A Day Trip to Hillsborough

When we first to Raleigh, we set out to explore the area and get to know it. One of the fun stuff we like to do is check out the small towns. Hillsborough was one of them, but we keep going back. Here’s why.

Located just 10 minutes north-east to Durham and right on the Eno River, The town of Orange was founded in 1752 and renamed 

in 1754 to Hillsborough after Irish peer William Hill, earl of Hillsborough, and secretary of state for the colonies from 1768 to 1772. Today it’s a haven for artists and writers.
There is a bunch of stuff to do, like bars, shopping, galleries,

a nice little book store, a record store that serves drinks, and more. But for us, there is a typical route we like to take and it starts with one of the best Barbeque in the Triangle (and perhaps the state!)

Hillsborough BBQ Company

Ah, yes! The old NC Barbecue. It’s hard to compete with that and the Hillsborough BBQ Company is one of those places that maintain the tradition.

Our usual route starts there, which is about 3 minutes drive from downtown. Their meat is incredible and their slaw options are part of what makes this place so great. Whether you are a pork, beef, or chicken lover, you will definitely be going to find a dish you like. Just remember to ask for some extra napkins, because fingers are going to get dirty!

But wait! Before you storm on the dessert menu, you should check out Whit’s Frozen Custards next door. They are incredible (Dolev’s favorite is the Hawaiian Lua’u)!

Gold Park and the Eno River Walk

Now that we have a full stomach and the kids are all sugared up, it’s time to let them run at Gold Park across the street and for us to rest on the bench before taking the Eno River trail to downtown. Just to clarify- it’s recommended to take the car to the park as you have to cross under the railway on the road and there is no sidewalk.

 The Eno River trail is about a 20-30 minutes walk. You can keep going and pass downtown, but we usually like to cut over and spend some time over there.

Downtown Hillsborough

While it’s about 2 blocks and 1 and a half streets, the downtown area is lovely and always fun to explore. From the bars, record shop, galleries, and shops, there is always something there to do. In the summer they also have live bands playing right in front of the courthouse. So you can sit by trees, enjoy the breeze and listen to some rock, folk or country music.