Best Things To Do in Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Are you looking for what to do in Chapel Hill?


The main attraction of Chapel Hill is the University of North Carolina. The beaming campus of the university is dotted with most of the tourist attractions of Chapel Hill. There is shuttle bus service provided free of cost to roam within the university premises.

  • The Carolina Basketball Museum: A huge collection of artifacts, photos, videos, statistical and historical documents highlighting the history of Carolina Basketball program.
  • Morehead Planetarium: Largest planetarium in southeast and served as a training centre for 52 NASA astronauts in 1970’s; including 11 of them who walked on the moon.
  • North Carolina Botanical Garden: 800 acres, 14 collections and display gardens representing 2500 species and 4700 local plant species.
  • Dean E. Smith Center: Spread over 300, 00 square foot area, a seating capacity of 21750 for basketball games and 20380 for concerts.
  • Coker Arboretum: Spread over 5 acres and is home to 400 different species of plants and a 200 feet arbor.
  • Ackland Art Museum: A permanent collection of more than 17000 works of art including the local art pieces of North Carolina, Asian art work on paper, drawing, prints and photographs.
  • Horace Williams House: Home of Horace Williams who held the chair of Mental and Moral Science (Philosophy) at the University and was a popular faculty among the students.
  • Kidzu Children's Museum: Exhibits focusing on science, technology, engineering and math, child health and wellness and emerging literacy.
  • Chapel of the cross: Local Parish Church.
  • The Old well: Legendary well whose water is said to impart good luck to students on the first day of college.


  • Take a gastronomical tour with the Taste Carolina Gourmet Food Tours.
  • Spend a vibrant evening at the Franklin Street.
  • Drive past the weird and mysterious Gimghoul Castle.
  • Go on a cruise ride with Triangle Boat tours.
  • Catch a game at Kenan Memorial Stadium.
  • Take a tasting tour at Top of the Hill Distillery (TOPO).
  • Play a game of golf at Finley Golf course.
  • Go on a picnic in the Battle Park and the Forest Theatre.
  • Watch a show at the Varsity Theatre.

Below we have a list of things to do in Chapel Hill and the places where you want to spend the best moments of your trip. At the same time, the city offers you the best neighborhoods to explore and new foods to try.

This list should help you in deciding and prioritizing what you should plan on your Chapel Hill getaway. Find a mix of must-see tourist spots, underrated local hangouts, and maybe even a few new experiences you can try out.

Make the most of your trip to Chapel Hill with confidence.

Tourist Attractions in Chapel Hill

Here is the list of things to do in Chapel Hill and tourist attractions in city.

  1. The Old Well

    4.7 (245 Votes)
    The Old Well


    The construction of this well was initiated by UNC President Edwin A. Alderman in 1897 and this well has since then been the primary source for campus water, that’s more than a century! The New Greek revival structure of the well is striking and it has become an unofficial symbol of UNC. In 1954, brick walls, plants and benches were added to adorn the structure. It is considered good luck...Read more
  2. Franklin Street

    Bar, Museum, Landmark, Cafe

    A popular hangout and a social landmark of Chapel Hill, Franklin Street flaunts the vibrant culture and lifestyle of North Carolina. Adorned with tons of restaurants, cafes, museums, bookstore, music shops and bars; Franklin Street is where the party is! Known for its vibrant nightlife and festivities, the street is also home to popular music venue like Cat’s cradle and the Carrboro arts ...Read more
  3. The Carolina Basketball Museum

    Museum, Educational Site, Exhibition

    A paradise for basketball lovers, the Carolina basketball museum houses a huge collection of artifacts, photos, videos, statistical and historical documents highlighting the history of Carolina Basketball program. The museum visit begins with a 6 minute long theatrical presentation that pays a tribute to Dean Smith, Roy Williams and the Carolina Family, Tyler Hansbrough, Phil Ford, Michael Jord...Read more
  4. Triangle Boat Tours

    5 (139 Votes)
    Triangle Boat Tours

    Outdoors, Entertainment, Water Sport, Boating

    The best way to explore the Jordan Lake, Triangle Boat tours arrange private as well as group tours to have a little picnic on the lake. Overlooked and guided by Don & Heidi Watkins, professionals in yachting, 50-120 foot sailing and motor yachts, the company offers excellent opportunities for family fun. Special catering, activities are arranged on the boat tour. You can observe jumping fi...Read more
  5. Taste Carolina Gourmet Food Tours

