- Places to Explore
- Travel Tips
- Fodor's Choice
Chapel Hill is the smallest city in the Triangle, but it has arguably the biggest personality. Home to the nation's first state university, the University of North Carolina, this is a college town through and through. Though not as quaint as it once was, this little city has never lost its quirky edge, thanks in no small part to its constant influx of young people. With its prestigious yet offbeat reputation, UNC's student population draws everyone from West Coast hippies to fraternity-loving members of the Southern aristocracy. Part of the fun of the area is the push-pull between this motley crew of students and the wealthy retirees who call Chapel Hill home. Inevitably, there must be services for both, which means that while there are fancy restaurants and lodgings, there are also cheap pizza joints and dive bars to be found. Franklin Street, located in the heart of downtown, caters to both these communities with its mixture of boutiques, restaurants, and galleries. It's just as good a place to buy incense as it is to purchase a designer shirt—and it makes for great people-watching.
Chapel Hill at a Glance
Elsewhere in Central North Carolina
Free Fodor's Newsletter
Subscribe today for weekly travel inspiration, tips, and special offers.
Fodor's Trip Planning Ideas
- Weekend Getaways: Fodor's Recommends the Best Weekend Escapes in the US
- Great American Vacation: Find Your Next U.S. Trip with Fodor's
- 80 Degrees: Fodor's Helps You Find Your Best Beach Vacation Spots
- Go List: Fodor's Top 25 Places to Go in 2013
- Hotel Awards 2012: Fodor's 100 Top Hotels
- Best of Europe: Fodor's Picks the Best Places to Visit in Europe
- $135 & up -- Charlotte, N.C.: Posh Uptown Hotel, $200 Off The Westin Charlotte