10 Can’t-Miss Things To Do In Hillsborough

10 Can’t-Miss Things To Do In Hillsborough
Hillsborough is a small southern town located on the banks of the Eno River. Known for its history, vibrant art scene, and delectable dining options, this quaint borough offers a little bit of something for everyone. Whether you are wanting to explore the great outdoors, have a taste of something local, or enjoy the beauty of this 18th-century town, our can’t-miss list will help you plan your visit!


1. Occoneechee Speedway

One of the first NASCAR tracks to open in 1949, the Speedway welcomed the talents of drivers such as Fireball Roberts, Richard Petty, and Louise Smith. Located a short distance from the gravel parking lot, visitors can walk the mile dirt track, which now loops in between towering trees and lush greenery. Relics of the past, such as the concrete grandstands, a snack shack, and retired race cars, can be found throughout the surrounding trails. The track saw its last race in September of 1968 before moving to the Daytona International Speedway.  Read more from Our State Magazine.


2. Riverwalk

Riverwalk is a paved, ADA-accessible, urban greenway along the Eno River that stretches nearly 2 miles from Dimmocks Mill Road/Gold Park through West Hillsborough and Downtown over to the Occoneechee Speedway trails. Walkers, joggers, and bicyclists can hop onto the trail from multiple trailheads throughout town.


3. Browse the Galleries

Hillsborough’s vibrant art scene is a must-see! From the Gallery and Gift shop at the Hillsborough Arts Council to the classes and workshops of Margaret Lane Gallery, our locally owned and operated art galleries showcase a variety of awe-inspiring work supporting Hillsborough’s art community.





4. Occaneechi Replica Village

Located along Hillsborough’s Riverwalk and near the banks of the Eno River stands the reconstructed 17th-century Occaneechi Village.  Visitors are invited to respectfully explore the grounds, observing the traditional dwellings called Atʰi:, surrounded by a protective fence called a palisade. You can learn more about the Occaneechi Band of the Saponi Nation by visiting their website



5. Farm Treats

Our locally owned and operated farms know how to share their homegrown flavors! Pull up a rocking chair and enjoy some homemade ice cream or grab a basket to fill with some U-pick fun. No matter what the event, our area farms offer a variety of experiences that are fun for the whole family.





6. Historic Sites

Hillsborough is a small town with BIG history! Stroll the historic district lined with centuries-old homes and explore the restored grounds of many of Hillsborough’s notable properties.


7. Crafted Brews & Cocktails

Pop-a-top or clink a glass; Hillsborough has some of the most unique taverns in North Carolina. Grab a vinyl and beer at Volume Records, kick back to some live music at Nash Street Tavern, dance all night at Hot Tin Roof, or experience Yonder’s Noir at the Bar. Hillsborough’s locally-owned bars create experiences you won’t forget.




8. Gardens & Cemeteries

Whether you are a botanist at heart or want to visit those who have come before you, our self-guided Gardens & Cemeteries Tour is a great way to experience Hillsborough’s unique landscape.




9. Local Flavors

Dine in Hillsborough! Our locally-owned eateries offer thoughtfully curated dishes to satisfy any appetite. Around every corner, something delicious awaits.





10. Tour the Town

Lace-up those tennis shoes and grab some water; we have an abundance of guided and self-guided tours for you to experience! From Women’s History to Hillsborough Hauntings, the Alliance for Historic Hillsborough offers a variety of FREE self-guided tour options. They also provide weekly guided tours of historic downtown, Revolutionary War Era tours, and Outlander-themed walking tours. Don’t forget to check out Haunted Hillsborough, your expert guide to one of NC’s oldest towns.