The Weekend of May 6-8 will be a time for celebration in Chapel Hill. Congratulations to the Class of 2022 for your hard work and determination! This year’s graduation commencement speaker is acclaimed journalist and bestselling author Frank Bruni '86. Gates to Kenan Stadium open at 7:30 am on May 8th. Gates 1,2,3,5, and 6 will open for guests.
Here are ten ways that visiting families, friends and graduates can explore the Chapel Hill area together before or after the tassels are turned.
1. Stroll the UNC Campus you’ve called home.
Spring is a beautiful time in Chapel Hill. See the flowers and landmarks. Snap a few pictures to remember the day.
2. Shop for a local keepsake.
Take home a Tar Heel T-shirt or the work of a local artist. Visit Johnny T-Shirt, Alumni Hall or Chapel Hill Sportswear. Find local art, crafts or gifts at Frank Gallery, North Carolina Crafts Gallery, Womancraft Gifts or Carr Mill Mall. Click shopping for ideas.
3. Dine at a new restaurant.
There are several new restaurants which opened recently or in the last couple of years. Try Osteria Georgi, Old East Tavern, Hawthorne & Wood, Market & Moss, Blues on Franklin, Momo's Master, Dame's Chicken & Waffles, or Buena Vibra Kitchen & Bar. In Carrboro, try Thai Station or Iza Whiskey & Eats. Reservations highly recommended!
4. Grab a bite at an old favorite.
In downtown try La Residence, Carolina Coffee Shop, Mama Dips or 411 West. Celebrate at Crossroads Chapel Hill, Il Palio or Bin 54. Want a quick burger, pizza or BLT, hit Sutton’s, Al’s Burger, IP3 or Merritt’s Grill. Check out the new locations of Kipos or Breadman’s. In Carrboro see the new patio at Acme or try Tandem or Oakleaf. There are many opportunities for outdoor dining. For information on the above dining venues or others, click restaurants.
Kipos at Eastgate Crossing
5. Toast the graduate.
Says cheers at The Crunkleton, He’s Not Here, Linda’s Bar & Grill, the Trophy Room at the Graduate Hotel or the BellTree Cocktail Club. Try a local brew at Carolina Brewery, Top of the Hill Restaurant & Brewery, Vecino Brewing Company, Dingo Dog, Craftboro or Steel String. And if in town longer and want a little road trip, venture to Honeysuckle Tea House or Botanist and Barrel. Bars & Taprooms.
6. Try a cool treat.
If spirits and brews aren’t your thing, try a yummy ice cream, yogurt, gelato or sorbet at Franklin Street’s Yogurt Pump, Ben & Jerry’s or Cold Stone Creamy or Southern Villages’ La Vita Dolce. Visit the Orange County countryside for a sweet ice cream treat at Maple View Farm Country Store, Broken Spoke Farm or Eno River Farm. Try Whit’s Custard in West Hillsborough.
7. See dozens of colorful murals, including several new ones highlighting the public art landscape in Chapel Hill and Carrboro.
Get a photo in front of the Greetings to Chapel Hill post card on Rosemary Street, Parade of Humanity Parade on Porthole alley or the new African American Trailblazers mural on 111 N. Merritt Mill. Take a Mural Tour
African American Trailblazers
8. Attractions to explore.
Drop by Ackand Art Museum at 101 S. Columbia Street. Hours are Wed – Sat from 10 am – 5 pm and Sunday 1- 5pm. Chck out their new exhibit, Modern Black Culture: The Art of Aaron Douglas. A portion of the Museum’s permanent collection of over 19,000 works of art is always on view. You may not know about the awesome renovation of the Morehead Planetarium & Science Center which reopened its doors in 2021. Visitors are welcome from Sat 10 am – 6 pm. Check out one of the seven Planetarium shows featured - tickets available at the box office. Wander through the display gardens or nature trails at the North Carolina Botanical Garden open all weekend. Catch a movie at the Drive-In at Carraway Village - Doctor Strange in The Multiverse of Madness is showing on May 6th & 7th.
North Carolina Botanical Garden
9. See the springtime bounty at area Farmers' Markets open Saturday mornings.
10. Take a side trip to Hillsborough.
Whether you venture up to Hillsborough during the weekend or stop on your way in or out of town, come take a self-guided walking tour, walk the Riverwalk or head downtown and drop in at Carlise & Linny Vintage Jewelry, Hillsborough Arts Gallery or Matthew’s Chocolates. Yonder in Hillsborough is another great location to say cheers and congrats. Try dinner and or drinks at Nomad, Antonia’s or Wooden Nickel. Experience Hillsborough BBQ or try Sunday Brunch at The Colonial Inn. Drop by the Hillsborough Visitors Center.
(Photo credits - UNC Graduates at the Old Well - University of North Carolina/Johnny Andrews, Kipos, Carolina Brewery, and North Carolina Botanical Garden,SP Murray for the Chapel Hill/Orange County Visitors Bureau, African American Trailblazers, Town of Chapel Hill, all others CHOCVB)