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visiting duke & unc.....where should we stay?

dallas
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visiting duke & unc.....where should we stay?

Hi!

Taking my daughter for a whirlwind trip to look at Duke & UNC. We arrive at RDU at 11pm on Tuesday, leave asap after the school tour on Thursday (can look at either school either day), should we stay in Durham or Chapel Hill? I'd like her to get a sense for the feel of the areas the students for the two schools hang out in. If it's a toss up, I'd rather spend less on the hotel. I'd also love lunch and dinner ideas near the schools...

Thanks,

jenmol

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1. Re: visiting duke & unc.....where should we stay?

It greatly depends on your budget; check TA revies for both. I usually stay @

Courtyard by Marriott; but that's over the weekend, so better rate than Mon-Fri.

tripadvisor.com/Hotels-g49021-Chapel_Hill_No…

Personally,I like the feel of CH; has a university town atmosphere..

Perhaps you want to splurge & stay @ Carolina Inn....

tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g49021-d94073-R…

Mediterranean Deli or Cook's Corner would be my choice of restaurants in CH; Nana's in Durham, & Klara's in Cary. Carrboro also has several nice restaurants, check TA

tripadvisor.com/Restaurants-g49092-Durham_No…

tripadvisor.com/Restaurants-g49005-Carrboro_…

tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g49007-d44…

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dallas
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2. Re: visiting duke & unc.....where should we stay?

Thanks so much for getting back to me! Is the Marriott within walking distance to the campus? I'll have to check out where Carrboro (?) is....we've never been to Carolina before, so it's all new to me! I get the feeling Durham is a little "sleepier" than CH....am I reading that right?

Thanks again,

jenmol

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3. Re: visiting duke & unc.....where should we stay?

Durham is not " sleepy" - it's a busy city. I stayed at the Courtyard near Duke University last year and really enjoyed it. There are several good restaurants close by. Some parts of Durham are not really safe so be careful where you book.

I have also stayed at The Sheraton in Chapel Hill and enjoyed that as well. very convenient.

None are within walking distance of either campus.

Best wishes.

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4. Re: visiting duke & unc.....where should we stay?

UNC Chapel Hill campus and the surrounding Historic Chapel Hill area and Franklin street provides the best "college town" setting of the two. If you can afford the Carolina Inn it is well worth extra $$$ to stay in the beautiful inn..... also to be on the campus and to be able to walk everywhere/ enjoy the beautiful campus and town. The Franklin Hotel is on Franklin St and the only other hotel in walking distance to the UNC campus and town; rates can be less than the Carolina Inn....rates at both and also other hotels in the area vary greatly depending on events in the area...sometimes I've found great rates for Carolina Inn and other area hotels on Kayak.com.

My daughter is a UNC senior, we are all so sad to see her great years in Chapel Hill come to an end.....such a wonderful university and community. Two of our favorite little Franklin St. area eateries in walking distance of campus are Lime and Basil-Vietnamese and Karama-Japanese/Sushi. Top of the Hill is a bit of a spurge for the college crowd but good food and a great place to get a view of what's happening on Franklin. Enjoy your trip!

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5. Re: visiting duke & unc.....where should we stay?

also, FYI as mentioned before, Durham is a larger city with a lot of crime.... If you decide to stay in a hotel with a Durham address check TA hotel reviews to be sure it's in a safe area....most hotels near I-40 between the two schools are in safe areas...many of those will have a Durham address.

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6. Re: visiting duke & unc.....where should we stay?

I would definitely say Chapel Hill with the two walk to campus options being the Carolina Inn and the Franklin( which is a bit of a stretch ) In Durham, the best option would be the Washington-Duke hotel which, now that I think of it, is within walking distance of much of the campus. There are wonderful restaurants in both cities. That would warrant another posting.

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dallas
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7. Re: visiting duke & unc.....where should we stay?

Ok, we're definitely staying in Chapel Hill....I'm torn between the Franklin & the Holiday Inn (about a $60/day difference). Is the Franklin really walking distance to UNC, or not so much??? I don't want to spend the extra money for this particular trip if we have to drive to campus either way. What do you think, is it worth it?

Also, dinner. I'm torn between three very different places: Lime & Basil, Mediterranean Deli, and Top of the Hill.

If we do a nice lunch before seeing Duke (what....and miss cafeteria food?), would you recommend Toast, or Parker and Otis?

UNCMickey- It sounds like your daughter has had a good experience there. As we get closer, do you mind if we pick your brain about the school?

Thanks for all the help!

Jenmol

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8. Re: visiting duke & unc.....where should we stay?

ps- How about the location of Aloft?????

thanks!

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9. Re: visiting duke & unc.....where should we stay?

Jenmol,

I am a UNC grad (many years ago, I'm afraid), and my son will be a freshman at UNC next year. I'll be happy to help with your UNC questions if I can (use IM if they're not travel-related). Chapel Hill is indeed a special place! Of course, I have to admit Duke (correct spelling is actually "dook") is a good school as well, but why on earth anyone would want to go there is beyond me. :)

And yes, I think the Franklin Hotel would be worth the extra money. It's a short walk to campus (2 blocks), and it's right on Franklin St. so you're close to the shops and restaurants.

Good luck!

arby

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10. Re: visiting duke & unc.....where should we stay?

The Holiday Inn is very blah - I would pick Aloft over that. But my first choice would be The Franklin if you're willing to spend the extra money. It is walkable to campus. Do a Google Earth view so you can get a feel for the distance. It's not as close to places on south campus, but it is definitely reasonable to walk to places like Memorial Hall, the Pit, etc. The bus is frequent and easy, too, if you walk to walk in and ride the bus back.

It is very close (and definitely walkable) to the 3 restaurants you listed, too. And yes, all 3 restaurants are totally different. But I love all 3 of them for different reasons. Med Deli has (in my opinion) the best food in town. But it is noisy and you order at the counter. Top of the Hill has decent food, but people tend to go there for the ambiance and its perch up on Franklin Street. Lime & Basil is good, and Vietnamese - totally different than the other two. Just depends on what you're in the mood for. I don't think you'll go wrong with any of those.

For Durham, I'd go with Parker & Otis for lunch. That's my DH's favorite place. Great ambiance and a fun vibe.

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