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The Carolina Inn Blog

Welcome to Your Carolina Inn. We wanted to give you a place to share your favorite Carolina Inn memory or experience in Chapel Hill. Read, post, share and become part of the community.


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September 11, 2012 | 11:46 AM

The Cow Parade has Arrived at The Carolina Inn

CowParade is the world’s largest public art exhibit featuring life-size fiberglass cows, hand-painted by local artists and auctioned off to raise money for charity. CowParade first began in Zurich, Switzerland, in 1998 and has raised more than $30 million for nonprofits.

The beneficiary of CowParade North Carolina is N.C. Children’s Hospital, a 150-bed state-of-the-art facility offering complete pediatric inpatient and outpatient care as well as more than 25 satellite outpatient clinics throughout North Carolina.

More than 80 vibrantly painted cows will be on parade across Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill through December 7th 2012. The cows are approximately eight feet long and five feet high and will be auctioned off to the highest bidder at a gala on January 26th 2013. Cows that aren’t sold in the live auction will be auctioned online.

The UNC Mooo-saic, Lady Carolina Bloo, from artist Paula MacLeod, is dressed in a mosaic of Vietri stoneware dishes, porcelain and glass tile featuring iconic UNC logos and hidden barn animals. Lady Carolina Bloo will live at The Carolina Inn during our Twelve Days of Christmas through the end of December.

To see the locations of all Carolina’s cows, visit

September 01, 2011 | 04:07 PM

The South's Best College Towns

Southern Living writes about "The South's Best College Towns." It's no surprise that UNC Chapel Hill is among the best, and The Carolina Inn is highlighted as the place stay when visiting Chapel Hill. 

You don't have to be a backpack-slinging coed to love these collegiate classics. Read the complete Southern Living article here.

December 24, 2010 | 11:25 AM

2010 Gingerbread House Competition Winners

The Carolina Inn would like to thank all of the participants in this year's Gingerbread House Competition. The artistic talent shown in this year's contest made for another exciting display of gingerbread houses at the Inn. 

First Place winners received a $100 South Point Mall gift cerificate and Dinner for Four at Carolina Crossroads Restaurant. Second Place winners received a $50 South Point Mall gift certificate and Brunch for Two at Carolina Crossroads Restaurant. 

The winners of this year's contest are:

Adult: 1st Place Winner - Amalia Bolivar
Adult: 2nd Place Winner - Francesca Monachino

Youth: 1st Place Winner - Lynalese Kindy
Youth: 2nd Place Winner - Margret Conrad Troop #378

Congratulations to all our winners! Information regarding the 2011 Twelve Days of Christmas and Gingerbread House Competition will be posted online next fall.

October 31, 2010 | 12:45 PM

Southern Style Red Bean Soup with Shrimp, Chorizo and Crystal Hot Crema

Autumn brings beautiful seasonal color changes, falling leaves and an abundance of new food items to be used in your fall cuisine. Chef Jimmy Reale from Carolina Crossroads Restaurant shares his recipe for Southern Style Red Bean Soup with Shrimp, Chorizo Sausage and Crystal Hot Crema, a hearty and flavorful soup sure to be a crowd-pleaser this season.

Southern Style Red Bean Soup with Hot Crema


1lb       Dried red beans-soaked in water and refrigerated overnight
¼ c      Oil
5 oz     Chorizo sausage, small dice
2 T       Garlic, fine chop
½ c      Onions small dice   
½ c      Yellow peppers small dice
¼ c      Green peppers small dice
¼ c      Carrots small dice
½ c      Celery small dice
1 T       Thyme, chopped
1 T       Chili powder
1 T       Cumin ground
2 c       Can chopped tomatoes with juice   
2 qts    Chicken broth
Cider vinegar to taste
½ lb      Small shrimp, peeled and deveined
Crystal Hot Crema (Recipe follows)

Crystal Hot Crema
½ c      Sour Cream
1 T       Lime juice, fresh squeezed
Crystal Hot Sauce, to taste

