The Ackland Art Museum is located in the heart of downtown Chapel Hill, North Carolina. The museum’s collection holds over 2,000 pieces of art, including ancient Greek pottery and sculptures. It opened in 1930 and is one of the oldest galleries in the South. The museum’s pieces were compiled by a local doctor and lawyer, William Hayes Ackland, and his wife. It’s managed by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
The Carolina Basketball Museum at the Dean E. Smith Center, home of UNC-Chapel Hill Tarheels basketball, is open to all visitors. The museum is filled with memorabilia and full-sized statues of Carolina players, including Michael Jordan and Antawn Jamison.
The Kitzu Children’s Museum is located in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. The museum contains exhibits that will keep children entertained and stimulated for hours, including a play corner and water exhibits.
In 1903, Dr. William Chambers Coker, the University's first Botany Professor and head of Grounds Committee, transformed a five-acre bog into a North Carolina tree study area. By the 1920s, he expanded it with East Asian plants.
These species, closely related counterparts to many North Carolina native plants, enhanced the beauty and educational value of the Arboretum. Today, The Arboretum has something unique to offer during every season of the year.
Spanning 85 acres in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, the North Carolina Botanical Garden is home to over 10,000 plant species. There are more than 50 themed gardens on-site, including a Japanese garden and swamp garden. Guests can take guided tours or visit the gift shop when they’re finished exploring. The garden hosts numerous free events throughout the year, such as Shakespeare in the Gardens and Jazz at JC Ranks Amphitheatre.
Located in the western section of Orange County, Occoneechee Mountain State Natural Area spans 2,946 acres and contains a mountain and lake. The mountain is one of the highest peaks in the county, offering scenic views of the surrounding area.
The natural area features 3 miles of several trails for hiking and bluffs reaching to the highest point in the area and mountain laurel and rhododendron thickets.
Visitors can fish in a pair of quiet ponds for bass and panfish or in the Eno River, either from the bank or by wading its shallows. Picnic grounds supply a grassy lawn and large, shading oaks.
The natural area is located at 625 Virginia Cates Road, Hillsborough, NC 27278
Shopping & Dining
Shop one of a kind stores where the wares are as unique as the shop owners. From trendy clothing to high end antiques.
Did you know that Bon Appetit magazine dubbed Chapel Hill “America’s Foodiest Small Town”? From bars and taprooms, to 5-star restaurants, you are sure to find something to satisfy your taste buds Orange County has it all.
Other outdoor activities
Don’t forget to check out events and activities going on in Orange County. From the North Carolina Azalea Festival in Chapel Hill one of the largest festivals in Chapel Hill and takes place during April, to Historic Franklin Street considered the center of social life for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, as well as the town of Chapel Hill, to Last Friday’s in Historic Downtown Hillsborough, there’s always something exciting happening!