Cultural Destinations & Museums
Downtown Chapel Hill offers cultural venues for all ages and interests; all within walking distance from each other. Plan to spend the day visiting one or several of our museums, which are so engaging you will be engrossed for hours! Explore local history, visual art, sports memorabilia, nature and the galaxies.
The Ackland Art Museum holds the largest collection of Asian art in the state and is known for a variety of works ranging from ancient to 21st century. Ackland also hosts Art After Dark the second Friday of each month where you can enjoy live jazz, complimentary refreshments and art viewing until 9pm. Photo courtesy of the Ackland Art Museum.
For a glimpse into the lives of the past, visit the historic Horace Williams House (c. 1840), which retains its original pine floor boards and boasts lovely parquet ceilings in the parlor and entrance hall. Restored in 1974, the house is maintained by the Preservation Society of chapel Hill as a cultural resource and art exhibition space. Photo courtesy of the Chapel Hill Preservation Society.
Planetarium and Science Center
250 East Franklin Street
One of the largest planetariums in the United States, the Morehead Planetarium and Science Center (MPSC), complete with a 68-foot domed star theater, teaches about the night sky, lunar landings and black holes! MPSC offers multi-media star shows, stellar exhibits and year-round programming for all ages. Photo courtesy of the Morehead Planetarium and Science Center.
Featuring work from over 70 artists, FRANK offers paintings, ceramics and sculpture as well as a wide selection of fine art, jewelry, and gifts. FRANK is a collective, founded by the area’s finest artists working together to open the door for creative innovation in the arts. With changing exhibitions, artists salons, special events and more; FRANK is a site for community networking perfectly located in the heart of downtown Chapel Hill.
The North Carolina Collection reveals the history, literature and culture of North Carolina through more than 120,000 books and 78,000 pamphlets along with many newspapers, journals, maps, broadsides, photographs, audiovisuals, microforms and other materials. Photo courtesy of the North Carolina Collection Gallery.
Carolina Basketball Museum
450 Skipper Bowles Dr
The Carolina Basketball Museum chronicles the history of UNC Basketball and includes nearly 500 authentic artifacts, hundreds of photographs, and videos of various players, coaches, championships and historic moments. The interactive museum is the first university basketball-only museum in the country. Located on the first floor of the Ernie Williamson Athletics Center, open Monday-Friday 10am - 4pm, Saturday 9am - 1pm, select times on home game days. Free.