By Jennifer Abella
The schedule is jam-packed with talks, discussions and, of course, the ball, but if you have some spare time to sneak away (I won’t tell!), here are some restaurants and attractions nearby.
Everyone has to eat, right? The Friday Center has a few restaurants that are within walking or short driving distance.
Brixx: Just across the street from the Friday Center is this restaurant specializing in pizza, salads and pasta: Think artichoke pizza, Thai chicken salad or roasted chicken alfredo. 501 Meadowmont Village Cir., Chapel Hill. 0.6-mile walk from Friday Center. (919) 929-1942. http://brixxpizza.com/locations/chapel-hill.
Five Guys: Something quick, easy and good. This Virginia burger-and-fries chain expanded to North Carolina in recent years. Come hungry. And a word of warning: Split the fries with a friend; it’s a fairly large portion. 407 Meadownmont Village Cir., Chapel Hill. 0.6-mile walk from Friday Center. (919) 942-1515. www.fiveguys.com.
Jujube: This Asian restaurant has a sizable menu including vegetable gyoza, calamari and what sounds like a pretty fancy shrimp-and-grits dish at dinner: “stone ground grits, grilled shrimp, Chinese bacon, 62° egg, Tangerine Gastrique.” At lunch, look for the Vietnamese banh mi sandwiches. 1201 Raleigh Rd., Chapel Hill. 1.9 miles from Friday Center. (919) 960-0555. www.jujuberestaurant.com.
City Beverage: A casual eatery serving modern American fare with a seasonal menu. Options include veggie nachos (in whole or half portions), grilled eggplant and goat cheese sandwiches; and steak. It also serves Sunday brunch. 4810 Hope Valley Rd., Durham. 3.6 miles from Friday Center. (919) 401-6500. www.citybeverage-durham.com.
Kitchen: If you’re looking for something upscale, check out this French bistro. At lunch, the restaurant serves burgers, braised lamb belly, and mussels and fries. Dinner offers duck leg confit and saffron gnocchi and the like. 764 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Chapel Hill. 3.5 miles from Friday Center. (919)537-8167. http://kitchenchapelhill.com.
Twisted Noodles: This Thai noodle house has a wealth of options, including pineapple stir-fried rice; basil roast duck and Panang curry. Entrees can be made vegetarian or vegan. 1800 E. Franklin St. Chapel Hill. 3.6 miles from Friday Center. www.twistednoodles.com. (919) 933-9933.
If you have time to explore the area, here are a few places of note:
Franklin Street: Chapel Hill is consistently listed among the best college towns in the country. The main drag is a little slower in the summer, populated more by families and than by students. Check out Sutton’s Drug Store (it serves food!), Linda’s (dive bar atmosphere), Top of the Hill (balcony), Spanky’s (American fare). If you have a sweet tooth, head to the Yogurt Pump. Warning: Parking can be … a challenge.
Old Chapel Hill Cemetery: No, it’s not creepy. The graves at Old Chapel Hill Cemetery at Country Club and South roads, at the corner of the UNC campus, go back as far as the late 17th century. Charles Kuralt (Mr. “North Carolina Is My Home”) is buried here.
The Old Well/UNC campus: Before the ball at Gerrard Hall, take a photo by the Old Well — the symbol of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Superstition has it that a freshman should drink from the well to get good grades. The campus surrounding Gerrard Hall is lovely, too. There’s a reason Chapel Hill is called the Southern Part of Heaven.
Duke Chapel: North Carolina is basketball country, and as such, Carolina fans don’t like to acknowledge the existence of that other university just down the road. But you have to admit the towering gothic chapel there is breathtaking. 401 Chapel Dr., Durham.
Bullshead: Stock up on bestsellers and scholarly works alike at the Bullshead Bookshop at the UNC Student Stores on the UNC campus. 207 South Rd, Chapel Hill.
Flyleaf Books: The indie book store offers a wide selection of books. 752 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Chapel Hill.
Jennifer Abella is a TV/movie/pop culture/knitting/sewing/Jane Austen geek. Oh, and a total Anglophile. Follow @nextjen on Twitter. And remember to like Jane Austen Summer Program on Facebook and follow @JASPhotline on Twitter.