Parking Options in Chapel Hill

While I expect a smaller than usual NC State crowd this Saturday in Chapel Hill, we did want to post some suggestions for places to park and tailgate.

Usually I head to somewhere in the Franklin St area, however this year I am recommending that NC State fans target the Manning lot on the south side of campus. There are several hundred parking spaces and the cost is only $8. In theory, it should be easy to access this lot from the 54/15/501 bypass and it should allow for a fairly easy exit after the game as well (see back road directions below for late arrivers and getting out after the game).

The walk to the stadium from this location is approximately 1/2 of a mile with the first half being uphill, then it is downhill the rest of the way. This lot is in the vicinity of the Dean Dome and provides a great opportunity for NC State fans to congregate in one area with ample tailgating space.

There are four port-a-johns in this lot (two in the lower rows and two in the upper rows).

Personally I have never parked here, so I have no idea how early the lot fills up. However, I don’t see that many UNC fans arriving early to tailgate with temperatures Saturday morning being sub-freezing (maybe not many NC State fans either). If you are arriving between 7-9 am, then this should be a good option. Even after 9 am, there will still likely be a lot of spots.

-See this map for other parking suggestions including options for Franklin St

-Official UNC Football Parking Map

The traffic issues in Chapel Hill are well-known with the main problem for people heading east being Highway 54. Here is a “back road” option that should work well to avoid eastbound Hwy. 54 between the bypass and I-40. In fact, I was able to test this route today, so it should work well for late arrivers on Saturday (go the reverse of these directions) and for going home if you are heading east.

1. Head southeast on Manning Dr 0.5 mi
2. Turn right at S Fordham Blvd/NC-54/US-15/US-501. Continue to follow NC-54 1.9 mi
3 Take the ramp to S Columbia St/NC-86/US-15/US-501 0.2 mi
4. Turn left at S Columbia St/NC-86/US-15/US-501. Continue to follow NC-86/US-15/US-501 0.1 mi
5. Turn left at Mount Carmel Church Rd/NC-1008 3.0 m
6. Turn left at NC-1727/Whippoorwill Ln 0.7 mi
7. Turn left at NC-1726/Old Farrington Rd 1.0 mi
8. Continue on Farrington Mill Rd/NC-1109 2.1 mi
9. Turn right at Farrington Rd/NC-1110 0.4 mi
10. Turn right at Stage Coach Rd 1.6 mi
11. Turn right at NC-751/NC Hwy 751. 1.8 miles.
12. Turn left on O’Kelly Chapel Rd. aprox 3 miles
13. When it dead ends, turn right on Hwy 55 .4 miles
14. Get on 540 going towards Raleigh.

If you are coming from west of Chapel Hill, then using Hwy 64 or even better Old Greensboro Rd.(1006) are good options to avoid traffic. Just utilize to find these alternative routes.

General NCS Football

19 Responses to Parking Options in Chapel Hill

  1. Noah 11/20/2008 at 10:41 AM #

    Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha hah ha!

    Ohhh man. That’s funny. Parking options in Chapel Hill. That’s like, “Great Culinary Treats of England.” Or “The Romantic Poems of Rocky Balboa.”

    The last time I went to a football game in Chapel Hill was 2002, Rivers’ junior year. I believe it took us about two hours to get to Raleigh. About 70 minutes of that was just travelling from Kenan to I-40. Had we pushed the car uphill, we would have travelled faster.

  2. Daily Update 11/20/2008 at 10:59 AM #

    Which is why I posted the back road directions. You shouldn’t have any problems going that route. You are heading west on 54 instead of east and you only have to be on 54 for a 1.5 miles. Not to mention you could head all the way to Pittsboro and take Highway 64 back to Raleigh if you don’t want to mess with that route I mentioned. It will be longer, but you aren’t going to see the traffic jam that the intersection of 54/I-40 creates.

    Parking in Chapel Hill isn’t that bad IMO. Most NC State fans are used to arriving early, so just make sure you get there 3.5hours + and there shouldn’t be much of a problem IMO. If you are getting there later, then go the reverse of the directions I described in this entry(or like I said go through Pittsboro).

    4 hours early for a noon game and you will just cruise right in. For those that are on the fence, don’t listen to Noah. :)

  3. Noah 11/20/2008 at 11:47 AM #

    Stop it, you’re killing me. :)

  4. Noah 11/20/2008 at 11:49 AM #

    (in all seriousness, this is good information for those willing to go to the game. Driving in Chapel Hill is always going to be like trying to sail a boat across Nebraska)

  5. Daily Update 11/20/2008 at 12:06 PM #

    Another option for people leaving late coming from Raleigh or points east.

    Take I-40 east from Raleigh, then 540 until it ends.

