Our tours are ideal for visitors and residents; conference attendees and church groups; nonprofit organizations and anyone interested in history, architecture, and small-town charm. We offer both private and open tours. Read below for more details on both options.
Guided Step-On Bus Tour
Docents lead your group on a 90-minute tour through Hillsborough's Historic District from the comfort of your own bus or van. The tour includes sites in West Hillsborough, such as the Commandant's House of the former Hillsborough Military Academy and textile mill villages, that aren't normally seen on a guided walking tour.
You also can choose your own tour ending! Bus tours include a visit to either the Burwell School Historic Site or the Orange County Historical Museum at no additional charge. Visits at either location are designed to last about 30 minutes.
Tickets are $5 per person, but group organizers and drivers are free.
Step-on bus tours are available by appointment only. Please call 919-732-7741 to arrange a tour with the Program Coordinator. We kindly request two-weeks' notice.
Historic District Guided Walking Tour
We also offer private tours for groups interested in 60-minute walking tours of Hillsborough historic downtown. Docents usually stick to a broad historical theme, but they can cater their tours to the groups' interests - colonial era, antebellum era, Civil War, church histories, and African-American history, amongst others. Please just let us know which theme you prefer when you book.
Most months, walking tours are also offered on the second Saturday at 11AM. During Last Fridays season (April-September), tours are also offered at 4:30PM. Check out the events calendar for this month's tours.
Cost is $5 per person; children under 12 free.
Ghosts of the Confederacy
This tour revisits the Civil War through the lives of Confederate veterans buried in the St. Matthew's Episcopal Church cemetery. "Ghosts of the Confederacy" examines the War's effects not only on the soldiers but on those they left at home. Look at the event calendar to check when this tour is next scheduled, or call the Hillsborough Visitors Center at 919-732-7741 for more information.
Old Town Cemetery
Hillsboroughs old public burial ground, now known as the Old Town Cemetery, is one of North Carolina's most historic plots of ground, which tradition says was used as a burying spot for early settlers even before the town was laid out by William Churton in 1754. Hillsborough's Old Town Cemetery is the resting place for many of North Carolina's notable personages. Look at the event calendar to check when this tour is next scheduled, or call the Hillsborough Visitors Center at 919-732-7741 for more information.
Self-Guided Walking Tour
If you're unable to fit a guided tour into your schedule, purchase a self guided walking tour booklet from the Hillsborough Visitors Center, 150 E. King Street, for $4. The Visitors Center is open Monday-Saturday 10AM-4PM and Sunday 12PM-4PM.
All tours EXCEPT the Bicycle Tour begin and end at the Alexander Dickson House (Orange County Visitors Center at 150 E. King Street).