Hillsborough : North carolina

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What it's Like to Retire in Hillsborough

Hillsborough, North Carolina, an early colonial town, was founded in 1754, as the seat of local government for Orange County, and was a center of political activity during the colonial and Revolutionary period.  The North Carolina Provincial Congress met here in 1775, as did the North Carolina General Assembly in 1778,1782, and 1783. The town was also the site of the first North Carolina ratifying convention in 1788, to determine whether or not to ratify the Constitution. Due to its rich history, the downtown is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and features more than 100 homes, churches, schools, and other structures from the late 18th and 19th centuries. Among the buildings open to the public is the Visitors Center, which served as Gen. Joseph E. Johnston's headquarters when he surrendered the largest of the Confederate armies to Gen. William T. Sherman, leading to the Civil War's end.

Today, Hillsborough, with a population of just over 6,000, is a tourist destination. In 2014, it was described in the Wall Street Journal as "America's Little Literary Town" due to a high concentration of famous writers who live here, including Pulitzer Prize winner Annie Dillard and award winning novelist Michael Malone. Hillsborough was also named one of America's Coolest Small Towns 2015 by Budget Travel Magazine. Picture of Orange County Courthouse and picture of Orange County Historical Museum courtesy of Wikipedia and Alexisrael, picture of Eno River in Hillsborough courtesy of Wikipedia.


Where to Retire in Hillsborough and Home Prices

The median sale price was on the rise during 2014, according to City-Data.com, who reported it to be about $240,000 at the end of that year.  Zillow shows the median sale price to be close to that number at $243,700, during the last quarter of 2015.


What is special about Hillsborough

Hillsborough is a historic town with many sites listed on the National Register of Historic Places and offers both bus tours and walking tours; it is a walkable town that hosts many events and festivals throughout the year; The Research Triangle towns of Chapel Hill, Durham, and Raleigh are all close by with easy access to each of them.


What is not special about Hillsborough

Winters are chilly, and for a small town it has a high crime rate. The town thrives on tourism so there are lots of visitors.


Who will like retirement in Hillsborough

Those looking for a small historical town that has its own hospital, free bus service to several sites, and is close to both college towns and a large city within the Research Triangle.


Local economy is driven by

Tourism and Education


Climate and Physical Environment

The average January temperature in Hillsborough is 43 degrees, with July's average at 77 degrees.  The town does get a trace amount of snow, about 5 inches, during the winter months.


Restaurants & Cultural Scene

The heart of historic Hillsborough can be found downtown with shops, restaurants, historic sites, museums and art galleries. The town offers several types of guided tours, Revolutionary War reenactments, and is host to Hog Day, Orange County's largest festival held each May.  The Occoneechee Mountain State Natural Area located in Hillsborough, offers three miles of trails along with ponds for fishng, picnic grounds, and interppretive programs.  Residents enjoy the close proximity to Durham, Chapel Hill and Raleigh for all types of restaurants cultural venues.



Hillsborough has a high crime rate, with most incidents involving theft.


Medical facilities

UNC Hospitals Hillsborough Campus is a brand new hospital that serves the town, and with the Research Triangle nearby, there are many medical facilities available for all types of health care.



Hillsborough is located near the center of the state and is accessible by both I-85 and I-40; the Hillsborough Circulator is a free bus service that provides loop access to sites in the town and connectivity to a Triangle Transit route; An Amtrak station is 13 miles away in Durham, and Raleigh-Durham International Airport is 30 minutes east of Hillsborough.


Valuable Links

Visit Hillsborough


What people are saying about Hillsborough

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  • State: NC
  • Environment: Urban,Small Town,
  • City Population: Less than 10,000
  • Median age of Population: 25-44
  • Avg Jan Temperature: 41-60
  • Avg July Temperature: 60-80
  • Median HH Income: 41,001-60,000
  • Average Home Price (MLS): $200,001-$300,000
  • Annual Property Tax on a $200,000 house: 2000-4000
  • Total Crime Index: 111-120 (high)
  • Cost of Living Index: 101-110 (slightly above average)
  • Culture Index: 101-110 (slightly above average)
  • State Sales Tax: Yes
  • State Income Tax: Yes
  • Name of the Guide: jdb

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