North Carolina is at the top of many people’s relocation destination list. Though we probably don’t have to explain why North Carolina is a fantastic place to call home, there are a few motivating factors for relocation to this state in particular. There’s a lower cost of living, especially if you’re coming from another area of the country. Lower housing costs and lower taxes are also pull factors. Not to mention, North Carolina’s temperate and mild four-season climate which can be withstood in the mountains, Piedmont, or coastal regions.
Hillsborough is seated in the middle of the Piedmont. It’s a charming slice of a Southern getaway, tucked into the beautiful Triangle area. It should come as no surprise people love this small town, and are more than happy to pack their bags to head South. This community of artists, musicians, and authors have found themselves at home in Hillsborough. Will you?
If you need any more inspiration to check out Hillsborough, we’ll give you 10 reasons why you should move there. Besides, who could pass up more than 215 days of sun, per year?
The History is Amazing
Hillsborough sits on the site of several Native American villages, dating back to 1000 CE. That’s only the beginning of the historical treasure in Hillsborough. In the colonies, Orange County was founded in 1752, and two years later the town of Orange was created by William Churton (Churton Street, anyone?). The town of Orange was laid out on land where the Great Indian Trading Path crossed the Eno River. Several years later, Orange was renamed Hillsborough in 1766, after the earl of Hillsborough William Hill.
In the 18th and 19th century, Hillsborough was a seat of political and cultural power and activity. Governors of the state lived in the town, as well as a signer of the Declaration of Independence.
Many homes in Hillsborough have a historical reputation, like the Alexander Dickson house. Now the town’s visitor center, the Alexander Dickson house once stood as the headquarters for Joseph E. Johnston during the Civil War. Here, General Joseph E. Johnston surrendered the largest of the confederate armies to General Sherman towards the end of the war.
Of course, that’s not all Hillsborough has to offer. There are many trips, itineraries and other events going on in the town where you can experience cultural and historical Hillsborough for yourself.
The Eno River
The namesake of this river comes from the Eno Indians who once lived in the area. It’s one of the tributaries of the Neuse River. Not only does this river have historical value, but it also provides a great space for environmental education.
The Eno River Association works to conserve and protect the Eno River, recreational areas, and state park that the river flows through. This nonprofit organization hosts promotional activities, educational tours, and engages in advocacy programs to protect the water quality. Every year, the Eno River Association hosts a Festival for the Eno. “EnoFest” is saving the river, one song at a time. 1980 saw the first EnoFest, and since then this festival for sustainability has been hosted every year. You can find more information and tickets here.
Hillborough’s Gallery of the Arts
Art galleries are culturally important because they give a window into an artist’s world. Their world reflects what their lifetime was like; what the world was like during their time, too.
Hillsborough’s Gallery of the Arts is owned by the local artists whose work is on display. The same artists run the gallery, too! Artwork on display at the Gallery includes paintings, sculptures, ceramics, photography, fiber art, jewelry, glass, metal, mosaics, encaustics, enamels, watercolors, and wood.
The most recent exhibit is “EARTHworks“. This exhibit will run from May 22th until June 25th. Don’t forget to pencil in the Hillsborough Art Walk Last Fridays, too! From 6PM-9PM on the last Friday of every month, Hillsborough celebrates local artists of all kinds with this event.
An Author’s Getaway
This wonderful town has become something of an author’s getaway. Wall Street Journal has even gone far enough as to dub Hillsborough, “America’s Little Literary Town”. With that being said, it isn’t too hard to understand why authors from all over feel at home in Hillsborough. Scores of poets, authors, and literary genius comes from Hillsborough!
Check out these local authors:
- Kianna Alexander
- Anne Barnhill
- Natania Barron
- Aaron Belz
- John Claude Bemis
- Samantha Bryant
- Amy Kaufman Burk
- Barbara Davis
- Gabe Dunston
- Allan Gurganus
- Jeremy Hawkins
- Carrie Knowles
- Nathan Kotecki
- A J Mayhew
- James Maxey
- Frances Mayes
- Jill McCorkle
- Laurie McKay
- Deborah Fletcher Mello
- Michael Parker
- Jessica Scott
- Lee Smith
- Celisa Steele
- Daniel Wallace
- Barbara Claypole White
- Jeremy Whitley
Not to mention, there are lots of writers groups in the area. If you’re interested in joining the ranks of Hillsborough literary legend, there are many opportunities. You can check out:
Family Friendly Fun and Activities
There are no shortage of activities in Hillsborough, from street festivals to town-wide barbecues. There truly is something to suit everyone’s fancy. From Mystery Brewing Company to the SportsPlex, there’s always something to do in Hillsborough.
