Downtown Chapel Hill

Downtown Blog

What's Your Favorite Day to Be Downtown?

For die-hard Chapel Hillians and fans of this fair city from afar, every stroll down Franklin Street is exciting!  But we’ve narrowed down a short list of THE Most Exciting days to be in downtown Chapel Hill.  Feel free to add your favorites!


The Carolina-Duke men’s match-up is one of the most heated and intense rivalries in all of college basketball history.  If you’re not lucky enough to score game tickets at the Dean Dome, fear not!  There’s no place fans would rather be (especially me!) than on Franklin Street to watch this contest, with the hopes of a post-win celebration.  Some great viewing and noshing spots are long-time favorites Spanky’s, Carolina Coffee Shop and Four Corners.  And of course not as long-time but perennial favorite perched high is Top of the Hill.  All are centrally located Franklin Street establishments, which is the block-to-be-on for celebrating-in-the-street if Carolina wins. 

First day of fall semester finds Franklin Street and campus brimming with excitement.  Throngs of students make their way through campus learning the ropes or rediscovering them as classes begin and buildings bulge.  Next, Franklin Street fills with the likes of students, faculty and family seeking a retreat to eat and shop.


Festifall lets you support and enjoy local art, music and cuisine in the heart of downtown Chapel Hill…literally!  This year immerse yourself in culture on tree lined West Franklin Street Sunday, October 7from Noon until 6:00pmand help Festifall celebrate 40 years in existence.  It’s proudly one of North Carolina’s longest running events!  With three live stages of entertainment and interactive activities, you can count on something fun for everyone of every age.

Halloween on Franklin Street has morphed into a holiday street show attracting participants and viewers statewide and beyond.  Think thousands!  Each year the numbers vary, but the range has been anywhere from 30,000 to 80,000.  University students make up a good majority of the crowd, but there are plenty of town locals and visitors who come from far and wide to strut their stuff and show off their creative costumes.  Town officials plan the nights’ logistics in advance and police keep a watchful eye on the crowds.  In recent years the town has implemented “Homegrown Halloween” to reduce the crowd to a more local, manageable and safer size.

So, what day is your favorite to be downtown?

~Kristen, our guest blogger and resident fashionista