3 Fun, Free Attractions in Chapel Hill, NC

Of course, you want your spare time to be fun. But doling out dollars to make it happen is enough to make any college student's wallet scream. Fortunately, that doesn't have to be the case. With a little creativity, you can have some alone time, an inexpensive date, or just hang out with friends for not a lot of coin.

Check out these three ways to have fun for free near our Chapel Hill student apartments:


North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences offers free admission, with a donation suggested. There, you can satisfy your curiosity with natural sciences exhibits, as well as get up close and personal with living animal collections that include an arthropod zoo, fish, reptiles, and butterflies. Not only that, but there are always entertaining and educational programs and special events to enjoy, as well as the chance to be involved in natural science research.


RDU Observation Park is bound to capture your aviation imagination. From an elevated observation platform, you get a bird's-eye view of planes landing and taking off on the 10,00-foot runway at Raleigh-Durham International Airport. Plus, you can eavesdrop on communications between pilots and the Air Traffic Control Center. You can even make a day of it by lunching in the picnic area. Or if you prefer spending just a little bit of cash, head over to the Crosswinds Café in the General Aviation Terminal.


The Sarah P. Duke Gardens house 55 acres of specialized gardens right in the middle of Duke University. They include an Asiatic garden, a collection of native plants, and historic plants. Plus, there's always something special going on. Just check the calendar of events for updates. While admission to the gardens is free, you can buy souvenirs in the gift shop or grab a bite to eat at the onsite restaurant.

Contact us for details about living at Shortbread Lofts in Chapel Hill and to tour our community. You can also keep track of nearby upcoming events by following our blog.