15 Finest Issues To Do in Durham, NC in 2023

Durham, North Carolina is probably not as nicely generally known as a few of its larger neighboring cities comparable to 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 considered one of my favourite US locations.

Having simply spent virtually 3 months there, I’ve put collectively an inventory 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 wonderful lakes and hikes, an superior bar and restaurant tradition, in addition to some severely attention-grabbing and necessary elements of American historical past to uncover, there’s some actually cool stuff to do in Durham.

Finest Issues To Do in Durham

After experiencing town for round 3 months, I used to be in a position to see and do lots of enjoyable issues in Durham. This checklist consists of my high really useful 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 recreation! They misplaced however it was good enjoyable

The Durham Bulls are a Triple-A affiliated baseball group. This principally means you’re certain to see some top-notch ball gamers all hoping to make that closing step or make a fast return to the main 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 group on the baseball scene. They’ve a formidable stadium, the Durham Bulls Athletic Park, that’s simply walkable from town middle.

Tickets begin from as little as $10. Additionally they provide promotions comparable to $1 scorching canine night time, $5 beer night time, and youngsters eat free of charge night time. Partaking in considered one of America’s favourite pastimes is without doubt one of the greatest issues to do in Durham for households and folks of all ages.

Tackle: 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 considered one of many transformed former tobacco-producing warehouses in Durham

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

As huge tobacco began to shut down within the early 2000s, it left behind lots of warehouses and factories in Durham. These have since been transformed into bars, workplaces, eating places, breweries, residences, outlets, and wine bars to make it one of many coolest vacationer sights in Durham.

It’s simple to easily stroll round admiring among the stunning previous 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..

Tackle: 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 superb strolling metropolis so contemplate signing your self up for a Durham scavenger hunt. It’s a very nice method to see some completely different areas and spend just a few 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 pictures of the cool stuff you discover alongside your hunt to an interactive scoreboard, and see the way you evaluate with present and former rivals.

The scavenger hunt prices as little as $10 and lasts two hours. I received’t give any clues as to the stuff you would possibly discover alongside the way in which, however it’s an alternate method to discover town. It’s probably the most 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 seashore at Falls Lake on the 4th of July

Twenty minutes exterior of town, you’ll discover Falls Lake. It’s a large expanse of water surrounded by stunning woodlands making it among the best issues to do round Durham.

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

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 automobile, 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.

Tackle: 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 among the best methods to spend just a few hours. Only a quick hop from 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 essential benefactor, Benjamin N. Duke (extra on the Dukes later), that is an inspiring and spectacular place to go to. Make sure you put on your strolling sneakers as there are over 5 miles of pathways and trails all through the gardens. I undoubtedly price this as among the best locations to go to in Durham.

Tackle: 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 well-liked public recreation areas. It attracts loads of hikers, joggers, cyclists, and basic followers of the good outside.

Alongside the path, you’ll achieve an interesting glimpse into a few of Durham’s wealthy cultural heritage as you encounter previous 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 no doubt one of many high issues to do in Durham.

Tackle: 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 full of life and well-liked a part of city; stuffed with cool bars, breweries, and eating places. Visiting is without doubt one of the greatest issues to do in Durham at night time.

Two of the most well-liked brewing corporations 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 substances.

There are such a lot of issues to do in Durham for {couples} however downtown must be my decide for just a few quiet early drinks. Perhaps seize a pleasant meal, adopted by some stay music with cocktails or some retro enjoyable on the Boxcar Bar and Arcade. It’s well worth the very quick stroll from 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 inbuilt 1926 and is an attractive constructing stuffed with historic attraction. Its character, class, and ornate structure make you are feeling as if you’re stepping again in time. Individuals journey from throughout to attend performances right here and it is without doubt one of the hottest Durham sights.

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

Tackle: 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 day by day I took a stroll by the fantastically landscaped grounds.

I cherished admiring the Georgian-style structure of the primary thoroughfare. I want this had been my college! Duke is a giant participant on the US faculty scene and its status is obvious 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. Nevertheless, it may be intersected at many factors. I all the time loved discovering new alleys and pathways whereas discovering among the much less apparent buildings and issues to see in Durham.

