C – The Carolina Inn – Chapel Hill, NC

Welcome to the #AtoZ Blog Challenge and a Tour of Hotels & Inns


Where do you go at Christmas time that it wouldn’t be Christmas if you didn’t get there? For a number of years, my answer has been….The Carolina Inn. I first stayed at the Inn in 1992 when visiting Chapel Hill, NC. It is a quintessentially southern experience, gracious and welcoming. The hotel was built in 1924 by UNC alumnus John Sprunt Hill, a major benefactor of the university and designed by award-winning architect Arthur C. Nash, who designed a number of other university landmarks. Hill gifted the hotel in 1935 to the university. uncpostP077-11-597_768

The Carolina Inn is architecturally significant, blending elements of antebellum Southern plantation homes with Georgian and neoclassical features. The building’s original front was modeled after George Washington’s home at Mt. Vernon on the Potomac River. Nash’s design brought to fruition Hill’s dream of an inn that resembled Mount Vernon with its long portico, cupola, and roof balustrade. The inn continues to serve as a meeting place and hostelry for friends of the university and a destination for guests who check in and stay awhile.


This photo is a gingerbread-house version of The Carolina Inn.  Throughout December, The Inn is decorated with The Twelve Days of Christmas including two turtle doves in a birdcage. A beautiful Christmas tree welcomes you in the stunning lobby. If you want to experience a gracious southern lifestyle, I recommend time at the Inn. PS: When I wrote the novel, Facing East, it comes complete with a scene set at the Inn.


About Stepheny Forgue Houghtlin

Stepheny Forgue Houghtlin grew up in Evanston, IL. and is a graduate of the University of Kentucky. She is an author of two novels: The Greening of a Heart and Facing East. She lives, writes and gardens in NC. Visit her: Stephenyhoughtlin.com
This entry was posted in A to Z Blog Challenge April 2016. Bookmark the permalink.

24 Responses to C – The Carolina Inn – Chapel Hill, NC

  1. You said a meeting place for friends of the university. Does this mean it is no longer a place to stay for others?

  2. johnvic8 says:

    You are off to a great start on your A-Z challenge. So much work you have put into it. We have grand memories of meals at the Inn and loved strolling through the gardens there. Looking forward to the rest of the challenge.

  3. Kathe W. says:

    wow- what a lovely place!

  4. Oh wow – that is one hell of a facade!
    Sophie’s Thoughts & Fumbles | Wittegen Press | FB3X

  5. claowue says:

    A wonderful building! It seems to be surrounded by a parc / a garden?!

  6. pbmgarden says:

    Carolina Inn is one of UNC’s crown jewels. My daughter was married in the courtyard–such a lovely place.

  7. John Holton says:

    I never got to Chapel Hill in all the time I spent in the Raleigh-Durham area. Kind of a shame I didn’t. This place looks gorgeous.

  8. Jean Davis says:

    Interesting. I’d not considered going anywhere other than home for Christmas. Sounds like a beautiful place to spend the holiday though.

  9. trishafaye says:

    Stepheny – Following you back! (Trisha Faye from Embracing Life Tribe)
    I love seeing your choices for the A to Z. You have beautiful photos to go along with your informative posts.
    Have a blessed day!

  10. This is a beautiful place. I’ll put it on my “places to go” list. Love your theme and will be back for more!

  11. Ula says:

    Looks like a lovely place to visit, especially at Christmas.
    Urszula Humienik from urszulahumienik.com

  12. I never stayed here, but I did live next door for four years in the dorm Whitehead!

  13. Lori Carlson says:

    Beautiful! I can only imagine how delightful it must be at Christmas.
    Many Blessings,

    My A2Zs @ As the Fates Would Have It & Promptly Written
    Follow Me (Ravyne) Twitter|Facebook

  14. noelleg44 says:

    One of my favorite places for dinner, lunch or just a drink. Christmas is wondrous there. I do miss the old cafeteria where the wall sculpture of the circus and its animals were displayed (now in the Alumni Center) – great Southern food for breakfast and a place to gather with fellow faculty.

  15. Sounds like a lovely place! ~Meg Writer‘s Crossings

  16. Gail says:

    We actually ate a Thanksgiving Dinner at Mt. Vernon, so this is my kind of place for the holidays! Nicely done.

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