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Living in Chapel Hill (and Beyond)

Choosing a graduate school is more than just choosing a good research environment; you are choosing your home for the next 5-6 years. Chapel Hill and the surrounding area have a lot to offer graduate students.

Housing | Transportation | Recreation and Sports | Local Events | Students with Children

The Triangle

Chapel Hill, Durham, and Raleigh make up the points of the Triangle area of NC. In between those cities are many smaller towns for exploring. All in all, the Triangle has something for everyone: nature, big cities, sleepy towns, history, shopping, and lots of tasty food. We’ve compiled BBSP students’ recommendations for sites to see and areas to live on this map. There are also Facebook pages (such as Chapel Hill Carrboro Foodies) that can introduce you to our amazing food scene.


BBSP students’ favorite reasons to live in the Triangle are all about being in nature: hiking, biking, camping, paddle boarding, camping, fishing, dog walking, kayaking, gardening, and apple picking.

Social Spaces & Activities

When they’re not doing research or studying, our students enjoy connecting in various kinds of social spaces:

  • Breweries
  • Game nights
  • Trivia
  • Bars and barcades
  • Axe throwing
  • Wine and design
  • Escape rooms
  • Driving range
  • Festivals and the NC State Fair
  • Paintball
  • Cat café
  • Bowling


Nearby Destinations

The Triangle is in the Piedmont of NC, so it’s about equidistant to the Blue Ridge Mountains and the beaches of the coast and Outer Banks. Here are a few of our students’ favorite places to visit in the area:

  • Raleigh – state capital, big city feel, great restaurants and events
  • Saxapahaw – small town, music hall
  • Charlotte – largest city in NC, Ikea
  • Asheville – mountains, hippies, and good food
  • Greensboro – where first civil rights sit-ins took place, Science Center, more good food
  • Hanging Rock State Park
  • Wilmington – beaches
  • Roan Mountain
  • Occoneechee Mountain State Natural Area
  • Norfolk, VA – bigger coastal city
  • Pittsboro – small town
  • NC Zoo in Asheboro
  • Pilot Mountain