Tackle: 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 Seaside

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 recognized for its picturesque waterfront, wealthy historical past, and full of life 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 Warfare 2 battleship – the USS North Carolina. If you happen to fancy it, you can too drive 10 minutes additional to the attractive Carolina and Kura seashores.

Often known as ‘Hollywood East’ attributable to its recognition as a filming vacation spot, you’ll be able to take a tour of some iconic set places for TV exhibits and films comparable to One Tree Hill, Dawson’s Creek, and Iron Man 3.

I opted for an structure and historical past tour and obtained to see among the city’s most iconic and traditionally vital properties, church buildings, and buildings. I additionally realized a great deal of cool information 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 nicely price discovering a skipper prepared to take you out for an attention-grabbing and distinctive perspective of Wilmington from the water.

Some associates and I booked a really affordable 2-hour boat tour and had a lot enjoyable simply cruising alongside the river on an attractive 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 guide 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 should be in your checklist. The state capital of North Carolina is simply about Half-hour away and has its personal mix of distinctive historical past and Americana blended in with a vibrant bar, brewery, and artwork scene. It’s nicely price a go to.

There’s so much to see, and with solely an evening in Raleigh, I opted for a ghosts and ghouls strolling tour of town to get to know among the spooky historical past that haunted the bottom I used to be strolling on. I had no concept one place might 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 have been totally entertaining and I’ll admit to feeling a little relieved once I reached the well-lit security of my trendy resort…

I additionally obtained to see a great chunk of Raleigh this fashion and realized some attention-grabbing information. The tour lasted round an hour and was actually fulfilling. I’d undoubtedly advocate giving it a go. Click on right here to be taught extra and to guide 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 presents a ton of numerous and distinctive distributors promoting the whole lot 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 neighborhood 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 various meals vans must you 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 stay music taking part in whilst you browse. Throughout the hotter months of April to September, a late afternoon market can be held each Wednesday from 3 pm till 6 pm.

Tackle: 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 situated only a few minutes exterior of town middle the place this historic web site preserves the house and historical past of Washington Duke. He was the patriarch of the Duke household who laid the inspiration for what would in the future grow to be the American Tobacco Firm – one of many largest the world has ever recognized.

From this quaint and peaceable farm that dates again to the mid-Nineteenth century, the Duke household wrote its title 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 an interesting peak into the previous.

It’s free to go to however guided excursions can be found for only a few {dollars}. The accompanying museum (additionally free) presents a substantial amount of data on the historical past of tobacco in North Carolina; from its origins and manufacturing to the historic traits, 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 facet. It’s a good way to spend just a few hours in Durham.

Tackle: 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 not at all least on my checklist of what to see in Durham is the beautiful 4000-acre Eno River State Park. It presents among the greatest mountain climbing round and an abundance of nice trails and rolling hills. There are such a lot of superb spots for picnics and among the most stunning surroundings in North Carolina.

As it’s possible you’ll guess, it’s additionally a well-liked spot for river actions comparable to fishing, paddle boarding, kayaking, and canoeing. The clear, contemporary water can be a well-liked swimming spot, particularly in the course of the hotter months of the 12 months.

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

Fast Journey Itineraries For Durham

Listed here are some concepts that can assist you plan your go to to Durham; from one-day, quick stays, or a whole week, learn on to search out out extra:

1 Day in Durham Itinerary

Spend just a few 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 all the way down to a Bulls recreation because the solar units within the night.

2-3 Days in Durham Itinerary

In your first day get to know 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 town a bit of and discover the Duke Homestead and Tobacco Museum, an iconic and necessary a part of Durham’s historical past. Keep it up a bit of additional in the identical route to the attractive Eno River State Park for a spot of mountain climbing or simply to sit back out by the majestic Eno River.

In your closing day soak up the great thing about Duke College with a brief stroll across the East Campus. From there you’ll be able to simply stroll by 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 stay present or film on the Carolina Theater within the night. Or, in case you’re in luck and the Bulls are taking part in at house, get to a recreation.

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 town. You’ll undoubtedly need to revisit downtown greater than as soon as, so head all the way down to Fullsteam Brewery for just a few beers within the night.

