20 Fun Things To Do In Durham (NC)

The City of Durham is known for its healthcare industry, an important sector of the economy in the area.

There are over 300 medical facilities and companies in the city and over 250,000 residents.

Durham is also known for its post-industrial setting. It’s also got local hip music and an excellent food scene. In addition, there are various fun places to visit in the area.

You are never out of options when looking for fun things to do in Durham, North Carolina.

This city is also dog-friendly and has plenty of big-town amenities only a few miles away. This makes it an ideal choice for people looking to have a swell time.

The article covers all the exciting things to do in Durham (NC).

Where Is Durham, North Carolina?

The city of Durham is located in the North Carolina Research Triangle Region, which is known for its numerous academic institutions. One of these is Duke University.

There, you can find the Nasher Museum of Art, which features works by contemporary artists such as Ai Weiwei and Christian Marclay.

The Museum of Life + Science is also a must-visit. It features interactive exhibits that are designed to teach people about animals.

According to the census data released in 2020, the city of Durham has a population of over 300,000.

It is regarded as one of the most populated cities in North Carolina and the 75th-most populous place in the country. It’s located in the Eno River’s eastern part.

Things To Do In Durham (NC)

With several activities and attractions for families and couples, the city of Durham is an excellent choice for people looking for a fun and exciting place to visit.

Some of the most popular attractions in the area include the Sarah P. Duke Gardens and the Nasher Museum of Art. These are the 21 best things to do in Durham, North Carolina;

1. Museum of Life and Science

Photo by Jason Adams via Flickr

One of the most fun things to do in Durham, NC, is visiting the Museum of Life and Science, located on West Murray Avenue.

This facility features interactive exhibits designed to teach people about different scientific topics.

Some other popular attractions in this facility include a train, a dinosaur trail, a farmyard, and a butterfly house.

Another popular thing in this museum is the Aerospace exhibit, which features artifacts from the NASA space program. The Magic Wings Butterfly House is also a must-visit.

Address: This museum is at 433 West Murray Avenue, Durham, North Carolina, USA.

2. Nasher Museum of Art

Photo by Nathan Walls via Flickr

The Nasher Museum of Art is a prominent museum that features over 13,000 works of art. It’s located on Campus Drive and was designed by Rafael Vinoly.

The museum’s collection includes works from the Pre-Columbian era and medieval art. It was opened in 2005. Vinoly’s building was designed to resemble a medieval castle.

Aside from its permanent collection, the museum hosts various events and exhibits. These include Free Family Day and music concerts.

The museum can also be rented for multiple events, such as weddings and corporate events.

In addition, public tours of the facility are conducted regularly. Besides regular tours, private group tours and events are also available.

Address: This attraction is located at 2001 Campus Drive, Durham, North Carolina, USA.

3. Stagville State Historic Site

Photo by Larry Lamb via Wikimedia

The buildings used to construct the Stagville State Historic Site are from the plantation, one of the largest in the South.

The original owners of the plantation were the Bennehan-Cameron family. The structures used for the museum date back to the 18th century.

One of the structures that can be visited here is the Bennehan House, which was constructed in 1878. It’s also listed on the National Register of Historic Places for buildings built in 1850.

In addition, the facility offers guided tours every three hours. It also hosts various events and programs for children.

Address: This attraction is located at 5828 Old Oxford Highway, Durham, North Carolina, USA.

4. Metro 8 Steakhouse

Francisco Pirillo, the owner and chef of Metro 8 Steakhouse, uses various elements from his native Argentina to create different dishes.

For instance, he can make a churrasco out of filet mignon or serve it with a combination of chimichurri and shrimp. For dessert, try the restaurant’s signature dish, the chocolate soufflé.

The restaurant’s extensive menu allows customers to choose from various options without going through the complicated process of creating a new dish.

Metro 8 Steakhouse is also as simple as it is elegant. Its large bar and clean lines make it an inviting establishment.

Address: This attraction is located at 1116 Broad St, Durham, NC 27705, USA.

5. Eno River State Park

The Eno River State Park features over 4,000 acres of land located northwest of Durham.

This park has various outdoor activities, such as fishing, camping, canoeing, and hiking trails. This park is an excellent choice if you’re planning to visit this area with your kids.

The area used to be inhabited by Native American tribes. After settling there, the settlers built several mills on the river.

In 1972, the area was protected from development through the creation of the park. This natural park features various animals, such as beavers, deer, and sea turtles.

Address: This attraction is located at 6101 Cole Mill Rd, Durham, NC 27705, USA.

6. Only Burger

Due to the intense desire of customers to have the best Burger, Only Burger was able to create different dishes that instantly became famous and successful.

The company started as a food truck and eventually expanded to two shops. Its burgers are made from Certified Piedmontese beef, free of steroids, hormones, and antibiotics.

The company’s signature burger is topped with fried green tomatoes and pimento cheese.

After customers started to get tired of the company’s trucks roaming around the area, OnlyBurger opened two new restaurants in downtown Durham. It also offers veggie and turkey burgers.

Address: This attraction is located at 3710 Shannon Rd., Suite 118, Durham, North Carolina, USA.

7. Museum of Durham History

The Museum of Durham History is where visitors can learn about the city’s history and people. It’s also dedicated to promoting an understanding of the community’s diversity.

The museum’s staff members are passionate about sharing the stories of the people who lived in the area.

The museum’s exhibits are designed to educate visitors about the city’s history and its people. It also has a gallery that showcases various stories related to the area.

 Another exhibit the museum currently hosts is the 150 Faces of Durham, which features the lesser-known individuals of the area.

Address: This attraction is located at 500 W. Main Street, Downtown Durham, North Carolina, 27702, USA.

