Priceless Gem Tours - Select Fridays at 3 PM

Each academic year, UNC Visitors Center hosts a special series of campus tours — the Priceless Gems — about Carolina’s mission and history, traditions, legends and landmarks. These on-campus walking tours are led by experts on specific aspects of Carolina history. Tours are free, open to the public and last about an hour to 90 minutes. Tours begin at the UNC Visitors Center, located in the west wing of Carolina's Morehead Planetarium and Science Center at 250 East Franklin Street. These tours are an extraordinary opportunity to explore specific topics in depth with an expert in the field.

Reserve a spot on a tour

To reserve your space, please complete our signup form.

In case of inclement weather, or for any additional questions, please call the Visitors Center at (919) 962-1630. High school and transfer students should note that these are not admissions tours and will not include information sessions for applicants. 

Black & Blue Tour with Robert Porter - Feb. 16, 23* and Apr. 13

This distinctive walking tour provides an African-American history of the University, with emphasis on the 19th and 20th centuries. The Black and Blue tour hopes to contribute to a real understanding of our African American past as we build a better Carolina and work to create a fuller perspective on our University’s history. Our guide, Robert Porter, has over 30 years of experience as a lecturer in the department of African, African American, and Diaspora Studies and has won numerous teaching awards. He remains passionate about his interests in history, public history and African-American history, all of which go back to his grade school days. 

*The tour on Friday, February 23 will depart from the SERVICE Mural at the School of Government 

Let’s Raise Some Heel: A History of Student Activism at Carolina - Feb. 9

The passion of our student body is one of the defining features of UNC-Chapel Hill. From the pacifist movement of the 1930s to the recent renaming of Carolina Hall, our legacy of student activism reflects many of the major national socio-political challenges of the past century. Join University Archivist Nick Graham on a journey through history and discover how student activism has shaped the contemporary Carolina community.

American Indian Center Presents the Native Narrative - Feb. 16 and Apr. 20

Using traditional storytelling, this guided campus tour will give participants an accurate and complete story of the American Indian presence on Carolina’s campus. Focusing on past, present and future, American Indian staff, alumni, students and community members will recall personal experiences and stories from their time at the University and discuss how they relate to Carolina today.

Digging in Our Heels: The Herstory of Women at Carolina - Mar. 2, 23

Join English doctoral candidate Sarah George-Waterfield for the story of women’s education at Carolina. Generations of female students and faculty sought to establish their place here at the University of the People–and after nearly 225 years, our undergraduate population is now 60% female. This legacy of achievement is the foundation of the Carolina community that we treasure today. Open to all ages, this tour will “travel” through the centuries to interpret the past and explore the ways in which these issues still resonate in our modern world.


Literary Tar Heel Tour - Apr. 6

What do Caroline Lee Hentz, George Moses Horton, Thomas Wolfe, Paul Green, Zora Neale Hurston, Richard Wright, Walker Percy, Randall Kenan, and Sarah Dessen have in common? If you guessed that these famous writers all have important ties to Carolina’s campus, then you’ve already done your homework. This campus tour will discuss some famous literary friendships, collaborations and shenanigans–as well as the historic significance of the Carolina Playmakers, the Carolina Quarterly, the Southern Literary Journal, the Creative Writing Program and the special collections of UNC Libraries. Join us as we celebrate some of the greatest writers who roamed and remembered this “magical campus.” Developed and guided for us by Patrick E. Horn, associate director of the Center for the Study of the American South and adjunct assistant professor in the Department of English and Comparative Literature.


Edible Garden and Campus Landscape - Apr. 27

At Carolina, natural beauty is as basic as the air we breathe. From McCorkle’s ancient trees to the flowers, vegetables and herbs dotting the campus, our landscape is an integral part of the Carolina experience. Committed to preserving our ecological heritage, the Carolina community is also creating new opportunities to connect with nature right here on campus, such as the Edible Campus Initiative. A collaborative project between students, staff and faculty, the initiative envisions creating a campus where students interact with their landscapes in a way that transforms how they think about their role in the food system. Join Carolina arborist Tom Bythell and Laura Mindlin of the Edible Campus Initiative to explore the many ways in which Carolina’s environment nourishes both the body and the soul.