1. Place oil in a pot over medium heat
2. When oil is hot add chorizo sausage and begin to render fat
3. Add garlic, onions, peppers, carrots, celery, thyme, chili powder and cumin
4. Season with salt and pepper then sauté for 5 minutes
5. Add red beans after you have discarded the water
6. Add tomatoes and chicken broth and stir well
7. Bring soup to a simmer and continue to cook until beans are finished
8. Add shrimp just before serving and cook until shrimp is cooked through
9. Skim any fat off of soup and discard
10. Taste and season with salt and pepper if necessary
11. Add cider vinegar
12. Use a hand blender and pulse soup a few times just to give it some body
13. Add more chicken broth if necessary

Place soup in a bowl and drizzle with crystal hot crema

Come into Carolina Crossroads today and enjoy Chef Jimmy's fall menu. We look forward to seeing you soon! 

July 26, 2010 | 10:43 AM

Summer Watermelon Recipes from Chef Jimmy Reale

Summer brings an abundance of fresh local fruits and vegetables including a childhood favorite - watermelon. Chef Jimmy Reale, from the Carolina Inn's Crossroads Restaurant, shares his recipe for Watermelon and Feta Salad, a delicious light summer dish that brings watermelon back for adults.

Watermelon and Feta Salad
Serves 4


2 cups             Baby Arugula
1 oz                Extra Virgin Olive Oil
4 cups             Seedless Watermelon, Diced Small
4 oz                Crumbled Feta Cheese (Hillsborough Cheese Company is my favorite)
To  Taste         Thin Sliced Red Onion
2 oz                Fig Balsamic Syrup (see below)
1 Tbsp             Fresh Mint –Julienne

Method: Fig Balsamic Syrup
12 oz               Dark Balsamic Vinegar
3 oz                 Dried Figs

1)      For fig syrup, reduce dark balsamic vinegar and figs by ¾ over low heat.
2)      Strain and let cool.


On four separate plates place arugula that has been lightly tossed in olive oil. Portion the watermelon, feta, red onion and mint on all plates. Drizzle with fig syrup right before serving and enjoy this wonderful summer appetizer. Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

 *For more delicious ways to enjoy watermelon, visit The Carolina Crossroads Restaurant and try Chef Reale's Summer Watermelon, Grilled Halloumi Cheese, Arugula, Picked Cottle Farm Cucumbers, Jalapeno Peppers, and Radishes with a Citrus Vanilla Vinaigrette.


June 26, 2010 | 09:49 AM

Uncle Sam Visits The Carolina Inn

The hot weather didn’t keep people away from last night’s Fridays on the Front Porch. The crowd was entertained by live music from The Gravy Boys and a special appearance by Uncle Sam! Uncle Sam worked the crowd while juggling from atop stilts.

He visited The Carolina Inn to spread the word about the special holiday edition of Fridays on the Front Porch taking place on Sunday, July 4th from 2:00pm to 7:00pm. Stop by and enjoy live bluegrass music from Big Fat Gap, cool drink specials and a summer picnic menu. Fireworks and entertainment at UNC’s Kenan Stadium begins at 7:00pm so stop by the Inn before walking over to the stadium.

Even if you will be at the beach for the 4th of July, start the weekend off right at Fridays on the Front Porch on July 2nd from 5:00 to 8:00pm. The Gravy Boys will be back to perform their popular Acoustic Americana music.

 A special thanks to our juggling/stilt walking Uncle Sam – Duane Deardorff!

May 21, 2010 | 08:51 AM

Twenty Three Reasons to Visit North Carolina

After a recent trip to Chapel Hill and The Carolina Inn, Norm Woods, owner of GolfScene Media, reflected on his visit with “Twenty Three Reasons to Visit North Carolina.” Below are his top five reasons:

1) The Preserve - A Davis Love III Signature Golf Facility
2) Room 180 in The Carolina Inn, AAA Four Diamond Hotel built in 1924
3) Gene Fones, the affable General Manager of The Preserve Golf Club
4) Tasting North Carolina Wine made primarily from Muscadine Grapes and Vinifera grapes (there are now 76 wineries in North Carolina)
5) Walking Franklin Street, the main street in Chapel Hill - full of boutiques, restaurants & students

To read the full list, click here.

