14 Best Places and Things To Do in Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Chapel Hill, North Carolina is a charming and vibrant town known for its rich history, academic institutions, and a lively cultural scene. Whether you’re a visitor or a resident, there are plenty of exciting places to explore and things to do in Chapel Hill.

1. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

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The university is a centerpiece of the town and offers beautiful architecture, lush green spaces, and a vibrant campus atmosphere. Take a stroll through the historic campus, visit the Morehead Planetarium and Science Center, or catch a Tar Heels basketball game at the Dean E. Smith Center.

2. North Carolina Botanical Garden

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Nature lovers will appreciate the North Carolina Botanical Garden. Spread over several acres, the garden showcases diverse plant collections, including a carnivorous plant collection, herb garden, and display of native plants. Take a leisurely walk along the trails and enjoy the tranquility of the surroundings.

3. Ackland Art Museum

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For art enthusiasts, the Ackland Art Museum is a must-visit. It houses an impressive collection of over 18,000 works, spanning various periods and styles. From European masterpieces to contemporary art, the museum offers a diverse range of exhibits to explore and admire.

4. Coker Arboretum

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Located on the UNC campus, Coker Arboretum is a peaceful oasis featuring a stunning collection of trees, shrubs, and flowers. It’s an ideal spot for a relaxing walk or a picnic amidst the natural beauty.

5. The Carolina Basketball Museum

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If you’re a sports fan, don’t miss the Carolina Basketball Museum, dedicated to the rich history of UNC basketball. Explore exhibits showcasing the team’s accomplishments, memorabilia, and interactive displays that allow you to test your basketball skills.

6. Kidzu Children’s Museum

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Perfect for families, the Kidzu Children’s Museum offers interactive exhibits and hands-on activities for kids of all ages. It’s a great place for children to learn, play, and explore.

7. Battle Park

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Lace up your hiking shoes and explore the scenic Battle Park Trails. These trails wind through forests, meadows, and along creeks, providing a peaceful escape into nature. It’s a great spot for hiking, jogging, or simply enjoying a leisurely stroll.

8. Morehead Planetarium and Science Center

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The Morehead Planetarium is known for its state-of-the-art domed theater that showcases mesmerizing planetarium shows. Sit back and gaze up at the night sky as you learn about stars, galaxies, and the wonders of the universe. The shows are educational, visually stunning, and suitable for all ages.

9. The Chapel of the Cross

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The Chapel of the Cross holds a significant place in the history of Chapel Hill. It was built in 1842 and is one of the oldest standing structures in the area. The chapel’s architectural style is Gothic Revival, which was popular during that time.

10. Brumley Forest Nature Preserve

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Brumley Forest Nature Preserve spans over 600 acres of diverse landscapes, including forests, meadows, wetlands, and streams. The preserve offers a serene and tranquil environment, making it an ideal destination for nature enthusiasts and outdoor lovers.

11. Horace Williams House

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The Horace Williams House holds a significant place in the history of Chapel Hill. It was built in 1854 and named after Horace Williams, a prominent professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The house is a fine example of Greek Revival architecture and has been well-preserved over the years.

12. United Church of Chapel Hill

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The United Church of Chapel Hill is affiliated with the United Church of Christ (UCC), which is a Protestant Christian denomination known for its progressive and inclusive values. The UCC emphasizes social justice, interfaith dialogue, and the acceptance of all people, regardless of background or identity.

13. Morgan Creek

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Morgan Creek Trail offers a serene and peaceful escape into nature. The trail meanders along the banks of Morgan Creek, providing beautiful views of the water, lush vegetation, and diverse wildlife. The surrounding forested areas add to the trail’s natural charm.

14. University Baptist Church

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University Baptist Church is affiliated with the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship (CBF) and the Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America. The church is known for its progressive theology, commitment to social justice, and inclusive approach to faith.

Chapel Hill offers a blend of intellectual stimulation, natural beauty, and cultural experiences, making it an exciting destination with something for everyone to enjoy.