Chapel Hill/Orange County Visitors Bureau

Welcome to Orange County

Since the founding of Orange County in 1752 and the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill in 1785, this area has championed its natural beauty, history, and its writers, artists and musicians like no other. Consider: the nation’s first public university is here. UNC was the only university to award degrees in the 18th century. The university was built in Chapel Hill, near the ruins of a chapel, due to its central location in the state, right in Orange County. While visiting, stop by the Chapel Hill/Orange County Welcome Center, 308 W. Franklin Street, Chapel Hill. Campus and Town of Chapel Hill Free Bus Route (PDF)


ADA Restaurant List

RestaurantAddressCityPhoneWebsite
401 Main401 Main StCarrboro919-390-3598https://401main.com/
Acme110 E Main StCarrboro919-929-2263https://acmecarrboro.com/
Akai Hana206 W Main StCarrboro919-942-6848https://www.akaihana.com/
Al's Burger Shack516 W Franklin StChapel Hill919-904-7659https://www.alsburgershack.com/
Al's Burger Shack708 Market StChapel Hill919-914-6694https://www.alsburgershack.com/
American Hero640 N Churton StHillsborough919-732-1900https://americanherorestaurant.com/
Anna Maria's Pizzeria104 W Hwy 54Carrboro919-929-1877https://annamariasnc.wordpress.com/
Anna Maria's Pizzeria670 W Churton StHillsborough919-245-1900https://annamariasnc.wordpress.com/
Antonia's101 N Churton StHillsborough919-643-7722http://www.antoniashillsborough.com/
Armadillo Grill120 E Main StCarrboro919-929-4669https://armadillogrill.com/
Bartaco120 S Estest DrChapel Hill910-807-8226https://bartaco.com/location/chapel-hill/
Ben & Jerry's102 W Franklin StChapel Hill919-967-9068https://www.benjerry.com/chapelhill
Bin 54 Steak & Cellar1201 Raleigh RdChapel Hill919-969-1155https://www.bin54chapelhill.com/
Blue's on Franklin110 W Franklin StChapel Hill919-240-5060https://bluesonfranklin.com/
Bonchon205 E Franklin StChapel Hill984-234-0788https://www.bonchonchapelhill.com/
Botanist and Barrel
105 Persimmon Hill Ln
Cedar Grove
919-644-7777
https://www.botanistandbarrel.com/
Brenz Pizza Co.3120 Environ WayChapel Hill919-636-4636https://brenzpizzaco.com/chapel-hill-nc
Brixx Wood-Fired Pizza501 Meadowmont Village CirChapel Hill919-929-1942https://brixxpizza.com/locations/chapel-hill/
Buns Burgers & Fries107 N Columbia StChapel Hill919-240-4746http://bunsofchapelhill.com/
Carolina Brewery460 W Franklin StChapel Hill919-942-1800https://www.carolinabrewery.com/
Carolina Coffee Shop138 E Franklin StChapel Hill919-942-6875https://www.carolinacoffeeshop.com/
Carrboro Pizza Oven200 N Greensboro StCarrboro919-904-7336https://www.carrboropizzaoven.com/
Carrburritos711 W Rosemary StCarrboro919-933-8226https://carrburritos.com/
Casa Maria
1502 E Franklin St
Chapel Hill
919-929-6566
https://www.facebook.com/casamariafood/
Casual Pint (The)201 S Elliott RdChapel Hill919-967-2626https://chapelhill.thecasualpint.com/
Cha House318 W Franklin StChapel Hill984-999-4580https://www.chahouseusa.com/
Cham Thai Cuisine370 E Main StCarrboro984-999-4646https://www.chamthaicuisineatcarborro.com/
Chimney Indian Kitchen & Bar306 W Franklin StChapel Hill984-234-3671https://chimneyindiankitchen.com/
China Fuji615 Hampton PointeHillsborough919-732-3588https://tapthru.com/store/china-fuji-hillsbprough-8983/
China Wok104 N Hwy 54Carrboro919-929-9988http://chinawokcarrboro.com/
China Wok1129 Weaver Diary RdChapel Hill919-942-6388https://chapelhillchinawok.3menucities.com/catalog.aspx?cid
Chipotle's Mexican Grill301 W Franklin StChapel Hill919-942-2091https://www.chipotle.com/
