wildlife of the river. The park also offers a variety a historical, cultural, and educational programs for the public.

The Eno River is a vital resource for the local wildlife, providing habitat for a wide variety of species. From the river’s headwaters in Orange County, to the end of its journey at the Falls Lake reservoir, the river provides abundant insect and fish populations, as well as a stable water source for countless species of birds, mammals, and amphibians.

Have Authentic, Fresh Mediterranean Food at the Med Deli

The Mediterranean Deli is hands down the best mediterranean restaurant we’ve ever been to. They go far beyond the usual dishes, like hummus, baba ganoush, falafel, and taboulleh. They serve up Med-inspired creations, like apple orzo, artichoke heart pasta, leek stew, and sauteed cauliflower.

For dessert, they serve traditional classics like baklava, nammoura, and mammool. For those craving more familiar sweets, they also offer brownies, lemon bars, and a variety of cakes and cheesecakes.

Visit the Ackland Art Museum

Located in the heart of Chapel Hill, the Ackland Art Museum is a destination for art admirers. The museum houses a vast array of paintings, sculptures and artifacts from all around the world. Its collection of over 20,000 pieces showcases the works of renowned artists from the Renaissance, the Middle Ages and even the modern era. 

The museum hosts a range of events, such as lectures and screenings, to educate visitors about the art and its history. It also regularly features the work of students with special exhibitions.

The Ackland Art Museum was made possible through the bequest of William Ackland (1855 – 1940), who envisioned “building and endowing a gallery in connection with some southern college or university.” An avid art collector, the museum started with his collection.

The Ackland Art Museum is a great place to visit in Chapel Hill, especially for art lovers. With its vast collection, interactive events and educational opportunities, the museum is a must-see for anyone interested in the world of art.

Get Your Chapel Hill Memorabilia at the College Bookstore

Where better to get your Tarheel-emblazoned memorabilia than the college bookstores? The largest bookstore is located in the Pit, a landmark of the UNC-Chapel Hill campus and a regular gathering place for students. The bookstore has multiple stories and carries everything from picture frames to office supplies to hoodies and more.

You can also purchase online, but there’s no better way to experience Chapel Hill than to leave with a memento of your trip by visiting the store in person.

Visit the Classic Sutton’s Drug Store

Sutton’s Drug Store in Chapel Hill, North Carolina has been a mainstay in the town since the late 1800s. The drug store was started by Dr. William Sutton, who was a prominent doctor and pharmacist in the area. Since then, it has become a beloved local landmark, where customers can find anything from candy to prescription drugs.

More than their pharmacy, Sutton’s is known for their deli restaurant serving up classic burgers, hot dogs, fries, and shakes.You can sit at the counter and enjoy a cup of coffee in the morning or have a brew for dinner. They also offer vegetarian options, like their vegetarian burger on whole wheat.

Sutton’s Drug Store is an important part of Chapel Hill’s local history and culture. It is a must-visit destination for anyone in the area, providing a unique experience and quality products.


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