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15 Greatest Issues To Do in Durham, NC in 2023

Durham, North Carolina is probably not as properly referred to as a few of its larger neighboring cities reminiscent of Raleigh and Charlotte, however there are such a lot of nice issues to do in Durham that it shouldn’t be missed. It in a short time grew to become certainly one of my favourite US locations.

Having simply spent virtually 3 months there, I’ve put collectively a listing of one of the best locations to go to in Durham, in addition to different actions that await you in and round ‘Bull Metropolis’.

With superb lakes and hikes, an superior bar and restaurant tradition, in addition to some significantly attention-grabbing and necessary components of American historical past to uncover, there’s some actually cool stuff to do in Durham.

Greatest Issues To Do in Durham

After experiencing the town for round 3 months, I used to be capable of see and do a number of enjoyable issues in Durham. This checklist contains my high advisable actions, plus among the different must-dos across the metropolis – there’s one thing for everybody in Durham!

1. Watch a Durham Bulls Sport

The Durham Bulls baseball stadium, watching a game
Our first Durham Bulls sport! They misplaced however it was good enjoyable

The Durham Bulls are a Triple-A affiliated baseball staff. This mainly means you’re positive to see some top-notch ball gamers all hoping to make that ultimate step or make a fast return to the most important leagues.

As soon as the topic of an acclaimed 1988 movie starring Kevin Costner and Susan Sarandon, the Bulls are a well-known and well-supported staff on the baseball scene. They’ve a formidable stadium, the Durham Bulls Athletic Park, that’s simply walkable from the town middle.

Tickets begin from as little as $10. Additionally they provide promotions reminiscent of $1 scorching canine evening, $5 beer evening, and youngsters eat free of charge evening. Partaking in certainly one of America’s favourite pastimes is among the finest issues to do in Durham for households and other people of all ages.

Handle: 409 Blackwell St, Durham, NC 27701, United States (click on right here for instructions)

2. Discover the Warehouse District

The old Chesterfield building in Durham, one of many historic tobacco warehouses in Durham
The Chesterfield constructing is certainly one of many transformed former tobacco-producing warehouses in Durham

Durham was as soon as the middle of the tobacco world and its revenues had been the lifeblood of the city’s financial system, from its earliest days till the eventual demise of the cigarette trade. An enormous quantity was produced yearly proper from the center of the town.

As large tobacco began to shut down within the early 2000s, it left behind a number of warehouses and factories in Durham. These have since been transformed into bars, places of work, eating places, breweries, flats, outlets, and wine bars to make it one of many coolest vacationer points of interest in Durham.

It’s straightforward to easily stroll round admiring among the lovely outdated buildings and options such because the Fortunate Strike water tower and chimney, earlier than resting your weary legs with a chilly craft beer at Clouds Brewing in Brightleaf Sq..

Handle: Brightleaf Sq., 905 W Major St, Durham, NC 27701, United States (click on right here for instructions)

3. Get to Know the Metropolis with a Durham Scavenger Hunt

Congested city traffic.

Durham is a good strolling metropolis so take into account signing your self up for a Durham scavenger hunt. It’s a very nice option to see some completely different areas and spend a couple of hours sightseeing in Durham. It’s a enjoyable, and barely aggressive, exercise that’s nice for {couples}.

Utilizing your telephone as an interactive information and with a distant host you’ll be set challenges round Durham to finish. Submit photographs of the cool belongings you discover alongside your hunt to an interactive scoreboard, and see the way you examine with present and former rivals.

The scavenger hunt prices as little as $10 and lasts two hours. I gained’t give any clues as to the belongings you would possibly discover alongside the way in which, however it’s another option to discover the town. It’s one of the crucial enjoyable issues to do in Durham.

Click on right here to be taught extra in regards to the Durham scavenger hunt.

4. Get Out to Falls Lake

The beach at Falls Lake
The attractive seaside at Falls Lake on the 4th of July

Twenty minutes outdoors of the town, you’ll discover Falls Lake. It’s an enormous expanse of water surrounded by lovely woodlands making it probably the greatest issues to do round Durham.