Chipotle's Mexican Grill 1490 Fordham BlvdChapel Hill919-929-9324https://www.chipotle.com/
Cholanad310 W Franklin StChapel Hill800-246-5262https://cholanad.com/
Chopt Creative Salad1490 Fordhamd BlvdChapel Hill919-240-7660https://www.choptsalad.com/
Clean Juice
1800 E Franklin St
Chapel Hill
919-590-5133
https://www.cleanjuice.com/locations/chapel-hill/
Coco Espress, Bistro & Bar101 Glen Lennox Dr Ste 180Chapel Hill919-883-9003https://cocochapelhill.com/
Cosmic Cantina
128 E Franklin St
Chapel Hill
919-960-3955
http://www.cosmiccantina.com/
Country Junction402 Weaver StCarrboro919-929-2462https://www.facebook.com/pages/category/American-Restaurant/Country-Junction-Restaurant-116372811723350/
Craftboro Brewing Depot
101 Two Hills Dr
Carrboro
919-240-4400
https://craftborobrewing.com/
Crossroads Chapel Hill211 Pittsboro StChapel Hill919-918-2777https://www.destinationhotels.com/carolina-inn/crossroads-chapel-hill
Dame's Chicken and Waffles147 E Franklin StChapel Hill919-240-4228https://dameschickenwaffles.com/
Deli Edison630 Weaver Dairy RdChapel Hill919-929-7700https://deliedison.com/
Dunkin' Donuts1409 E Franklin StChapel Hill919-530-0053https://locations.dunkindonuts.com/en/nc/chapel-hill/1509-e-franklin-st/353562
Elements2110 Environ WayChapel Hill919-537-8780http://www.elementsofchapelhill.com/
Epilogue Books, Chocolates, Brews109 E Franklin StChapel Hill919-913-5055https://epiloguebookcafe.com/
Fiesta Grill3307 Hwy 54 WChapel Hill919-928-9002http://www.fiestagrill.us/
Firehouse Subs1726 Fordham BlvdChapel Hill984-999-4793https://www.firehousesubs.com/locations/nc/rams-plaza/
First Watch1101 Environ WayChapel Hill919-537-8488https://www.firstwatch.com/locations/chapel-hill/
Flying Biscuit Café (The)201 S Estes DrChapel Hill833-322-2330https://flyingbiscuit.com/locations-2/chapel-hill/
Four Corners175 E Franklin StChapel Hill919-537-8230http://www.fourcornersgrille.com/
Four Eleven (411) West411 W Franklin StChapel Hill919-967-2782https://www.411west.com/
Franklin Motors Beer Garden601 W Franklin StChapel Hill919-869-7090https://www.franklinmotors.net/
Glasshalfull106 S Greensboro StCarrboro919-967-9784https://glasshalfull.net/
Gourmet Kingdom301 E Main StCarrboro919-932-7222https://www.thegourmetkingdom.com/
Grata Café200 N Greensboro StCarrboro919-240-7000https://www.gratacafe.com/
Gray Squirrel Coffee Co360 E Main StCarrboro
https://www.graysquirrelcoffee.com/
Hawkers Asian Street Food201 S Estes DrChapel Hill919-415-1799https://eathawkers.com/locations/chapel-hill/
Hawthorn and Wood3140 Environ WayChapel Hill919-240-4337https://hawthorneandwood.com/
Heavenly Buffaloes407 W Franklin StChapel Hill919-914-6717http://www.heavenlybuffaloes.com/chapel-hill
Hibachi & Company153 E Franklin StChapel Hill919-903-8428https://www.hibachicompany.com/
Hickory Tavern300 E Main StCarrboro919-942-7417https://thehickorytavern.com/
Hillsborough BBQ236 S Nash StHillsborough919-732-4647https://hillsboroughbbq.com/
Honeysuckle Tea House
8871 Pickards Meadow Rd
Chapel Hill
919-903-9131
https://www.thehoneysuckleteahouse.com/
Hong Kong Chinese602-R Jones Ferry RdCarrboro919-942-0850https://website--2373288974958184144204-chineserestaurant.business.site
Hwy 55 Burgers, Shakes & Fries601 Hampton PointeHillsborough919-732-3734https://www.hwy55.com/locations/hillsborough
I Love New York Pizza106 W Franklin StChapel Hill919-968-4224https://ilovenypizzanc.com/
Il Palio Ristorante1505 E Franklin StChapel Hill919-918-2545https://ilpalio.com/
Imbibe108 Henderson StChapel Hill919-636-6469https://imbibenc.com/
Italian Pizzeria III508 W Franklin StChapel Hill919-968-4671https://www.italianpizzeria3.com/
