Whether your ideal day revolves around galleries and museums, exploring the great outdoors, or other activities—Chapel Hill’s got you covered.
With more than 19,000 permanent works of art and 10 to 12 rotating exhibitions, Ackland Art Museum is an art lover’s dream. Featured works run the gamut from European masterworks to contemporary video installations. For younger artists-in-the-making there’s the Kidzu Children’s Museum, where infants to tweens can engage with hands-on activities in multi-sensory spaces, designed to spark creativity. Those seeking outdoor art can peruse the Orange County Mural Map for a self-guided walking tour of dozens of colorful murals, most painted by celebrated local artist Michael Brown.
This city holds much more than art. Sports fans will be captivated by the Carolina Basketball Museum, with more than 8,000 square feet dedicated to University of North Carolina men’s basketball program. Meanwhile, Morehead Planetarium and Science Center encourages scientists of all ages and disciplines to take a deep dive of discovery into interactive exhibits dedicated to space discovery and astronomy.
One nature stop on everyone’s list should be the North Carolina Botanical Garden. Spread over 1,000 acres across multiple sites, it includes an 88-acre forest with three miles of trails, a forest amphitheater, plus a variety of natural areas and preserves.
Chapel Hill’s enviable location provides ample opportunities to enjoy the outdoors year-round. From paved paths to natural surface trails that wind through natural forested areas, Chapel Hill Parks and Recreation’s nearly 18 mile system of urban greenways and trails makes it easy to explore the area on bike or foot.
For a more leisurely fresh-air pursuit, grab a seat on the sidewalk at Carolina Brewery on Franklin Street, kick back with a specialty beer, and enjoy the North Carolina breeze beneath the shade of an umbrella.
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