There are a selection of recreation areas which have picnic benches, barbecues, and bathroom amenities in addition to straightforward parking. There’s additionally entry to boats, kayaks, and paddle boards, in addition to some nice freshwater swimming. My favourite space was Sandling Seashore – it’s completely lovely.

It will get fairly busy on weekends, particularly in the course of the hotter months. I visited early on Independence Day, nonetheless, and had no hassle discovering a pleasant shady spot by the lake. It prices $5-$7 per car, however in case you’re out of season on a weekday it’s free. Simply one of many nice free issues to do in Durham.

Handle: 14813 Creedmoor Rd, Wake Forest, NC 27587, United States (click on right here for instructions)

5. Go to the Sarah P. Duke Gardens

Duke Gardens and its beautiful lake
The lake at Duke Gardens

Speaking of free issues to do in Durham, Duke Gardens has to rank as probably the greatest methods to spend a couple of hours. Only a brief hop from the town middle, Duke Gardens is a fabulous 55-acre park of small lakes, woodlands, flower gardens, sculptures, bridges, ponds, and wildlife. Don’t miss it!

Named after the spouse of the adjoining college’s major benefactor, Benjamin N. Duke (extra on the Dukes later), that is an inspiring and spectacular place to go to. Make sure to put on your strolling sneakers as there are over 5 miles of pathways and trails all through the gardens. I undoubtedly charge this as probably the greatest locations to go to in Durham.

Handle: 420 Anderson St, Durham, NC 27708, United States (click on right here for instructions)

6. Stroll the Tobacco Path

Part of the tobacco trail route running through Durham
Close to the start of the path in central Durham

Durham’s Tobacco Path is a former railroad hall that stretches from central Durham to the city of Apex, 22 miles away. What was as soon as a vital route for transporting tobacco is now a well-maintained path dotted with fashionable public recreation areas. It attracts loads of hikers, joggers, cyclists, and basic followers of the good outside.

Alongside the path, you’ll acquire a captivating glimpse into a few of Durham’s wealthy cultural heritage as you encounter outdated tobacco barns, commemorative signage, deserted rail tracks and stations, art work, and sculptures.

You’ll be able to be a part of the path at many entry factors, so it’s not essential to stroll the entire 22 miles in case you don’t need to. The light slopes make this an ideal exercise for all ages and is surely one of many high issues to do in Durham.

Handle: 601 W Major St #103, Durham, NC 27701, United States (click on right here for instructions)

7. Have a Beer (or three) within the Breweries Downtown

man pouring a beer from a tap at a brewery

Downtown Durham is a vigorous and fashionable a part of city; stuffed with cool bars, breweries, and eating places. Visiting is among the finest issues to do in Durham at evening.

Two of the most well-liked brewing firms downtown are Fullsteam Brewery and Ponysaurus Brewing Firm. Each provide thirsty patrons an inviting taproom and bar, and pleasant, educated workers. There are additionally some imaginative craft beers to attempt, which can be made onsite with regionally sourced elements.

There are such a lot of issues to do in Durham for {couples} however downtown must be my choose for a couple of quiet early drinks. Possibly seize a pleasant meal, adopted by some dwell music with cocktails or some retro enjoyable on the Boxcar Bar and Arcade. It’s definitely worth the very brief stroll from the town middle any day of the week.

8. See a Present on the Carolina Theater

Carolina Theater stage
Ready for Morgan Wade to carry out on the Carolina Theater

The Carolina Theater was in-built 1926 and is a wonderful constructing stuffed with historic appeal. Its character, magnificence, and ornate structure make you are feeling as if you’re stepping again in time. Folks journey from throughout to attend performances right here and it is among the hottest Durham points of interest.

Musicians, comedy acts, dance recitals, and movie screenings are on on the theater frequently. I used to be fortunate sufficient to see certainly one of my favourite nation music artists right here who by likelihood was passing by means of Durham throughout my keep. The Carolina Theater additionally homes an intimate cinema that showcases unbiased and traditional movies.

Handle: 309 W Morgan St, Durham, NC 27701, United States (click on right here for instructions)

9. Take a Stroll Across the Duke Campus

Throughout my keep in Durham, I lived two blocks from the East Campus of Duke College, and every single day I took a stroll by means of the fantastically landscaped grounds.

