The Durham Performing Arts Center (DPAC) is North Carolina’s center for live entertainment and the performing arts. Opened in 2008 as one of the largest centers of its kind in the Carolinas, DPAC hosts hundreds of performances a year, ranging from high profile concerts to Broadway productions, stand-up comedy routines, and festivals. The center is recognized for its contemporary steel and glass design, and features 2,700 seats with intimate sightlines. DPAC’s “Heart of the Arts” community outreach program runs master theater classes for local students, and invites the students to backstage tours, orchestra rehearsals, and post-performance discussions.
The Occoneechee Mountain State Natural Area encompasses an area of 221 acres (89.43 hectares) near the charming town of Hillsborough. A picturesque location to explore the region's Great Outdoors, Occoneechee Mountain State Natural Area is home to the imposing Occoneechee Mountain, which towers above the park at a height of 867 feet (264.26 meters). Featuring a network of scenic trails dotted with groves of trees, shrubs, overlooks, and glimpses of the river, the area is a delight for outdoor and nature enthusiasts.
Founded in 1934, The Sarah P. Duke Gardens offers 55 acres (22 hectares) of world-class gardens in the center of Duke University. More than five miles (eight kilometers) of pathways lead visitors on walks through four sections of beautifully landscaped terraces, gardens, and arboretums. The Duke Gardens host gardening, photography, and natural history classes, and a summer concert series. A cafe and a visitor center are on the grounds. Walking and trolley tours are given four days a week; reservations are recommended.
The North Carolina Museum of Life & Science offers a number of interactive educational exhibits suitable for children and adults. Visitors can walk through a tornado, turn their movements into sound sculptures, and make contact with one of the largest butterfly conservatories on the American East Coast. The museum also features bear, red wolf, and lemur sanctuaries, and a forested tree house learning environment, which gives views of a landscaped forest from 20 feet (six meters) off the ground.
This chapel built in the center of Duke University in the Collegiate Gothic style was completed in 1932. Its tower soars 210 feet (65 meters) into the sky, and its founder, James B. Duke, felt that its inspirational presence would influence campus music, faith, and learning. Fine ornamentation, stained glass, and four beautifully crafted organs, including a Flentrop, or "Bach's Organ," draw thousands of admirers to the chapel every year. Free, guided tours of the chapel are offered every Sunday after an 11a worship service.
One of the leading art museums of the American South, the North Carolina Museum of Art opened in 1956 as the first in the nation established with public state funds. More than 40 galleries here are home to a permanent collection of paintings, artifacts, and sculptures spanning the history of art from antiquity to the present day. Visitors can see paintings of the European Renaissance, Egyptian funerary artifacts, and contemporary international works of art, among others. An amphitheater hosts outdoor performances, and a museum park features more than a dozen major site-specific works surrounded by forests and fields.
Top of the Hill opens daily as a restaurant that has been voted "Best Place to Impress a Date," "Best Place to See and Be Seen," and "Best Outdoor Deck," among other awards. The locals frequent the Top for great food and brews, and visitors will find it highly recommended as a true taste of Chapel Hill. Patrons indulge in an eclectic selection of Baked Crab Dip, Tenderloin Bruscetta, or French Quarter Jambalya. When the sun goes down, the Top transforms into a chic UNC hangout, featuring Drain the Tank Mondays and live music on Thirsty Thursdays. The restaurant has a full bar, but with microbrews that have netted eighteen World Championship Beer medals, it seems that an ice cold pint is the way to go. - Caitlin Fahey
Dedicated in 1958 and renovated in the early 1990s, Ackland Art Museum is on the University of North Carolina's campus and features everything from European paintings, contemporary American works, as well as Asian and African art. There really is nearly thousands of works on display. Paintings and sculptures by well-known artists Degas and Pisarro are part of the museum's permanent collection. The museum annually hosts four to six temporary exhibits. In the past, these exhibits have included famous artists such as Andy Warhol and Edvard Munch. Admission is free.
The Kidzu Children's Museum is a hands-on space for kids to explore and learn. This interactive museum offers weekly events, hosts birthday parties, and waives admission fees on Sunday, opening up the fun to all.
Hill Hall served as one of the first libraries of the university and now functions as state of the art concert hall located inside the Department of Music at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC. The interiors of the hall are a treat to your eyes with wood paneling and various musical instruments like piano and pipe organs arranged to add to the aura. The hall is used for recitals and concerts and can accommodate up to 455 guests for a single event.
Located in the University of North Carolina, the Old East is a historic hall. This Italianate residence hall was built in 1793, and is one of the first constructions on site. It comprises of study rooms, kitchen, laundry, television room and lounges. Some of the amenities include smoke detectors, alarms, air-conditioning and sprinkler system. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Carolina Performing Arts is a major hub of arts and culture owned and managed by the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC. The center is spread out and encourages art and young artists to exhibit their talent. They have played host to various international artists and some big names and is available for concerts as well.