Things to do in Durham, NC

Get Your Bearings in Durham

See & Do

Things to See

Durham is most well known for being the home of Duke University, and many attractions, like the Nasher Museum of Art, sports events, and the the Duke Lemur Center, which hosts the largest collection of lemurs outside of Madagascar, are located on campus. The Durham Performing Arts Center puts on a number of performances throughout the year including Broadway shows. The Museum of Life and Science contains a number of interactive science-related exhibits.


Tickets for athletic events are often difficult to obtain, so book in advance.

Where to Stay

Durham offers a number of accommodations. Comfort Inns are located throughout town, and several offer additional amenities like exercise rooms and meeting rooms. The Arrowhead Inn is a high-end option offering jacuzzi rooms, free Wi-Fi and private cottages. A more moderate option is the the Durham Marriott, which offers a shuttle service that services most of the town.


Be aware that accomodation rates rise during sporting and university events.

What to Eat

Brightleaf Square, an old warehouse district, has a number of courtyards and restaurants. Budget options include Cosmic Cantina, specializing in Californian Mexican food, and Bahn's Cuisine, a Chinese and Vietnamese restaurant. High-end restaurants include Metro 8 Steakhouse, an Argentinian steakhouse and grill, and Papas Grille, which serves up Mediterranean and American dishes.


Many of the high-end options will require advance reservations.

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Places to Party

The American Tobacco Company is a large cluster of bars, formerly the site of a 19th-century tobacco factory. Shooters II Saloon, near Brightleaf Square, is a Western themed bar and dance hall. Dain's Place is a bar more popular with the older crowd, with a selection of drinks, burgers and salads. Satisfaction, also in Brightleaf Square, is a sports bar serving up mixed drinks and a selection of beers.


Many bars are quite crowded during college sporting events like basketball games.

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Where to Shop

Brightleaf Square houses a number of boutiques, as does Ninth Street, which also has art galleries and bookstores. The Streets at Southpoint is the largest mall in the area, and contains indoor and outdoor stores with a number of restaurants. For a unique store, check out the Clock Depot on Chapel Hill Boulevard, a family-owned store specializing in grandfather clocks.

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The Northgate Mall, located off of Interstate 85, is considered one of the nation's few remaining family-owned malls.

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