Orange County real estate includes historic Hillsborough, the county seat; Chapel Hill, home of the University of North Carolina; and Carrboro and Mebane, former railroad and mill towns. Nestled in the hills of the North Carolina Piedmont, Orange County is just over 3 hours from the coast and three hours from the mountains. With more than 130,000 residents the close proximity to Chapel Hill, Durham, Raleigh and Research Triangle offers cultural, employment, entertainment and shopping and sporting opportunities throughout the region.


Founded in 1752, Orange County has played important roles in state and national history. In pre-Revolutionary War days, Hillsborough was one home to the Regulators, a band of men and women who fought against British oppression, helping the country’s fight for independence. Orange county is home to the first public university in the nation, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. And for centuries before this, Orange County was a site for at least three successive Native American villages. Hillsborough was the center of North Carolina politics and hosted the state’s Constitutional Convention in 1778, where North Carolina delegates demanded that a Bill of Rights be added before they would ratify the U.S. Constitution.

In 1789, the North Carolina General Assembly chartered the University of North Carolina, the nation’s first state university to admit undergraduates. UNC-Chapel Hill is the flagship campus of a 16-member state university system and is consistently rated as one of the country’s finest state institutions of higher learning.

UNC Chapel Hill

old well uncThe University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the nation’s first public university, and one of the world’s great research universities serves North Carolina through teaching, research, and public service. UNC Chapel Hill is a center for research, scholarship, and creativity and teaches a diverse community of undergraduate, graduate, and professional students.

A great resource for visitors and prospective students and families at UNC is our Visitors Center located at the UNC Visitors in the west end of the Morehead Planetarium and Science Center which provides maps, guides, non-admissions tours of a general nature and information.

  • 250 East Franklin Street, Chapel Hill, NC
  • Phone: (919) 962-1630
  • Hours: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday


Orange County lies on the western edge of the Research Triangle, an area anchored on three sides by UNC-Chapel Hill, N.C. State University and Duke University. At the area’s center is Research Triangle Park, home to leading technology and pharmaceutical companies as well as federal research institutions, including IBM, GlaxoSmithKline, Cisco, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.

The County encompasses 400 miles of rolling farms and forest, vital urban centers and small towns. Orange County combines the best of cosmopolitan and rural values with an abundance of historical, social and cultural resources.

Orange County is lucky to have such a fantastic Public Transportation organization that is committed to promoting a healthful quality of life for all residents of Orange County, NC Orange Bus strives to provide a comprehensive continuum of locally-accessible, community-based transportation services.

The current fare for the Orange-Chapel Hill Midday Connector is $2 for the general public, $1 for passengers with disabilities, and free to passengers 60 years of age or older. The Orange-Chapel Hill Midday Connector service connects major origins and destinations in Hillsborough, Chapel Hill, and Cedar Grove (northern Orange County) with hourly service provided in both the northbound (Chapel Hill-Hillsborough-Cedar Grove) and southbound (Cedar Grove-Hillsborough-Chapel Hill) directions Monday – Friday, 9:45am – 3:50pm.

The Hillsborough Circulator service connects major origins and destinations throughout Hillsborough with hourly service provided Monday – Friday, 8:00am – 5:00pm. The Hillsborough Circulator service is free to all passengers. Click the link above to access a route map and schedule for the service.

Carolina Performing Arts

performing artsThe mission of Carolina Performing Arts is to enrich lives by creating and presenting exceptional arts experiences and connecting them to the UNC community and beyond. Here the community can experience world-renowned favorites, cutting edge new artists, root music or performances with a global flair. Carolina Performing Arts strives to nurture artistic innovation and the development of new works on and off campus; and to integrate the arts into the life of the University.

Explore all upcoming performances at Carolina Performing Arts.

Piedmont Annual Farm Tour

The Annual Piedmont Farm Tour is the largest consumer farm tour in the United States! Typically, the tour features 40 farms, including two vineyards throughout the region. Families, gardeners, students and children can sample first-of-the-season strawberries, pick your own eggs and learn how to grow safe organic vegetables with small scale intensive methods. Held at the end of April, the two day event attracts hundreds of visitors from across the region. Typical event hours are from 1 pm– 5pm both days.

Farmers Market

farmers marketThe finest and freshest locally grown produce, prepared foods, flowers and crafts are available at area farmer’s markets in Chapel Hill and Orange County. Everything sold is grown or produced by the vendors, all within a 50-mile radius. Special events include tastings, cooking demonstrations, music and Master Gardeners’ educational fairs. Touted as one of the finest local markets in the Country, the Carrboro Farmers’ Market has provided an opportunity for local farmers to sell their products directly to the consumer since 1979. Additionally, markets can be found in Southern Village, at University Mall and in Hillsborough.

UNC Healthcare and the UNC Wellness Center at Meadowmont

UNC Health Care

unc hospitalUNC Health Care is a not-for-profit integrated health care system owned by the state of North Carolina and based in Chapel Hill. UNC Health Care currently comprises UNC Hospitals and its provider network, the clinical programs of the UNC School of Medicine, and seven affiliate hospitals and hospital systems across the state.

UNC Hospitals

UNC Hospitals is a public academic medical center first established in 1952 under the name N.C. Memorial to provide patient care, educate health care professionals and advance medical research in partnership with the UNC School of Medicine. With more than 800 beds, the medical center in Chapel Hill comprises N.C. Memorial Hospital, N.C. Children’s Hospital, N.C. Neurosciences Hospital and N.C. Women’s Hospital.

UNC Wellness Center at Meadowmont

A unique 52,000 square foot facility includes two fitness areas with over 120 pieces of cardiovascular and strength training equipment, an indoor aquatics center, an indoor track, group fitness studios, an indoor basketball court, and clean locker rooms with all the amenities. The UNC Wellness Center which is part of the UNC Health Care system also offers a health education classroom, a teaching kitchen, as well as easy access to walk, run, and bike in the community and along the greenway trails. Learn more about membership and benefits.

Orange County offers a unique variety of world-famous restaurants. There are almost fifty restaurants in one square block of Franklin Street in Chapel Hill. Whether you are looking for American cuisine, Asian fusion or Cajun & Creole Orange County offers famous restaurants like Crooks Corner  and the Lantern .

There is no shortage of nightlife in the area with Cat’s Cradle and the Arts Center bringing music to Carrboro and Chapel Hill and various art galleries in Hillsborough.

The Hillsborough Arts Council

The Hillsborough Arts Council has been active in developing and supporting the arts locally for more than 20 years. In spring and summer on the last Friday of each month the town square comes alive with music, vendors and an Art Walk visiting downtown galleries, while sidewalk cafes provide food and drink to complement the festivities. Fall brings the annual Handmade Parade that rivals Macy’s, but with giant puppets created by the participants – some even on stilts- who take over Churton Street for the march and convene with observers to celebrate at the Burwell School, a local historic site. To brighten the winter months, the Arts Council presents Parlor Concerts, musical presentations that take place in some of the town’s historic homes. The Hillsborough Arts Council & Gallery is located in historic downtown Hillsborough at 102 North Churton Street.


Check out this video by The New York Times called 36 Hours in Chapel Hill.  You will get a great idea of what it is like to live in Chapel Hill and Orange County.

by The New York Times called 36 Hours in Chapel Hill.  You will get a great idea of what it is like to live in Chapel Hill and Orange County.

Want to know more about Orange County?