May 18, 2010 | 02:29 PM

Summer Visits to Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill: just the name – like San Francisco, New York, and Chicago – elicits in the American mind its own particular personality, a vaunted history, even a mood.  Hillsborough: a town where time hasn’t stopped, but where history has been preserved.  And Carrboro: North Carolina’s progressive, idealistic mecca for artists of every kind.  Orange County.  To call it a national treasure, while not inaccurate, undermines its importance in the contemporary life of this country.  What’s truly remarkable is that cities like New York and Chicago count there populations in the millions, while our towns are still just that:  towns.  And it’s no exaggeration to say that there are no other towns like them in America. 

History, that sepia patina, plays a part in all this.  The first state university is here, founded in 1789, which means it was the first institution of higher learning where all a young man or woman had to do was get here to take a class, and the only state university to graduate students in the 18th century.  Over two hundred years later it’s the doing the same thing, but better, changing as the world around it changes.  It’s constantly innovating and remains a model for universities everywhere.  Thomas Wolfe, one of the greatest writers America has produced, came here in 1915, when he was only fifteen years old.  He predicted that that his portrait would one day hang in Old West near that of North Carolina governor Zebulon Vance, and he was right: it still does today.  Other literary luminaries soon followed, and many of them have changed the face of contemporary American literature: Russell Banks, Taylor Branch, Shelby Foote, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, and Armistead Maupin, to name a very, very few.

What’s harder to see is how a similar history is being made right now.  There are more world famous writers in Chapel Hill, Carrboro and Hillsborough, per capita, than in any other place in the world.  You can see them everywhere, meet them in the produce section of the grocery store, sitting at the table next to yours in a restaurant: you can even say hello, and tell them how much you love their writing (rumor to the contrary, they can’t hear that enough).  Do something particularly outrageous and who knows: you could end up in their next book.  Give it a shot. 

Chapel Hill, to this day, is sustained by the arts, and it sustains everybody with its art.  This is a community where art is practiced and perfected, and where professionals from around the world come to play, dance and sing.  Memorial Hall, on campus, hosts everybody from Yo-Yo Ma to Earl Scruggs, dance and drama from all over the world, one-stop shopping for the sort of culture that teaches while it entertains. 

On the other side of campus is Playmakers Repertory Company, whose productions are staged in Paul Green Theater.  Playmakers is considered the leading theater in the Carolinas, and has been honored by the Drama League of New York as one of the best regional theaters in the country.  Recent offerings include The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby, an ambitious eight hour stage play, Romeo and Juliet, and The Glass Menagerie

And, as almost everybody knows, the Art of Basketball is performed here September through April, and more often than not it’s performed at the highest level, an exemplar of what human beings can do with a round orange ball.  You can see them rise like dancers, turn and spin, elegant and powerful, smart and fast as lightening.  Not unlike our literary tradition, famous practitioners of the art have lived and played here, including the greatest man to have ever played the game, Michael Jordan.  In this last decade alone two national championship banners have been hung from the rafters of the Dean Smith Center.  And yes: you can see our artists there as well, cheering along with half the population of the entire town. 

But this decidedly world-class offering of cultural happenings doesn’t end on campus: it radiates through the entire county like a ripple on the surface of a pond.  Carrboro hosts so many festivals you might think there’s one happening there every single day of the year: there are film, poetry, comedy, dance and music festivals.  In Hillsborough, there’s the annual Handmade Parade, featuring giant puppets the likes of which you’ve never seen before (trust us).  Just to maintain an appropriate balance between the arts and . . . everything else, Hillsborough also hosts Hog Day, now in its 28th year, a down-home traditional pig-picking and barbeque contest, and the largest classic auto show in the state.

No, you will not go hungry in Orange County.  World-class cooks – two James Beard finalists – live and work here.   On Franklin Street alone – Franklin Street being Chapel Hill’s one and only drag – there are over fifty restaurants, from the elegant to the ridiculously informal.  And many of these establishments serve the freshest produce you’ll ever eat, because local farmers drive into town from their farms, dozens of which surround us like a great wall of organic goodness.  

