On campus activities

UNC athletic events – UNC consistently has one of the best men’s basketball and baseball, and women’s soccer and field hockey teams in the country. Football games are also a lot of fun. Tickets are often free to students

Carolina Performing Arts – Many big-name performances are booked for Memorial Hall, which is located literally right next to Hanes. Tickets are only $10 for students.

Ackland – About a 3 minute walk from Hanes Hall, a free museum with a pretty good collection, in particular of Asian Art. Bizarrely has a crypt inside. Try to take a tour if you can

Arboretum – A stone’s throw from Hanes Hall, take a break and walk around this oasis on campus

Annual Events

For a full list of annual events, see here. Highlights are listed below

Carrboro Music Festival – Held each year in the Fall, the Carrboro music festival brings a ton of free concerts from every genre you can imagine to venues all over downtown Carrboro.  Probably the best representation of all that Carrboro has to offer


Light Up Festival 

NC State Fair

2nd Friday Art Walk(other Fridays have art walks in Raleigh and Durham)


For a fuller list, see here. Highlights are listed below.

Occoneechee Mountain State Natural Area + Hillsborough Riverwalk – about a 30 minute drive for an easy hike and the nicest view nearby. Then you can walk along a wooden trail along the river in Hillsborough. Stop by El Restaurante Ixtapa for the fish tacos afterwards

William B. Umstead State Park – Lots of trails of different lengths near Raleigh

Eno River State Park – A little under a half hour drive to get to some pleasant trails along the eponymous Eno River

Jordan Lake – Has a nice figure eight trail combining 2 loops (or just do the shorter blue trail) that has some nice views of Jordan Lake

Carolina North Forest –  Just north of Downtown Chapel Hill and Carrboro is this little park with a lot of trails that are great for running. Pro -tips: avoid the air strip, explore the random warp trails, and try to find the pond

Duke Forest  – If you have to go to Duke anyway…

Tobacco trail – A great place to bike ride, but probably a bit too monotonous and long for a hike

Other Activities in the triangle

NC Museum of Art – The main museum (including an impressive collection of Rodin sculptures) is free to the public, and the exhibitions are free to students after 5pm on Fridays

Nasher – Duke’s museum, where you can find everything from Medieval stained glass to exhibitions of contemporary art

Duke Lemur center – The largest collection of lemurs outside of Madagascar. Enough said. Requires reservations in advance

Duke Gardens – Stop and smell the roses for a couple of hours to wander around these beautiful gardens. When it gets hot out, make sure to stay hydrated

Carolina Tiger Rescue – It’s sad that this place has to exist, but you can support a noble organization and also see the majesty of tigers, enjoy lions chilling out, and check out the other big cats they have

The Carolina Hurricanes play hockey in downtown Raleigh and are the nearest professional sports team

Escape Rooms – There are a lot of escape rooms in Durham, so if you like problem solving or being trapped in a confined space, you’ve got options

Farther out activities

Greensboro – a really nice downtown for walking around

Asheville – hiking in the blue ridge mountains, world class breweries, The Biltmore , The Orange Peel, and the downtown and grove arcade

Charlotte – Museums, whitewater center – really an outdoor activity mecca,  Panthers (NFL) and Hornets (NBA) games

Outer Banks for the beaches

Western NC for the hikes

And if you’re willing to leave North Carolina, you have access to:

Charleston – Food, beautiful downtown, Civil War history

Virginia – Colonial history, Shenandoah National Park

DC – Smithsonian museums, national monuments, entrenched power

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