    1. Head northwest on NC-55 toward Okelly Chapel Rd
    0.4 mi
    2. Turn left at Okelly Chapel Rd
    3.9 mi
    4.3 mi – about 11 mins

    NC-1731/Okelly Chapel Rd

    3. Head north on NC-1731/Okelly Chapel Rd toward NC-751
    82 ft
    4. Turn right at NC-751
    1.8 mi
    1.8 mi – about 4 mins


    5. Head west on NC-1107/Stage Coach Rd toward Star Dr
    Continue to follow Stage Coach Rd

    1.6 mi
    6. Turn left at Farrington Rd/NC-1110
    0.4 mi
    2.0 mi – about 5 mins

    Farrington Rd/NC-1110

    7. Head southwest on Farrington Mill Rd/NC-1109 toward Sol Rd
    2.1 mi
    8. Continue on NC-1726/Old Farrington Rd
    1.0 mi
    9. Turn right at NC-1727/Whippoorwill Ln
    0.7 mi
    3.8 mi – about 9 mins

    NC-1727/Whippoorwill Ln

    10. Head north on Mount Carmel Church Rd/NC-1008 toward Mangum Ct/NC-2001
    3.0 mi
    3.0 mi – about 7 mins

    Mount Carmel Church Rd/NC-1008

    11. Head northeast on NC-86/US-15/US 15 501 N/US-501
    482 ft
    12. Take the ramp onto S Fordham Blvd/NC-54/US-15/US-501
    1.3 mi
    13. Turn left at Manning Dr
    0.2 mi
    1.6 mi – about 3 mins

    If you are coming from the west, then use highway 64 or Old Greensboro Rd(1006?) to avoid traffic.

  6. ajwolfpack 11/20/2008 at 12:06 PM #

    The past two games in Chapel Hell, I’ve parked in the Manning Lot and that is probably where I’ll be saturday. There’s always been a pretty good State crowd there.

  7. FrankManor 11/20/2008 at 1:19 PM #

    park in the Friday center lot on 54 (it’s a left about 2 miles after exit 273 coming from Raleigh).

    It’s a park and ride lot with plenty of spaces for $5 (the parking is free and the shuttle is 5 dollars round trip) with a shuttle that drops you less than 1/4 mile from the stadium and picks you up there after the game.

  8. Daily Update 11/20/2008 at 2:22 PM #

    Waiting in lines for shuttle buses makes no sense to me. Plus you still have mess with Hwy 54 East going to I-40.

  9. PackerInRussia 11/20/2008 at 2:30 PM #

    Wish I’d had this a few years ago. It took forever to drive and we parked forever away and then walked forever to the stadium being taunted by light blue fairies along the way. That was the “taking-points-off-of-the-scoreboard” game. The walk back to the car was even more painful. At least we could enjoy the pine trees on the way in and out.

  10. sodstaple 11/20/2008 at 3:01 PM #

    Thanks for posting this. I’m taking teenagers to the game so they can see Chapel Hole and believe me when I say NCSU is THE place to go to college. I was wondering about parking around Franklin St. We gonna get there early, get a spot, tailgate a little, then walk through campus for the game. GO PACK.

  11. wufpaxno1 11/20/2008 at 3:27 PM #

    PackerInRussia, for directions from where you are you need to take, oh wait, do you want these in English or Slavic? Well, in either case you want to leave plenty early.

  12. packalum44 11/20/2008 at 3:44 PM #

    This is a hilarious but practical post. I’d rather pull my finger nails out than drive through Chapel Hill. Wish I was in town for this one though. Huge game for us. We have a solid shot. Let’s see what we’re made of!

  13. john of sparta 11/20/2008 at 6:37 PM #

    it’s a NOON game?
    8 is too late.
    entire parking lots are
    “bought up” years in advance.
    churches make their apportionments
    on this game with parking in their lot.
    it’s kinda like the Masters in Augusta.
    “in walking distance” is out of your league.

  14. Noah 11/20/2008 at 7:41 PM #

    The crazy thing is that I’ve heard Carolina fans bitch about the fact that C-F is at the fairgrounds and not on campus. That’s a good sign that you never went to Carolina. If you think Kenan is a good place to go see a football game, clearly you’ve never been there.

  15. Primewolf 11/20/2008 at 8:12 PM #

    The solution is—— go very early and eat breakfast in the lot. Beer with breakfast is a good start.

  16. tvbman 11/20/2008 at 10:18 PM #

    I am lucky to get both tickets and parking from friends who work in the university. I will see how far I am from the Manning lot, but I think I am on the other side of the stadium from you all.

  17. PackerInRussia 11/20/2008 at 10:26 PM #

    Thanks wufpax. The directions would be a little more beneficial if they included some flight patterns, but I guess everyone can’t be catered to.

  18. highstick 11/20/2008 at 10:36 PM #

    Hope you having some global warming in Russia cause we’ve been having some major global cooling back here in the Carolinas early this year! Was in Asheville the end of October and woke up to a blizzard! Didn’t last long though!

  19. BobLee 11/21/2008 at 3:44 PM #

    Judging from these comments, most of you folks apparently want to be as miserable as possible. Don’t let me stop you. ….. but ….

    As a longtime UNC season ticket holder, I park at the Friday Center off Hwy 54 east of Glen Lenox …. take a $5 r/t shuttle to Woollen Gym (a block from the stadium). From the end of the game to merging on to I-40 never takes longer than 45 minutes tops.

    Plenty of convenient tailgating areas in the Friday Center lot …. wooden areas, etc. You’ll have the experience you choose to have. Have at it.

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