The Chapel Hill/Orange County Visitors Bureau is a tourism agency that provides information on Orange County, North Carolina and the towns of Chapel Hill, Carrboro and Hillsborough. The Visitors Bureau keeps an updated library with B-roll; photographs and statistics, and can be reached at 919-968-2060.
In Chapel Hill, you can enjoy all of the amenities and activities that revolve around the University of North Carolina. Sports Illustrated has said that Chapel Hill is the best college town in America, and Franklin Street (named after Benjamin Franklin) is one of the reasons why. Day and night, it's a bustling thoroughfare of students, faculty members, residents, retirees, visitors and others who have celebrated its charm in five centuries. With diverse businesses downtown, "Franklin Street" is the heart of town, where the famous have walked, the students, residents, and visitors have shopped for the necessities and luxuries of life, and the many have celebrated great sports victories and community events. Many more have been entertained simply by strolling its length to see and be seen.
The history of Carrboro began in 1882, when a spur from the Durham-Greensboro Southern Railway line was extended first to iron mines north of Chapel Hill, then to Carrboro to serve the University. As a result, Carrboro quickly established its own personality as a successful textile center. One of those cotton mills was transformed into Carr Mill Mall, where today locally owned restaurants and shops can be found in its massive brick walls with thick wooden floors and arched windows.
The county seat is Hillsborough, which was laid out in 1754 where the Great Indiana Trading Path crossed the Eno River. In Colonial days, it was called “the capital of the back county,” because its mild weather attracted many prominent citizens escaping from the hot, humid weather of the coast and the cold, snowy weather of the mountains.
More than 100 late 18th century and early 19th century buildings in and around Hillsborough are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Hillsborough features the federal-era 1815 Ayr Mount Historic Site; the 1844 Old County Courthouse, cited by the Library of Congress as one of the finest Greek Revival structures; and the Orange County Historical Museum with the country’s only complete set of Colonial weights and measures.