Iza Whiskey and Eats307 E Main StCarrboro919-537-8645https://www.izaeats.com/
Jack's Country Restaurant121 Rebecca DrHillsborough919-932-7022https://visithillsboroughnc.com/where-to-eat/jacks-country-restaurant/
Japan Express106 S Estes DrChapel Hill919-903-8050https://www.facebook.com/Japan-Express-102328002232864
Jay's Chicken Shack
646 N Churton St
Hillsborough
919-732-3591
https://www.jayschickenshack.com/
Jed's Kitchen105 E Franklin StChapel Hill919-240-7003https://jedskitchen.com/
Jimmy John's Sandwich Shop306 W Franklin StChapel Hill919-968-7827https://www.jimmyjohns.com/
Jujube Restaurant1201 Raleigh RdChapel Hill919-960-0555http://www.jujuberestaurant.com/
Just Salad111 S Elliott RdChapel Hill984-999-3700https://www.orderjustsalad.com/
Kahlovera Street Tacos504 Meadomont Village CirChapel Hill984-999-4537https://www.kahloveratacos.com/
Kipos Greek Tavern1800 E Franklin StChapel Hill919-425-0760https://www.kiposchapelhill.com/
Kitchen764 Martin Luther King, Jr BlvdChapel Hill919-537-8167https://kitchenchapelhill.com/
Kurama Sushi & Noodle  Express105 N Columbia StChapel Hill919-968-4747https://www.kuramasushinoodle.com/
La Hacienda1813 Fordham BlvdChapel Hill919-967-0207https://lahaciendamex.com/
Lanzas Café601 W Main StCarrboro919-967-9398https://www.facebook.com/Lanzascafe
La Residance 202 W Rosemary StChapel Hill919-967-2506http://www.laresidencedining.com/
La Vita Dolce & Gelato Bar610 Market StChapel Hill919-968-1635https://www.lavitadolcecafe.com/
Lantern423 W Franklin StChapel Hill919-969-8846https://www.lanternrestaurant.com/
Lime & Basil Vietnamese200 W Franklin StChapel Hill919-967-5055https://www.limeandbasil.com/
Lime and Lemon Indian Bar & Grill100 Meadowmont Village CirChapel Hill984-234-3409https://www.lnlrestaurant.com/
Linda's Bar & Grill203 E Franklin StChapel Hill919-933-6663https://www.lindas-bar.com/
Loop Pizza Grill (The)1800 E Franklin StChapel Hill919-969-7112https://www.thelooprestaurant.com/
Lucha Tigre746 Martin Luther King, Jr BlvdChapel Hill919-914-6386https://luchatigre.com/
Luna Rotisserie 307 E Main StCarrboro919-537-8958https://www.lunarotisserie.com/
Magone Italian Grill & Pizza1129 Weaver Dairy RdChapel Hill919-904-7393https://www.magoneitaliangrillpizza.com/
Mama Dip's Kitchen408 W Rosemary StChapel Hill919-942-5837https://mamadips.com/
Maple View Farm Ice Cream6900 Rocky Ridge RdHillsborough919-960-5535https://mapleviewfarm.com/
Market and Moss700 Market StChapel Hill919-929-8226https://marketandmoss.com/
Mediterranean Deli & Catering410 W Franklin StChapel Hill919-967-2666https://mediterraneandeli.com/chapel-hill
Meet Fresh407 Meadowmont Village CirChapel Hill984-999-4983https://www.facebook.com/MeetFreshChapelHill/
Merritt's Store & Grill1009 S Columbia StChapel Hill919-942-4897https://www.merrittsblt.com/
Might As Well Bar and Grill206 W Franklin StChapel Hill984-234-3333https://chapelhill.mightaswellbarandgrill.com/
Min Ga Korean Restaurant1404 E Franklin StChapel Hill919-933-1773https://www.min-ga.com/
Mint Indian Restaurant504 W Franklin StChapel Hill919-929-6188http://www.mintunc.com/
Moge Tee151 W Franklin StChapel Hill984-234-3278https://www.mogeteechapelhill.com/
Momo's Master110 N Columbia StChapel Hill919-903-9051https://www.momosmaster.com/
Monterrey Mexican Restaurant1722 Fordham BlvdChapel Hill919-969-8750https://letsgotomonterrey.com/chapelhill
Mosaic Café & Bistro203 W Weaver StCarrboro919-967-5008https://www.mosaicbistro.com/
Mr. Tokyo Japanese1722 Fordham BlvdChapel Hill919-240-4552https://mrtokyojapanese.com/chapel-hill/
Napoli Pizzeria
105 E Main St
Carrboro
919-667-8288
https://www.napolicarrboro.com/

