Best Places to Live

Chapel Hill, NC

Population: 61,712
Photo: UNC Athletic Communications

Chapel Hill, NC, is home to one of the top-ranked college soccer programs in the country and has a solid base of youth organizations that offer a mix of playing levels.

There are more than 5,200 soccer players in the city, which has three main clubs – Rainbow Soccer, Triangle United and the YMCA. Triangle United is the largest of these clubs and has approximately 3,000 players each season. Rainbow Soccer is the oldest soccer club in Chapel Hill. It was formed in 1971 and averages about 1,600 players each year.

There are more than 40 parks and soccer complexes in the area, giving soccer players plenty of places to get in their kicks. The Eurosport Soccer Center, which is maintained by Orange County in nearby Efland, features five full-size, lighted soccer fields, a practice field, walking track and concession building. 

Triangle United hosts an annual tournament called the Fall Classic, which brings in teams from several nearby states.

What else is here:

The Town of Chapel Hill has 11 parks, two community centers, a skate park, climbing wall, three pools and more than 10 trails for walking, running or biking.

Orange County has five parks, a natural area, recreation center and community center.