As the 16th largest city in North Carolina, Chapel Hill is a fast-growing city that still maintains a small-town feel. Chapel Hill is primarily a college town, as it is home to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. But that doesn’t mean that options are limited here. In fact, Chapel Hill is home to some of the most unique shopping boutiques in the states, and they’re all just minutes from downtown apartments in Chapel Hill.

A Southern Season
What: Named as one of the top 25 retail stores in the United States by George Whalin’s 2009 book Retail Superstars: Inside the 25 Best Independent Stores in America, A Southern Season offers shoppers a true taste of life in North Carolina. Located just minutes from downtown apartments in Chapel Hill, A Southern Season is a 59,000 square foot upscale marketplace featuring unique gifts, gourmet goodies, culinary demonstrations and more.
Where: 201 South Estes Dr., Chapel Hill, NC 27514

Ackland Art Museum Store
What: Located on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the Ackland Art Museum features several rotating exhibits from world-renowned artists. And the retail store houses an impressive array of art-themed books and gifts, including artisan home decor items such as pottery, glass and metal pieces, jewelry and accessories, decorative, artsy stationery and children’s books. Known as one of the most unique stores in Chapel Hill that is within a few miles of downtown apartments in Chapel Hill, the Ackland Art Museum Store offers merchandise perfect for any art lover or those interested in unique finds.
Where: 100 East Franklin St., Chapel Hill, NC 27514

CD Alley
What: It’s all about the music at CD Alley, one of Chapel Hill’s premier independent music stores. This small but packed specialty shop offers music lovers a great selection of CDs, vinyl and cassette tapes from just about any genre imaginable. From experimental electronica to old-school jazz and soul to everything in between, CD Alley is your one-stop shop for anything music-related.
Where: 405-C West Franklin St., Chapel Hill, NC 27516

Time After Time Vintage Thrift Shop
What: Whether you’re looking for the perfect outfit for that 80s-themed prom party, a funky home accent piece for your downtown apartment in Chapel Hill or the most ironic hipster accessories to finish off your ensemble, Time After Time Vintage Thrift Shop is sure to please, well, time after time. Known for their famous grab bag-esque $5 bins, the store is packed full with scarves, pins, handbags, clothing and other vintage and retro oddities.
Where: 414 West Franklin St., Chapel Hill, NC 27516

Johnny T-Shirt
What: No list of unique boutiques in Chapel Hill would be complete without mentioning a college sportswear store, and Johnny T-Shirt is arguably one of the best in its category in Chapel Hill. Don’t let the name fool you. You can get just about anything North Carolina-themed here, from Tar Heel stickers, car decals and temporary tattoos to ice chests, bed spreads, stationery and yes, t-shirts.
Where: 128 East Franklin St., Suite 201, Chapel Hill, NC 27514

Photo Credit: iStockphoto/jophil




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