Napoli Pizzeria


230 E Nash St


Hillsborough


919-245-8566


https://www.napolicarrboro.com/


Neal's Deli100 E Main StCarrboro919-967-2185https://nealsdeli.com/
New Hope Market6117 NC Hwy 86 SouthChapel Hill919-240-7851 https://www.facebook.com/moonpi451/
Nomad122 W King StHillsborough984-217-0179https://www.thenomadnc.com/
Oakleaf
310 E Main St
Carrboro
984-234-0054
https://oakleafnc.com/
Oishii Sushi Bar & Restaurant1129 Weaver Diary RdChapel Hill919-932-7002http://oishiiroll.com/
Old East Tavern1118 Environ WayChapel Hill919-903-8699https://www.oldeasttavern.com/
Osteria Georgi201 S Elliott RdChapel Hill919-375-0600https://www.osteriageorgi.com/
Panciuto110 S Churton StHillsborough919-732-6261https://www.panciuto.com/
Pho Happiness508 W Frankli StChapel Hill919-942-8201https://www.facebook.com/phohappiness/
Pig (The)
630 Weaver Dairy Rd
Chapel Hill
919-942-1133
https://thepigrestaurant.com/
Pizza Mercato
408 W Weaver St
Carrboro
919-967-2277
https://pizzeriamercatonc.com/
Pop's Pizzeria & Ristorante1822 Martin Luther King, Jr BlvdChapel Hill919-932-1040http://pops-pizzeria.com/Pages/Menu.aspx
Present Day on Main901 W Main StCarrboro919-932-5070http://www.presentdayonmain.com/
Que Chula Craft Tacos & Tequila Bar140 W Franklin StChapel Hill919-903-8000https://quechulatacos.com/
Queen of Pho
1129 Weaver Dairy Rd
Chapel Hill
919-903-8280
https://www.queenofphochapelhill.com/
Quickly Bubble Tea Café503 Meadowmont Village CirChapel Hill984-234-0401https://quicklychapelhill.com/
Radius Pizzeria & Pub112 N Churton StHillsborough919-245-0601https://www.radiuspizzeria.net/
Rasa-Indi-Chinese1826 Martin Luther King, Jr BlvdChapel Hill919-929-2199http://www.rasachapelhill.com/
Red Lotus Asian Kitchen239 S Elliott RdChapel Hill919-968-7778https://redlotusch.com/
Rise Southern Biscuits
310 E Main St
Carrboro
919-929-5115
https://risebiscuitschicken.com/
Root Cellar Café & Catering750 Martin Luther King, Jr BlvdChapel Hill919-967-3663https://rootcellarchapelhill.com/
Root's Natural Kitchen133 W Franklin StChapel Hill984-322-5600https://www.rootsnaturalkitchen.com/
Sage Vegetarian Café1129 Weaver Dairy RdChapel Hill919-968-9266https://rootcellarchapelhill.com/
Sal's Pizza & Ristorante2805 Homestead RdChapel Hill919-932-5125https://www.salspizzaofchapelhill.com/
Seafood Destiny100 West Franklin StChapel Hill919-914-6350https://seafooddestiny.com/
Shanghai Dumplings143 W Franklin StChapel Hill919-914-6737https://shanghaidumplingch.com/
Spicy 9 Sushi Bar & Asian Cuisine140 W Franklin StChapel Hill919-903-9335http://www.spicy9chapelhill.com/
Squid's Restaurant & Oyster Bar1201 Fordham BlvdChapel Hill919-942-8757https://www.squidsrestaurant.com/
Steel String Brewery
106A S Greensboro St
Carrboro
919-240-7215
https://steelstringbrewery.com/
Stoney River Steakhouse and Grill
201 S Estes Dr
Chapel Hill
919-914-6688
https://stoneyriver.com/
Sup Dogs107 E Franklin StChapel Hill919-903-9566https://supdogs.com/

Talulla’s

456 W Franklin St
Chapel Hill
919-933-1177
http://talullas.com/
Tandem
200 N Greensboro St
Carrboro
919-240-7937
https://www.tandemcarrboro.com/
Tesoro100 E Weaver StCarrboro919-537-8494https://tesorocarrboro.com/
Thai Palace1206 Raleigh RdChapel Hill919-967-5805https://order.thaipalacechapelhill.com/
Thai Station201 E Main StCarrboro984-234-3230https://www.thaistationnc.com/
The Colonial Inn
153 W King St
Hillsborough
984-789-4455
https://colonialinn-nc.com/dining-at-the-inn/
Top of the Hill Restaurant100 E Franklin StChapel Hill919-929-8676https://www.thetopofthehill.com/
Town Hall Grill (The)410 Market StChapel Hill919-960-8696https://www.thetownhallgrill.com/
Trilogoy - Silverspot
201 S Estes Dr
Chapel Hill
919-357-9887
https://silverspot.net/food-and-drinks
TRU114 Henderson StChapel Hill919-240-7755https://www.trudeli.com/
Twisted Noodle1800 E Franklin StChapel Hill919-933-9933https://www.twistednoodlesch.com/
Venable Rotisserie200 N greensboro StCarrboro919-904-7160https://venablebistro.com/
Vecino Brewing Co.
300 E Main St
Carrboro
919-391-6788
https://www.vecinobrewing.com/
Village Diner600 W King StHillsborough919-245-8915https://www.villagedinernc.com/
Vimala's Curryblossom Café431 W Franklin StChapel Hill919-929-3833https://www.curryblossom.com/
Vinny's Italian Grill & Pizzeria133 N Scotswood BlvdHillsborough919-732-9219https://vinnyshillsborough.com/
Waffle House110 Daniel Boone StHillsborough919-644-0040https://locations.wafflehouse.com/hillsborough-nc-721
Weaver Street Market 101 E Weaver StCarrboro919-929-0010https://www.weaverstreetmarket.coop/
Weaver Street Market716 Market StChapel Hill919-929-2009https://www.weaverstreetmarket.coop/
Weaver Street Market228 S Churton StHillsborough919-245-5050https://www.weaverstreetmarket.coop/
Whit's Frozen Custard
240 S Nash St
Hillsborough
919-245-8123
https://whitscustard.com/
YaYa Tea157 E Franklin StChapel Hill919-914-6302https://yayatea.com/
Yopop Frozen Yogurt1129 Weaver Dairy RdChapel Hill919-537-8229https://www.facebook.com/yopopchapelhill

