Hillsborough at over 250 years old, is the birthplace of the North Carolina Regulators, home of Mary Todd Lincoln’s confidante, Elizabeth Keckley, and eternal home of William Hooper, signer of the Declaration of Independence who was laid to rest in the Presbyterian Church Cemetery here in 1790. Hillsborough is also on the National Register of Historic Places. Discover Historic Hillsborough.
Wow, here’s a sampling. Panciuto's chef, Aaron Vandemark, was nominated as a semifinalist for the 2011, 2012 and 2013 "Best Chef: Southeast” by the James Beard Foundation, and by Food and Wine Magazine for "The People's Best New Chef 2011.” The Wooden Nickel is the kind of bar where you’re just as likely to find a bunch of bikers as you would be to chat with a Ph.d candidate in Shakespeare. It’s beer and bar food and fun. Gulf Rim Café. New Orleans meets Hillsborough at the corner of Churton and King. Around the corner is Cup-A-Joe, best coffee in town or any town. Saratoga Grill: Think fresh mesquite and charcoal grilled seafood, beef and steak, high quality ingredients and snappy service. Antonia’s is an Italian restaurant on the corner of West King Street and Churton.
West Nash Street, just west of downtown Hillsborough, is one of the hippest streets in Hillsborough. A great place to "hang" and relax, enjoy home brews, award-wining barbecue, music, ice cream and people watching. The Depot at Hillsborough Station is the centerpiece of Nash Street. The Depot’s old fashioned hand-dipped Maple View ice cream, bright candy counter and local specialty candies give this general store a vintage flair. In the afternoon, stop by for a beer and a hotdog. Live music is offered nightly from Tuesday thru Saturday. Hillsborough BBQ Company offers whole hog bbq as its specialty.
There are two: Hillsborough Farmers’ Market down Highway 86 and the Eno River Farmers’ Market right downtown. Veggies and fruits, flowers, jams and baked goods, honey, herbs, plants. What you can’t find at one you can get at the other, and visa versa. Special chef events and tastings. Music every Saturday.
As you leave Hillsborough and travel south down Old 86 you’ll see Daniel Boone Antique Village – and Daniel Boone himself: there’s a fifteen foot tall statue of him as you enter. There is nothing like this place. There you’ll find one of the largest collection of antique shops in the South, a convention center, a working blacksmith, gift stores, financial and technical services, consignment, clothing, restaurants and yes, even more, including The Big Barn. It’s red, and a barn, and it’s very big.
Held every third weekend in May, this signature Hillsborough event features live music, children's activities, barbecue cook-offs, crafters, merchandise vendors, games and rides, and classic and antique car show. This year Food Trucks and Beer Garden with Mystery Brewing Company. Also learn a little Hillsborough History and brush up on James Hogg, one of the early Hillsborough patriots. Make no mistake: if you’re not in Hillsborough on Hogg Day, you’re nowhere.
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