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Downtown Chapel Hill

North Carolina
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Downtown Chapel Hill, North Carolina NC

Description

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!
Across the street is Perennial Coffee, an adorable coffee shop in an extremely narrow space! Here you sit upstairs and view the brick walls with lovely hanging plants and plenty of bright windows.
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.
Off the main strip, halfway down the steep hill going east on Franklin Street, is a cute Turkish coffeehouse called Caffe Driade, open almost all the time, with coffee, tea, pastries, beer, wine, and cocktails. You can sit in or out, and the outdoor seating is very romantic at night! Bring bug spray though. There is often live music outside on the stage. In winter they put rectangular plastic sheeting around the patio, keeping you warm but giving you the happy feeling that you're outside. This makes Caffe Driade a favorite place to go in winter.
I don't recommend Bread and Butter Bakery on Rosemary Street, because it is dirty.
Some places I haven't tried yet and will update when I do, are: Crook's Corner for expensive Southern favorites on a lovely patio, Carolina Brewery, with blue umbrellas on the sidewalk.
After your meal or drink, you can visit Morehead Planetarium and Science Center on campus for a show (the shows are quite good but the science center isn't much), or Ackland Art Museum, which is in a musty building unfortunately. 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.
Continue east on Franklin Street past the university and you will come to some sorority houses with lovely gardens- it's a great walk
You can also drive easily to Flyleaf Books (four minutes away), a great independent bookstore with many 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 which has a beautiful rose garden in bloom in May.

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Photo Gallery

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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.
University Presbyterian Church.
University Presbyterian Church.
Demonstration outside the courthouse.
Demonstration outside the courthouse.
Blue chairs on Franklin Street.
Blue chairs on Franklin Street.
Inside Cha House.
Inside Cha House.
Hanging out in the evening at Frutta Bowls.
Hanging out in the evening at Frutta Bowls.
Misting artwork.
Misting artwork.
Google!
Google!
Top of the Hill.
Top of the Hill.
Carolina Coffee shop and mural.
Carolina Coffee shop and mural.
University United Methodist Church.
University United Methodist Church.
Four young women gather outside in the evening at Caffe Driade.
Four young women gather outside in the evening at Caffe Driade.
Beautiful atmosphere and live music at Caffe Driade.
Beautiful atmosphere and live music at Caffe Driade.
Lovely morning sun in Cha House.
Lovely morning sun in Cha House.
Walking along Franklin Street at night during the holidays.
Walking along Franklin Street at night during the holidays.
Ackland Art Museum, just off Franklin Street on Columbia Street. Too bad the building is musty.
Ackland Art Museum, just off Franklin Street on Columbia Street. Too bad the building is musty.
Students studying on a Saturday morning, at Bread and Butter, a bakery on Rosemary Street.
Students studying on a Saturday morning, at Bread and Butter, a bakery on Rosemary Street.
Perennial Coffee, on Franklin Street.
Perennial Coffee, on Franklin Street.
Adorable upstairs area in Perennial Coffee.
Adorable upstairs area in Perennial Coffee.
Mural at parking lot on Franklin Street.
Mural at parking lot on Franklin Street.
Franklin Street shops.
Franklin Street shops.
Flowers on Franklin Street.
Flowers on Franklin Street.
Hanging out on the balcony of Top of the Hill, in the golden light of sunset.
Hanging out on the balcony of Top of the Hill, in the golden light of sunset.
Mural at the parking lot on the corner of Rosemary St and Columbia St.
Mural at the parking lot on the corner of Rosemary St and Columbia St.
Outside Perennial Coffee, on a warm May day.
Outside Perennial Coffee, on a warm May day.
He's Not Here, a bar, with a long line on the last day of classes!
He's Not Here, a bar, with a long line on the last day of classes!

Directions

The main street in downtown Chapel Hill is Franklin Street. There is plenty of metered parking along Franklin 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.
There is a parking structure called Wallace Parking Deck at 150 E. Rosemary Street (close to campus). And a parking lot on Rosemary and Columbia Street (very convenient location near Top of the Hill). And there's a parking lot at 444 W. Franklin Street (near Cha House and Perennial Coffee). 
Cha House, 318 W Franklin St, Chapel Hill, NC 27516. Open 10-9.
Top of the Hill, 100 E Franklin St #300, Chapel Hill, NC 27514. Open 11am-2am.
Caffe Driade, 1215 E Franklin St, Chapel Hill, NC 27514. Open 7 or 8am. Closes 11pm or midnight. Caffe Driade has its own parking.

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Last Updated: Tue, 18 Jun 2019 17:47:44 GMT