The 11 Greatest Things to Do in Chapel Hill, North Carolina

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Are you going to Chapel Hill, North Carolina? Looking for fun things to do in Chapel Hill, North Carolina? Chapel Hill, a tiny town in North Carolina’s southern state, is home to the prominent University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

UNC is not just one of America’s oldest public universities, but it is also stunningly beautiful. But that’s not all. Several attractions in Chapel Hill may easily tempt you to spend a day or two in this delightful Southern town.

Make time to visit the main Chapel Hill sites, whether you’re here for a school trip or to explore North Carolina’s Research Triangle.

Not in the mood to dine out tonight? Click here to have Grubhub deliver right to your door from the greatest restaurants in town.

If you’re searching for a restaurant in Chapel Hill, NC, look no further. To find out which Chapel Hill restaurants are worth visiting, read the following article:

Chapel Hill’s Top Seven Restaurants

Are you planning a trip to North Carolina? See our other guides:

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  • 7 Best Fayetteville NC Restaurants & 9 Fun Things To Do In Fayetteville NC

The Top 11 Things to Do in Chapel Hill

Museum of Ackland Art

(919) 966-5736 Campus Box 3400, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

The Ackland Art Museum, founded in 1958, buys, maintains, and presents a diverse collection of outstanding art in order to educate, inspire, and interest both university students and the surrounding community.

The museum’s permanent collection of almost 17,000 pieces of art includes a large number of European masterworks, African and Asian art, 20th century contemporary art, and North Carolina ceramics.

Many touring and special exhibits, as well as educational events for students, children, and families, are held at the Ackland Art Museum throughout the year.

The Ackland is situated on S. Columbia Street near the Franklin Street intersection in downtown Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

Botanical Garden of North Carolina

(919) 962-0522CB 3375

The North Carolina Botanical Garden, part of The University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, encompasses approximately 1,000 acres and includes 10 acres of display gardens as well as other natural areas.

The North Carolina Botanical Garden features different living spaces that include gardens that depict North Carolina’s plants and vegetation, natural walkways, floral plant families, showcase gardens, and the Instructional Center, which contains several educational exhibits. It was founded to promote knowledge, respect, and the preservation of local plants.

There is a year-round calendar of educational lectures and events for adults and children, as well as summer camps and plant sales.

Dean E. Smith Memorial Center

Skipper Bowles Dr. (919) 962-6000300 Skipper Bowles Dr.

If you’re seeking for things to do in Chapel Hill, be sure to stop by this iconic basketball facility. The Dean E. Smith Center, sometimes known as Dean Dome, is a multi-purpose sports stadium in Chapel Hill that serves as the home of the Tar Heels of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

The arena, which is one of America’s most prominent athletic venues and is used for home basketball games, is named for former North Carolina men’s basketball coach Dean Smith.

The Dean E. Smith Center is open from Monday to Friday, and guests may see the playing court from the sitting area; however, guided tours are not offered. The Carolina Basketball Museum is also housed at the Ernie Williamson Athletics Center, which is located next door. The Smith Center and the Carolina Basketball Museum are both free to the public.

Planetarium and Science Center at Morehead State University

919-962-1236250 E Franklin Street

Visiting the Morehead Planetarium and Science Center, one of the country’s oldest and biggest planetariums, is also one of the top things to do in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. The Morehead Planetarium debuted in 1949 on the grounds of the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill to educate astronauts about celestial navigation.

It held one of the biggest operational Copernican orreries in the world. If you’re searching for something to do with your children in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, this is a great place to visit.

The Morehead Building includes the GSK Fulldome Theater, the Science Stage, various exhibits, and seminars, as well as the UNC Visitors Center, Morehead-Cain Foundation, and UNC Morehead Observatory.

History The Science Center’s permanent exhibitions include Hallway, Highway of the Planets, and Where American Astronauts First Met the Stars. Among the educational activities provided to children and teens are skywatching, starry evenings, Scout lectures, and other scientific organizations.

Arboretum Coker

(919) 962-0522 CB 3375, University of North Carolina

The Coker Arboretum, situated in the center of the University of North Carolina, is managed by the North Carolina Botanical Garden.

The Arboretum, one of the Botanical Gardens’ first tracts, was established in 1903 and today houses a modern variety of flowering trees, shrubs, bulbs, and permanent exhibits. Weekly guided tours led by trained naturalists give a calm and instructive introduction to Chapel Hill Arboretum, which is situated in the heart of the city.

The Arboretum, which is situated on the UNC campus close to the Morehead Planetarium and Science Center, is open daily from sunrise to sunset throughout the year. This is a fantastic activity for your Chapel Hill weekend getaways!

