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.
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 www.googlemaps.com to find these alternative routes.