Hillsborough is a western suburb of Durham in North Carolina. Its expansive trail system and vibrant neighborhoods make it popular for residents seeking a mix of outdoor recreation and local entertainment. In addition, nearby Durham and Chapel Hill offer retirees all the amenities and conveniences they need within 20 minutes.
Climate & Geography
Located in Central North Carolina, Hillsborough experiences a humid subtropical climate with four distinct seasons. Summers are hot and humid, winters are cool, and spring and autumn are mild. There is abundant precipitation throughout the year, but most of it occurs as thunderstorms during the summer. There is some snowfall, but it generally melts quickly.
Hillsborough is in a transitional zone between the Piedmont Plateau and Atlantic Coastal Plain. The terrain is generally flat with some rolling hills, and the Appalachian Mountains to the west help block extreme northern cold and winds.
Recreation, Culture, & Entertainment
Hillsborough’s main source of outdoor recreation comes from the Eno River, which bisects the city horizontally. The Riverwalk along the Eno River is a paved urban greenway that connects the trail systems in the Occoneechee Mountain State Natural Area on the southwest end of the city to the trails on the Ayr Mount as well as the Eno River State Park. Residents can hike, fish, canoe, and camp in many places along these trail systems.
For shopping and dining, residents enjoy the local boutiques and eateries in the West Hillsborough and historic downtown neighborhoods. These neighborhoods also host monthly art festivals, summer outdoor concert series, and holiday parades. Additionally, designer and high end shops are found at the North Hills Shopping Center.
Other popular destinations include the Occoneechee Golf Club and the Orange County Historical Museum. Residents also enjoy the cultural and sporting events of the University of North Carolina and Duke University, located in nearby Chapel Hill and Durham.
Cost of Living & Taxes
Hillsborough’s cost of living matches the national average. While housing is more expensive, transportation costs are below average.
North Carolina does not tax Social Security benefits, but all other forms of retirement income are taxed at the state’s flat rate of 5.5 percent. Property and sales taxes are similar to the national average.
The Durham metro area scores well on Gallup’s Well-Being Index, ranking in the top 50 communities.
Although there are no hospitals in Hillsborough, two nearby hospitals are nationally ranked by U.S. News: Duke University Hospital in Durham and University of North Carolina Hospitals in Chapel Hill. Additional high performing hospitals in Durham include North Carolina Specialty Hospital and Duke Regional Hospital.