Headed to Durham or just looking to enjoy your hometown a little bit more? Check out this massive list of things to do in Durham, NC!
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Oh, Durham. Sweet, sweet Durham. Not too long ago, you weren’t a destination at all. Not too long ago, I didn’t care a bit about ya. Now I’ve moved back home to you and started to build a life with my husband and pup here. I live smack dab in the middle of Durham and Raleigh and 8 times out of 10 I’m turning into Durham. It is everything you want in a city you call home: good communities, great restaurants, awesome events, a brewery scene, and outdoor adventures. This is turning into a love letter to Durham, isn’t it?
If you’ve been here, you get it. If you haven’t been here, what are you waiting for? Durham is a unique experience just begging to be explored! Our little hipster foodie adventure beer scene city is waiting for you!
In this post, I’m outlining EVERYTHING I could think of to share about Durham. We plan on staying here for a long, long time so I’m sure I’ll add to it as I go, too. Don’t worry: none of this is fluff. Everything mentioned in this post are things I truly LOVE or have heard great things about from several people. There’s just so many things to do in Durham, NC I haven’t quite hit them all. But I’m on my way 😉
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Table of Contents
Durham is a metropolitan (do people still say that?) city in central NC. It’s conveniently located near Raleigh and just hours from many other desirable destinations. The city was founded on tobacco farming and has quite the history. But that’s not what this post is for. What you need to know is that now it is a vibrant, unique, lively town full of adventure and food. Lots and lots of food. Also home to Duke University, aka everyone’s least favorite basketball team. 😉
Now that we have a bit of background, let’s get to the list! Now please know this list isn’t the end all be all…… yet! But everything on the list are things I’ve personally tried or heard a TON about. So every recommendation is Ashley on the Move approved! I will add to the list as we continue to explore as well! So while the list doesn’t have EVERY restaurant and bar in Durham (that would be a very long list), everything on the list is sure to be a hit!
WHERE TO STAY
There are so many adorable boutique hotels and unique Airbnbs in Durham… it’s easy to find a place to stay but hard to decide where! I’ve stayed in the 21c and Aloft and loved them both! Downtown Durham is extremely walkable, so I’d recommend something right in the center of the city. If you plan to have or rent a car, there are tons of other options just outside downtown, as well.
21c Museum Hotel
If you’re looking for a house so you can get a feel for the adorable neighborhoods (or just have a kitchen!), Durham has some great Airbnb options. My favorite neighborhoods include Trinity Park and Old West.
WHERE TO EAT
I think this list could be absolutely endless. One of the biggest draws of visiting Durham is all of the food. It’s truly a foodie’s paradise with everything from fancy steak dinners to delicious food trucks. These are some of the best places we’ve tried… but I’m sure this list will continue to grow with time!
Jack Tar and the Colonel’s Daughter
First Watch (multiple locations)
Bull City Burger and Brewing
Vin Rouge – French cuisine
Nanasteak – upscale steakhouse
Metro8 – upscale steakhouse
Viceroy – Indian British pub fare
Mateo – Portuguese tapas
Dos Perros – Mexican
Rose’s Dumplings and Sweets
The Pit – barbecue
Durham Food Hall
Boxyard RTP Food court
Alpaca Peruvian Charcoal Chicken
The Goat Durham
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WHERE TO DRINK
Foster Street Coffee
Joe Van Gogh
West End Wine Bar
The Roof at the Durham
The Oak House
The Glass Jug Beer Lab
WHAT TO DO
Durham has so many fun things to do! From the unique lemur center focused on conservation to the classic city farmer’s market. If you’re here on a weekend and can’t find anything to do… well, you’re just not looking very hard! Durham is lively and there’s always something going on! I love catching a baseball game in spring and walking around the Eno River with Benny when the weather is nice!
The Lemur Center
Museum of Life and Science
Eno River State Park
Food Truck Rodeo (happens on several Sundays)
American Tobacco campus
Catch a show at Durham Performing Arts Center
Baseball game at Durham Bull’s Athletic Park
Enjoy some Durham history at Stagville Historic Center
Durham Farmer’s Market
Play arcade games at Boxcar Arcade + Bar
Throw Axes at Urban Axes
Nasher Museum of Art
Kayak or boat at Jordan Lake or Falls Lake
I just am so giddy even writing this post! I hope this helps you plan an epic weekend getaway or just find new things to do in Durham NC. I’m ALWAYS looking for new recommendations, so don’t be afraid to send em my way! I’ll be happy to add it to the post and give you credit as well.
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