From its inception, Chapel Hill has been synonymous with higher education. Founded in 1819, the then-village was the municipal base of the University of North Carolina, the first public college in the United States. Over the years, the university and surrounding areas grew from that small village into the town we know and love today.
Along with Raleigh and Durham, Chapel Hill forms part of the Triangle, a renowned intersection of three major research universities. Ranked as one of the best places to live in North Carolina, residents of Chapel Hill enjoy everything this esteemed college town has to offer. Division I sports teams, museums, arts and culture, award-winning academics, restaurants, and state-of-the-art medical facilities must be why some have called Chapel Hill the “southern part of heaven.”
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Spotlights of Chapel Hill
What’s a top college town without sports? The North Carolina Tar Heels provide plenty to cheer for with 28 varsity programs playing basketball, football, baseball, and more for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
The Best Burger
A burger and fries might sound like quintessential college fare, but here it’s on a whole other level! Al’s Burger Shack is quite frankly the Best Burger in America. The combo of local beef and brews make Al’s a local—and national—favorite.
See the Night Sky
Stare in wonder at the sky above at the Morehead Planetarium and Science Center, where you’ll learn how to identify the planets, stars, and constellations. Feeling flexible? Don’t miss your chance to do yoga under a magical canopy of stars!
Chapel Hill Attractions
There’s Endless Enrichment in Chapel Hill
Residents of Chapel Hill can become lifelong students. Between fantastic public education, art museums, and an emerging tech scene, the town provides never-ending horizons to explore.
Leading in Public Education
Founded in 1789, the renowned University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill ranks third among all public universities in the United States. The university boasts a strong roster of alum, including artists, journalists, politicians, and sports players. For primary schools, Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools are the best K–12 public school system in North Carolina.
There’s always something new to learn in Chapel Hill. The Ackland Art Museum is home to more than 19,000 works of art and is a treasured cultural resource. Children make, build, and explore through a STEM-focus at the Kidzu Children’s Museum. A relaxed wander through the North Carolina Botanical Garden teaches visitors about rare flora native to the region.
A Future-Proof Economy
Traditionally, major employers in Chapel Hill were in education and healthcare. More recently, the area is attracting talent from tech hubs in California. The high quality of life, low cost of living, and bustling tech startup ecosystem is a big draw for transplants. It shows: more than $3.6 billion was raised in North Carolina by startups in 2020!
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