Welcome to Hillsborough
Historic charm in a close-knit community
Hillsborough, named one of America’s Coolest Small Towns, features everything needed for a comfortable and modern life. Green space and stunning mature trees are found at every turn and are balanced by fabulous restaurants, bars, museums, historic sites, art galleries, and more. A fresh Farmer’s Market and the renovated mill district provide plenty of shopping from small, local businesses.
A flourishing community in Orange County, Hillsborough is known for its smalltown, friendly charm. It is surrounded by hills, rivers, and even it’s own Eno mountain, making it a beautiful community for outdoor adventure and relaxation. Hillsborough is a charming quiet place, with a small bustling but quaint main street. Not to be missed are scenic farms and historical buildings. It has a lot of history, too. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Hillsborough features more than 100 homes, churches, school, and other structures from the late 18th and 19th centuries.The first settlers in the area came through the community and the first textile mills were built in town as well.
Hillsborough homes include historic buildings that have been renovated, condominiums, traditional Southern homes, and modern farmhouses. Its historic architecture has also been the site of several movies and television shows.
Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, and numerous other exciting towns are just short drives away, perfect for a family day trip, where you can learn more about North Carolina history, the state’s environment, and wildlife, or just explore some more shopping options.
What to Love
- Historic community
- Easy access to the Triangle
- Beautiful town with green space and mature trees
- Amazing healthcare and education nearby
The Triangle may be home to some bustling cities, but Hillsborough offers residents easy access to the urban atmosphere while retaining a quiet day-to-day lifestyle. The historic town has retained its Southern charm and hospitality, and residents find the community to be welcoming and friendly.
Because Hillsborough was one of the earliest communities to be established in 1754, there's plenty of historic ambiance to be found here. As a focal point during the Colonial and Revolutionary War, several relics and historic buildings have helped define the community.
Dining, Entertainment & Shopping
Start your day with your favorite coffee blend and a tasty pastry from the quaint and charming Cup-a-joe
, an industrial-chic coffee shop that’s a hub for local happenings. The shop often features stunning art from local artists, inspiring you during your morning caffeine hit.
In the evenings, head to the Wooden Nickel
, a locally-beloved pub with craft beers, burgers, tacos, and fish and chips. Many of the ingredients used are sourced from their farm in Cedar Grove, meaning patrons can be sure that their food is made using only the highest-quality beef and vegetables. The nearby Colonial Inn
, a historic landmark dating back to 1838, is home to Spencer’s Tavern, a charming restaurant with an extensive list of specialty cocktails, as well as a flavorful pecan pesto salmon that will make your mouth water.
When it comes to shopping, one of the most cherished aspects of the community is the historic downtown. Hillsborough was the original North Carolina capital, and the historic downtown still serves as a focal point of the community.
Whether you're grabbing a cup of coffee or exploring the boutiques, the downtown is a great way to soak in the town’s charm.
Things to Do
Because Hillsborough has a solid connection to nature, residents can look forward to several outdoor recreational activities. One of the most popular destinations is the Occoneechee Mountain
which is the highest point between Pilot Mountain and the Atlantic Ocean.
is another popular destination with scenic walking and biking trails. Getting out and exploring the outdoors is more accessible thanks to these paved trails. It goes right through downtown and connects both Occoneechee Mountain and Occoneechee Speedway
The speedway was one of the first two NASCAR racing tracks. Now it is a scenic trail for visitors to enjoy. Throughout the year, different events and festivities occur here that locals of all ages can enjoy.
When it comes to celebrating the flavors of the town, Hog Day BBQ Festival
is an annual event that locals and nearby residents look forward to. This yearly festival celebrates craft beverages and, of course, tasty BBQ. It's also one of the best ways residents can get out and enjoy each other's company.
Hillsborough is served by the Orange County School District, a highly ranked district in the state. Notable schools in the community include:
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