The Durham Bulls baseball team and the frequent Final Four-making Duke basketball team woo sports fan to the area. Galleries aplenty, the historic Brightleaf Square and Ninth Street shopping districts, The Streets at Southpoint luxury shopping center, and the family-friendly Museum of Life and Science make Durham worth visiting.
The city’s parks and greenways bustle with biking, walking, hiking and bird-watching, while waterways offer boating, swimming and fishing. The Sarah P. Duke Gardens and the rose-filled Gardens at Witherspoon are must-visits. Central Park, with the adjacent Wednesday and Saturday farmers markets and 10,000-square-foot skate park, helps the downtown thrive. Walkscore.com gives Durham a 98 out of 100 as a walkable city.
Durham has an excellent farmers market and plentiful regional small farms serve the restaurant community. Southern Living rated Durham the Tastiest Town in the South in part for its thriving food truck scene. Restaurants in the spotlight include Mateo Bar de Tapas, Vin Rouge, Bull City Burger and Brewery, Pizzeria Toro, and bakeries Loaf and Scratch.
The circa-1926 Carolina Theatre offers up both film and live performances, while the Durham Performing Arts Center hosts touring Broadway and musical shows. Former textile mill turned gallery and artists’ studios Golden Belt, the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke, and small venues showcase visual art.
Music and Festivals
The city’s jazz community thrives at Whiskey and other venues. Indie music shines at Casbah, The Pinhook and Motorco Music Hall. American Dance Festival performances bring the best of modern dance to the city, and craft brew lovers arrive for the original World Beer Festival in October. The acclaimed N.C. Gay and Lesbian Film Festival takes place in August.