Ask Kelsey

Exploring Durham, NC: A Guide to the City’s Best Attractions

things to do in durham nc

From exploring world-class museums and vibrant downtown districts to savoring culinary delights, Durham, NC offers something for everyone. Whether you’re a local resident or a visitor exploring the Bull City for the first time, there’s no shortage of activities to enjoy. 

Keep reading as we uncover the best things to do in Durham, NC, and embark on an unforgettable adventure in this thriving Southern hub.

Durham, North Carolina

Nestled in the heart of North Carolina’s Research Triangle, Durham, NC  is a dynamic city brimming with diverse attractions and cultural experiences. With the establishment of the American Tobacco Company in the late 19th century, Durham became known as the “Bull City,” a nod to the Bull Durham tobacco brand. Today, Durham is known for its thriving arts scene, esteemed universities such as Duke University and North Carolina Central University, and innovative research institutions.

As the city continues to evolve, it remains rooted in its heritage while embracing the promise of a bright and dynamic future.

Things to Do in Durham, NC

Visit Durham Bulls Athletic Park

Durham is home to the iconic Durham Bulls Athletic Park, a must-visit for sports enthusiasts and movie buffs alike. This famous stadium, featured in the hit film “Bull Durham,” offers tours and the chance to watch the minor league baseball team in action. With its lively ambiance and rich history, a visit to this stadium is an experience steeped in the spirit of the game.

Durham Bulls Athletic Park

Admire Art at the Nasher Museum of Art

For art connoisseurs, the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University is an oasis. Boasting a diverse collection of art from around the world, the museum is renowned for its thought-provoking exhibitions and educational programs. It’s a place where culture and creativity converge, providing visitors with an inspiring retreat.

Stroll through American Tobacco Campus

The revitalized American Tobacco Campus is a hub of activity, filled with dining, entertainment, and open spaces for the community to gather. Stroll through this historic district to witness how Durham has seamlessly woven its past into its modern renaissance. You’ll find celebrated bars, restaurants, and shops in beautifully restored buildings that once housed the tobacco industry.

American Tobacco Campus in Durham NC

Explore Durham’s rich Food Scene

  • Dame’s Chicken & Waffles: This beloved eatery serves up a unique combination of crispy fried chicken and fluffy waffles, topped with an array of flavored butter spreads. Whether you’re craving sweet or savory, Dame’s offers a mouthwatering dining experience that’s sure to satisfy.
  • The Pit Authentic Barbecue: As one of Durham’s premier barbecue joints, The Pit is renowned for its slow-smoked meats, including pulled pork, brisket, and ribs. Diners can enjoy traditional Southern sides like collard greens and macaroni and cheese, all served in a rustic, down-home atmosphere.
  • Geer Street Garden: Situated in a converted gas station, Geer Street Garden exudes a laid-back vibe and offers a menu of hearty American fare with a Southern twist. From juicy burgers and crispy fried chicken to fresh salads and creative sandwiches, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Diners can also sip on local craft beers or refreshing cocktails while lounging on the outdoor patio, making it a popular spot for both locals and visitors alike.
  • Bull City Burger and Brewery: Known for its locally sourced ingredients and handcrafted beers, Bull City Burger and Brewery offers a menu of gourmet burgers made with pasture-raised beef and house-made condiments. Pair your burger with a refreshing brew brewed on-site for the ultimate culinary experience.
  • Saltbox Seafood Joint: With a focus on fresh, sustainable seafood, Saltbox Seafood Joint delights diners with its simple yet flavorful dishes. From fried fish sandwiches to steamed shrimp platters, every bite bursts with the taste of the coast, making it a must-visit for seafood aficionados.
  • Cocoa Cinnamon: This cozy coffee shop combines the art of coffee with Latin American-inspired flavors, offering an array of espresso drinks, hot chocolates, and specialty teas. Pair your beverage with a freshly baked pastry or empanada for a delightful treat.
  • Foster’s Market: A local favorite for over 20 years, Foster’s Market is a bustling café and market offering a diverse menu of made-from-scratch dishes, including sandwiches, salads, and baked goods. Whether you’re grabbing a quick lunch or stocking up on gourmet pantry staples, Foster’s Market has something for everyone.
  • Pizzeria Toro: Known for its wood-fired Neapolitan-style pizzas, Pizzeria Toro delivers a taste of Italy right in the heart of Durham. Each pie is crafted with care, using high-quality ingredients and traditional techniques to achieve the perfect balance of flavors and textures. In addition to pizza, the menu features an array of antipasti, salads, and house-made pastas, all served in a warm and inviting atmosphere that’s perfect for a casual meal or special occasion.

