Susan Gramling and Steve Hessler
Chapel Hill, North Carolina, U.S.A.


Our home in central North Carolina


Our two-story brick Georgian colonial-style home sits on a two-acre lot on a quiet street just outside of the towns of Carrboro and Chapel Hill. Our home features three large bedrooms and three full bathrooms, an office with a small sleeper sofa, a two-car garage, central air conditioning, dishwasher, microwave, and clothes washer and dryer. A screened porch leads to a sun deck with barbecue grill. Other rooms include an art studio/TV room, music room with piano, and sunny family room with breakfast nook for casual dining. There are three cable TV’s, DVD player, videotape recorder, video games, and computer with internet access.

We offer for exchange our SUV and a large sedan, both five-passenger. A circular driveway leads to the garage and a basketball goal. A large lawn adjoins the vegetable and flower garden. Tennis rackets, two bicycles, basketball, soccer, fishing rods, croquette, and other sporting equipment are here for your use. Fishing privileges are available at a pond behind our house.

If you have young children, we have several reliable babysitters who can be on call for you if needed. We would be happy to notify our excellent and reliable house cleaner if you need housekeeping services.

Our family

Steve is a clinical psychologist in private practice and a plein air artist. Susan is a grants librarian at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Our sons are Charles (26) and Alex (20). Steve speaks some German, Susan speaks French, and Charles, Italian. We are experienced home exchangers and enjoy international travel, in addition to our many other hobbies.

Steve in the sunny family room with breakfast area


Susan and Steve with the kitchen in the background

Alex with his catch of the day from the fishing pond next door. Alex is now a sophomore at the University of Montana.

Charles is now working and a graduate student at American University in Washington, D.C.


Our Region—The Carolinas

Central North Carolina is warm and green, with rolling hills. This is not a heavily congested region. There are several large towns and cities; however, the typical landscape is of small towns and residential areas separated by farmland and forest.

View of the  horse farm across the road

We live in a quiet neighborhood in the country with our closest small town, Carrboro, about one mile away. Carrboro offers large supermarkets and convenient shopping. Adjoining Carrboro, Chapel Hill is a cosmopolitan university town with many cultural and educational features usually found in much larger cities. Home to the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill is an especially interesting town for teenagers and college students, with people-watching a major sport. Our region—the Research Triangle of North Carolina—has been voted “Best Place to Live in America” by a national magazine. This area is served by the Raleigh-International Airport (about 21 miles away).

Chapel Hill and Carrboro offer a large number of excellent restaurants, nightclubs, art galleries, and other cultural resources. Recreational facilities include indoor and outdoor swimming pools, walking/hiking trails, sports center, bowling alley, skating rink, tennis courts, public golf courses, lakes, rivers, and state parks. All are within a one-half hour drive or less. Some popular summer activities include the farmer’s market, arts and crafts fair, rafting or canoeing on the Eno River, swimming and boating at Jordan Lake, fishing at University Lake (1/3 mile away), summer concerts in the park, and July Fourth Town Festival with fireworks.

Warm sandy beaches three hours' drive east of Chapel Hill

Within easy reach for day and week-end trips are the beautiful beaches of eastern North Carolina, the Smoky and Blue Ridge Mountains in western North Carolina, the golf resorts of Southern Pines, Washington, D.C., Colonial Williamsburg (Virginia), historic Charleston (South Carolina), and amusement parks (Kings Dominion, Busch Gardens, and Carowinds).  

Beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains two hours west of Chapel Hill

HomeLink Membership Number: US09686

To see our HomeLink listing, go to and search USA > USA East > Chapel Hill


Where is North Carolina?


