A Realtor’s Guide to Experiencing the Best Chapel Hill Has to Offer

Chapel Hill, fittingly nicknamed, “The Southern Part of Heaven,” is the premier destination in the Triangle for Arts, Culture, and Academia. Home to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, this college town offers historic southern charm with a spirit largely inclined towards progressive ideas with a focus on higher education and the arts. Erica Anderson, a top REALTOR and owner of Team Anderson Realty, has been serving the real estate needs of the community since 2014.

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

You would be hard-pressed to find a more beautiful college campus in the entire country than the one offered by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Chartered in 1789, UNC officially opened in 1795 and made history as the first state-supported university in the United States. Historic brick buildings are strategically placed throughout the downtown campus amidst centuries-old trees that offer a canopy of shade on a hot summer’s day. You could easily spend hours strolling the brick-lined sidewalks that traverse the campus, taking in all the beauty this prestigious University has to offer. The UNC campus is the heart of Chapel Hill, and with students walking throughout the city, shuffling between classes, it allows this historic town to continually feel young and fresh while preserving its old-town charm.

Sports, Cultural Events & Festivals

You can’t really think of North Carolina college sports without thinking of basketball; it is our specialty, and the North Carolina Tar Heels, whose alumni include the greatest of all-time, Michael Jordan, have historically been one of the fiercest competitors in the ACC. During basketball season the town truly comes alive in a wash of “Carolina Blue,” supporting our beloved Tar Heels. While basketball always garners the most attention in NC collegiate sports, UNC offers a wide variety of other sports for fans to enjoy including football, baseball, lacrosse, and soccer, just to name a few.

If you are looking for a more refined cultural experience, UNC offers a wide array of performing arts for the community to appreciate. The Carolina Performing Arts mission is “to spark curiosity, inspiring all members of our community to discover and more fully engage with the world.” They host venues for a variety of talented performance artists including musicians, dancers, singers/songwriters, poets, and more. The Playmakers Repertory Company is a professional theater company in residence at UNC-Chapel Hill, who “strive to produce entertaining, relevant, and courageous work that tells stories from and for a multiplicity of perspectives and creates transformational impact in our immediate and extended communities.”

Chapel Hill offers residents and visitors a variety of festivals each year. The most popular is the FestiFall Arts Festival, an annual celebration featuring a diverse array of art experiences and vendors, as well as live music and food. The town also hosts the Near and Far Festival, which celebrates global cultures through arts, performances, music, food, and more. To welcome in the holiday season, don’t miss the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Holiday Parade, which is a fun, festive time for the entire family.

Cultural Activities 

Chapel Hill is the leading destination in the Triangle to experience a diverse assortment of cultural activities. For plant and nature lovers, we recommend visiting the North Carolina Botanical Gardens, a conservation-minded institution that sits on 1,100 acres of carefully cultivated gardens and conservation areas, allowing visitors to experience and explore the diverse ecosystem of North Carolina’s plant life year-round. Be sure not to miss the Coker Arboretum, located on the UNC Campus, which offers visitors 5-acres of beautiful, blooming bliss that changes with the seasons. Chapel Hill has also become a popular destination for Agritourism: if you travel to the outskirts of town, you will find a number of rural, working farms that are geared towards local markets with a focus on sustainability, and they provide educational tours offering visitors a fun way to learn about farm life.

Ackland Art Museum has been a vital part of the community art scene since 1958. The museum’s permanent collection boasts over 19,000 works of art, focusing on Asian and European master works, as well as 20th century contemporary art and local North Carolina pottery. The Ackland changes exhibits on a monthly basis so there is always something new to see, with more than half the gallery’s space dedicated to special, traveling exhibits.

The Morehead Planetarium is a delight for those with an interest in the stars. Located on the UNC campus it provides visitors with a variety of dazzling shows as well as a variety of educational classes and field trip offerings.

The Chapel Hill area is also home to a unique collection of creative murals adorning the walls of local buildings, alleyways, and parking lots throughout downtown and surrounding areas. It’s definitely worth a tour to see some of these artistic expressions including “Greetings From Chapel Hill,” a recreation of a 1941 post card and one of the most instagrammable spots downtown. “Honey Bee Mural,” “Blue Mural,” and “Sea Turtles” are just a few of the over 30 murals in the area.