It sounds like a polyester promise, but there’s something for everybody here.  The Cat’s Cradle in Carrboro is the only significant music club between Washington D.C. and Atlanta, so for a little town we get the biggest bands.  About a mile away, The Ackland Museum in Chapel Hill hosts over a dozen of shows every year . . . Oh, it’s tempting to continue, because once you start thinking about what’s happening here you realize that there’s very little that isn’t.  Even the weather is perfect.  Come at your own risk, because after coming you may not want to leave.  Even our buildings are adorned with murals.

Chapel Hill, Carrboro, Hillsborough, Orange County: It’s not one thing: it’s everything.

-Written by David Wallace for the Orange County Visitors Bureau

May 10, 2010 | 12:58 PM

Making History at The Carolina Inn

A graduation ceremony was held on Friday, May 7thfor the Sales & Catering Team of The Carolina Inn. Each staff member completed a seven-week training class on the history of The Carolina Inn and was treated to a program by the Inn’s historian – Kenneth J. Zogry, Ph.D.

The unique history of the Inn and the important relationship between the Inn and The University of North Carolina was described as each employee read The University’s Living Room by Kenneth Zogry. From the Inn’s beginning in 1924 through the New Deal Era, Civil Rights movement and into present-day, The Carolina Inn has remained a fixture on the campus of UNC and truly is the University’s living room.

Click here to view an interactive timeline of the Inn’s history. Also, on your next visit to the Inn be sure to view our new historical photo display.

Front row – Jim Phelan, Tracie Panko, Beverly Ingram, Alison D’Agostino, Elizabeth Rubio, Ashleigh Collins

Back row – Terri Nier, Elizabeth Bischoff, Kenneth Zogry (Inn’s Historian), Margaret Oppegard, Julie McCay, Mark Nelson






April 27, 2010 | 09:20 AM

Carolina Crossroads Culinary Rewards Program

As a guest of the Carolina Crossroads Restaurant and Bar, you have experienced our graceful dining atmosphere, enjoyed our impeccable service and savored our unparalleled menu. As a way of saying thanks for being our valued customer, we have created a new loyalty program that rewards you just for dining with us.

With our Culinary Rewards Program, you'll earn points every time you dine at the Carolina Crossoads, so you can enjoy more great food and good times on us. As a member, you'll earn one point for every dollar you spend at the restaurant and bar. Once you have accumulated 300 points, we'll give you a $20 Carolina Crossroads gift card that can be redeemed any time at our restaurant - it's that easy! Additionally, rewards members will receive special invitations to Members Only events and offers, as well as preferred reservations on high demand dates.

Enrollment in the program is simple - and free! Enroll now or register in person during your next meal with us. And just for signing up, you'll receive 25 bonus points to get started.



April 21, 2010 | 09:45 AM

UNC and The Carolina Inn Celebrate Earth Week

On Monday, April 19th the UNC Sustainability Office held its first annual “Farm to Fork” event in Gerrard Hall to celebrate Earth Week. The event featured guest speakers and local food tastings provided by the Lantern Restaurant, Green Planet Catering, Vimala's Curry Blossom Café, Carolina Dining Services, Neal’s Deli and our very own Carolina Crossroads Restaurant. Executive Chef Jimmy Reale and his teamed served a delicious Greek Salad with local hydroponic Bibb Lettuce, radishes, Sunburst tomatoes and fresh goat cheese.

Below is a listing of the local vendors and farmers the Carolina Crossroads used for their Greek Salad:

Bibb Lettuce - Green Haven Farms

Red Radishes - Cottle Farms

English Cucumbers - Barham’s Farms

Sunburst Tomatoes - Sunburst Tomato Company

Feta Cheese - Hillsborough Cheese Company

The Earth Day celebration continues on April 22nd at The Carolina Inn with a prix fixe menu at the Carolina Crossroads Restaurant designed to showcase local and organic ingredients. Stop by to try our three course menu for $55 person, four course menu for $65 per person, and five course menu for $75 per person. Call 919-918-2735 or visit the Carolina Crossroads for reservations.  




