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Downtown Hillsborough

Hillsborough is a town in North Carolina. Hillsborough is an incredibly historic town, important to the history of North Carolina. Easily accessible from nearby Durham and Chapel Hill, it has a cute historic downtown and a "small town" feel.


Visitors Center

Before being discovered by European settlers, Hillsborough was home to several Native-American groups including the Eno, Occoneechi, and Siouan tribes. White settlers founded Hillsborough in 1754. Almost immediately Hillsborough, became a place of political and social importance. There were many pre-Revolutionary War tensions during the 1700s and the town was even used as a base for British General Charles Cornwallis in February of 1781. During the American Civil War, Confederate general Joseph E. Johnston camped just outside of Hillsborough. In the 20th century, Hillsborough became a place well-known for its stock car racing, and was even home to Occoneechee Speedway, one of NASCAR's first two tracks. The remains of Occoneechee Speedway can still be visited today.

  • 1 Visitors Center, 150 E King Street, +1 919 732-7741. Monday-Saturday 10AM-4PM, Sunday noon-4PM. Located in the Historic Alexander Dickson House, offers information, brochures, exhibits, and a small gift shop.

Get in[edit]

By air[edit]

The nearest commercial airport is Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU IATA).

By car[edit]

Hillsborough is easy to get to by car, located on Interstates 40 and 85 and US Route 70.

By bus[edit]

From Chapel Hill, take the 420[dead link] ($2.25, early morning and late afternoon) or the OCH ($2.00, late morning and early afternoon). The ODX[dead link] ($3.00, early morning and late afternoon) from Durham is also an option, though it confusingly stops in different locations depending on the time of day. These routes run Monday–Friday.

Get around[edit]

Map of Hillsborough (North Carolina)

The central historic area is small enough to walk around.

Local bus service to other parts of town is provided in the form of the free Hillsborough Circulator, which runs Monday–Friday.


Burwell School Historic Site
Old Town Cemetery
  • 1 Burwell School Historic Site, 319 N. Churton St, +1 919 732-7451. The Burnwell School Historic Site is the remains of what was a pre-Civil War school building. Visitors can take a tour and learn how students were educated in the 1800s. Many social events are also held there including lectures and book readings and signings. Elizabeth Hobbes Keckly was enslaved there at one point, she would later become a businesswoman, author, and confidante of Mary Todd Lincoln. Burwell School (Q5001048) on Wikidata Burwell School on Wikipedia
  • 2 Orange County Historical Museum, 201 N. Churton St, +1 919 732-2201, . Tuesday-Saturday 11AM-4PM, Sunday 1-4PM. Free.
  • 3 Old Orange County Courthouse, N. Churton and E. King Streets. An 1844 courthouse at the center of town, with lots of other historic buildings nearby. Old Orange County Courthouse (Q19817699) on Wikidata Old Orange County Courthouse (North Carolina) on Wikipedia
  • 4 Old Town Cemetery, N. Churton and W. Tryon Streets. A cemetery established in 1757, with 184 graves of many of Hillsborough's most notable individuals.


  • Hog Day. Held on the third Saturday of May, Hog Day is celebrated in Hillsborough with a festival, music, barbeque and more. More than 100 arts and crafts vendors come to show off their work. 35,000 people have attended the festival.
  • Last Friday, during the summer, on the last Friday of every month, bands and artist meet downtown for the Last Friday festival. Music is always being played along with art being sold on the streets.
  • Riverwalk. A pleasant walking path along the Eno River, located south of downtown Hillsborough.
  • Sportsplex, 101 Meadowlands Drive, +1 919 644-0339. Ice skating and more!
  • 1 Occoneechee Mountain State Natural Area, 625 Virginia Cates Road, +1 919 383-1686, . Hiking, guided events with rangers, and more! Occoneechee Mountain State Natural Area (Q7075722) on Wikidata Occoneechee Mountain State Natural Area on Wikipedia


The Visitors Center and Orange County Historical Museum have gift shops with books and souvenirs.





Go next[edit]

  • Chapel Hill – a nearby college town centered around the University of North Carolina. Originally not much bigger than Hillsborough, Chapel Hill has grown to more than 50,000 people and boasts sports, restaurants, museums, shops, and a beautiful university campus.
  • Durham – home to the prestigious Duke University, museums, a small historic downtown, a major performing arts center, and trendy bars, cafes, and galleries.
Routes through Hillsborough
GreensboroBurlington  W I-40.svg E  Chapel HillDurham
PetersburgDurham  N I-85.svg S  BurlingtonGreensboro
GreensboroBurlington  W US 70.svg E  DurhamRaleigh

This city travel guide to Hillsborough is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.