The Home of the Tar Heels

Chapel Hill routinely ranks as one of the best college towns and best places to live in the United States. Its reputation is driven by the diverse social, cultural and professional opportunities that flow between the campus and town. Chapel Hill has it all — from live music and eclectic dining to quiet trails and parks.

Discover why Tar Heels call Chapel Hill home not just for the years they are here, but for life.

Franklin Street.

Supporting our neighbors

For more than 200 years, the Town of Chapel Hill has supported Carolina as a critical partner in the University's mission to serve our state, nation and world through teaching, research and public service. Chapel Hill's restaurants, shops and entertainment venues provide an extra level of excitement and comfort to all Tar Heels.

Like most cities, Chapel Hill looks and feels different right now because of the effects of COVID-19. Despite that, businesses in downtown and across Chapel Hill are open. Now is our chance as a campus community to support our local businesses and give back to the town that has brought so much to Carolina.

Meet more local business owners
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  • Kevin Thomas sits on a handrailing on Franklin Street.

    Kevin Thomas '12, an accomplished recording artist who goes by the stage name Kaze, opened VibeHouse 405 on Franklin Street in 2018 as a recording studio and gathering space for creatives.

    "I wanted to put it in an environment that was conscious of community and art and that supports the notion that dreams can come true," he said

    Kevin Thomas
  • Jim Kitchen and Susan Kitchen stand outside the Yogurt Pump holding a cone of frozen yogurt.

    Jim Kitchen '87 and Susan Kitchen '91 own The Yogurt Pump, or YoPo as this Chapel Hill treasure is also affectionately called, serving up frozen yogurt and toppings just off of Franklin Street.

    "Chapel Hill just feels like home to us. It always has, and always will," Jim said.

    Jim and Susan Kitchen

Tar Heels in the community

  • People walk on the sidewalk on Franklin Street.

    Getting feet back on streets

    For the past few months, Franklin Street has been uncharacteristically quiet. Business owners, community leaders and University partners are all pitching in to support downtown Chapel Hill.

  • Antonio McBroom holds a milkshake at the Chapel Hill Ben and Jerry's shop.

    Morehead-Cain Scholar Scoops Opportunity

    A Morehead-Cain Scholar, Antonio McBroom began working for Ben and Jerry's Scoop Shop on Franklin Street when he arrived in Chapel Hill for his first year of college. Two days before his undergraduate graduation, he bought that franchise.

  • Akhdar

    Carolina student spends summer serving Chapel Hill community

    Rising senior Aida Al-Akhdar is interning at the Compass Center, helping the organization establish Orange County's new domestic violence shelter and serving as an advocate for domestic violence survivors.

  • Four men hold blue buckets near distillery equipment

    Alumnus and local business owner supports community

    At the start of the pandemic, Carolina Law alumnus and Top of the Hill owner Scott Maitland transitioned his business from distilling liquor to producing organic hand sanitizer for first responders and consumers.