April 16, 2010 | 10:18 AM

To Right These Wrongs Publication & Film Event

History was re-visited last night in The Carolina Inn’s historic Old Well Room. The Inn was host to the publication event of To Right These Wrongs: The North Carolina Fund and the Battle to End Poverty and Inequality in 1960s America. The book, written by Duke Professor Robert Korstad and UNC-CH Professor James Leloudis, focuses on the North Carolina Fund’s efforts to end economic and racial inequality in the state.

The event highlighted an eight minute film of Governor  Terry Sanford calling for racial equality in a 1963 speech in The Carolina Inn’s Old Well Room. Click here to view and download the speech.

Guests were also treated to a discussion with the authors moderated by William Friday followed by a book signing with the authors. Historical 1960s photography by North Carolina photographer Billy Barnes was displayed in the Alumni Room.


March 01, 2010 | 08:38 AM

UNC Yearbooks from 1890 to 1966 Now Available Online

Students can now access the hairstyles and favorite quotations of the students who preceded them with the click of a mouse.

University Libraries posted yearbooks from 1890 to 1966 online in February, offering the UNC community a resource to reflect on student life from more than a century ago.

The digitization of  the Hellenian and Yackety Yack yearbooks kicked off a string of projects conducted by the North Carolina Digital Heritage Center to provide online access to photographic collections, scrapbooks and pictures of museum artifacts.

Click here to view the full Daily Tar Heel article or view the digitized Yackety Yack online.

 UNC System President Erskine Bowles in 1966

 UNC Sports Radio Announcer 
                                      Woody Durham in 1963

 Author Thomas Wolfe in 1919

 CBS Newsman Charles Kuralt in 1955

February 22, 2010 | 12:53 PM

Surely Blue Heaven

In December my father, son, and myself visited Chapel Hill and went to a Carolina basketball game. This might not sound that amazing except for the fact that we live in Torrance, California about a mile from the ocean. Yes, the same Torrance that is home to Deon Thompson. I lived in NC as a young boy and hadn't been back for over 30+ years and my son has never been there. What an amazing experience and visit we had. The Carolina Inn is just beautiful and has that southern charm that makes you feel at home. The entire town and university is so historical, so beautiful, and truly moved me. My son loved it so much he even told me he would love to live there, and so would I. Thank you Chapel Hill for one incredible trip.

February 11, 2010 | 11:48 AM

Tough Game Against Duke

Another great game in Chapel Hill last night – it was close for a while but we couldn’t close the deal.

Win or lose – the UNC Duke rivalry continues to be one of the country’s biggest sporting events.

Click here for a time lapse video of last night's game -- it's pretty cool!

We love our Tar Heels and we know that this young, talented team will have its day in the spotlight.

In Roy We Continue to Trust

January 06, 2010 | 08:13 AM

UNC Chapel Hill Tops Kiplingers' Best College Value List

Jane Bennett, Senior Associate Editor for Kiplinger's Personal Finance Magazine, explains that the effects of the recession continueto hurt public colleges and universities as state governments cut funding for higher education.  The schools selected for Kiplinger's top 100 best values in public colleges and universities "deliver strong academics at reasonable prices, in many cases by offering the same or more financial aid as in previous years." 

UNC not only attracts and keeps the nation's top students, but it also boasts "an outstanding faculty and a historic campus" as well as "strong state support for financial aid." 

The Carolina Inn is very proud to be at the heart of one of the top educational institutions in the nation. 

Click hereto read the special "Best College Values" report from Kiplinger.


December 15, 2009 | 09:19 AM

Santa is Ready to Ride!

Santa gets a clean bill of health for his trip around the world to see all boys and girls on Christmas eve. From his heart to his risk of diabetes, hear it from his own UNC physicians in Chapel Hill whether he's in shape and ready to ride.  This video was produced by Courtney Potter with UNC Medical News Center Office. 

Do you have a video or picture of your visit with Santa?  Post it on our blog.  We're looking for pictures depicting the holiday season in Chapel Hill.   

It's not too late to schedule a visit with Santa before Christmas.  Make your reservations today for Breakfast or Brunch with Santa at The Carolina Inn.  Click here or call 919.918.2711 for more information and to reserve your seats.  Don't forget to bring your wish list!     