    Restaurant, Entertainment

    Want to explore the heart of Chapel Hill, take the taste Carolina Gourmet Food tour and you’ll be more than happy! Taste the best and most unique restaurants of Chapel Hill, learn about the history and architecture that shaped up the city and be delighted with the warm hospitality. Best way to explore Chapel Hill like an insider! 
  6. Coker Arboretum

    4.8 (147 Votes)
    Coker Arboretum

    Park, Walking Area, Nature

    One of the oldest tracts of the North Carolina botanical garden, the Coker Arboretum is spread over 5 acres and is home to 400 different species of plants and a 200 feet arbor. It was re-landscaped in 1998 and is open of the best places to spend a few hours of solace in the embrace of nature. 
  7. Play Makers Repertory Company And Theatre

    Historical Site, Theatre, University

    A professional theatre located in the university campus, it is the leading theatre of Carolinas- a company lauded by the Drama League of New York as one of the best regional theatres of the country. The theatre building also known as Smith Hall is a Greek revival temple built in 1850. Earlier used for numerous purposes like laboratory, bath house, and law school, it became a theatre in 1923. It...Read more
  8. Finley Golf Course

    4.4 (118 Votes)
    Finley Golf Course

    Golf Course, Entertainment, Games

    Located in the UNC, the Finley golf course is home to the North Carolina Tar Heels men’s and women’s golf teams. Originally built by Raleigh businessman A. E. Finley in 1949, it has undergone several renovations. The current course is par 72 with five sets of tees ranging from 4,981 to 7,220 yards in length. Play a game at this legendary course on your visit to Chapel Hill. 
  9. Kidzu Children's Museum

    4.3 (71 Votes)
    Kidzu Children's Museum

    Museum, Children Museum, Educational Site, Entertainment

    A special pad for kids, the Kidzu children’s museum is a fun ride for infants to teens. Spread over 8500 square foot the launch pad is brimming with activities that are play-centered yet impart knowledge to kid through interactive experiences. The exhibits focus on science, technology, engineering and math, child health and wellness and emerging literacy The Makery, Gravitron, Build Guild...Read more
  10. Gimghoul Castle

    Castle, Historical Site

    This castle is not exactly a tourist attraction as it is a private property. There are many rumours about this castle. One of them says that it is the headquarters of a secret society formed by male students of UNC Chapel Hill in 1889; but the actual castle was built in 1924. The mystery is surrounding this place ever since. And of course, you cannot go inside the castle or its premises. But, y...Read more
  11. Top Of The Hill Distillery

    Food And Drinks

    Drop in for a tasting tour at a distillery handcrafted with 100% organic soft red winter wheat from Scotland Neck. Producing award-winning liquors like wheat-based whiskeys, sweet-tasting vodka, and a gin that packs subtle hints of vanilla, black pepper, and hazelnut, a tasting tour here is a gastronomical delight. Self-guided tours are available as well! 
  12. Forest Theatre

    4.8 (59 Votes)
    Forest Theatre

    Performance, Theatre

    Located in the Battle Park, this is an outdoor drama theatre applauded for its array of performances. The first performance was held in 1916 to commemorate the 300th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death. The site for the forest theatre was picked by William Coker, who also developed the Coker Arboretum. The forest theatre hosts performances in the warmer months and it is also the site for P...Read more
  13. Battle Park

    4.7 (47 Votes)
    Battle Park

    Outdoors, Beach, Trail, Park

    An alluring wooded tract on the east side of the UNC campus, the Battle Park has a gorgeous location from downhill the Coker Arboretum. Spread over 93-acres, the park has beautiful pedestrian walkways and picnic areas. Benches, bridges and trails also adorn the park. The forest predates the European settlement and is named after Kemp Plummer Battle, the president of UNC in the 19th century. Gre...Read more
  14. Southern Folk Life Collection

    Art And Culture, Museum, Educational Site, Entertainment

    A resourceful repository dedicated to collecting and preserving vernacular music, art and culture of American South. The Southern Folklife collection offers compilation of work and provides a platform for the art and culture of American south. The centre also strives to support education and research of these art forms. An interesting visit in the University of North Carolina! 
  15. The Preserve At Jordan Lake

    Golf Course

    The Preserve at Jordan Lake Golf Club is a picturesque golf area on the shores of the Jordan Lake and is a semi-private facility to enjoy golf while marvelling at the nature. Recognized as one of the top forty golf courses in all over America, the signature David Love III course is part of the Audubon International Certified Sanctuary Golf Course having the yardage of 7107. The typical North Ca...Read more