Chapel Hill, North Carolina Selected One of America’s Dozen Distinctive Destinations for 2011
“From its well-preserved historic districts to its quiet winding streets and historic downtown, Chapel Hill lives up to its nickname as the ‘Southern Part of Heaven”, said John Hildreth, director of the southern office of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. “Discerning travelers to Chapel Hill have long appreciated the two centuries of architectural grandeur on display throughout the town. And Chapel Hill’s commitment to the environment and sustainable practices set it apart from other towns and cities. Chapel Hill is the perfect place for travelers looking for a truly distinctive destination.”
Though most well known as the home to the University of North Carolina and its basketball legacy, Chapel Hill has a unique charm and distinctive character that sets it apart from other college towns. Tree lined streets shade an architectural heritage spanning four centuries. With three local historic districts and four National Register Historic Districts, Chapel Hill is a place that prioritizes the preservation of its heritage, thanks in large part to the efforts of the Preservation Society of Chapel Hill. The concept of adaptive reuse flourishes. In the case of the Horace Williams House - a 19th century home is now an historic cultural center. Several of the community’s early buildings, have been rehabilitated -- transforming them into housing, retail, restaurant and gallery spaces humming with activity.
“Visitors to Chapel Hill love strolling through the eclectic shops and restaurants along Franklin Street,” said Laurie Paolicelli, Executive Director of the Chapel Hill/Orange County Visitors Bureau, the agency that nominated Chapel Hill for the award. “We tend take for granted what visitors find to be a truly unique destination. Families, parents, couples and those who pull of the Interstate curious about our reputation love exploring the campus, and often rave about the outdoor murals painted on the exterior of downtown buildings. Visitors almost always comment on our trees and sidewalks and the friendliness of our people. They see a community that is nurturing its riches of authors, musicians and chefs. They almost always come back.”
2011 marks the twelfth announcement of the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Dozen Distinctive Destinations annual list. To date, there are 144 Distinctive Destinations located in 46 states throughout the country. In addition to Chapel Hill, NC, the remaining 2011 winners are Alexandria, VA; Colorado Springs, CO; Dandridge, TN; Eureka, CA; Muskogee, OK; New Bedford, MA; Paducah, KY; San Angelo, TX; Saint Paul, MN; Sheridan, WY; and Sonoma, CA.
About the National Trust for Historic Preservation
The National Trust for Historic Preservation (www.PreservationNation.org) is a non-profit membership organization bringing people together to protect, enhance and enjoy the places that matter to them. By saving the places where great moments from history – and the important moments of everyday life – took place, the National Trust for Historic Preservation helps revitalize neighborhoods and communities, spark economic development and promote environmental sustainability. With headquarters in Washington, DC, eight regional and field offices, 29 historic sites, and partner organizations in 50 states, territories, and the District of Columbia, the National Trust for Historic Preservation provides leadership, education, advocacy and resources to a national network of people, organizations and local communities committed to saving places, connecting us to our history and collectively shaping the future of America’s stories.
104-A North Elliott Road
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
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