Durham is the county seat of Durham County and is North Carolina's fifth most populous city, with more than 245,000 people calling it home. Durham is nicknamed "Bull City" after Bull Durham Tobacco, the leading tobacco brand in the city. The thriving tobacco industry is what had fueled the city's economy and growth in general, especially after the Civil War.
Another nickname for Durham is the City of Medicine, thanks to its identity today as a healthcare leader. In the early 1900s, the healthcare industry has become the city's largest employment cluster, with nearly a third of its population working in a health-related field.
See what more there is to learn about the city by getting on a bus rental in Durham, North Carolina and exploring the place.
Durham offers you a unique mix of culture, history, art, and modernity. It has the modern conveniences of a growing and progressive city but has retained its traditional charm and old-town feel. So get on a bus rental in Durham, North Carolina and experience something old and new. The city has so many wonderfully interesting things to offer you!
There are no big amusement or theme parks in Durham but if you are looking for a place to take the kids to, you can go to Wheels Fun Park. It has a roller skating rink, a play gym, go-karts, batting cages, a mini golf, a skateboard park, and an amazing maze.
Nightlife. You can enjoy a casual night out with friends by going to any of the city's bars, night clubs, live music venues, sports bars, lounges, comedy bars, and other nightlife venues.
Go to 58 Fifty Bistro & Martini Bar, where you can enjoy modern American cuisine and excellent cocktails in a casual and comfortable atmosphere. It has live music on weekends and an open mic night on Wednesdays.
You can also go to Alley Twenty Six, which is a cocktail bar in Downtown Durham, or to The Bar, which is an LGBT community and neighborhood bar that sports a club vibe on Friday nights. Then there is La Fiesta Club, La Luna Nightclub, Sabor Latino Night Club, and Migueleños Night Club, which are similarly Latin-American themed. The Lounge at the Cosmic Cantina, meanwhile, will give you live R&B, jazz and blues.
Other venues you can check out include the Southern-style Bralie's Sports Bar, Doyle's Sports Bar, Glass Jug, Moe's Tavern, Oscars Q and Bar, Bull Durham Bar, Bull McCabe's Irish Pub, Carolina Ale House, and West End Wine Bar of Durham.
Those who would like to see the city's visual arts scene may want to start at the Nasher Museum of Art, which is part of Duke University. It has a collection of more than 10,000 works of art that include Medieval art, American art, classical antiquities, modern and international contemporary art, traditional African art, European and American art before 1945, Asian art, and Russian art.
The North Carolina Central University Art Museum, meanwhile, focuses on African-American and African art.
You can also check out the Hugh Mangum Museum of Photography and see the renowned commercial portrait photographer's works.
The city also has galleries you can visit, including:
What is more, the city is home to Scrap Exchange, the country's largest non-profit creative reuse arts center.
Performing arts. The city has the Durham Performing Arts Center, one of the country's most popular theaters. It brings over 180 performances every year, including touring Broadway productions and high-profile concerts.
It also has the historic Carolina Theatre in Downtown Durham, where you can catch live performances by theater companies, comics, and musicians. And the American Tobacco Amphitheater, an outdoor venue that can seat 2,000 people in front of a stage beneath the Lucky Strike Water tower.
You can also watch concerts and see events and live performances at the historic 900-seat B.N. Duke Auditorium, the 840-seat Baldwin Auditorium at Duke University's East Campus, and the Weaver Auditorium, Durham School of the Arts.
Smaller theaters in Durham include Reynolds Industries Theater, Sheafer Lab Theater, and Walltown Children's Theatre.
Meanwhile, the city has several theater and dance companies whose artists you might want to see perform. These include:
Durham has several orchestras, too. There is the Chamber Orchestra of the Triangle, Durham Symphony Orchestra, Durham Youth Orchestra, Duke Symphony Orchestra, and Durham Jazz Orchestra.
Festivals and cultural events. Durham hosts the annual American Dance Festival, which celebrates influential modern dance by featuring public performances, seminars and classes. More than two dozen dance or performing arts companies and hundreds of artists, choreographers, and students take part in this event.
