Carrboro is one of the rare examples of a vibrant college town that has everything students could want – except a college. Located immediately west of Chapel Hill, Carrboro is a haven for students and faculty from two major research centers (the University of North Carolina and Duke University). Through the years it’s garnered a reputation as an anomalously progressive community tucked in the heart of the Carolinas. Dubbed “The Paris of the Piedmont,” Carrboro is ecofriendly, artistic, athletic, and opinionated. It was the first city in North Carolina to elect an openly homosexual mayor, the first to recognize same-sex couples as domestic partnerships, and one of few southern communities to oppose the Iraq War and Patriot Act. Of course, the former mill town boasts more than progressive politics to catch the university student’s eye—the Carrboro Farmer’s Market attracts national attention for its quality locally-grown produce, and the local art and restaurant scenes are equally lauded.
For students, there several neighborhoods that promise the best kind of small town experience, even in the shadow of big university life.
A limited number of downtown housing is available, often in historic mill houses. One advantage to living in the heart of Carrboro (besides walking everywhere) is that the downtown area supports free wifi.
Nearby Wildwood Springs mixes family and student housing. It sits just south of town along 54, which connects to 501 to make for a quick and easy commute to UNC Chapel Hill. Downtown is still within walking distance as well.
The Weatherhill community is on the other side of 54, and housing there is generally cheaper than across the highway to the east. It also has the benefit of being near to University Lake, which offers a number of recreational activities in every season.
Finally, a host of housing options sit along Morgan Creek as it winds northwest of town. Morgan Creek cuts a windy path along 54, so even housing communities at the furthest end of Carrboro are a great option for UNC commuters.