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Published: October 5th 2014
The University of North Carolina was the first public university to open in America, sharing claim of the "oldest public university" title along with the University of Georgia and the College of William and Mary. It's considered one of the eight "Public Ivy" schools, meaning this campus is a showcase of argyle socks and walking advertisements for Vineyard Vines and Southern Marsh. And with the likes of Michael Jordan and Mia Hamm having passed through these halls, these grounds are some of the most sacred in collegiate sports. Pair that strong school spirit with an indelible sense of tradition and UNC makes for a world-class educational institution, albeit a little pretentious.
A visit to this college town will convince you the students are color-blind, for any apparel not baby blue is strictly prohibited. Men's basketball is a religion here, but Kristina and I came during football season to watch our Hokies smother the Heels, so body paint, foam fingers, and trash talking from the locals were in low supply. But a losing record doesn't stop these fans from drinking and tailgating their sorrows away, because any excuse to dress up in sear suckers and get rowdy is a good excuse.
A drive down Greek row illustrates what tradition and legacy can build, something even the Hellenic gods would be proud of; the towering columns and perfectly manicured lawns full of frolicking frat boys and their cookie-cutter fathers throwing around the football while sipping on mint juleps are what the All-American family is made of. The chilly autumn weather doesn't discourage the girls from prancing around in skimpy sundresses, and who needs a warm sweater when you've got liquid heat from alcohol? When you think of a lively college campus, this is what you'd imagine.
After strolling around campus, make your way to the downtown area anchored by Franklin Street. This is the main shopping avenue in town, full of boutique shops like Fedora (151 E.Franklin St) and restaurants like Ski's (147 E.Franklin St) for great wraps. Our favorite spot is the Yogurt Pump (106 W.Franklin St) for amazingly creamy frozen yogurt you wouldn't believe is fat-free, especially the Oreo and chocolate flavors, all at the cheapest prices imaginable. Also try Sup Dogs (107 E.Franklin St) for the best hot dogs on campus. Order the smokehouse BBQ dog (bacon, cheddar, chili), the western dog (battered onion rings, cheddar, monteray jack,
The Yogurt Pump
A large chocolate/Oreo frozen yogurt
chili), and their famous bacon cheese fries. Make sure to ask for loads of their famous Sup sauce (BBQ and ranch) and add a second dog to your combo for only $1 extra, making this a perfect staple for hungry college kids.
Once your stomach is satisfied, watch a basketball or football game--like we did--but don't bother buying tickets in advance because we found cheap ones on the streets right after the kickoff for $20 apiece. However, basketball tickets may be harder to find so plan accordingly, especially if the team is doing well that season. To visit a college with so many great athletes and legends without seeing a game would be blasphemous, so don't pass up on the opportunity to adorn your team colors, whether you're a true fan or not, and scream your lungs out. If you've been out of college for awhile, this campus is the perfect venue to reawaken your inner drunk, reinvigorate your school spirit, and chow down on some cheap eats at gigantic portions. So take some time to enjoy the atmosphere and feel like you're back in town to walk down memory lane at a school you never attended.
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