Those who have never really been to Carrboro tend to lump the little town with the nearby and more well-known Chapel Hill. To be fair, the two are fused so seamlessly that the locals don’t realize they’ve crossed from one to the other until they find themselves in the heart of a different town. Unlike that of the busier college community, though, Carrboro’s is a more artistically diverse lifestyle. Its free spirit complements the buttoned-up nature of its neighboring college town, creating a unique culture and refined taste that can’t be found anywhere else. From its old mill town beauty to the exquisite artisans and some unforgettable food, Carrboro is one to leave its mark in your heart.
Founded in 1882 as a tobacco town named West End, Carrboro has been renovated into today’s bastion of Piedmont culture. Due to the decline of the tobacco and cotton industries in the Carolinas, some of the liveliest buildings in the Carolinas are old renovated mills and historic buildings. Carrboro channels that charm in its factory-style buildings, merging history with today’s modern business.
Raleigh and Durham are renowned as the cultural hubs of The Triangle, but the crowds and bustle of big city life hide the small details that make a place well-rounded. Carrboro is a place that understands the appeal of the urban life without the metropolitan distraction.
A Beginner’s Guide to Carrboro:
Al’s Burger Shack
This is the place for a burger and fries. Yeah, we know everyone has a favorite burger spot, but trust us—Al’s hasn’t been named on the “best” lists this many times for no reason. Order the Kenny J with spicy pimento and you’ll never look back. If you’re in the mood for other American fare, hit up Elmo’s diner or Acme Food & Beverage company.
This charming historic stretch is exactly the kind of street you want to spend an afternoon strolling down. It’s home to numerous college-y coffee shops, restaurants, museums, bookshops, music stores, and bars.
Weaver Street Market
An integral part of the community, the market serves up all the healthy, fresh fare your heart desires and has one of our favorite shaded, bustling patios in town.
North Carolina Botanical Garden
This free outing is worth visiting, from the winding paths to the landscaped gardens. It’s especially worthy of a trip during the blooming season in spring.
Carolina Basketball Museum
You’re not in basketball land for no reason: Go pay your respects in the museum right next door to the Dean Dome. There are interactive exhibits and a vast collection of Tar Heel memorabilia.