Hip Chapel Hill is nationally renowned as the home of such bands as Superchunk and musicians like Ben Folds and Ryan Adams, not to mention James Taylor. A pleasant town to wander, it has a multitude of laid-back bars and coffeehouses along Franklin Street, which fringes the north side of campus.
The University of North Carolina, dating from 1789, was the nation's first state university. The earliest of its fine eighteenth-century buildings is Old East, its original brick painted a fashionable tan in the 1840s. Evidence of the university's wealth can be seen at the Morehead Planetarium on E Franklin St (Mon– Thurs 10am–3.30pm, Fri– Sat 10am–3.30pm & 6.30–8.45pm, Sun 1–5pm; $6; Web: www.moreheadplanetarium.org ), which served as an early NASA training center, and at the Ackland Art Museum, South Columbia and Franklin streets (Wed– Sat 10am–5pm, Sun 1–5pm; free; Web: www.ackland.org ), which is particularly strong on Asian art and antiquities.