New and Improved Chapel Hill Road Trip

Introduction: Why Start a New Trip to Charlotte?

Charlotte is a booming metropolis and the center of North Carolina’s banking, finance, and insurance industries. Charlotte also boasts competitive employment rates and affordable living expenses, making it an attractive location for both new residents to the area and those looking to relocate. Charlotte’s diversity makes it a great fit for any traveler looking to explore the area.
Since my last trip to Charlotte was in the spring, I was curious if there had been any changes since then.
After searching online for minutes, I discovered that Charlotte has a new “Libraries” facility on the corner of 5th St. and College St . . . and with that, my curiosity was rekindled.
I decided on a Monday afternoon to take the new “Libraries” in for a spin, and I was pleasantly surprised with the results. To add to the ambiance, a runner passed me while I was reading the second book.
The new Library is located in an area known as NoDa, and includes a large number of independent shops, restaurants, bars and cafes or so I have been told.
When I was going through the digital copies of the local newspaper, The Charlotte Observer, I noticed there was an article about NoDa.

chapel hill nc to charlotte nc
chapel hill nc to charlotte nc

What Will You See on the Way?

There are plenty of things to do on the way to Charlotte – you just have to know where to look. Start in Chapel Hill, where you can walk through the arboretum, visit the campus’s museums and art galleries, or tour the Duke University campus. Further south you can stop in Hillsborough for some shopping and a stroll through the historic town. You can also drive through Waxhaw, which is known for its historic homes and modern art galleries. The long journey ends in Charlotte and you can drive along Tryon Road, where you will find an array of shopping malls and restaurants. You can also stop in the historic town of Matthews, known for its historic homes and museums.
You can get a layover in Charlotte – make it a day trip by exploring the city, which has plenty of shopping and restaurants to choose from. And if you need to stay overnight, there are plenty of hotels to choose from as well.
You can also stop in Concord for some great antique shopping and a taste of history. [END]
“What Will You See on the Way?”
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“WKBA-FM”
Stevens Radio Network, LLC
Hillsborough, North Carolina
Branded “The Piedmont’s News Talk Leader” 24/7
2.1 (Susquehanna River) to 14.5 (Goldsboro, NC)
DMA # 490 (Raleigh/Durham-Fayetteville/High Point)
WKBA-AM
Stevens Radio Network, LLC
Hillsborough, North Carolina
Branded “The Piedmont’s Sports Leader” 24/7
930 (Susquehanna River) to 1600 (Goldsboro, NC)
DMA # 490 (Raleigh/Durham-Fayetteville/High Point)

chapel hill nc to charlotte nc
chapel hill nc to charlotte nc

How Long is the Trip and What is the Route?

If you’re planning on driving from Chapel Hill to Charlotte by car, the whole trip will be over 100 miles. The route goes directly south on I-85 and then east along US-70 toward Monroe and Gastonia. After this, take I-485 south to I-77. Then follow US 21 south until you reach Exit 44, where you can turn right to enter downtown Charlotte. You should be driving through the city, on I-77, in just over 30 minutes.
But let’s go a little deeper than that. The trip starts with I-85. It starts at the first traffic light on NC-17, where you go north. You continue up along the highway until you eventually circle back on yourself, which is when you get to Chapel Hill and NC-55 (I-440). From there, you still have to go north again until you reach I-485. This section of I-485 is called the Airport Highway because it goes right past Charlotte Douglas International Airport. You go to the right as you enter downtown to merge onto I-77, which is still called the Airport Highway. You go north along I-77. This is when US-70 comes in and splits off to the right. The section of US-70 between I-77 on the east side and I-485 on the west side is approximately half an hour.
If you’re going from downtown Charlotte to downtown Chapel Hill, this entire stretch is about 30 minutes. The trip of the whole corridor is 1 hour and 20 minutes, with some congestion in the I-85 section.

chapel hill nc to charlotte nc
chapel hill nc to charlotte nc

What’s In Chapel Hill N.C. & What’s In Charlotte North Carolina?

Chapel Hill, a small town located just 18 miles north of Charlotte and 85 miles east of Raleigh. The area is known as the home of the University of North Carolina’s beginnings. The town was originally named in honor of William Barton Clark Jr., an early benefactor, who donated the land for the university to be built on. He also donated money to create Clark School, now called the Clark Hall School, which serves as a preparatory school for students attending North Carolina Central University. He also donated money to build a residence hall for African-American students. The surrounding town is bordered by two major roads in the area: Highway 16/501 to the east and Highway 49 to the west. There is also a new major thoroughfare in the area called Interstate 77 (I-77) that has made its way from Concord, NC to Mooresville, NC. Both areas are connected by I-77 which has helped lead to growth in both areas.
The town itself has an old-town feel to it with many restaurants, antique shops and stores for shopping lovers. There are many shops and diners around the campus area that offer a wide array of options for seafood, southern, deli and fast food.

chapel hill nc to charlotte nc
chapel hill nc to charlotte nc

What Should You Bring with You for the Trip?

You should bring clothing for every occasion – from walking to shopping. You should also bring a jacket or jacket to use in the summer and a warm jacket, sweater, or sweatshirt to use during the winter months. You should also bring enough cash because Charlotte is known to have lower retail prices than other major cities. It is suggested that you bring a camera because the area offers plenty of places to take pictures. Bring your iPod or other music player, so you can enjoy your favorite music along the way. Bring snacks because you never know when hunger might strike!
Two days before you leave, give yourself a time limit of what time you will be back. Of course, there will inevitably be traffic, so be sure and plan on being back in Charlotte at least 30 minutes earlier than you anticipated.
Traveling by yourself is completely acceptable. In fact, it can be more fun and rewarding if you travel with only one or two people because then each person will take turns driving and giving directions to the sights.
You may wish to bring a few of your friends with you to Charlotte; however, be sure and let them know that they are going to have very low expectations because the city is small. If they are not ready for this revelation, they should not go.
When you arrive in Charlotte, the first place that you should go is the visitor center at 300 East Trade Street. There you will fill out a short form and receive a free map of Charlotte and instructions for finding locations.
Depending on how hot it is, you should definitely visit the Discovery Place, which is a museum for children and adults. There you will learn about the various cultures of Charlotte. It is a great venue for all ages.

chapel hill nc to charlotte nc
chapel hill nc to charlotte nc

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