The Gimghoul Castle

Gimghoul Road, 705

The story of Gimghoul Castle has long been a source of curiosity, gossip, and interest for students and locals alike. Gimghoul Castle, formerly Hippol Castle, is situated on Gimghoul Road in Chapel Hill. The castle took more than five years to construct and cost an exorbitant $50,000 in the 1920s.

The castle is claimed to be haunted by the soul of Peter Dromgoole, who died in a struggle over his love for a local girl called Fanny. The castle has also been associated to the Order of the Gimghoul, a secret organization founded in 1889 by renowned UNC alumni.

Take a Break

+1-919-929-2425201 E Franklin St

Eddie Williams, a University of North Carolina alumni, launched Time Out in 1978, and it has since become one of Chapel Hills most renowned eating venues. Now, Eddie Williams manages the restaurant, which has become a fixture of the UNC-Chapel Hill undergraduate experience, serving its signature Southern-style food 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The Travel Channel, Buzzfeed, Thrillist, and The TODAY Show have all featured the restaurant’s signature chicken and cheddar biscuits, which are also available plain, honey-drenched, or in huge biscuit sandwiches stuffed with egg, sausage, or country fried steak.

BBQ pulled pig, fried chicken, and trout platters, as well as a range of specialty burgers and sandwiches, are available all day. Even though we are looking at a restaurant here, it is still one of the top things to do in Chapel Hill.

Finley Golf Course at UNC

919-962-234500 Finley Golf Course Road

The Tom Fazio-designed UNC Finley Golf Course is an 18-hole course with five tee boxes that will challenge golfers of all levels, from touring pro to high handicapper.

The Par 72 course has a lovely layout, great practice facilities, and a modern clubhouse with a restaurant and bar. Visitors to the club may receive golf lessons from professional golfers and eat at the Naismith Grill after a game, which serves a la carte menu items such as soups, salads, sandwiches, and burgers.

The restaurant also serves an extensive lunch buffet. Enjoy a selection of finger-lickin’ on and off the course, and stop by the pro shop for all your golfing needs.

Vimalas Curryblossom Café

W Franklin St Suite 16 (919) 929-3833431 W Franklin St Suite 16

Vimala Rajendran, who was born and raised in Bombay, owns and operates Vimalas Curryblossom Café and delivers her ability and enthusiasm for Indian cuisine to Chapel Hill consumers.

Vimalas cuisine include tandoori chicken, Kerala beef, pork vindaloo, and Kofta curry, as well as dosas and uttapams, salads, and bread. Vimala’s wonderful food may be enjoyed in the warm and friendly environment of the restaurant (reservations are not required) or in the seclusion of your own home with a takeout.

Vimalas hosts a variety of events, from small gatherings to large celebrations and special occasions, and the restaurant is open Monday through Saturday for lunch, dinner, and drinks. While searching for things to do in Chapel Hill, be sure to visit this genuine Indian restaurant.

Chapel Hill Buns

107 N. Columbia Street (919) 240-4746

Buns is all about the burger! Buns of Chapel Hill, situated in the heart of Chapel Hill just northwest of the University of North Carolina campus, offers patrons three burger options plus a plethora of tasty toppings from which to build the burger of their dreams!

Pick from Angus chuck beef, fresh ground turkey, or handcrafted veggie burger patties on a fresh bun, then personalize with cheese, bacon, salads, vegetables, and a variety of sauces. To your scrumptious burger, add a stack of golden, thick-cut fries and a hand-spun milkshake.

When you’ve done dining here, be sure to plan a walking activity around Chapel Hill!

Carolina Performing Arts Center

+1-919-843-3333114 E Cameron Ave

Carolina Performing Arts is dedicated to nurturing community creativity via exceptional art experiences and transformative performances.

Carolina Performing Arts presents a schedule of performances for local audiences, including dance, world music, jazz, and classical concerts, as well as a range of educational projects to help students integrate the arts into their academic experience.

Carolina Performing Arts produces performances in Memorial Hall, the Historic Playmakers Theatre, and Gerrard Hall on the campus of the University of North Carolina, among other venues in Chapel Hill.


Chapel Hill boasts a wide range of intriguing activities, 16 parks, and tasty restaurants for the whole family to enjoy. The different interactive attractions will appeal to children of all ages, and they may be learning without realizing it. North Carolina is a friendly state with modern amenities set against a background of natural beauty.

You’d think that with well-known student-athletes like Michael Jordan, Mia Hamm, and Lawrence Taylor attending the University of North Carolina, the only things to do in Chapel Hill revolved around them. Believe us when we say that there is lots to do in Chapel Hill.

Certainly, the colors and emblem of the institution are well-known in this college town. But there’s a lot more going on here. Chapel Hill is so much more than Tar Heel Blue, with festivals along Franklin Street, gardens, greenways, and finger-lickin’ country food.

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