Learn About What's Fun in Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Posted September 3, 2009 by Kate Hamman

Nc-chapelhill-spotteddog-de Chapel Hill stands at the head of the class when it comes to unique and fun college towns. This small city cropped up after the University of North Carolina (UNC) was founded in 1789, and has been attracting town and gown, as well as visitors, ever since. Here you'll find a diner devoted to man's best friend, a warehouse built for food lovers, and a haven for learning a thing or two about higher education, even if you never went to school or graduated long ago. And there's no better time to visit than when the scholars return to class, football season gets in gear, and the russet-toned leaves announce the arrival of fall.

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UNC Campus: Not only was UNC the first state university in the nation, it also happens to be one of the prettiest, with tree-lined, cobblestone walkways winding through grass-covered lawns. Even if you're not here to get schooled, you can read, relax, or picnic among the historic buildings, which have molded young minds for more than two centuries. Or, you can wander along the 729 acres of land on a free self-guided tour, past landmarks such as the 172-foot Morehead-Patterson Bell Tower, the Coker Arboretum, or the Morehead Planetarium.

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Spotted Dog Restaurant & Bar: At this hole-in-the-wall pub in nearby Carrboro, paw prints climb the walls as if a bushel full of puppies were dipped in paint and let loose. Menu items include organic ingredients and reflect the canine theme with names such as the Kennel Club (a triple-decker club sandwich), Fido's Fries, and Chewin' Grass (a mixed salad). Besides the furry inspirations behind each creation, customers are drawn in by a menu that pleases everyone, whether carnivore, omnivore, or even herbivore. Lunch is a great time to visit, as many items are under $10 and portions are fit for a hungry dog.

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A Southern Season: For chefs and food-lovers, A Southern Season will feel like hitting the jackpot of tasty treats. From the humble beginnings of a tiny coffee roaster, this gourmet market now spans 59,000 square feet, filled to the brim with candies, coffee, local goods, and cooking supplies. Gift baskets are a specialty, and you can buy edible souvenirs like peanuts for as little as $6.

To search for flights and compare prices to Raleigh, which is home to the Chapel Hills’ nearest major airport, please use our price-comparison tool.

(Photo: Jason Brill)

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