I cherished admiring the Georgian-style structure of the primary thoroughfare. I want this had been my faculty! Duke is an enormous participant on the US school scene and its status is clear as you stroll round.

The lap across the East Campus is about 1.6 miles and is a well-liked route for joggers and canine walkers. Nonetheless, it may be intersected at many factors. I at all times loved discovering new alleys and pathways whereas discovering among the much less apparent buildings and issues to see in Durham.

Handle: 712 Broad St, Durham, NC 27705, United States (click on right here for instructions)

10. Take a Day Journey to Wilmington

Boardwalk at Carolina Beach
Carolina Seashore

Only a 2-hour drive away is the charming historic city of Wilmington. It’s one of many nice locations to go to close to Durham. An enthralling metropolis on the southeastern shoreline, it’s identified for its picturesque waterfront, wealthy historical past, and vigorous arts scene.

You’ll be able to take a pleasant stroll alongside the 1.75-mile boardwalk that runs alongside the Cape Concern River, and discover a World Conflict 2 battleship – the USS North Carolina. Should you fancy it, you can too drive 10 minutes additional to the gorgeous Carolina and Kura seashores.

Also referred to as ‘Hollywood East’ on account of its reputation as a filming vacation spot, you’ll be able to take a tour of some iconic set areas for TV reveals and flicks reminiscent of One Tree Hill, Dawson’s Creek, and Iron Man 3.

I opted for an structure and historical past tour and acquired to see among the city’s most iconic and traditionally important houses, church buildings, and buildings. I additionally discovered a great deal of cool info about Wilmington’s historical past.

11. Discover Cape Concern From a Distinctive View

boat moored on cape fear river in north carolina with a bridge in the background

Only a few personal constitution boats can be found on the beautiful Cape Concern River, however they do exist. And though the Wilmington Boardwalk is a good way to see a part of the river, it’s properly price discovering a skipper keen to take you out for an attention-grabbing and distinctive perspective of Wilmington from the water.

Some buddies and I booked a really cheap 2-hour boat tour and had a lot enjoyable simply cruising alongside the river on a wonderful spring day. Our information was actually educated in regards to the historical past of the native space and gave us some nice suggestions for bars and eating places after our cruise too. What’s to not like? Click on right here to ebook your river cruise.

12. Scare Your self Foolish with a Ghost Stroll

Of all of the cool issues to do close to Durham, a brief drive over to Raleigh have to be in your checklist. The state capital of North Carolina is just about Half-hour away and has its personal mix of distinctive historical past and Americana combined in with a vibrant bar, brewery, and artwork scene. It’s properly price a go to.

There’s rather a lot to see, and with solely an evening in Raleigh, I opted for a ghosts and ghouls strolling tour of the town to get to know among the spooky historical past that haunted the bottom I used to be strolling on. I had no thought one place may have so many paranormal occasions and websites with chilling histories.

The tales of corrupt politician bootleggers that also hang-out the undergrounds and the peg-legged spirit had been completely entertaining and I’ll admit to feeling a little relieved after I reached the well-lit security of my fashionable resort…

I additionally acquired to see a superb chunk of Raleigh this fashion and discovered some attention-grabbing info. The tour lasted round an hour and was actually pleasurable. I’d undoubtedly advocate giving it a go. Click on right here to be taught extra and to ebook your ghost stroll.

13. Get Some Goodies From the Durham Farmer’s Market

vegetables for sale at stalls in a farmer's market

You’ll by no means be caught for issues to do in Durham, particularly on a weekend. Positioned within the coronary heart of downtown, in Central Park each Saturday from 8 am – 12 pm, you’ll discover the Durham Farmer’s Market. It provides a ton of various and distinctive distributors promoting every thing from native fruits, greens, and meats to artisan bread, beers, and artwork.

It’s not only a market. Locals use the weekly gathering as an opportunity for group engagement the place guests can join with fellow growers and farmers to be taught extra about sustainability and occasions inside the metropolis.

You’ll additionally discover quite a few meals vans do you have to need to seize a tasty snack. There are additionally espresso stalls in case you’re on the lookout for a bit of pick-me-up, and dwell music enjoying when you browse. Through the hotter months of April to September, a late afternoon market can also be held each Wednesday from 3 pm till 6 pm.

