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Downtown Chapel Hill

North Carolina
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Downtown Chapel Hill, North Carolina NC


Chapel Hill has a cute downtown area with big trees, sidewalk cafes, and brick buildings. The main street is Franklin Street, which borders University of North Carolina and is therefore full of students and a fun atmosphere. There are many great hangout spots, including Cha House, a boba tea place, which has a pleasant, bright interior with plenty of booths along the wall and good music. Try the lychee green tea with jelly lychee pieces added- yum! Top of the Hill is a groovy restaurant with a balcony high up over Franklin Street. Enjoy the yummy Southern meals like fried chicken and mashed potatoes.
Mama Dip's Country Kitchen, a famous award-winning Southern Comfort food restaurant one block back on Rosemary St, is in a cute house. You definitely get a home-cooked feeling here. The waiters are great and the food is delicious though heavy.
Some places I haven't tried yet and will update when I do, are: Panera Bread, where many students hang out for a predictable good experience, Cat's Cradle, a live music venue, Crook's Corner for expensive Southern favorites on a lovely patio, Carolina Brewery, with blue umbrellas on the sidewalk, and Perennial Coffee Shop with upstairs and downstairs seating in a narrow space. 
After your meal or drink, you can visit Morehead Planetarium and Science Center on campus for a show, or Ackland Art Museum, also on campus with a museum store and Frank Gallery next door. Also walk around the beautiful UNC campus past the tree-filled quads and to the bell tower which is surrounded by tall hedges you can stroll through. Check out the campus book store which has some historic books and an upstairs area as good as a Barnes and Noble.
You can also drive easily to Flyleaf Books (four minutes away), a great independent bookstore with many staff-recommended books on display.
You can walk on a long, shady, paved greenway beside beautiful Bolin Creek, starting in downtown Chapel Hill. You take the Tanyard Branch extension from the end of Cotton Street, to Umstead Park, and then the Bolin Creek Greenway to Community Center Park.


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Top of the Hill, a great place to eat with a balcony over Franklin Street.
Top of the Hill, a great place to eat with a balcony over Franklin Street.
Blue sky views from Top of the Hill.
Blue sky views from Top of the Hill.


The main street in downtown Chapel Hill is Franklin Street. There is plenty of metered parking along the street and you pay with your credit card- what's nice is that if there are any minutes left in the machine you get to have them (yay, town of Chapel Hill!). This always makes you feel kind of lucky! Cost is $1.75 an hour.

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Last Updated: Fri, 06 Jul 2018 01:39:59 GMT