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The Group Travel Leader Going on Faith Select Traveler

Carolina Classrooms

For almost any type of meeting, you know you’re in good hands when you choose a college town.

Heavy university business means planners have a wide choice of both event spaces and hotels, and college towns are often the center of a vibrant food, art and cultural scene that is among the best in the state.

The college towns of the Carolinas are no exception. Here are four such destinations in North Carolina and South Carolina that make ideal locations for meeting groups.


Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Chapel Hill not only has everything you’d expect from a college town — craft beer breweries, an avant garde arts scene, award-winning chefs — it’s also only 20 minutes from Raleigh-Durham International Airport, which Condé Nast Traveler recently ranked one of the top 10 airports in the country.

As the center of local life, the University of North Carolina is home to Chapel Hill’s main event spaces. “The Carolina Club in the Alumni Center is a wonderful space and, technically, the largest meeting space, holding up to 1,000. But you have to have an alumni sponsor to get in,” said Marlene Barbera, director of sales for the Chapel Hill/Orange Country Visitors Bureau.

The Friday Center for Continuing Education offers 25,000 square feet of meeting space, including a 420-seat auditorium and 15 additional spaces, many classrooms and boardrooms. Also on campus but with an atmosphere that is more Southern plantation than university center, the prestigious Carolina Inn, a AAA Four Diamond hotel listed on the National Register of Historic Places, provides more than 14,000 square feet of meeting space and 185 guest rooms.

One of the main things to keep in mind when planning an event in Chapel Hill, like many Southern college towns, is the football season. “During weekend events in the fall, when football season is happening, most hotels sell out, so it’s hard to have a big conference,” said Barbera.