Handle: 501 Foster St, Durham, NC 27701, United States (click on right here for instructions)

14. Go to the Duke Homestead and Tobacco Museum

dried tobacco leaves

One of many high issues to do in Durham is to go to the Duke Homestead and Tobacco Museum. It’s positioned just some minutes outdoors of the town middle the place this historic website preserves the house and historical past of Washington Duke. He was the patriarch of the Duke household who laid the inspiration for what would someday grow to be the American Tobacco Firm – one of many largest the world has ever identified.

From this quaint and peaceable farm that dates again to the mid-Nineteenth century, the Duke household wrote its identify into the historical past books by changing into the undisputed leaders in American tobacco manufacturing. The house and surrounding farmland and barns have been excellently preserved, and in some locations respectfully restored, making it a captivating peak into the previous.

It’s free to go to however guided excursions can be found for just some {dollars}. The accompanying museum (additionally free) provides an excessive amount of data on the historical past of tobacco in North Carolina; from its origins and manufacturing to the historic developments, commercial, and consumption of tobacco all through the USA and the world.

I’ve by no means smoked however I cherished this place for the historical past side. It’s a good way to spend a couple of hours in Durham.

Handle: 2828 Duke Homestead Rd, Durham, NC 27705, United States (click on right here for instructions)

15. Go to Eno River State Park

eno river state park in durham nc with trees and waterfall

Final however under no circumstances least on my checklist of what to see in Durham is the beautiful 4000-acre Eno River State Park. It provides among the finest mountaineering round and an abundance of nice trails and rolling hills. There are such a lot of wonderful spots for picnics and among the most lovely surroundings in North Carolina.

As you might guess, it’s additionally a preferred spot for river actions reminiscent of fishing, paddle boarding, kayaking, and canoeing. The clear, recent water can also be a preferred swimming spot, particularly in the course of the hotter months of the yr.

It’s pet pleasant and you’ll even camp over (although charges do apply for sure actions). Eno River State Park is only a brief 10-minute drive from central Durham and completely definitely worth the journey.

Fast Journey Itineraries For Durham

Listed here are some concepts that will help you plan your go to to Durham; from one-day, brief stays, or a complete week, learn on to seek out out extra:

1 Day in Durham Itinerary

Spend a couple of hours exploring the Sarah P. Duke Gardens within the morning earlier than it will get too scorching. Then hit the breweries downtown within the afternoon to chill down with a chilly one. End off by getting your self right down to a Bulls sport because the solar units within the night.

2-3 Days in Durham Itinerary

In your first day get to know the town with a enjoyable scavenger hunt. Then cease off downtown to discover among the cool bars and breweries on provide.

On day two, get out of the town a bit of and discover the Duke Homestead and Tobacco Museum, an iconic and necessary a part of Durham’s historical past. Stick with it a bit of additional in the identical path to the gorgeous Eno River State Park for a spot of mountaineering or simply to relax out by the majestic Eno River.

In your ultimate day absorb the great thing about Duke College with a brief stroll across the East Campus. From there you’ll be able to simply stroll by means of the historic Warehouse District, stopping at any variety of cool bars and cafes alongside the way in which that take your fancy.

End up with a dwell present or film on the Carolina Theater within the night. Or, in case you’re in luck and the Bulls are enjoying at dwelling, get to a sport.

1 Week in Durham Itinerary

Kick off your week by discovering one of the best locations to see in Durham. Take a enjoyable scavenger hunt and see among the highlights of the town. You’ll undoubtedly need to revisit downtown greater than as soon as, so head right down to Fullsteam Brewery for a couple of beers within the night.

Make sure to head as much as Duke Gardens – probably the greatest free issues to do in Durham. Should you’ve acquired the vitality afterwards you’ll be able to even stroll again to the town by means of the Duke College East Campus. Proceed on by means of the Warehouse District and make sure you reward your self at a number of of the quite a few espresso and beer stops that you just discover alongside the way in which.