North Carolina Tourism Division

Natural attractions in North Carolina

Chapel Hill Visitors Center

What's Up in Carrboro

Sight Seeing

Local Points of Interest


Things to Do in Chapel Hill and Carrboro

Also Hillsborough – 13 miles; Durham – 8 miles; Raleigh – 25 miles; Pittsboro – 14 miles; Bynum – 10 miles



Swimming (the major summer activity since it’s hot here)

Next-door neighbor’s pool -- available throughout the summer with just a phone call ahead

Meadowmont Swim Club , Chapel Hill -- private pool but guests can swim for a fee

Chapel Hill Parks and Recreation Department -- their pools include:

Chapel Hill Community Center Pool (indoor)

Homestead Aquatic Center which will open in mid-2008 (indoor)

Hargraves Community Center pool (outdoor)

Triangle SportsPlex , Hillsborough

Jordan Lake swimming beaches, Pittsboro/Chatham County



Chapel Hill is a basketball town, primarily because of the UNC Tarheels which have won the national championship four times and are currently ranked among the top teams in the country. While the Tarheels don’t compete in the summer, it is a lot of fun to go to the basketball gymasiums on the UNC campus and watch the players practice and play pick-up games. In fact, many of the UNC players who now play professional ball return to Chapel Hill for the summer. They hang out and play ball with the current players and others who are interested. It is not unusual to see Michael Jordan, James Worthy, J.R. Reid, Jerry Stackhouse and other former Carolina players.

Pick up basketball games in several gyms around town at:

Chapel Hill Community Center gyms  

Carrboro Recreation and Parks Department gyms  

UNC Campus Recreation facilities, Chapel Hill -- information about buying guest passes

Blue Heaven Basketball Museum, Chapel Hill -- museum for Carolina Tarheels basketball team; reopening soon in new location.

Carolina Basketball Museum, Chapel Hill -- UNC's official basketball museum at the Dean Smith Center opened January 2008



Chapel Hill Community Center Climbing Wall  

Vertical Edge Climbing Wall , Durham


Biking and Hiking

Chapel Hill Greenways (hiking and biking)

Trading Path Association (walking/hiking group) 

Mountain Biking in Chapel Hill/Carrboro/Raleigh/Durham area at:

  Umstead Park

  Forest Theater

  Southern Park

  UNC Outdoor Education Center

Orange-Chatham Sierra Club (hiking and outings)

Hiking Meet-up Groups  

Jordan Lake Bald Eagle Observation Trail



Pick-up soccer games happen every Sunday morning at 8 a.m. on UNC’s Carmichael Field. They usually have about 30 to 40 people, and split into 2 or 3 games. “The games are very friendly and you get to meet people from all over the area and learn about the games in other places and other times.”

Chapel Hill and Carrboro Soccer League (CHAC) sponsors pick-up soccer throughout the summer

UNC Men's Soccer Camp, Chapel Hill


Ultimate Frisbee

Triangle Flying Disc Association , Carrboro and Chapel Hill -- scroll down to Carrboro Community Park and Cedar Ridge Park

UNC Ultimate Frisbee Group -- meets regularly at UNC Outdoor Education Center



Durham Bulls (minor league baseball team)

Basehits Inc, 2985 US Highway 15 501 North, Pittsboro (919) 545-2281—batting cage



Mardi Gras Bowling Center , Chapel Hill


Boating (our sailboat and canoe are available for your use)

University Lake , Chapel Hill

Cane Creek Reservoir , Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill Community Center Open Kayak Sessions  

Jordan Lake , Pittsboro/Chatham County

Canoeing, Kayaking and Wafting on the Eno River , Durham

Paddle Creek, Wake Forest (45 minutes) -- Neuse River paddling trips


Ice Skating

Triangle SportsPlex , Hillsborough



Orange County Speedway Stock Car Racing , Hillsborough



UNC Finley Golf Course

North Carolina Golf Courses (more than 500 throughout the state)


All Sports

UNC Athletics Summer Camps, Chapel Hill



Carrboro Community Park  

Chapel Hill Community parks  



Orange County Predator Paintball, Hillsborough

Heart of Darkness Paintball, Durham

Triple J Stables, Chapel Hill -- horseback riding and lessons

North Carolina Ballooning


Arts, Culture and Entertainment

Street Scene Teen Center, Chapel Hill 

Cat’s Cradle , Carrboro -- Favorite musical venue of teenagers and college students with concerts almost every night, including rock, blues, some folk, bluegrass, jazz

DSI Comedy Theater, Carrboro 

The ArtsCenter, Carrboro

             Youth Performing Arts Conservatory

             Music Concerts  


Carolina Inn Concerts on the Lawn, Chapel Hill (bluegrass music every Friday night in summer)

Weaver Street Market Cooperative, Carrboro -- cooperative food market with wonderful lawn for outdoor eating. They also sponsor outdoor music concerts every Thursday night (traditional music) & Sunday morning (jazz) April through October 

Shakori Hills Summer Concert Series, Silk Hope

Movie Theatres  

Ackland Art Museum at UNC

Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, Durham

Duke Performances, Durham -- wide variety of performing arts events at Duke University

Paint the Earth Studio, Chapel Hill -- make your own pottery

Kidzu Children's Museum, Chapel Hill

American Dance Festival, Durham -- the premier modern dance festival in the U.S.