50ReasonsWebsiteGraphic

  1. 50Reaons1Amazing restaurants, like Lantern, 411 West, Iza Whiskey Eats, Tandem, Panciuto, Acme, Mama Dip’s, Crossroads, Chapel Hill, Il Palio, and more. Of course BBQ is a must. Try Hillsborough BBQ Company, Big Belly Que, Blues on Franklin, The Pig. Vegetarian? Try, The Spotted Dog. 
  2. 50Reasons2Did you know James Taylor grew-up in Chapel Hill? For a welcome message from Taylor, an autographed album cover perfect for selfies, and a self-guided “James Taylor’s Chapel Hill,” stop by the Welcome Center at 308. W. Franklin Street and Go to Carolina In Your Mind.
  3. Acclaimed area microbreweries include Carolina Brewery, Dingo Dog, Carrboro Brewing Depot , Steel String Craft Brewery, and Top of the Hill Restaurant and Brewery.50Reasons3
  4. The area is home to a dazzling array of live music — legendary venues like the Cat’s Cradle, Local 506, and Yonder Bar in Hillsborough, and many outdoor venues.
  5. For a look at public murals: Greetings from Chapel Hill post card, Elizabeth Cotten, Honeybee mural in C50Reasons4arrboro, African American leaders’ mural art on Merritt Mill Road and Billy Strayhorn in Hillsborough.
  6. The team colors are Carolina Blue and so are the fire trucks, which provide visual representation of how much the school and the town form a close-knit community and helps make the town a unique place to visit.50Reasons5
  7. Stunning agriculture all around us. Winding roads, country scenery, and…century farms, berry farms, and dairy farms. Additionally Orange County boasts three farmers’ markets: all open year round with seasonal events. Download the NC Farm App for details.
  8. Sports Illustrated has called Chapel Hill “The best college town in America,” and Franklin Street—named after Benjamin Franklin—is a big reason. (Franklin was a proponent of practical education for youth.)50Reasons6
  9. Leland Little Auctions in Hillsborough has specialized in the sale of fine high-end collectible objects for over 20 years, with sales achieving over $14 million per year and growing. You’ll need to visit their site to see a schedule of auctions, https://lelandlittle.com.
  10. Memorial Hall on campus hosts internationally renowned recitalists and orchestras, dance and chamber ensembles, jazz, folk, and world music performers, opera and ballet.
  11. PlayMakers Repertory Company is one of America’s leading theatre companies according to American Theatre. Its artists are always at the top of their game.50Reasons7
  12. Southern Village is an urban neighborhood located a few miles south of the UNC campus in Chapel Hill. The main road, Market Street, is within walking distance of the neighborhood and includes restaurants, shops, a movie theater and concerts on the lawn in the warm season.
  13. Creativity is everywhere at Eno Arts Mill in Hillsborough, a 7,000 square foot space offering small and large classrooms, a gallery and events space.50Reasons8
  14. The Chapel Hill area loves thrift stores. Call them second hand, we call them fabulous. Shops include Rumors Chapel Hill in downtown, Clothes Mentor on Elliott Road, Goodwill in Timberlyne and near Walmart Hillsborough, The Community Worx Thrift Shop in Carrboro. Across the county line find, the Stock Exchange, Habitat Home stores and Durham Rescue Mission. Many stores offer great products at a steep discount.50Reasons9
  15. If you are hungry, visit Sutton’s Drug Store on Franklin Street, a living museum in all the best ways. If your photo appears on the wall, you have made it!
  16. Kidzu Children’s Museum is an inspiring space located at University Place (formerly University Mall).
  17. Yes, grocery stores are fun to visit in new cities. A few you’ll want to check-out on your visit are Weaver Street Market (with stores in Hillsborough,Carrboro and Chapel Hill, plus Wegmans, Whole Foods, Trader Joes, Fresh Market and traditional shops such as Harris Teeter and Food Lion.
  18. There are three welcome centers to help answer questions, give you maps and guides and provide a restroom break. The Chapel Hill/Orange County Welcome Center located at 308 W. Franklin Street, Chapel Hill. The University North Carolina Chapel Hill Visitors Center is at 134 E. Franklin Street, near campus. While in Hillsborough, stop by the Hillsborough Visitors Center in the Alexander Dickson House at 150 E. King Street.
  19. Bakeries?You bet. From Weaver Street Market’s fresh baked goods created in Hillsborough and delivered to three stores daily, to Wegman’s Bakery, The Bakery Shop in Hillsborough, and Guglhupf where everything is made fresh.
  20. An historic landmark since 1929, Merritt’s Store and Grill is touted as the “Home of the World-Famous BLTs” and chicken fried humor.
  21. The North Carolina Botanical Garden — the largest in the Southeast — is known for its nature trails, carnivorous plant collections, aquatics, herb gardens, and revolving exhibits of artwork.50Reasons10
  22. UNC-Chapel Hill is the oldest public university in the U.S. (chartered in 1789) and the only public university in the U.S. that awarded degrees in the18th century. The iconic Old Well was the primary source of campus water for more than a century.
  23. Two first class Libraries are open, one in Chapel Hill and the other in downtown Hillsborough.
  24. Shoot for the stars at the Morehead Planetarium & Science Center. The first planetarium in the South and one of the largest in the U.S., Morehead was a NASA training facility for 15 years.50Reasons11