Get out to Falls Lake for some R&R. It’s such a wonderful spot; they’ve seashores at quite a few recreation websites and the water is so refreshing to swim in. Depart time to get to one of many greatest vacationer points of interest in Durham; both a present on the Carolina Theater or a Durham Bulls sport. Each are an absolute should!

Durham Bulls and Athletic Park on game day

Every week will provide you with loads of time to take a couple of day journeys out of city. So head right down to Wilmington for an informative strolling tour, then constitution your individual boat and discover the Cape Concern River. Raleigh is among the finest locations to go to close to Durham and is simply Half-hour away. Find out about among the historical past and provides your self a fright with a ghosts and ghouls strolling tour.

End off your week with one other journey Downtown. There are many breweries, cafes, bars, and eating places and it’s a vigorous and enjoyable place to be at any time.

The place to Keep in Durham

These are a couple of of one of the best neighborhoods in Durham for vacationers:

Downtown Durham

Downtown Durham is stuffed with bars, eating places, cafes, and breweries. It’s the vigorous a part of city but in addition houses some actual historic websites reminiscent of King’s Sandwich Store. It’s a cute hole-in-the-wall fashion eatery that’s been in operation since 1942.

You’ll additionally discover a cool bar / retro arcade referred to as Boxcar right here that has an awesome every day completely satisfied hour, an enormous beer backyard, and plenty of superior traditional gaming machines.

Downtown is one of the best place to remain for first-time guests and also you’ll discover that flats can be extra available for lodging, particularly if you wish to keep near all of the motion. Take a look at this nice condo that not solely provides an opulent area ideally positioned for downtown, but in addition a health middle and BBQ space.

Central Durham

Durham is such a walkable metropolis, it felt like every thing was Quarter-hour in any path. That is very true in Central Durham the place, like in most metropolis facilities, you’ll discover a ton of bars, good purchasing, and locations to eat. My private favourite was 106 Major, a cool outdated dive bar and one of many most cost-effective round with free meals up for grabs 3 nights per week.

The long-lasting Durham Lodge is a perfect place to remain. It’s a cool historic constructing, has a rooftop bar, and is seconds from a major hub of different points of interest the place you’ll be able to deeply immerse your self in Durham’s nightlife scene.

Trinity Park

Trinity Park is a good space to remain for households, and also you’ll discover extra flats than accommodations because it’s a suburban space with tree-lined quiet streets, small parks, church buildings, faculties, and naturally the well-known Duke East Campus.

Basing your self right here means you’ll nonetheless solely be 10-Quarter-hour stroll in both path from every thing you could possibly presumably require throughout your keep in Durham.

It’s the form of space the place you wouldn’t be shocked to see a classical quartet placing up a set within the park or a bluegrass band jamming on a entrance porch. Try this nice studio condo near each the Duke campus and downtown.

Greatest Eating places in Durham

Durham has a ton of nice locations to eat, you’ll by no means be wanting a terrific restaurant. Whether or not it’s conventional North Carolina barbeque or Asian fusion tapas, Durham’s acquired you coated. Listed here are just some of my favourite locations to eat in Durham.

The Blue Notice Grill

Providing an awesome collection of North Carolina BBQ, The Blue Notice Grill sits in an iconic location within the coronary heart of downtown Durham. There’s at all times an awesome alternative of beers and cocktails in addition to nightly dwell music, with solely sure high-profile occasions requiring a canopy cost.

The ribs listed below are superb, and completely to not be missed. Being somebody that at all times struggles to resolve on a facet dish, it was nice to see the choice to order a plate of sides – choose any 4 for $11. Nice in case you simply need one thing small or to share. Click on right here to seek out it on the map.

Hutchins Storage

Hutchins Storage is regarded by many locals as one of the best pizza in Durham. Many make a weekly journey downtown to seize certainly one of these scrumptious pies. I can affirm, the pizzas are big, recent, and among the finest I’ve ever eaten. They’re fairly priced too and go completely with a cool beer choice from the accompanying bar.

The constructing was as soon as, because the identify suggests, an outdated storage and has been transformed into an awesome indoor and out of doors eatery. Click on right here to seek out it on the map.


On the far facet of the Duke East Campus, you’ll discover Juju, a extremely popular Asian fusion and tapas bar that has a terrific menu of small plates and bites in addition to an enormous collection of sake.

