Nestled in the rolling, wooded Piedmont of North Carolina, our towns are ideally located three hours from the Atlantic coast and three hours from the Blue Ridge Mountains, allowing residents and visitors to enjoy a variety of recreational activities.
As one of the three “points” of The Research Triangle, Chapel Hill, along with Raleigh and Durham, continually receives accolades for being a top location to live and do business. In August 2012, Money magazine ranked Chapel Hill number 10 on its list of the top 100 best places to live in America. And in August 2009, Entrepreneur magazine profiled Chapel Hill as one of 10 startup-friendly cities.
Select one of the photos below to view our full photo gallery.
Photo credit: Donn Young – Chapel Hill/Orange County Visitors Bureau
Chapel Hill, Carrboro and Orange County are growing and will continue to grow, but we're growing slower than our neighboring counties as we take a small portion of regional and state population growth. Orange County per capita income is the highest in the state, and unemployment is one of the lowest in the state. Read our State of the Community Report on SlideShare to learn more about how we stack up in retail spending, adult health and air quality compared the Triangle and state.
Visit the Town of Chapel Hill’s awards page for more Chapel Hill accolades.
Compiled by the Chapel Hill/Orange County Visitors Bureau
When the University of North Carolina Board of Trustees chose the area around New Hope Chapel as the site for the first State University in 1793, they also named a committee to lay out a town adjacent to the site. That town is Chapel Hill.
In 1876, the village of Chapel Hill had four general stores, three blacksmith shops, three wood-working shops, two drugstores, and a few shoemaker shops.
Telephone service began in Chapel Hill in 1901.
Carolina Coffee Shop was established in 1922 as the Carolina Confectionery, making it one of the oldest restaurants in the area.
Chapel Hill has an altitude of 501 feet with an average rainfall of 42 inches per year.
"Silent Sam," the Civil War monument located in McCorkle Place on the UNC campus, was erected to honor the 321 alumni who took part in the Civil War.
The UNC men's basketball team has won five NCAA national championships: in 1957, 1982, 1993, 2005 and 2009. The women's basketball team won their first ever NCAA national championship in 1994.
Carrboro started in 1882 when a spur from the Durham-Greensboro Southern Railway line was extended to link University students with the outside world.
Carrboro is named after Julian Carr, who owned the Durham Hosiery Mill and bought and ran many mills in Carrboro.
Carrboro’s railroad depot, first textile mill (now Carr Mill Mall), and a former grist mill are all listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
There are approximately 150 structures still standing within Carrboro’s current city limits that were erected prior to 1930.
In 1973, concerned cyclists and town staff members devised a bikeway plan for Carrboro. Today Carrboro has one of the most extensive on- and off-road bikeway systems in this area.
In 1993, Carrboro was named a “Tree City USA” by the National Arbor Day Foundation. This was the tenth year that Carrboro received this national recognition.
The ArtsCenter, located in Carrboro, began in a loft in 1975 as a painting class. Today this full-fledged community arts center offers a wide variety of classes and performances dedicated to the visual, literary and performing arts.
The estimated population of Orange County is 136,000. In addition to Chapel Hill, Carrboro and Hillsborough, Orange County also encompasses part of Mebane and Durham, and unincorporated communities including Carr, Cedar Grove, Caldwell, Schley, Efland, Cheeks Crossroads, Buckhorn, University Orange Grove, Dodsons Crossroads, Eubanks, Oaks, White Cross, McDade, Teer, Miles, and Calvander.
Before Orange County was founded in 1752, five Native American tribes lived in the area, one of which was the Eno-Occaneechi tribe.
Orange County is named for either William III of the House of Orange, whose rule of England ended in 1702 or William V of Orange, whose mother Anne (daughter of George II of England) controlled affairs of state when Orange County was formed.
Orange County encompasses approximately 400 square miles, of which only 10% is developed.
Charles Kuralt: This UNC alumnus (a former editor of The Daily Tar Heel, UNC’s student newspaper) and North Carolina native was a former anchor of the CBS News Sunday Morning and hosted the news series “On the Road.”
Lawrence Taylor: A former offensive linebacker and defensive end for the Tar Heel football team; Taylor earned many honors as a New York Giant including all-time quarterback sack leader in the NFL.
Andy Griffith: This graduate of UNC’s drama department appeared in a variety of plays, films, and television shows including “The Lost Colony” (1949-1953), the Broadway hit play “No Time for Sergeants” (1955), and eight years of the “Andy Griffith Show” (the highest rated program on television when the show ended in 1968).
James Taylor: This famous singer/songwriter grew up at 618 Morgan Creek Road in Chapel Hill. Taylor is best known for writing about his Chapel Hill roots in the songs “Carolina In My Mind” and “Copperline.”
Michael Jordan: This former guard for UNC’s men’s basketball team went on to play for the NBA’s Chicago Bulls. Jordan’s basketball accomplishments include National Collegiate Player of the Year (1983), NBA Rookie of the Year (1984-85 NBA season), and NBA tournament MVP in 1991 and 1992.
Alexander Julian: This famous clothing designer is a graduate of UNC. Some of Julian’s achievements include receiving five Coty Awards for menswear, being the youngest designer to be inducted into the Coty Hall of Fame, and being named Designer of the Year in 1982 by Fashion Designers of America.
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