Is Hillsborough, NC America’s Coolest Small Town?

In February 2015, Budget Travel magazine will announce 10 finalists and one winner for their annual “Coolest Small Town” competition. Hillsborough, NC, hopes to take home the #1 sopt.

Awarded “Great Main Street,” “Best Literary Small Town,” “Distinctive Destination,” over the past 4 years, and recognized as “Historic Hillsborough,” “Happening Hillsborugh,” and “Hillsborough on the Eno,” as of recently, it makes sense for Hillsborough to take home one of the “Coolest Small Towns” in America.

Qualifications for America’s Coolest Small Towns initially requires the most nominations sent in electronically on their website for towns with a population of less than 10,000 citizens. The second (15 finalists) and third round (1 winner, 10 total finalists) will take geographic location, attractions, architecture, among other factors in consideration. With just over 7,000 residents, Hillsborough meets these requirements, and should be a frontrunner in the competition, as it currently stands as the #1 top nominated city in the competition so far.

The Hillsborough community is situated just outside of the Triangle area, with easy access to the Triad area as well. The historic downtown district is listed on the National Register of Historic places, with over 100 homes, churches, school and other historic buildings from the late 18th and 19th centuries littering the downtown area.

Hillsborough is a popular tourist destination, and is known for drawing local artists, writers, and outdoor lovers to the town for its beautiful, natural scenery and environment. Local festivals and celebrations are held throughout the year, with fun art, culture, food, and entertainment “Last Friday” gatherings, held on the final Friday of every month, which draw many local and regional visitors to the town as well.

The Eno River State Park is also another draw for the town, which prides itself on the 21 miles of maintained hiking trails and 2700 protected acres of natural forest land. In addition to hiking and nature study, canoeing, fishing, and camping also draw visitors to the area to enjoy the wonderful bucolic Hillsborough area.

For information on Budget Travel’s Coolest Small Towns competition, and a link to vote for HIllsborough as the 2015 winner, click here. Tourist information, such as a calendar of events, and a list of local attractions and historical sites can be found on

If you are looking to buy a house in Hillsborough or Orange County make sure to access our Hillsborough, NC Neighborhoods page.