Hillsborough’s Hogg Day is held in June, featuring live music, kids’ activities, a petting zoo, barbecue cook-off and more! Of course, there will be a pig roast competition, too. This is a can’t miss area favorite event, held annually! You can be sure there’s history behind it, too. Mr. Hogg, a Scottish merchant, left his home in 1774 to head for North Carolina; you’ll be able to learn all about his contributions to our community on Hogg Day.
Be sure to pass by or stop in at the Big Barn Convention Center, a Hillsborough landmark. This center has a 300 person capacity, and often is home or host to record conventions, reunions, concerts, and even craft shows.
Unique Eats and Farm-to-Table Food
As Hillsborough is known for their farm-fresh and farm-to-table eats, you can be sure there are some charming Farmer’s Markets nearby. Eno River Farmer’s Market is open Saturdays year-round, 8AM-12PM. The best part about this farmer’s market is that vendors are required to be local, within 60-miles of Hillsborough. What a great way to promote local farmers, right? Not only does this farmer’s market have farm fresh food, but it’s loaded with entertainment too. Musicians, crafts and activities, chef demonstrations, and more are common at the Eno River Farmer’s Market. The Hillsborough Farmer’s Market pops up on the UNC Hillsborough campus every Saturday, too. Rain or shine, from 8AM-12PM, the Hillsborough Farmer’s Market is pet friendly and works to get the best fresh produce from farm to your table.
Local restaurants showcase some of the best culinary talent in North Carolina. Try Panciuto for authentic Italian eats, created with Southern flavor and ingredients. If you’re craving Cajun, La Place is a dream come true. Their authentic Cajun cuisine brings Boudin balls, gumbo, and all the Andouille sausage you could imagine.
North Carolina: home of NASCAR. Maybe Dayton is the “main” headquarters of NASCAR, but we in North Carolina know that NASCAR belongs here. The Occoneechee Speedway is one of the first two original NASCAR speedways. To date, it’s the only dirt track left from the inaugural 1949 NASCAR season. The Occoneechee Orange Speedway is maintained by a local Non Profit organization the Historic Speedway Group.
Each year, the Speedway puts on events like regional car shows, racer’s reunions, and “cruise-ins”. Hosted on a 44-acre site, the Speedway has three miles of trails where you can experience the Eno River and the delight of the only surviving NASCAR speedway.
Who isn’t a fan of incredible scenery? Hillsborough is home to both the Montrose Garden and Horseshoe In the Dogwood.
Then Governor William Alexander Graham and his wife Susan Washington Graham created a stunning garden on their property in the mid-19th century. Their property, the Montrose, is now on the National Register of Historic Places, but rightfully so! The gardens on the property have several acres of woodland plants, arbors, trellises, and some of the most beautiful flowers you could imagine. Tours are available for groups on the weekends. You can find tickets here.
Horseshoe in the Dogwood are awe-worthy English gardens filled with award-winning Iris, Peonies, and perennials. To visit these gardens, you’ll need an appointment but a scenic drive-by is always free.
The shopping near Hillsborough is fantastic. Just a few short miles away lies the Tanger Mebane outlets, where you’ll find anything from Saks Off Fifth to a Nike outlet. Alternatively, the Streets at Southpoint Mall is just a hop skip and a jump away from Hillsborough in Durham, NC. There you’ll find IMAX, some of the best restaurants in the Triangle, and entertainment galore.
If you’re headed south just outside of Hillsborough, you’ll find Daniel Boone Antique Village. This is one of the biggest collections of antique shops in the South! There are other attractions in the village, too. You can check out an old convention center, a working blacksmith, restaurants and more.
Small Town Feel
Hillsborough is a charming place where the beautiful foliage takes the forefront and construction, development, and building takes the background. You’ll feel at ease in this town, where walking down King Street will feel safe, like you’re walking around in your own neighborhood. Locals will tell you the mom-and-pop owned shops are welcoming, the farm-to-table restaurants are booming, and you’ll find yourself immersed in a wonderful community.
Convinced? Come Check Out Hillsborough!
Are you falling in love with Hillsborough? There are a number of neighborhoods, communities, and subdivisions located in area.
If you are interested in learning about the neighborhoods surrounding downtown Hillsborough and other properties in the greater Triangle area, visit us online. Call us today at 919-813-6449 or e-mail us at
[email protected] for additional information. We can’t wait to welcome you to your new home.