November 06, 2009 | 04:47 PM

UNC Homecoming Weekend in Chapel Hill

Carolina homecoming weekend is an exciting time to be in Chapel Hill.  The town is taken over with Carolina blue and Tar Heel spirit, alumni come from all over the nation, and downtown is hopping with Tailgate parties at every street corner, including The Carolina Inn’s very own Tailgate Party on the Front Porch (party starts at 12:30 PM this Saturday, November 7th) with special appearances by Rameses and Carolina Cheerleaders. 

For the Carolina Inn staff, it is always a pleasure to work on homecoming weekend to welcome returning UNC alumni and fans who stay with us every football season.  It is like welcoming family members into your house.  The inn has a distinct energy on home football weekends.  Even if you’re not a football fan, that energy is contagious!    

Two things in particular will make this year’s homecoming one you won’t want to miss!  First, the Duke-Carolina rivalry continues as the Duke Blue Devils will visit Kenan Stadium.  It's a rivalry that doesn't get nearly as much attention as these schools’ basketball teams, but it's a strong historic rivalry nonetheless.  The Carolina-Duke game this Saturday will be much more intense than in the past because both of the teams’ seasons are kind of on the line - a win on Saturday will keep them moving towards bowl eligibility

Finally, UNC school leaders have decided to bring back an old tradition: homecoming parade!  This will be the first homecoming parade at UNC in 16 years.  The parade will start at 11 a.m. on Columbia Street (coming out of Swain Parking Lot on campus) towards Franklin Street.  For the parade route click here

For those of you who will be participating in the homecoming or football game festivities, tell us all about it right here on our blog.  If you're not a big football fan, we still want to hear your experience in Chapel Hill during this exciting time of the year.  Go Heels!

November 02, 2009 | 04:55 PM

Thanks Carolina Inn team!

We traveled to North Carolina for a wedding in Durham and stayed one night at Chapel Hill's Carolina Inn. We had a wonderful time! The staff was very friendly and the Inn was charming with a historic feel. We arrived on Friday afternoon just in time for Fridays On the Front Porch. We loved sitting outside listening to the live bluegrass band while our 2-year-old son ran around and danced to the music. We then enjoyed a delicious dinner at the Crossroads Bar. Even though the bar was crowded with a special event, the staff was friendly and the service was very prompt. The next day was a football game day, and the Inn had a tailgate party with more live music and an appearance from the UNC Cheerleaders to get everyone into the Tar Heels spirit. We're not UNC alumni, but our stay at The Carolina Inn made us wish we were!

-Isaac Gerstenzang, Corporate Director of eCommerce, Destination Hotels & Resorts

September 21, 2009 | 10:00 AM

Chapel Hill - One of America's Top 10 Coolest College Towns

Once again, Chapel Hill is in the news!  This month’s issue of Travel + Leisure lists the 10 Coolest College Towns and Chapel Hill made the top 10 list.  Click here to read the full article.

“There are notable distinctions between college towns and other American cities. In the student-centric spots, bicycles seem to outnumber cars. Affordable restaurants serve up authentic cuisines from all around the world. The streets are densely packed with businesses, making for a highly pedestrian-friendly environment. Nature is usually accentuated: the shimmering Lake Champlain, back dropped by a saw tooth silhouette of peaks, forms the western edge of Burlington. Madison, WI, is situated on an isthmus between two lakes that draw hordes of hikers and bikers. Boulder, CO, is an outdoor enthusiast’s dream.

And don’t forget the bars. Each of these locales offers plenty of opportunities for imbibing, many of them ideal for both people-watching and soaking in the scenery. It’s hard to beat sunset cocktails at Austin’s Oasis, where tiered decks jut from a 450-foot-high cliff over Lake Travis.

These attractions are mainly geared toward the students, naturally, but they can be readily enjoyed by those with no homework assignments or college connections. After all, few sports experiences can top the rafter-shaking raucousness in Chapel Hill, NC, during a Tar Heels basketball game. Many schools benefit from world-class art collections in glittering facilities designed by marquee architects; Chapel Hill’s Ackland Art Museum, featuring a wing by Polshek Partnership, tempts visitors with Warhols, Titians, and Dalís in a way that many university-less cities cannot.”

