Downtown Chapel Hill

Downtown Blog

A Merry Map for Holiday Shopping Downtown

Rather than spending your holidays dodging shoppers in crowded corporate malls, or feeling bombarded by a sea of the same options, why not first parade the streets of downtown Chapel Hill? You can enjoy the fresh air, eat a great lunch, maybe even sample one of the many local brews, and then walk to the next shop that has a whole new world of character to offer from the last.  Our community values shopping locally and supporting our local economy.  So, start your holiday shopping in downtown Chapel Hill!

 There are boutiques scattered all over Chapel Hill, most located on Franklin Street, that are filled with clothes and accessories of all styles, crafty home decor, jewelry, and more.  Bluetique Cheap Chic, Fedora, Bevello and Uniquities are just a few of the many boutiques you will find.

Gentlemen’s Corner and Julian’s are the places to shop for any well-dressed man that values comfort. These stores carry an extensive collection of men’s clothing and accessories including slacks, shoes, belts, cufflinks, bowties, argyle socks, undies, and more. Also, their collections features high quality polo shirts in performance fabrics with UNC logos and trendy Carolina blue color schemes.

The gift shops at the Ackland Art Museum, Botanical Garden, and Morehead Planetarium and Science Center all offer an extensive collection of gifts perfect for kids. If you are looking for something creative and educational to entertain and inspire children of all ages, you will find it at one of these locations.

Shopping could not possibly get any easier for you when it comes to Tar Heel fans! Do you have any inside jokes or favorite game day chants that would be perfect on a t-shirt? Underground Printing can customize any shirt you may have in mind, perfect for groups, best friends, couples, marathon runners, or really anyone! You can check out Chapel Hill Fan Shop, The Shrunken Head Boutique, Johnny T-Shirt, and Chapel Hill Sportswear, just to name a few, for all kinds of souvenirs and memorabilia. You will find everything from game day supplies, auto accessories, sportswear, home décor, pet supplies, and way more.

Trust me, there are FAN-tastic gifts to be found at any of these UNC gift shops.

Browse prints, pottery, and paintings at FRANK Gallery, then walk across Franklin Street to the Ackland Museum Store for artistic crafts, books, cards, children’s gifts and more. Other places to shop art include Ashley Shops, Light: Art + Design, and Studio Design Gallery. You can browse a large selection of exquisite paintings, pottery, credenzas, lamps, and furniture of all kinds. Antique lovers always appreciate a new addition.   

The Bookshop of Chapel Hill has a collection of 13,000 used and rare books of all categories. Also, Chapel Hill Comics is a locally owned bookstore that carries graphic novels, comics, and gifts.

Along with all the boutiques where you can find jewelry, there are two spots in particular that are a must see when shopping for jewelry.  Creative Metalsmiths has absolutely amazing, beautifully crafted, meaningful pieces of jewelry.  You can find something incredibly one-of-a-kind here, something so unique and beautiful, trust me, just go.  Light Years is the other shop great for Christmas gifts. Not only do they have a huge selection of affordable jewelry, but they also sell many unique gift items with a whole wall of random, humorous items.

Check out CD Alley and browse thousands of artists, and posters, calendars, magnets, and more. Just next door, Hazmat has a great selection of t-shirts, tapestry, posters and more.

Stil need ideas?

Give a gift certificate to a downtown hair or nail salon.
Give a family gift - a membership to Morehead Planetarium or Ackland Art Museum.
Create a Date Night Experince with flowers from Chapel Hill Florist or University Florist, with gift certificates to the Varsity Theatre,  a restaurant, and then dessert place.

For a list of all of downtown’s retail shops visit

Guest Blog by Hannah P.