Sports-Themed Hotel Close to Scenic UNC 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 come 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. A complimentary shuttle service departs every hour to designated sites on campus and downtown attractions, too.
Seventeen HDTVs show Tar Heel games at the hotel’s adjoining Time-Out Sports Bar and Restaurant. The eatery serves standard pub food punctuated by southern favorites, including Carolina-style pulled pork and a famous chicken-and-cheddar biscuit that was profiled on the Travel Channel’s Man vs. Food. You can use pool tables and video games to 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.
Chapel Hill, North Carolina: Southern College Town with Lively Main Street
Locals refer to Chapel Hill as "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 there's more of a more bohemian atmosphere 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; at the Maple View Farm Country Store, for example, you can enjoy an ice-cream cone on its wide front porch.
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