From September 2009 By C. J. Hughes Travel & Leisure

September 15, 2009 | 09:04 PM

Stepping back in time

I grew up in Durham and spent four of the best years of my life in Chapel Hill, but unfortunately both of those took place a long time ago. I moved out of the state after I graduated from UNC in 1990, and have only made it back on occasion, which is why my inaugural stay at the Carolina Inn in August 2009 was so special. I was there for a high school reunion taking place on Franklin Street, but it seemed to me more like a trip back in time to my college days. That Sunday morning, waking up in my immaculate third-floor Inn room that majestically overlooked the corner of Columbia Street and Cameron Avenue, I decided to do something I seriously doubt I ever did during college; I took a walk around Franklin Street before 10 AM. It was a quiet, beautiful morning as the campus slowly awakened, and the sights, sounds ... even smells ... I experienced during my hour-long stroll around campus brought back so many fond memories. So thank you, Carolina Inn, not only for providing some of the most comfortable accommodations I've ever enjoyed, but for allowing me to truly step back in time. In fact, I believe my fellow Tar Heel alum Thomas Wolfe may have been mistaken... You really can go home again!

September 11, 2009 | 08:18 AM

Travel Discounts for the College Bound by MSNBC

Are you one of the 19 million students going to college this fall?  Or are you a parent footing the high tuition bill?  With education costs rising, we know you'll be spending a lot of cash this year, leaving little for traveling between home and campus.  Today you're in luck!  MSNBC's travel writer, Harriet Baskas has done some homework for you.  View her article about travel deals for the college bound, which highlights The Carolina Inn's new 1924 Club exclusively for UNC parents.  For more information about 1924 Club membership and benefits click here


September 10, 2009 | 03:44 PM

Chapel Hill Starts Football-Centric Economic Campaign - The Carolina Inn

The Carolina Inn's Tailgate Party on the Front Porch was featured on WRAL's coverage of UNC's first football weekend celebration. Click here to read the story on the WRAL site and watch the full video.  Don't forget to capture your own experience at our FOFP or Tailgate Party on the Front Porch and post on our blog to be entered in our new #1 FOFP Fan contest.  Click here to find more information about our contest.

Business organizers in Chapel Hill have started a campaign to bolster the community with economic activity and Tar Heel spirit on game-day weekends.

The goal of “Touch Downtown Chapel Hill” is to encourage football fans – locals and visitors – to come early and stay late after the games to enjoy local restaurants, specialty stores and other cultural attractions.

According to a recent economic impact study conducted by Dr. Nathan Tomasini of the VCU Center for Sports Leadership, the 2008 North Carolina-Notre Dame football game generated $6.4 million for the Chapel Hill and Orange County economies plus $325,000 in local and state tax revenue.

Chapel Hill hopes football will boost economy

With seven home games on the schedule for this year, the total economic impact could be more than $40 million and more than $2 million in local and state tax revenue, according to officials.

Managers said the campaign helped encourage people to stop by their business downtown on Saturday for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s season opener against The Citadel.

As part of the effort, local merchants and restaurants were encouraged to have employees where clothing with UNC logos and put UNC and Citadel flags in front of their businesses.

For the second year, the Carolina Inn hosted a tailgate party on its front porch.

“UNC football…it’s huge,” said Allal Kartaoui, assistant food beverage director for the Carolina Inn.

For the entire Labor Day weekend, managers at Carolina Inn say they're fully booked.

Peggy Fitzgerald traveled from Florida to join the party in Chapel Hill. Fitzgerald said there is a family rivalry – her cousin, Stokes Fishburne, is a graduate of Citadel.

“They rag on me all the time. I’m used to it,” Fishburne said.

Managers at restaurant and bar Top of the Hill hope the city’s marketing campaign attracts people days before the big games.

While the restaurant and bar has long played host to the game day crowd, manager Steven Torchio said they have felt the effects of the economy.

“Nobody is immune. I don’t think there’s any business or any place in this town,” Torchio said.

