National Trust for Historic Preservation Selects Chapel Hill, North Carolina, as one of America’s Dozen Distinctive Destinations for 2011
Public Encouraged to Vote for Fan Favorite Destination
Posted February 14, 2011 | Contact email@example.com or 202-588-6141
Washington, D.C. (February 15, 2011)—Today, the National Trust for Historic Preservation named Chapel Hill, North Carolina, one of its 2011 Dozen Distinctive Destinations. Chapel Hill, nominated by Chapel Hill/Orange County Visitors Bureau, was selected for its stately charm, dynamic cultural offerings and its citizens’ dedication to protecting and sharing its unique heritage. From February 15 to March 15, Chapel Hill will be participating in a public online voting contest to select the 2011 Dozen Distinctive Destinations Fan Favorite.
For 12 years the National Trust for Historic Preservation has annually selected communities across America that offer cultural and recreational experiences different from those found at the typical vacation destination. From dynamic downtowns and stunning architecture to cultural diversity and a commitment to historic preservation, sustainability and revitalization, the selected destinations boast a richness of character and exude an authentic sense of place.
“From its well-preserved historic districts to its quiet winding streets and bustling downtown, Chapel Hill lives up to its nickname as the ‘Southern Part of Heaven,’” said Stephanie Meeks, president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. “While the diversity of retail and nightlife options in Chapel Hill is well known, travelers will also appreciate the two centuries of architectural grandeur on display throughout the town. Chapel Hill is the perfect place for travelers looking for a truly distinctive destination.”
Though most well known as the home to the University of North Carolina and its basketball legacy, Chapel Hill has a unique charm and distinctive character that sets it apart from other college towns. Tree lined streets shade an architectural heritage spanning four centuries. With three local historic districts and four National Register Historic Districts, Chapel Hill is a place that prioritizes the preservation of its heritage, thanks in large part to the efforts of the Preservation Society of Chapel Hill. The concept of adaptive reuse flourishes. In the case of the Horace Williams House - a 19th century home is now an historic cultural center. Several of the community’s early buildings, have been rehabilitated -- transforming them into housing, retail, restaurant and gallery spaces humming with activity.
Visitors can spend an afternoon strolling the eclectic shops along Franklin Street, exploring the nearby university campus or taking in the 20 outdoor murals painted on the exterior of downtown buildings—all of which are currently being restored. After the bustle of the downtown area, spend some time exploring the quiet side streets, stone walls and idyllic historic residential areas that help give Chapel Hill its small-town atmosphere. And no trip to Chapel Hill would be complete without sampling what is perhaps the city’s finest hidden gem—its local cuisine.
- Try the local cuisine at Crook’s Corner or one of the many local restaurants that specialize in traditional Southern food with modern twists.
- Music clubs along historic Franklin Street have launched many music careers, from James Taylor to more recent bands like Superchunk, Squirrel Nut Zippers and Ben Folds Five.
- Stroll through the North Carolina Botanical Garden, the largest natural botanical garden in the southeast.
- Old Chapel Hill Cemetery is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and features a long-neglected African American section currently being restored by the Preservation Society of Chapel Hill.
- Experience the Morehead Planetarium & Science Center, the largest fulldome planetarium in the southeastern U.S.
- Browse the Ackland Art Museum, which since 1958 has been one of North Carolina's most important artistic resources.
The public is invited to vote online to help determine which of the 12 destinations will be the 2011 Fan Favorite. From February 15 to March 15, any legal resident of the U.S., 18 years of age or older, can vote once per day for his or her favorite city or town on this year’s list. The winner of the popular vote will be announced on March 16, 2011. Voters are automatically entered to win a complimentary two night stay at any Historic Hotel of America. No purchase necessary. Offer void where prohibited. Visit www.PreservationNation.org/ddd for official rules, information about Historic Hotels of America, to learn more about this year’s destinations, and to begin voting!
To download high resolution images and video of this year’s Dozen Distinctive Destinations, visit www.PreservationNation.org/press.
The 2011 list of America’s Dozen Distinctive Destinations includes:
Alexandria, Va. – Located across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C., Alexandria is one of the most culturally rich destinations in the country – and not just because it was home to the nation’s founding father, George Washington. An extraordinary blend of early America and modern chic, the city offers an eclectic mix of neighborhoods, historic sites, dining and shopping.
Chapel Hill, N.C. – From its well-preserved historic districts to its quiet winding streets and its bustling downtown area, Chapel Hill certainly lives up to its nickname as the ‘Southern Part of Heaven.’
Colorado Springs, Colo. – Nestled at the base of the Rocky Mountains, visitors to Colorado Springs can enjoy commanding views of Pikes Peak from just about any part of this vibrant, historic town.
Dandridge, Tenn. – With its idyllic natural setting in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains, a welcoming small town spirit and a charming historic downtown, Dandridge epitomizes the quintessential Southern Appalachian town.
Eureka, Calif. – Located on the Northern California coast, Eureka is a beautifully preserved Victorian seaport that features a lively Old Town, the Carson Mansion - one of the most photographed homes in America - and nearby forests of majestic old growth redwoods.
Muskogee, Okla. – Once the unofficial capital of Indian Territory, Muskogee’s storied past and Native American, African American and Euro American influences are well-preserved and the vibrant town has many unique festivals, museums, restaurants and more.
New Bedford, Mass. – Once one of the world’s largest whaling ports, New Bedford is awash in maritime history, as well as scenic beaches, abundant architectural and historical riches, diverse neighborhoods and a burgeoning arts community.
Paducah, Ky. – The heart of Kentucky’s Four Rivers region, visitors to Paducah will find thriving historic districts filled with turn of the century architecture and one-of-a-kind shops and eateries as well as a community that creatively celebrates its cultural and artistic heritage.
San Angelo, Texas – A frontier city with a rich past, San Angelo offers visitors an authentic Old West experience, a bustling downtown historic district and vibrant cultural offerings.
Saint Paul, Minn. – Known for some of Minnesota’s most famous historic buildings—including the Cass Gilbert-designed State Capitol and the home of F. Scott Fitzgerald—visitors to St. Paul can browse the quaint shops of Grand Avenue, dine in the strikingly restored warehouse district, or be awed by the stately mansions along Summit Avenue.
Sheridan, Wyo. – Set in “the shadow of the Big Horns,” Sheridan offers a vibrant Main Street commercial district, abundant recreational opportunities, and an authentic Western experience.
Sonoma, Calif. – Dating back to the early 19th and set amidst winding country roads and family-owned vineyards, Sonoma offers all the perks of being in the heart of wine country, with the added benefit of a laid back vibe that complements the award-winning wine and food.
2011 marks the twelfth announcement of the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Dozen Distinctive Destinations annual list. To date, there are 144 Distinctive Destinations located in 46 states throughout the country. To see a complete list and to vote for the 2011 Fan Favorite Destination, visit www.PreservationNation.org/ddd. The title of Distinctive Destination is presented to cities and towns that offer an authentic visitor experience by combining dynamic downtowns, cultural diversity, attractive architecture, cultural landscapes and a strong commitment to historic preservation, sustainability and revitalization. In each community, residents have taken forceful action to protect their town’s character and sense of place.
The National Trust for Historic Preservation, a privately funded nonprofit organization, works to save America’s historic places.