  25. The Carolina Inn, an iconic hotel on the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill campus, has been hosting visitors, UNC families, and special events since 1924!
  26. Johnston Mill Nature Preserve. Triangle Land Conservancy has preserved numerous walking trails and greenways here. https://www.triangleland.org/explore/nature-preserves/johnston-mill-nature-preserve50Reasons12 Opens in new window
  27. Relive the early days of Michael Jordan, the late Dean Smith and more legends at the Carolina Basketball Museum.
  28. UNC’s Finley Golf Course was redesigned by Tom Fazio and continues to be recognized as one of the nation’s top collegiate layouts. Open to the public.
  29. A walk through the Ackland Art Museum on South Columbia Street in Chapel Hill can be an introduction to Peter Paul Rubens, Eugene Delacroix, and Andy Warhol.50Reasons13
  30. The Sonja Haynes Stone Center for Black Culture and History is a must see—one of the preeminent centers in the nation for the critical examination of African and African American diaspora cultures.
  31. The Horace Williams House is the only historic house in Chapel Hill open to the public—and is where Preservation Chapel Hill offers tours of historic importance.
  32. Coker Arboretum offers serene walking paths taking you past wildflowers and trees in this 5-acre gem on the UNC campus. Rest on one of several open lawns or take a seat on a shady bench. Coker Arboretum changes with the seasons. From spring blooms to summer greenery, fall color to winter grace, there is always something to see.
  33. Carrboro’s Main Street for boutique shops, restaurants, and lodging, including This and That Gallery, Hampton Inn, Muse shop, Gray Squirrel coffee, Vecino Brewery featuring house brews, food and pub.
  34. Botanist and Barrel in Cedar Grove is a place where its owners and operators experiment with various types of fermentation, all while keeping the flavor integrity of the fruit they use to make their ciders and wines. Each month they host live music, cider making events and food trucks.50Reasons14
  35. Carr Mill Mall was rehabilitated under the Tax Reform Act of 1976. Much of the original architecture remains in its restaurants and upscale boutique shops.
  36. Open Eye Café, a coffee shop affectionately known as “Carrboro’s living room” serving beans from Colombia, Nicaragua, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Honduras, Guatemala, and Peru.
  37. The ArtsCenter in Carrboro offers classes in visual, literary, and performing arts, music concerts, theater productions, children's programs, and an art gallery.
  38. The Carrboro Music Festival, held every September all over town, is colorful, creative and features local and regional musical talent.50Reasons15
  39. The Horace Williams Tract, now known as Carolina North, comprises more than nine hundred acres that are yet largely undeveloped and the site is popular with walkers, runners, and outdoor enthusiasts. Horace Williams gave this property to UNC in 1940.
  40. The Old Orange County Courthouse in Hillsborough, with its town clock in the cupola, has been cited by the Library of Congress as one of the finest examples of Greek-Revival architecture in the U.S.50Reasons16
  41. Among the late 18th and early 19th century structures still standing today in Hillsborough, you will also find a wine store, art galleries, a yarn shop, vintage jewelry stores, and much more on Churton Street in downtown Hillsborough.
  42. Hillsborough’s Ayr Mount Historic Site, built around 1815, is one of North Carolina’s finest Federal-era plantation homes. Meander through woodlands and pastures on the Poet’s Walk, a one-mile walking trail surrounding the historic site along the banks of the Eno River.
  43. The Alexander Dickson House was the last headquarters of the commander of the largest armies to surrender to Union forces, larger than Lee’s army at Appomattox.
  44. The Burwell School was one of North Carolina’s leading Presbyterian schools for “young ladies” from 1837–1857. Just two blocks down, find over 2,000 artifacts at the Orange County Historical Museum, including what is believed to be the only complete set of colonial weights and measures within the U.S.50Reasons17
  45. Feel the need for speed at the fastest three-eighths-mile racing oval in America, better known as the Orange County Speedway, offering grassroots racing at its best.
  46. Orange County Sportsplex has indoor courts, outdoor athletic fields, fitness center, ice-skating rink (NHL-size, open year-round) and an aquatic center with three pools.
  47. Historic Occoneechee Speedway Trail has a 4-mile trail for hiking and a 1-mile oval track where the original NASCAR racers evaluated their driving skills from 1948–1968.50Reasons18
  48. Stroll Hillsborough’s Riverwalk, a 1.8-mile greenway with loop trails, bridges, and boardwalk, accessible to trails, parks, and the Eno River.
  49. The Sheraton Chapel Hill Hotel reopened in September following an all-encompassing renovation. It now boasts 172 redesigned guest rooms, a contemporary bar, a 7,000-square-foot rooftop deck, full outdoor patio, and much more.50Reasons19
  50. Enjoy Maple View Farm’s Simply Natural Creamery to-die-for ice cream. Seasonal flavors include candied bacon, banana pudding and eggnog.