Hike the Trails of Eno River State Park

Nature lovers will find solace in Durham’s outdoor spaces. Eno River State Park is a scenic paradise just a short drive from downtown. It offers miles of hiking trails that wind along the river, through lush forests, and past historical sites. A day spent here is a day of serene beauty and natural discovery.

things to do in durham nc

Visit Sarah P Duke Gardens

Sarah P. Duke Gardens, on the campus of Duke University, is a living canvas of horticultural wonders. Explore the 55-acre garden that features stunning floral landscapes, peaceful water features, and an array of plant collections. It’s the perfect spot to relax and reconnect with nature’s splendor.

Picnic at Durham Central Park

Durham Central Park is not just a green space; it’s a community center for all things cultural and active. This urban park hosts a variety of events throughout the year, including the Durham Farmers’ Market, live music performances, and the popular Food Truck Rodeo. Families can enjoy the interactive play area, and the skate park provides thrills for all ages.

things to do in durham nc

Stroll through the Past in Bennett Place Historic Site

Bennett Place Historic Site marks the location where the American Civil War effectively ended with the largest troop surrender of the war. The site re-creates 19th-century farm life, hosting events and educational programs that offer a glimpse into the area’s pivotal role in American history.

Take Part in Annual Festivals and Events

Durham is alive with annual events and festivals that showcase its diverse cultural tapestry. From the world-renowned American Dance Festival to the groundbreaking Moogfest music festival, there’s always something happening that’s sure to captivate and entertain.

Accommodations in the Bull City

Durham offers a wide range of accommodations to suit every traveler’s style. The award-winning 21c Museum Hotel is a unique experience that combines contemporary art with luxurious lodging, while the King’s Daughters Inn provides historic charm and Southern hospitality.


Durham, NC, offers a wealth of experiences for visitors and residents alike, blending rich history, and vibrant culture into a dynamic tapestry of urban life. Whether you’re exploring historic neighborhoods, savoring the diverse culinary scene, or immersing yourself in the city’s arts and entertainment offerings, Durham never fails to captivate and inspire

Find your Dream Home in Durham, NC

Consider relocating to Durham, NC? Be sure to check out our available homes page or our new townhome community Arbor Vista at The Grove to find your perfect place to call home.

Frequently Ask Questions (FAQs)

What are some must-visit attractions in Durham, NC?

Durham, NC offers a diverse range of attractions. Some must-visit spots include the 21c Museum Hotel, Durham Performing Arts Center (DPAC), Durham Bulls Athletic Park, Motorco Music Hall, Eno River State Park,  and the Sarah P. Duke Gardens.

Is Durham, NC a safe place to visit?

Yes, Durham, NC is considered a safe city! The downtown area and popular tourist spots are generally well-patrolled and safe to explore.

What dining options are available in Durham's food scene?

Durham’s food scene is a treat for culinary enthusiasts. Visitors can indulge in delicious burgers at Bull City Burger, sample craft beers at Bull Durham Beer Company. The city also offers diverse dining experiences ranging from casual eateries to fine dining establishments.

How can I explore Durham's university campuses?

Durham is home to prestigious universities such as Duke University and North Carolina Central University. Visitors can explore Duke University’s East Campus and its iconic Sarah P. Duke Gardens or visit the Nasher Museum of Art. North Carolina Central University also offers opportunities for cultural enrichment and exploration.

What is the average home price in Durham, NC?

The Durham housing market is somewhat competitive. The median home price in Durham, NC is around $393,000. This number may vary depending on the type of property and size of the home.

Related Articles

Ask Kelsey

Request an Invitation

Schedule a Tour with Kelsey

Schedule a visit to ensure you have our undivided attention during your tour.

Play Video