In the first of a new series exploring cool US towns and cities, Emma John soaks up the sporting fanaticism, liberal traditions, food and music of a university town where the ‘individual streak still lives strong’
There are plenty of attractive college towns in the US. But Chapel Hill, in the centre of North Carolina, equidistant from its mountains and its coast, blends liberal philosophy and Southern culture in a way that borders on the utopian. From its community-minded businesses and political activism to a music scene that has quietly influenced the global stage, it’s the kind of town that doesn’t need to brag about itself or inspire a Portlandia to know its worth. And that’s exactly why we’ve chosen it to launch our series on the coolest towns and small cities in America to visit right now, which we’ll be unveiling monthly over the next six months.