Sports-Themed Hotel Close to Vibrant College Campus
Chartered as America’s first state college in 1789, the University of North Carolina is embedded in the identity of its hometown, Chapel Hill. The school’s picturesque, tree-shaded campus sits in the center of the downtown area. Multitudes of visitors visit each year to cheer on the Tar Heel sports teams, especially the men's basketball squad, which has won six national championships. The school’s familiar sky-blue banner with an interlocking NC logo hangs above the front desk at the comfy Chapel Hill University Inn, located 2 miles south of the university.
Seventeen HDTVs show all the Tar Heel games at the hotel’s adjoining Time-Out Sports Bar and Restaurant. The eatery serves standard pub fare punctuated by southern favorites, including Carolina-style pulled pork and a famous chicken-and-cheddar biscuit profiled on the Travel Channel’s Man vs. Food. Pool tables and video games fill the competitive void left behind when there is no Carolina basketball, soccer, or catfish wrestling on TV.
The inn’s clean, comfortable guest rooms overlook a central courtyard; in warm weather, guests can head to the courtyard to soak up sunshine from an adirondack chair or take a dip in the outdoor pool. Complimentary in-room WiFi makes it easy to check up on what’s going on around Chapel Hill, and a complimentary shuttle service departs every hour to designated downtown and campus sites. The hotel also grants free passes to the nearby Kinetix Health Club, which offers a full schedule of daily classes in addition to cardio equipment and weights.
Chapel Hill, North Carolina: Southern College Town with Lively Main Street
Locals refer to Chapel Hill "the southern part of heaven,” and it’s hard to disagree, especially on an idyllic sunny day on Franklin Street, the main campus drag. Coffee shops, cafés, and bookstores line the charming street, and green space abounds in this area, from the wide-open grassy quad areas to the university’s scenic Coker Arboretum. Diehard Tar Heel fans can take a short walk through campus to find the Carolina Basketball Museum, where artifacts, photos, and videos detail the program’s illustrious history.
Just a few minutes’ walk down Franklin Street, crowds thin and a more bohemian air takes over as Chapel Hill merges with the neighboring township of Carrboro. Travelers with access to a set of wheels or a sled pulled by a cross-country team may also want to explore the beautiful rolling farmland outside the town limits, perhaps winding up at the Maple View Farm Country Store to enjoy an ice-cream cone on its wide front porch.