Reporter: Beau Minnick
Photographer: Geof Levine
Web Editor: Kathy Hanrahan

September 09, 2009 | 08:32 AM

Care Package for Your Tar Heel

Now that your children are off to college, what can you do to send them your love?  The News and Observer staff writer, Andrea Weigl, suggests sending a care package with healthy treats.  Her article "Sweet Gesture No Sugar Added" offers great tips on putting together the perfect care package for your child.  Click here to view full article. 

June 23, 2009 | 07:36 AM

Lovely Hotel!

We stayed for two nights while attending new student orientation at UNC - the room was perfect, staff friendly and helpful. The breakfast was wonderful - fresh fruit, yummy oatmeal, as well as eggs, breakfasts meats, etc. This has quickly become my favorite hotel. June 2009 TripAdvisor Review

June 12, 2009 | 07:28 AM

Bolshoi Ballet Performs in Chapel Hill

The Bolshoi Ballet, one of the worlds' most renowned dance companies, is in town performing Swan Lake and Don Quixote with the NC Symphony June 10th-14th at Memorial Hall.  This ballet company rarely tours: in the past two years they've appeared only in London, Paris and Amsterdam and their tour this summer only includes three stops in the United States: Memorial Hall in Chapel Hill, NC, the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, and UC Berkeley in California. 

Memorial Hall is only steps away from the Carolina Inn and has hosted world-class performers since its opening in 1931.  Emil Kang, Executive Director of the Arts, explains what it means to Carolina to have the Bolshoi Ballet performing in Chapel Hill for the first time.  It is evident that Chapel Hill is part of a vibrant, cultural area and has become a leading place in the state to showcase international and national cultural events. 

April 29, 2009 | 02:56 PM

Benefits of Booking State College Hotels and Conference Centers - Plan Your Meetings, April 28, 2009

To all meeting and conference planners out there - "If you think you can't afford meetings in this economy, maybe you should give it that old college try. When meeting planners take their meetings and events on campus, they usually get more than they pay for."

Read Article

April 23, 2009 | 06:50 PM

50th Birthday

On July 25, 2008 ,I celebrated my 50th Birthday at the Carolina Inn with my family and a friend who moved to the area. I had not seen this friend for a few years. It was great getting back together with her and her daughters. What better place to spend it having dinner at your wonderful restaurant. It was also during my daughter's orientation weekend at UNC. We plan on visitng Carolina frequently and hope we will be able to secure reservations for our daughter's graduation from UNC in 2012.

February 13, 2009 | 11:59 AM

The Cafeteria

I recall vividly that coming to Chapel Hill for a football game was not complete for this young boy without having breakfast or lunch at the Carolina Inn cafeteria. It amazed me how much food there was, and how grown-up it made me feel to walk down the line with my tray full of food and drink.

February 13, 2009 | 05:20 AM

Fateful Meeting

Imagine Chapel Hill in October 1968 -- falls colors and warm days. It was a Saturday and I had an early class. I lived in whitehead dorm next door and often ate breakfast in the Carolina Inn cafeteria. That Saturday, I proceeded through the line and was stopped by an old guy -- must have been at least 30 - who asked if I was "anti-social." I responded "Well, no." And he asked to sit with me. Remember at that time, the campus was full of long-haired hippies and war protesters. This old guy was clean shaven, had a short haircut, and our conversation was about travel and the usual get-acquainted topics. I learned that he was at Fort Bragg and in the Special Forces -- whatever that was. At first, I did not figure out that that meant "Army - Green Beret." He was taking a course on Saturdays and had driven up to attend class. We made an agreement to meet the next Saturday, same time, same place. The rest is -- as they say -- history. We married in January 1970 and one year later, he spent another tour in Vietnam. Retiring in 1977, we returned to Chapel Hill and busied ourselves working and building a second career for him -- eventually as a programmer analyst at the UNC Dental School. I worked at RTP for various EPA contractors as a technical writer/editor and put that English degree to good use. Both of us are retired now and travel often in our motorhome. When we pass the Carolina Inn, we often comment about that fateful meeting.

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