The city also has the Annual Festival for the Eno, where people come together on the banks of the Eno River to listen to great music, do crafts, share local arts, eat great food, and celebrate the river and the watershed and their importance to the community.
You'll never go hungry in Durham because of the world of dining choices you have!
Local favorites include Dame's Chicken & Waffles, which offers comfort food combinations, including crispy Southern fried chicken and delicate, crisp waffles. There is also Beyu Caffe, which is a combination of coffee shop, restaurant, bar, and live jazz club. Parker and Otis, on the other hand, is famous for being a restaurant and a gift shop in one. And Guglhupf Café serves a delicious mix of American and German cuisine.
If you are craving Mexican, you can go to Tonali or Dos Perros. If you are in the mood for Italian, there is Melo Trattoria, Toast, or Gocciolina. For Greek or Mediterranean dishes, you can go to Bleu Olive, Cafe Parizade, or Spartacus Restaurant. Meanwhile, you can go to Vin Rouge and have your fill of French dishes.
Those who would like to get some Spanish fare can head to Mateo whereas Taberna Tapas is known for delicious tapas. And those who would like to try good Brazilian cooking can check out Chamas Churrascaria. The Palace International serves excellent African dishes, while Jamaica Jamaica offers great – yes, you guessed it – Jamaican food. For mouth-watering Caribbean or Cuban food, you can head to Old Havana Sandwich Shop.
Durham also has a selection of Asian restos. There is Kurama Japanese Seafood & Steak House for Japanese cuisine, Thai Café for excellent Thai cooking, and Neo-China Restaurant and Chirba Chirba Dumpling for Chinese fare. Then you can get yummy sushi at Tasu or at Shiki Sushi. Sitar Indian Cuisine on the other hand, offers you unforgettable curry goodness.
If you are in for contemporary cuisine, you can try The Refectory Cafe & Juice Bar or Piedmont Restaurant. For juicy steaks, Metro 8 Steakhouse is the place to go. However, if you want barbecue, The Q Shack is a must-try.
Meanwhile, you can get really good pizza at Pizzeria Toro, and really good seafood at Fishmonger's Restaurant and Oyster Bar.
Those who just want the familiar tastes of good old American cooking can choose from Nosh, Four Square Restaurant, The Little Dipper Fondue on Main, and Fullsteam Brewery.
Why not cap off your meal with good ice cream from The Parlour? Or some pastries and baked goodies at Scratch? If you just want to get a good cup of coffee and lounge around for a bit after a long day of touring the city, try Cocoa Cinnamon or Dulce Café.
Shopping. Is shopping part of your to-do list while you are in Durham? No worries because the city offers varied shopping options.
You can go to Brightleaf and Ninth Street Districts and have a unique shopping experience. You will find funky merchandise, quirky shops, charming boutiques, interesting vintage items, and unexpected treasures here.
There is also The Streets at Southpoint, a regional mall where you can find over 100 different stores, including Nordstrom, Macy's, Sears, JCPenney, and Hudson Belk. Smaller stores include Abercrombie & Fitch, American Eagle Outfitters, Apple, Banana Republic, Barnes & Noble, Bath & Body Works, Coach, Cole Haan, Foot Locker, Gap, J.Crew, Michael Kors, Pandora, Pottery Barn, Sephora, Tinder Box, and Victoria's Secret.
Northgate is another regional mall with unique shops and it is anchored by Macy's and Sears.
There is also Bull City Market, a shopping center that is anchored by Whole Foods Grocery and Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream.
If you want antiques, you can go to Chelsea Antiques, where you can find lovely American, French and English antique furniture. There is also Classic Treasures, which has slightly used furniture and antiques.
Are you looking forward to tee off in Durham? You can go to Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club, which is located on the Duke University campus. You can play golf in a charming 18-hole championship golf facility with the old English country inn-style hotel as your background.
You can also play an enjoyable round of golf at The Crossings Golf Club, which boasts the most unique layout in the Triangle area. It has four sets of tees, presenting golfers a fair test of their skill level.
Lake Shore Golf Course, meanwhile, is an 18-hole public golf facility that winds its way around a picturesque 30-acre lake.