The meals right here is superior, the Mongolian beef was my private favourite. It’s definitely worth the Uber experience from downtown or a pleasant stroll by means of the campus for a go to. I strongly advocate reserving because it will get busy. Click on right here to seek out it on the map.

Elmo’s Diner

Elmo’s Diner has been a fixture of the Durham meals scene for many years. It’s a much-loved and fashionable spot for locals and guests alike. It provides quintessential American dwelling cooking with an enormous menu that covers every thing from fundamental breakfasts to hearty night meals. Positioned on ninth Avenue, Elmo’s has the feel and appear of a conventional diner and it’s an awesome expertise simply strolling by means of the door.

You may need to attend a couple of minutes for a desk, however the workers is tremendous organized and can name you as quickly as your desk is prepared. Should you’re heading in alone or simply with a pal, go for countertop service the place you’ll be seated faster and have much more of that true classic diner expertise. Click on right here to seek out it on the map.

Bull Metropolis Burger and Brewery

The identify says all of it I suppose! Boasting award-winning burgers in an actual informal setting, this place is a should. The parts are big and the standard is outstanding – and don’t get me began on the facet dishes. The relaxed environment and bench-style seating make it a really welcoming place to go to.

BCBB additionally incorporates a microbrewery that provides an awesome collection of beers to accompany your meal, the truth is, many individuals go for the drinks and find yourself staying for the meals. Click on right here to seek out it on the map.

Attending to Durham

durham north carolina skyline

Durham is in shut proximity to a large-sized worldwide airport (RDU) with flights from all throughout America touchdown each hour, and from main world locations reminiscent of Paris and London every day.

From right here, you’ll be able to simply rent a automobile, organize a personal switch or just order an Uber to take you to the middle of Durham (round 25-Half-hour away).

One in all my greatest points of interest to Durham was that it’s such a walkable metropolis, however it does get highly regarded in the course of the summer time months, and the occasional storm can shortly descend. Fortunately, Uber is available and often very reasonably priced on condition that it’s not an enormous metropolis to traverse.

Hireable scooters are sometimes at hand in case you simply fancy getting there a bit of faster and a daily and dependable bus service additionally hyperlinks all major components of the town and past.

Issues To Do in Durham: FAQs

Listed here are some solutions to generally requested questions on visiting Durham:

What’s Durham identified for?

As soon as the tobacco capital of the world, Durham is now well-known for its historic landmarks, high college, and vigorous brewery and bar scene.

When is one of the best time to go to Durham?

Within the springtime, earlier than the warmth and humidity grow to be too intense.

Is Durham price visiting?

Completely. There are a ton of issues to do and its proximity to a significant college makes it a very taking place metropolis.

What number of days ought to I spend in Durham?

Every week to 10 days will provide you with loads of time to discover all of the distinctive issues to do in Durham with probabilities to revisit all of the locations you actually cherished. You’ll even have time to get out and about, outdoors the town.

Is Durham protected?

I at all times felt extraordinarily protected strolling about day and evening. As when visiting any main metropolis, you need to at all times be cautious, however it’s a cushty and pleasant place to be.

What’s the hottest factor to do in Durham?

Visiting the breweries and bars of downtown Durham. You’ll be able to spend a superb few afternoons partaking in numerous regionally brewed beers in some actually cool settings.

What’s the finest seaside in Durham?

Sandling Seashore, which sits on the banks of Falls Lake, is round 20 minutes from central Durham. Should you’re keen to journey a bit of additional out, Carolina Seashore is beautiful and sits on the Atlantic Ocean about 2.5 hours drive away.

What meals ought to I attempt in Durham?

North Carolina is thought for its personal explicit model of barbecue, so that you gained’t be wanting choices. My finest choose is the Blue Notice Grill in downtown Durham. Order the ribs!

In Closing

Durham is an excellent metropolis that I got here throughout by pure likelihood and a set of unusual coincidences, however I cherished each minute of my time there. From the pleasant and welcoming individuals to the vigorous bar scene and classic slices of American historical past, there are such a lot of cool locations to go to in Durham, I actually consider it has one thing for everybody to take pleasure in.

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