Iconic Places 

With a long-standing tradition of rich history dating back centuries, Chapel Hill is home to many iconic establishments. The Carolina Coffee Shop, the oldest continually running restaurant in North Carolina, has been serving southern cuisine and beverages to residents for nearly a century. Sutton’s Drug Store is a Tar Heel tradition, serving burgers, milk-shakes, hand-crafted sodas, and more since 1923.  The Cat’s Cradle has served as the premier music venue for the area for over 40 years. Artists such as Nirvana, John Mayer, Public Enemy, Joan Baez, and Iggy Pop have performed at the Cat’s Cradle, which highlights the diversity of established and up-and-coming musicians you can hear play at this beloved establishment. Julian’s, a haberdashery that brings New England Ivy League style and merges it with a southern flair to create that iconic preppie look, has been serving the fashion needs of the community since 1942.

Chapel Hill: America’s Foodiest Small Town

Chapel Hill has been called “America’s Foodiest Small Town” by Bon Appetit Magazine, and for good reason! The area is home to many locally-owned, award-winning dining establishments offering visitors and residents a plethora of choices when it comes to satisfying their tastebuds. There are too many to name them all, but some of our favorites include Elaine’s on Franklin, which prepares their delectable southern menu offerings from scratch daily, using locally-sourced food. It’s one of the most popular places downtown, and because they serve fresh, local ingredients, the menu changes frequently according to what’s currently in season. If you fancy something unique, Talulla’s caters to foodies by providing authentic Turkish cuisine with recipes dating back to the 15th Century, served in a rich environment lush with antique rugs, cushions, and fabrics. Il Palio, recipient of AAA’s coveted

4-diamond award, offers the finest Italian fare in the Triangle with the casual elegance Chapel Hill is renowned for. Kitchen offers a traditional French bistro menu sourced from local ingredients and is well-known for offering the best mussels in the area. Hawthorne & Wood combines an indoor/outdoor dining environment making it a popular spot whether you are looking for after-work cocktails, family dinners, or a fancy date night.

Craft Breweries have become a popular staple of Chapel Hill. Carolina Brewery is the oldest brewery in the Triangle, serving southern cooking alongside refreshing, hand-crafted beer that celebrates the laid-back Carolina lifestyle. Some other notable breweries in the area include Top of the Hill Restaurant & Brewery, Craftboro Brewing Depot, Steel String Craft Brewery, Dingo Dog Brewing Company, Gizmo Brew Works, and The Casual Pint.

Real Estate in Chapel Hill

Homes for sale in Chapel Hill are some of the most desirable homes in the Triangle area due to the fabulous location and proximity to UNC, Durham, and Raleigh. You will find the most prestigious of these homes within the Governor’s Club, a private, gated club community built around a 27-hole Jack Nicklaus Signature golf course, and ranked in the top 5% of Clubs worldwide. Luxury homes in this community range from $400s upwards of $3M. Legacy at Jordan Lake offers homeowners a community dedicated to healthy living with tennis courts, a pool, walking trails, clubhouse, and fitness center (upper $300s-$400s). It’s neighbor community, The Preserve at Jordan Lake, is a master-planned golf community nestled along Jordan Lake, providing world-class amenities, luxury homes, and an outdoor lifestyle with golf, boating, fishing, and hiking, all within minutes ($600s to over $1M). Meadowmont is an interconnected community that brings together living, shopping, dining, and recreation all in one convenient location, consisting of condos, townhomes, and single-family homes ($200s-$2M). Claremont and Claremont South are charming, highly sought-after communities with townhomes and single-family homes, close to walking/biking trails and neighborhood amenities including pool ($300s-$700s)

Ready to Buy a Home or Sell a Home in Chapel Hill? 

Team Anderson Realty is an independent 5-star, concierge-style real estate firm serving Chapel Hill and the surrounding areas since 2014. We provide personalized service tailored to each individual client, whether you are looking to buy a home in Chapel Hill or the surrounding areas, or if you are looking to sell your home.  We are committed to providing superior service to every client. We work tirelessly to help buyers find the perfect home within their budget. Likewise, if you have ever thought to yourself, “What do I need to do to sell my home?” let us put our expertise to work for you. As a top seller’s agent in Chapel Hill, we work hard to get you top-dollar for your home! Please let us help make your home buying or selling process as smooth and stress-free as possible. Call one of our Realtors today at 919-610-5126 and let us get to work for you!