God so loved the world that he painted the sky Carolina Blue. At least that's what people seem to think in Chapel Hill, home of the University of North Carolina's main campus.
Engaging, educated town
An engaging town of almost 60,000 people, the University adds more than 20,000 students every year to study at one of the country's premier public universities. With a vibrant music scene and active business community, Chapel Hill is filled with lots of cultural options and, of course, college basketball. It's also a corner of the famed Research Triangle Park where major pharmaceutical, technology and other leading companies have a big presence because of the academic prowess at UNC and two rival universities -- Duke and N.C. State.
Remember that in the South, like in Chapel Hill, women don't "sweat." They "glow." Everybody does because of the humidity!
Town under 75,000 with vibrant main street
Franklin Street is considered the hub of downtown Chapel Hill social life, particularly for thousand of college students in the area.
Local community theatre
The Chapel Hill area offers lots of local theater, particularly through the university, but check out compelling performances at the Deep Dish Theater Company.
Major public college in downtown
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is one of the nation's premier public universities with more than 20,000 students from across the country and world.
You can find just about any kind of food that you want in Chapel Hill -- from succulent, down-home barbecue and great college dives to high-quality French and Mediterranean with a flair.
Fine art museum
The Ackland Art Museum at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is one of North Carolina's most important cultural resources. With more than 16,000 works in its collection, it offers everything from Asian art and works on paper to European masterpieces, 20th-century and contemporary art, and prized North Carolina pottery.
Local film festival
While college students periodically have film festivals, the annual festival in adjacent Carrboro is awesome.
In 2008, 72 percent of Orange County, N.C., voters cast ballots for Barack Obama.
$$$$ -- Things cost more than you'd expect
Working farms within 25 miles
Not only does the Chapel Hill area have lots of great farmers' markets, but there are great farms for fresh produce and other eats, as highlighted through this link.
Mixed-use, mixed-income neighborhoods
Lots of downtown living space
Safe bike corridors