My inner hippie secretly loves Chapel Hill. I love the liberals, the sustainable lifestyles, restaurants, cute southern homes with their big ‘ole porches lining fraternity row, and all the other things Chapel Hill has to offer. Most others around here love Chapel Hill because it is the home of their beloved UNC Tarheels. Annie and I picked a perfect day to explore Chapel Hill, and we both have had such different experiences in Chapel Hill that it was fun to explore and share Chapel Hill pastimes with one another.
Just a few rules before you visit the Tar Heel city:
- Never go to Chapel Hill on game day (unless on purpose). Never known the feeling of regret? Good, keep it that way.
- Bring Birkenstocks Baby! Or at least a comfortable pair of shoes, you’ll do a lot of walking.
- Be open minded, and don’t judge. The people that live in Chapel Hill love it for a reason.
A Day’s Agenda:
Drive you and your empty stomach over to Sunrise Biscuit Kitchen. This Drive-Thru only restaurant makes the best biscuits in all of Chapel Hill. I also love their history:
“Our biscuit recipe is based on my Grandmother’s recipe. Her biscuits helped give her the stamina to give birth to 17 children and live to almost 100.”
You’ll need your stamina to explore Chapel Hill. Also, don’t worry if there is a wait, it is totally worth it.
You cannot visit Chapel Hill without spending some time outdoors. A great place to get some fresh air? North Carolina Botanical Gardens. With many trails and beautiful things in bloom for most of the year you could easily spend a few hours here. I would say the best part is that it is free, but really the best part is just how beautiful and serene it is.
There is this really great “all things southern” store in Chapel Hill called Southern Season. Here you can find specialty foods, a bakery, kitchen supplies, candies, deli, gift baskets, etc. You can also grab lunch at the attached restaurant, Weathervane. You know what else you can enjoy at Southern Season? A cooking class! They have them all the time and they are really great for a girls night out, or even with your significant other.
While I haven’t been, I have heard great things about the Ackland Art Museum on the University of North Carolina’s campus. Spend some time taking in the art, or maybe take a stroll around campus. It really is a beautiful campus and let’s be real everyone has a little bit of UNC envy, right? [Side story: I personally wanted to attend UNC when I was younger because I once read in a Tiger Beat magazine that Justin Timberlake wanted to go to UNC.]
Time for some more walking, and believe me, you are going to want to build up your appetite. Head on over to Franklin Street where you can experience true Chapel Hill culture. Parking may be hard to find on a nice day, but if you can find a nice spot on the street just know that you get 2 hours max on the parking meter and you may need to stop back to add more time, 2 hours might not be enough. There’s shopping, restaurants, coffee, desserts, and people watching, lots of people watching.
For dinner I have but two words: Mama Dip’s. Okay, one more word: yum. I’m still drooling over cornbread and fried green tomatoes.
Looking to experience some college ball action? If so disregard rule #1 and catch a game (if you can get tickets, which are nearly impossible to find depending on the sport). Football, basketball, maybe even a soccer match. Here you can enjoy all that it is to be a Tar Heel. Don’t forget to don your Carolina blue. Don’t have any? Stop by one of the dozens of Tar Heel fan stores on Franklin Street!
What else would you add to your Chapel Hill agenda? xoxo ‘n lols, crystal