For more information, contact us at: info@visitchapelhill.org, (888) 968-2060 or www.visitchapelhill.org
This was first published in summer 2014.

Click here for a print-friendly brochure of 50 Reasons to Love Orange County, North Carolina (PDF)



Contact the Visitors Bureau

Since 2002 the Visitors Center has provided information and assistance to those interested in visiting the communities of Orange County NC including Chapel Hill, Carrboro, and Hillsborough. The Center provides suggested itineraries, directions, visitor guides, North Carolina & local maps, and brochures from many of the areas favorite attractions. Free parking off South Roberson Street, Chapel Hill. ADA access & parking in the front.

Address: 501 West Franklin Street, Chapel Hill, NC 27516
Phone Toll-Free: (888) 968-2060 | Phone: (919) 245-4320 | Fax: (919) 968-2062
Website: https://www.visitchapelhill.org
Email: info@visitchapelhill.org
Regular Business Hours: Open Monday-Friday, 8:30 am - 5 pm; Saturday, 10 am - 3 pm. (As of August, 2021, the Visitors Bureau is operating on limited hours: Tuesday-Friday, 10 am - 4 pm.)

Getting Here

The Chapel Hill and Orange County area is serviced by the Raleigh Durham International Airport (RDU) located in Raleigh, about 18 miles east of Chapel Hill.


Raleigh-Durham International Airport’s Official Parking Program

ParkRDU provides easy, convenient options allowing you to choose your experience. Select from a variety of short-term or long-term products, meeting various budget needs. ParkRDU options are fully-accessible for people with disabilities.

Helpful Tourism Links

Meeting/Conference Facilities

For a list of meeting and conference facilities, contact Orange County Sales Director, Marlene Barbera, 919-245-4320

2019–20 Strategic Marketing Plan (PDF)


Overview of Orange County

Chapel Hill/Orange County Neighborhoods Guide cover Opens in new windowOrange County, North Carolina is a remarkable place to visit. Its three main towns: Chapel Hill, Carrboro and Hillsborough have everything a visitor wants in a destination: beautiful climate, historic neighborhoods—many on the national historic register, a cutting-edge arts scene, and some of the best food you’re going to get anywhere in the country.

To view the Orange County Neighborhoods Guide online, click here.


 


12 Ways to Enjoy Chapel Hill/Orange County

12Ways_1

EXPERIENCE ICONIC PLACES

There are many unique to this area, but we’ll just mention a few to get you started. Sutton's Drug Store established 1923 serving up shakes, burgers & more. The Carolina Coffee Shop – longest running restaurant in North Carolina. The Cat’s Cradle celebrating over 50 years of top name and upcoming bands. Carolina Brewery, the oldest brewery in the Triangle. Julian’s, established in 1942, brings Ivy League style to Chapel Hill. Open Eye Café, brings international coffees to Carrboro and the Chapel Hill Post Card mural is probably the most instagrammable spot next to UNC's iconic Old Well on campus

12Ways_2

WALKING TOURS

Whether your interests lie in historical facts and places, African-American history, or botanicals, you are sure to find a tour that ‘speaks’ to your passion. If historical facts is your thing, join the ‘Free Walking Tour of Chapel Hill’ guide that covers UNC campus and Franklin Street history. For garden lovers, the North Carolina Botanical Garden offers general private guided tours for a minimal fee. For self-guided tours, you might consider “Histories of Home: A Walk with Northside Neighbors”, Historic Hillsborough Walking Tours which include historic buildings, cemeteries & gardens, and African American history, or a historic downtown walking tour of Carrboro. (Image courtesy Free Walking Tours)

12Ways_3

LIVE PERFORMANCES

The weekends come alive in Orange County. Reserve your spot for Carolina Inn’s Fridays on the Front Porch to enjoy music, food and libations. Eat, sip, stroll, tip from East to West on Franklin Street Saturday nights with musicians set up at favorite dining and shopping spots. Sundays at Sundown features live music on the Green at Southern Village. And On the last Friday of the month, Hillsborough hosts buskers that roam Churton Street, plus still walkers, poetry readings and an artwalk. (Image courtesy Southern Village).

