Welcome to Orange County
Since the founding of Orange County in 1752 and the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill in 1785, this area has championed its natural beauty, history, and its writers, artists and musicians like no other. Consider: the nation’s first public university is here. UNC was the only university to award degrees in the 18th century. The university was built in Chapel Hill, near the ruins of a chapel, due to its central location in the state, right in Orange County. While visiting, stop by the Visitors Center, 501 W. Franklin Street, Chapel Hill.
Orange County, North Carolina is a remarkable place to visit. Its three main towns: Chapel Hill, Carrboro and Hillsborough have everything a visitor wants in a destination: beautiful climate, historic neighborhoods—many on the national historic register, a cutting-edge arts scene, and some of the best food you’re going to get anywhere in the country.
Many area hotels are located in the heart of Chapel Hill, near the University, and several area chefs are James Beard winners and nominees.
James Taylor grew up in Chapel Hill, Charles Kuralt taught at UNC, Michael Jordan played basketball here and Mia Hamm set new goals for soccer and women in business.
It’s a cultural oasis, the crown-jewel of higher education. We invite you to explore our neighborhoods and encourage you to check-out the numerous special events that happen year-round.
Handmade Parade, Hillsborough. For many annual events, see the local calendar.
Walking Trails in Orange County
If you’re looking to hit the reset button and de-stress, a wellness vacation in the Chapel Hill, Carrboro and Hillsborough area could be just what the doctor ordered.
Whether you’d like to hike a scenic trail or catch some restorative ZZZs in a luxury hotel, we have it all. Here, you can be as active or as chill as you want.
Here’s a sampling of activities to help you refresh your body and soul while visiting Orange County. From scenic parks and trails to tips for wellness and fun, read more here: