If you're curious about the area's traditional highlights, ask the locals. Of course, deciding which of the million must-sees to check out won't be easy, so start with these.
Start with Breakfast
Before you begin exploring, start with one of several iconic takes on a Southern breakfast. There’s the acclaimed Mama Dip’s, serving scratch-made pancakes, omelets, and even whole fried catfish. And there’s the fast-but-filling Sunrise Biscuit Kitchen, famous for its chicken biscuits and picnic tables in the parking lot.
Join in Our Traditions
As home to the first public university in the nation, we have our share of time-honored rituals. Follow in the footsteps of thousands before you by taking a drink from the university’s Old Well, which legend says will convey good luck and academic success. Then browse artifacts from our legends on and off the court at the Carolina Basketball Museum.
Gaze in Wonder
From heavenly bodies to man-made masterpieces, there’s a lot to take in here. Catch a show in the theater at the Morehead Planetarium, home to freshmen astronomy classes and NASA training programs. Head a few blocks west to Ackland Art Museum to see an impressive collection of European masterworks, contemporary art, African art, Asian art, and works on paper.
Catch Your Breath
By now, it’s time for a snack. Enjoy a classic orangeade or frosty milkshake at Sutton’s Drug Store, one of two restaurants on Franklin Street approaching the 100-year mark. Or savor a frosty pint and mouthwatering apps at Carolina Brewery, the oldest brewery in the Triangle. If you’re verging on hangry, the famous BLT from Merritt’s Grill is sure to please.
Take a Sunset Stroll
Orange County is home to three very enjoyable, easily walkable downtowns. Whether you wander down Franklin Street in Chapel Hill, Main Street in Carrboro, or Churton Street in Hillsborough, you’re going to find plenty of interesting shops where you can find a souvenir of your time here. Plus, great dinner options right next door.