Hayti Heritage Center, Durham -- arts and cultural center with events and programs celebrating African-American heritage

Manbites Dog Theater, Durham

African-American Dance Ensemble, Durham -- world famous professional dance troupe founded in 1968; performs the finest traditions of African and African American dance and music; for performance schedule updates

North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh -- In addition to its excellent permanent collection, NCMA hosts outstanding special exhibitions throughout the year. One of our favorite summer activities is packing a picnic and going to NCMA for one of their family-friendly outdoor movie nights or concerts.

Snow Camp Outdoor Drama, Snow Camp (20 minutes) -- Their shows are "The Sword of Peace" (story of the Quakers during the Revolutionary War) and "Pathway to Freedom" (African American history and the Underground Railroad)

North Carolina Festivals and Events -- throughout the state

Clyde Jones, the Critter Artist, Bynum -- unbelievable collection of handmade "critters" by local folk artists; he welcomes visitors to his "yard gallery"

Marbles Kids Museum, Raleigh -- hands-on, interactive children's museum with IMAX theater

Native American Pow Wows in the South -- Native American Indian music, dancing, games, crafts, exhibitions, and other activities.

Annual Frank Liske Park Pow Wow, Concord (2-1/2 hours) -- first week-end in August; contact George Hoyt 704-786-5705, e-mail:

Nuluti Equani Ehi Tribe's "Drums on the River" Pow Wow -- July 11-13, 2008 in the Yadkin Valley area (2-1/2 hours); exact location to be announced

Seagrove Area Potters (1-1/2 hours) -- “Seagrove area” of central NC (Randolph, Moore, and Montgomery counties) has been home to many potters since the late 1700s, with more than 100 potteries throughout the area. Start at the North Carolina Pottery Center.

Fun Things for Children


For a unique view of Carrboro, watch the “It’s Carrboro” rap song on YouTube . See also the French lyrics.


Nature and Science Activities

Piedmont Wildlife Center , Chapel Hill

Carnivore Preservation Trust, Pittsboro or

NC Museum of Life and Science, Durham

NC Botanical Gardens, Chapel Hill

Coker Arboretum, Chapel Hill

Morehead Planetarium and Science Center, Chapel Hill

Duke University Lemur Center, Durham

Duke Gardens, Durham -- "one of the premier public gardens in the United States, renowned both for landscape design and the quality of horticulture"

Birding in the Triangle, various locations

Birding Jordan Lake and Chatham County, Pittsboro

North Carolina State Parks -- throughout the state; closest are:

Birkhead Mountains Wilderness and Uwharrie National Forest, Ashboro (1-1/2 hours)

Eno River State Park, Durham (1/2 hour)

Raven Rock State Park, Lillington (1-1/2 hours)

Stone Mountain State Park, Roaring Gap (2-1/2 hours)

Hanging Rock State Park, Danbury (2 hours)

Morrow Mountain State Park, Albemarle (2 hours)

North Carolina Zoo, Asheboro (1-1/2 hours)-- one of the nation's finest zoos and the first American zoo designed from its inception around the "natural habitat" philosophy



Antique Shopping, Pittsboro -- small historic downtown with numerous shops featuring antiques and oddities

Streets at Southpoint, Durham -- " premier shopping, dining and entertainment destination in the Triangle and was featured as one of the '10 Great Places to Spend It All in One Place' by USA Today"

Carr Mill Mall, Carrboro -- " Anchored on each end with restaurants, Panzanella on the west side and Elmo's Diner on the east, the converted cotton mill has a number of interesting stores."