Other golf courses in the city include:
There are no major professional sports teams based in Durham, but collegiate athletics are big here. Duke University's men's basketball team alone draws a large following. The university in general competes in 26 sports in the Atlantic Coast Conference.
You can catch the university's men's and women's basketball teams - the Duke Blue Devils - play at the Cameron Indoor Stadium. This indoor arena is also home to the women's volleyball team, the men's wrestling team.
Looking forward to watch some spectator sports? You can also check out the Wallace Wade Stadium, with a current capacity of 33,941, and is where the Duke Blue Devils football team plays.
The city also has the Durham Bulls, a Triple-A minor league baseball team that plays its home games at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park.
Other sports venues in the city include the Durham County Stadium, the McLendon-McDougald Gymnasium, DC Stadium, and O'Kelley-Reddick Stadium.
Get a glimpse of Durham's wonderful and eventful past by visiting the city's historical sites and landmarks.
Visit Historic Stagville, which was once one of the largest plantations in the South. This preserved piece of history encompasses 30,000 acres of land and features an 18th-century house, a 19th-century house, a unique barn, and a slave quarters. The place had served as home to 900 slaves, and it therefore gives an experience that focuses on the plantation's African-American culture.
The Bennett Place State Historic Site is the site of the largest troop surrender that marked the end of the Civil War. This significant event in history is preserved in the site's restored historic structures and the various historical events it hosts.
The Duke Homestead State Historic Site is a National Historic Landmark that marks the spot where Washington Duke founded his tobacco empire. The site includes the restored mid-19th century Duke family home, the original factory, the farm, and tobacco barns. There is also a museum that showcases the beginnings of the modern-day tobacco industry.
You can also go to the Museum of Durham History, where you will learn more about the city's past and how it evolved to become the modern city it is now.
Durham also has historic districts that are listed in the National Register of Historic Places. These districts include:
There are also historical churches in Durham. You can go to Duke Memorial United Methodist Church, Emmanuel AME Church, Ephphatha Church, and St. Joseph's African Methodist Episcopal Church.
You can also see well-preserved old houses and estates here like the Bassett House, Mary Duke Biddle Estate, Richard D. Blacknall House, John C. and Binford Carr House, Cranford-Wannamaker House, Crowell House, Dillard-Gamble Houses, Durham Hosiery Mills Dye House, and Marcus Tilley House. All of these houses are National Historic Places.
Other buildings, establishments and sites in Durham that are listed in the National Register of Historic Places include:
There are several parks in the city that you can go to and that offer varous amenities and recreational activities for the entire family.
Eno River State Park offers you a fantastic access to the region's natural beauty. The park centers on the Eno River, which flows for 33 miles before it ends up in Falls Lake, so you can enjoy water activities like canoeing and fishing. You can also go camping, hike along the trails, or simply enjoy the forest views.
Little River Regional Park & Natural Area is 391 acres of park and natural area that was developed from a tobacco farmland. It offers 7 miles of hiking trails, 7 miles of mountain biking trails, and a birding trail that takes you through hardwood forest and flowing waters.
You can go to Southern Boundaries Park, which has basketball courts, tennis courts, picnic tables, a youth baseball field, a water fountain, and a playground. Then there is Forest Hills Park, where you can enjoy amenities and features like an athletic field, a greenway access, a playground, a picnic shelter, tennis courts, and a recreation center.
Duke University also has the Duke Forest, which is more than 7,000 acres' worth of teaching and research forest that boasts a variety of ecosystems. You can go hiking, biking, fishing, and horseback riding, and you can have picnics here.
Other parks and nature centers include Twin Lakes Park, Lyon Park, Ellerbe Creek Watershed Urban Nature Reserves, Leigh Farm Park, and Penny's Bend Nature Preserve.
There are no zoos or aquariums in Durham, but if you want to take the kids somewhere with animals, you can go to the Duke Lemur Center, the world's largest and most diverse lemur collection outside of Madagascar. Lemurs are an endangered group of animals, so you might want to take this opportunity to visit the center with your kids.
Make arrangements for a bus rental in Durham, North Carolina with BusRental.com. We have a fleet of clean and well-maintained buses that will provide you transportation services during your trip around the city.