Located on the western perimeter of the University of North Carolina campus, the Carolina Inn offers 12,500 square feet of pure Southern charm and summer fun. This historic landmark was established in 1924 by UNC alumnus John Sprunt Hill and designed by the award-winning architect, Arthur C. Nash. Together, they created an elegant, Southern haven, drawing inspiration from plantation homes with Georgian and neoclassical features. In 1935, Hill gifted the Inn to UNC on the condition that all profits go towards supporting the university library. Today, the Inn is still owned and maintained by the university and continues to fund the North Carolina Collection at the Wilson Library.

Since its original construction, a series of renovations have taken place to bring more amenities and a modern aesthetic to the Inn. Although modernizations have been made, the Inn’s rich history has remained and the Inn is still considered the “University's living room” to many. At the heart of the hotel, pictures of the campus throughout the years line the walls and just beyond are three ballrooms, a banquet space, and a Mobil four-star winning restaurant. With large spaces that provide flexibility of use, the Carolina Inn frequently hosts weddings, academic conferences, business meetings, and other significant events. The Carolina Inn is undeniably woven into the fabric of Chapel Hill’s community and is a popular destination for UNC families, alumni, and locals.

In 2003, a local bluegrass band composed of Chapel Hill natives and UNC graduates called Big Fat Gap, garnered the attention of Allal Kartaoui, the Director of Food and Beverage at the Carolina Inn. Inspired by the cheering crowd and friendly atmosphere in nearby Fraternity Court, Kartaoui created Fridays on the Front Porch (#FOFP), an outdoor concert series hosted by the Carolina Inn that is now celebrating its 16th season. This popular, end-of-work-week celebration occurs April to October from 5 - 8 p.m. with no reservations required. And did I mention it’s free too? Enjoy live bluegrass music, relax under the shady oaks and magnolias, and maybe even grab a cocktail or two. Whether you spread a blanket for a picnic, treat yourself to food truck fare and refreshing beverages, or wander into the Crossroads Chapel Hill Restaurant for gourmet cuisine with a contemporary Southern flair, you simply cannot go wrong. Join the crowd of music fans, dancing toddlers, alumni, friendly dogs, and locals to experience a piece of the Carolina Inn’s magic for yourself. Check out the 2018 schedule here!