The Daily Beast recently named RDU America's #1 smartest city:
Raleigh-Durham has just about every intangible useful in attracting and developing a smart populace: It’s a university hub, including three of the nation’s elite schools (Duke, the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and North Carolina State University), and those schools led to one of the nation’s great technology incubators (Research Triangle). On top of that, Raleigh, as the state’s capital, attracts engaged political minds, as well. “We are fortunate to have great universities in Raleigh-Durham and great ‘smart’ industries that enrich our community greatly,” Raleigh Mayor Charles Meeker told The Daily Beast. Enrichment enough to top our list.
UNC has a number of impressive Library & Research Facilities (targeted information here), and you'll have full access to the Duke libraries as well. The triangle is also home to the National Humanities Center. This is a terrific resource and home to both a number of fellows and an impressive annual conference each year.
Our building, Greenlaw, is located next to three libraries on campus, the student stores, "the Pit," and a food court. It is a five minute walk from Franklin street and a number of favorite spots, from Pepper's Pizza to Cosmic Cantina to Locopops (gourmet popsicles). Events on campus, from shows and talks at Memorial Hall to "Fridays on the Front Porch" bluegrass at the Carolina Inn are especially popular with graduate students -- as are tickets to Duke/UNC games. You can find more information at http://www.visitchapelhill.org/
Students live as far away as Raleigh and Hillsboro, but most people live in Durham, Chapel Hill, and, most frequently, Carrboro: home of the famous music venue, Cat's Cradle, and Weaver Street Market.
We're proud to be a very collegial department, and most current graduate students will be happy to answer your questions when you visit or over email.