Make sure you head as much as Duke Gardens – among the best free issues to do in Durham. If you happen to’ve obtained the power afterwards you’ll be able to even stroll again to town by the Duke College East Campus. Proceed on by the Warehouse District and you should definitely 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 an attractive 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 sights in Durham; both a present on the Carolina Theater or a Durham Bulls recreation. Each are an absolute should!

Durham Bulls and Athletic Park on game day

Per week will provide you with loads of time to take just a few day journeys out of city. So head all the way down to Wilmington for an informative strolling tour, then constitution your personal boat and discover the Cape Concern River. Raleigh is without doubt one of the greatest locations to go to close to Durham and is simply Half-hour away. Study 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 full of life and enjoyable place to be at any time.

The place to Keep in Durham

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

Downtown Durham

Downtown Durham is filled with bars, eating places, cafes, and breweries. It’s the full of life a part of city but in addition properties some actual historic websites comparable to King’s Sandwich Store. It’s a cute hole-in-the-wall model 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 incredible day by day completely happy 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 residences might be extra available for lodging, particularly if you wish to keep near all of the motion. Take a look at this nice residence that not solely presents an expensive area ideally situated for downtown, but in addition a health middle and BBQ space.

Central Durham

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

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

Trinity Park

Trinity Park is a superb space to remain for households, and also you’ll discover extra residences than motels 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 route from the whole lot you possibly can probably require throughout your keep in Durham.

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

Finest 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 obtained you lined. Listed here are only a few of my favourite locations to eat in Durham.

The Blue Word Grill

Providing an incredible choice of North Carolina BBQ, The Blue Word Grill sits in an iconic location within the coronary heart of downtown Durham. There’s all the time an incredible selection of beers and cocktails in addition to nightly stay music, with solely sure high-profile occasions requiring a canopy cost.

The ribs listed below are wonderful, and completely to not be missed. Being somebody that all the time struggles to resolve on a facet dish, it was nice to see the choice to order a plate of sides – decide any 4 for $11. Nice in case you simply need one thing small or to share. Click on right here to search 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 considered one of these scrumptious pies. I can verify, the pizzas are large, contemporary, and among the greatest I’ve ever eaten. They’re moderately priced too and go completely with a cool beer choice from the accompanying bar.

The constructing was as soon as, because the title suggests, an previous storage and has been transformed into an incredible indoor and outside eatery. Click on right here to search out it on the map.


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

The meals right here is superior, the Mongolian beef was my private favourite. It’s well worth the Uber experience from downtown or a pleasant stroll by the campus for a go to. I strongly advocate reserving because it will get busy. Click on right here to search 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 well-liked spot for locals and guests alike. It presents quintessential American house cooking with an unlimited menu that covers the whole lot 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 incredible expertise simply strolling by the door.

You might 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. If you happen to’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 search out it on the map.

Bull Metropolis Burger and Brewery

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

BCBB additionally incorporates a microbrewery that gives an incredible choice of beers to accompany your meal, in actual fact, many individuals go for the drinks and find yourself staying for the meals. Click on right here to search 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 comparable to Paris and London each day.

From right here, you’ll be able to simply rent a automotive, prepare 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 sights to Durham was that it’s such a walkable metropolis, however it does get extremely popular in the course of the summer time months, and the occasional storm can shortly descend. Fortunately, Uber is available and often very inexpensive 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 essential elements of town and past.

Issues To Do in Durham: FAQs

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

What’s Durham recognized for?

As soon as the tobacco capital of the world, Durham is now well-known for its historic landmarks, high college, and full of life 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 serious college makes it a very occurring metropolis.

What number of days ought to I spend in Durham?

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

Is Durham protected?

I all the time felt extraordinarily protected strolling about day and night time. As when visiting any main metropolis, you must all the time 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 great few afternoons partaking in numerous regionally brewed beers in some actually cool settings.

What’s the greatest seashore in Durham?

Sandling Seaside, which sits on the banks of Falls Lake, is round 20 minutes from central Durham. If you happen to’re prepared to journey a bit of additional out, Carolina Seaside 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 specific model of barbecue, so that you received’t be wanting choices. My greatest decide is the Blue Word Grill in downtown Durham. Order the ribs!

In Closing

Durham is a superb metropolis that I got here throughout by pure probability and a set of unusual coincidences, however I cherished each minute of my time there. From the pleasant and welcoming individuals to the full of life 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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