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 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 Old Orange County Courthouse courtesy of Wikipedia and Leah Rucker.
Watch this short Youtube video prepared by Town of Hillsborough:
Where to Retire in Hillsborough and Home Prices
Zillow reports the median home value to be $281,123, in early 2020.
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; the crime rate is above the national average; Hillsborough thrives on tourism so there are lots of visitors.
Who Will Like Retirement in Hillsborough
Those looking for a small historical town with a hospital, free bus service to several sites, and is close to both college towns and a large city within the Research Triangle, would enjoy living here.
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, and it 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; there are several types of guided tours, Revolutionary War reenactments, and events to attend including Hog Day which is Orange County's largest festival held each May; the Occoneechee Mountain State Natural Area features three miles of trails along with ponds for fishing, 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.
UNC Hospitals Hillsborough Campus is a 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.
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