12Ways_4

UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA

Walk the campus of the oldest public university in the country and look for historic landmarks like the Davie Poplar and the Old Well (Self-guided tours available). For a teaser, check out UNC Visitors Center 'Sense of Place' Zoom Tour. Or catch a star show at the newly renovated, largest planetarium in the southeastern United States at the Morehead Planetarium & Science Center.

12Ways_5

MURALS

Chapel Hill and Carrboro are very proud of their building murals. They define us as a community. There are over 30 murals in all, mostly in the downtown areas. Some have faded, some refreshed, some painted over. Local artist Michael Brown created the first mural, titled The Blue Mural in 1989. The most recent murals (2020) can be found in Carrboro: Elizabeth Cotten, Black Lives Matter and We are Community. There are a couple of outliers too, Children’s Faces can be viewed from Hwy 54 heading west, a tribute to legendary coach Dean Smith can be seen at the intersection of Smith Level Rd. and Hwy 15-501 S, and in Hillsborough, a tribute to Billy Strayhorn.

12Ways_6

BICYCLING

Did you know there are miles and miles of biking trails in Carrboro and Chapel Hill? Both Carrboro and Chapel Hill are designated Silver-Level Bicycle Friendly Communities by The League of American Bicyclists and UNC is recognized nationally as Silver-Level Bicycle Friendly University.

12Ways_7

HISTORIC PLACES

While Carrboro and Chapel Hill along with the University of North Carolina have a long standing history, Hillsborough’s downtown historic district in itself is listed on the National Register for Historic Places and features more than 100 homes, churches, school and other structures from the late 18th and 19th centuries. Among those buildings, open to the public is the Alexander Dickson House, which houses the Hillsborough Visitor Center. There you can join a group tour or venture out on your own to other notable buildings such as the Burwell School, the Old Courthouse and the Old Town Cemetery. Learn more of Orange County's history at the Orange County Historical Museum. 

12Ways_8

SHOP UNIQUE

When visiting a new town it’s always fun to seek out unique shops. Carr Mill Mall in Carrboro is home to more than 10 local and family owned shops ranging from beads & jewelry, boutiques and natural skin care to fine-fabrics, children’s toys and a card shop. For the selective antique buyer, check out Whitehall Antiques in Chapel Hill. And you’ll find the cutest boutique shops on Churton Street in Historic downtown Hillsborough.

12Ways_9

CRAFT BEERS & CIDER TRAIL

Just within a two-mile stretch between Chapel Hill and Carrboro lie six distinct craft breweries. Begin your tasting tour at Top of the Hill Restaurant & Brewery, make your way down Franklin Street to Carolina Brewery, and then head into Carrboro to the neighborhood brewery, Vecino Brewing Co. Try a funky free-spirited brew at Steel String, a Mukimono Belgian Wit at Craftboro Brewing Depot and end at our newest brewpub, Dingo Dog. For a slight detour north of Hillsborough, visit the tasting room at Botanist and Barrel for dry fruit wines, ciders & sours every Sunday afternoon. Be sure to check out our numerous bottle shops and taprooms too.

12Ways_10

ART GALLERIES & MUSEUMS

For an eclectic experience, the permanent collection of the Ackland Art Museum consists of more than 18,000 works of art, featuring North Carolina’s premier collections of Asian art and works of paper as well as significant collections of European masterworks. For modern and contemporary fine art galleries, check out the Hillsborough Gallery of Arts in downtown Hillsborough. You’ll not find better artisanship than at FRANK in Chapel Hill, the North Carolina Crafts Gallery and Womancraft Gifts in Carrboro, and Hillsborough Arts Council Gallery in Hillsborough.

12Ways_11

LOCAL FOOD SCENE

Hailed as "America's Foodiest Small Town" by Bon Appetit magazine, Chapel Hill is a hot spot for local farm to table cuisine. From all-natural beef burgers at Al’s Burger Shack, BLT’s from Merritt’s, contemporary Italian faves with local ingredients at Il Palio, you’ll find a dish to your liking. Check out Eno River Farm and Maple View Farm Ice Cream Country Store to continue the flavor tour. Visit four county farmers’ markets to see where many local chefs shop. Stop by the Blue Dogwood Public Market for Persian food, BBQ and vegan favorites under one roof. Don’t forget the Honeysuckle Tea House for locally grown specialty tea drinks in an open-air environment.

12Ways_12

OUTDOOR SPACES

With our average winter climate in the 50’s and summer in the 90’s, we can enjoy the outdoors most all year round. Here are some of our favorite spots. Located on the University of North Carolina campus, the Coker Arboretum is 5 acres of flowering trees and shrubs, grassy areas and benches to relax. Just off campus is the North Carolina Botanical Garden, 1100 acres of garden and conservation areas plus a nearby trail system. Hillsborough has RiverWalk that edges the Eno River and is part of the Mountains to the Sea Trail. Both Carrboro and Chapel Hill have an extensive park system, trails and greenways for walking and biking.