Trip to Durham booked – check! Suitcase packed – check! Travel itinerary… not quite done yet? We got you and we can’t wait to share our amazing city with you! We’ve put together a list highlighting our favorite activities, events and experiences throughout the city to help ease all of your planning woes. Here’s our guide to the Durham community for your upcoming visit…
First, here’s what to do right here.
You don’t have to go far to explore, indulge and recharge when you stay at 21c Durham. As you walk through our doors, you’ll find yourself immediately immersed in our current exhibition The Future is Female, site-specific installations, and our Elevate exhibits, which are located on our guestroom floors. When it’s time to eat, enjoy local and bold flavors made by Executive Chef Jeff Seizer and his team at Counting House.
Ready to see the city?
Live like a “DURM” local and explore the forest-like trails of Duke University – run along Al Buehler cross-country trail, or soak up the scenery at Sarah P. Duke Botanical Gardens (currently open to students, faculty and staff only; read more). Discover historic mills and waterfalls at Eno River State Park.
Show some Bull City pride and grab a seat at a Durham Bulls baseball game. Prefer a little exercise during your travels? Take a 5-mile jog through the historic neighborhoods of downtown Durham with Running of the Bulls community road race (June 5).
Where to eat and drink.
Whether you prefer savory or sweet, you will find you don’t have to venture far to start your day the right way. Wake up with buttery biscuits and crispy chicken from Rise or indulge in sweet pastries from Ninth Street Bakery. Not much of a morning person? You do you, with a coffee to-go from Beyú Caffè (pronounced, “be-you”).
In the mood for fresh seasonal fish? Stop by Saltbox Seafood Joint. Feel like you’re at home with a made-from-scratch soup or homemade pie at Durham staple, Foster’s Market. Treat yourself to tapas at Mateo Bar de Tapas, which is housed in the old Book Exchange building. Indulge in flavorful small plates or grab a slice of Neapolitan-style pizza from Pompieri Pizza. Prefer to eat outdoors? Grab to-go and head to the historic Lucky Strike water tower at American Tobacco campus or Forest Hills Park for a cozy picnic.
Find a local brew for everyone in your group at Ponysaurus Brewing. Their outdoor space is dog and kid-friendly so it’s the perfect spot to bring the whole family. Looking for a beer that’s a little out of the “norm,” Durty Bull Brewing Company is the place for you. Grab a classic cocktail from Bar Virgile, a cozy downtown bar known for their expansive spirits list and rotating wine selection.
Durham restaurants are re-opening daily so keep up with the latest news with this resource from Discover Durham.
Where to shop.
Shop locally sourced, farm fresh produce and high quality foods from Black Farmers’ Market (hosted bi-monthly, rotates between Raleigh and Durham) and the Durham Farmers Market. Looking for a book you can’t put down, let your imagination wander with an old or new title from Rofhiwa Book Café (Grand opening April 24). Take home a little piece of our city with you with a graphic tee or DURM™ sweatshirt from Runaway.
Drive a little further and visit our neighbors in Raleigh!
Venture outside the city to our neighbors in Raleigh (it’s just a quick 30-minute drive away) and visit North Carolina Museum of Art. Surround yourself with impressive displays of floral artwork at NCMA’s Art in Bloom (June 3-6 and June 10-13). Looking for a trail to ride your bike? Find the trailhead to the Art to Heart Corridor at the museum. Follow this almost 6-mile paved path and eventually you will land in the heart of downtown Raleigh, passing by plenty of noteworthy landmarks along the way.
Thirsty? Cool down with a craft brew from Crank Arm, Big Boss, Raleigh Brewing Company, or Bond Brothers Beer Company. Find more breweries with The Beer Travel Guide. Got a sweet tooth? Visit Videri Chocolate Factory and find tasty bean to bar selections in organic nut free, gluten free, and vegan options. On your way out of town, shop local and artisan goods at DECO Raleigh.
Check out the contemporary art scene in Chapel Hill/ Carrboro.
Immerse yourself in contemporary art by our local creative community at Attic 506, an art space that houses a coalition of artist-run initiatives, including exhibition space, artist studios, and a dedicated art book store. Support emerging artists from a wide-range of mediums, including photography, jewelry, books, comics, and zines at Peel Gallery.
Our teammates are experts on our community so give us a call at 919.956.6700 if you have any questions when planning your stay!
Find yourself not ready to leave? See current offers and extend your stay!
Featured photo by Discover Durham.