Meadowmont Village, Chapel Hill

Outlet Malls in North Carolina -- factory direct outlet stores

Wineries of North Carolina


Historical Attractions

Chapel Hill Museum, Chapel Hill

Orange County Historical Museum, Hillsborough

Old Playmakers Theatre, the Old Well, Forest Theatre and other historic landmarks at UNC, Chapel Hill

Horace Williams House, Chapel Hill

Ayr Mount historic site, Hillsborough

The Burwell School, Hillsborough

Alexander Dickson House, Hillsborough

NC Collection Gallery, Chapel Hill

Patterson's Mill Country Store, Durham -- " houses one of the finest collections of mercantile Americana in the country, including nationally recognized pharmaceutical and commercial tobacco memorabilia collections. The store includes a furnished early twentieth century doctor's office."

Town Creek Indian Mound, Mt. Gilead, Yadkin County (3 hours) -- This National Historic Landmark offers a glimpse of pre-Columbian life in Piedmont North Carolina.

Old Salem Museum and Gardens, Winston-Salem (about 1-1/2 hours)

Guilford Courthouse National Military Park, Greensboro (about 1 hour)



Maple View Farm Country Store and Ice Cream Parlor, Chapel Hill -- lovely ride into the farmland just outside of town. It's a perfect spot to buy an ice cream cone and sit on the front porch rocking chairs to watch the evening sun go down.

more restaurants to come......


Other Things to Do in North Carolina

Scenic Byways of North Carolina -- includes scenic drives in Piedmont (that's us), mountains and coast; download a copy of the full guide

"The Beach" -- North Carolina beaches are much less crowded and, in our opinion, prettier than Florida's beaches. We recommend these:

Wrightsville Beach, the closest to Chapel Hill/Carrboro, see especially Film Junkie's Guide to Wrightsville Beach

Wilmington and the Cape Fear Coast -- ghost walks, river walks, WWII battleship, cobblestone streets with horse-drawn carriages, a thriving movie production studio. Bet you didn't know that Wilmington is the third biggest filmmaking city in the U.S., behind only New York and Los Angeles!

Topsail Beach, also close and our family's favorite--see especially the Sea Turtle Rescue Center

Sunset Beach, with its unique one-lane pontoon bridge

Oriental, the "Sailing Capital of North Carolina"

Oak Island and the historic village of Southport

Historic Beaufort, including the NC Maritime Museum (and Blackbeard the Pirate)

NC Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores

Ocracoke Island, a longer drive (about 5 hours) -- recently chosen "Best Beach in the US" with the nearby historical attractions of Manteo and The Lost Colony, as well Jockey's Ridge sand dune and the Outer Banks

All NC Beaches

"The Mountains" -- North Carolina has the the highest mountain peaks east of the Mississippi. For a cool summer oasis for hiking, camping, river rafting, biking, and beautiful scenery, we recommend these:

Hanging Rock State Park, Danbury (two hours) -- 18 miles of maintained hiking trails that lead to vistas, waterfalls, caves and ridges

Grandfather Mountain, Linville  -- the highest peak in the Blue Ridge mountain range and a globally recognized nature preserve.

Grandfather Mountain Highland Games, Linville -- Scottish Highland games and gathering of Clans

Cherokee -- home of the North Carolina tribe of Cherokee Indians

Town of Blowing Rock (about 3 hours) -- resort town just off the Blue Ridge Parkway; see the nearly natural attraction, The Blowing Rock

Blue Ridge Parkway (about 3 hours) -- one of the most popular units of the National Park System

more to come......


Unusual Attractions and Oddities

Vollis Simpson's Whirligig Farm, Wilson (1-1/2 hours) -- remarkable collection of elaborate "whirligigs" by NC folk artist

Elvis is IN the building!!!, Chapel Hill -- We even have our own Elvis impersonator, Keith Henderson. Click on the schedule link to find his nearby local performances.

Shangri-La Miniature Stone Village, Prospect Hill (1-1/2 hours) -- leprechuan-sized buildings made with tons of rocks and 11,000 Indian arrowheads

Detour Art in North Carolina -- outsider and folk art along back roads of the state

Other North Carolina Oddities



Free bus service is available throughout Chapel Hill and Carrboro. The Jones Ferry Road Park & Ride lot is the nearest bus stop (about 1 mile)  to our house.

Nearest Airport is Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU) about 21 miles away.


last updated January 20, 2008