8. West Point on the Eno

Photo by bobistraveling via Flickr

It is located north of downtown Durham on North Roxboro Street in West Point, a 404-acre park that’s part of the Eno River State Park.

It houses several historic structures, such as the McCowan-Mangum farmhouse and West Point Mill. These two buildings are currently featured in the National Register of Historic Places.

The Hugh Mangum Museum of Photography is also located in this area. This museum features 19th and 20th-century photographs taken in a tobacco pack house.

Address: This attraction is located at 5101 N Roxboro St, Durham, NC 27704, USA.

9. Durham Bulls Athletic Park

The home of the Durham Bulls is located in downtown Durham. The facility was opened in 1995 and was expanded in 1998.

It was developed to accommodate 10,000 fans when the team joined the Triple-A International League.

The stadium, referred to as the Blue Monster, features a roof designed to provide fans with a great field view.

It also has 2,500 extra wide seats. Most of these seats have cup holders. The stadium’s design is similar to that of another minor league baseball facility, Fenway Park.

Address: This attraction is located at 409 Blackwell St, Durham, NC 27701, USA.

10. Cameron Indoor Stadium

Photo by Lesley Looper via Flickr

The Cameron Indoor Stadium is an indoor facility on Duke University’s West Campus. It features 9,314 seats.

It’s the home of the school’s various athletic teams, such as the women’s volleyball team. It also serves as the primary venue for the Duke Blue Devils.

Originally known as Duke Indoor Stadium, the facility was renamed Cameron Indoor Stadium in 1972 in honor of Eddie Cameron, the coach of the Duke men’s basketball team. Cameron is regarded as one of the most prominent basketball arenas in the country.

Address: This attraction is located at 115 Whitford Dr, Durham, NC, USA.

11. Bennett Place Historic Site

Photo by Washuotaku via Wikimedia

The Bennett Place farmhouse is located in Durham, North Carolina. It was where Union and Confederate generals signed an agreement that ended the conflict in the South.

During the Civil War, the two generals agreed to surrender their armies in the states of Georgia, Florida, and the Carolinas.

Address: This attraction is located at 4409 Bennett Memorial Rd, Durham, NC, USA.

12. Carolina Theater

Photo by Warren LeMay via Wikimedia

The Carolina features multiple events and programs for the art lovers in Durham, such as film festivals and concerts.

It also produces the North Carolina Gay & Lesbian Film Festival and the Escapism and Nevermore festivals. The theatre’s popular arts program, Arts Discovery, serves 15,000 students yearly.

Address: This attraction is located at 309 West Morgan St., Durham, NC, USA.

13. Duke University Chapel

Duke Chapel is a Christian church dedicated to serving people of all faiths. It symbolizes the university’s efforts to bridge the learning and faith communities.

Designed by Julian Abele in 1930, the church features large stone piers and arched ceilings. It also has flying buttresses and other features that create an open space inside the building.

Address: This attraction is located at 401 Chapel Dr, Durham, NC, USA.

14. Honeygirl Meadery and Tasting Room

The Honeygirl Meadery’s tasting room is open on weekends and allows people to try its various products.

During this time, they also allow guests to learn more about how honey is fermented.

The company’s signature products include the Orange Blossom Mead, the Blueberry Mead, and the Orange County Mead.

Address: This attraction is located at 105 Hood Street, Durham, North Carolina, 27701, USA.

15. Forest Hills Park

The Forest Hills Park is a public facility with a nine-hole golf course and a swimming pool. It also has various other facilities, such as a playground, a picnic shelter, and tennis courts.

Address: This attraction is located at 1639 University Drive, Durham, North Carolina, 27707, USA.

16. Brightleaf Square

The “Brightleaf Square” area was established in 1981 as part of the city’s urban renewal project.

It features various restaurants and shops that offer a wide range of cuisines and clothing. It also hosts multiple events, such as music concerts.

Address: This attraction is located at 905 West Main Street, Durham, North Carolina, USA.

17. Guglhupf Bakery, Cafe & Restaurant

This restaurant is known for its German-inspired food, such as house-made sausages and pork schnitzel.

Most of its customers come for bread and cakes. The staff members at this establishment are knowledgeable about the various kinds of German food.

Address: This attraction is located at 2706 Durham-Chapel Hill Blvd. Suite #1, Durham, North Carolina, USA.

18. Durham Central Park

Photo by dreid1987 via Wikimedia

There are many things to do in Durham, North Carolina, and one is Durham Central Park. This five-acre area hosts various events, such as movie screenings and food truck festivals.

Its 9,000-square-foot pavilion is also frequently used for hosting concerts and farmers’ markets.

Address:  This attraction is located at 501 Foster Street, Durham, North Carolina, 27701, USA.

19. American Tobacco Historic District

Photo by Mr. Jincks via Flickr

The American Tobacco Historic District is located on Blackwell Street. It features 17 structures that were constructed between 1874 and 1950.

These buildings, which include the W.T. Blackwell & Company Building and the Hill Warehouse, were created using the Art Moderne and Romanesque Revival styles.

Other notable structures in this area include the Fowler, the Blackwell, and the Spencer buildings. The location

Address: This attraction is located at 318 Blackwell Street, Durham, North Carolina, USA.

20. Sarah P. Duke Gardens

Photo by Dave Crosby via Flickr

The Sarah P. Duke Gardens is a public garden on the Duke University campus. It was established in honor of Sarah Pearson Duke, the wife of Benjamin Duke, who was a benefactor of the university.

This garden features various areas designed to provide a tranquil and beautiful environment. This is one of the best things to do in Durham, North Carolina.

Address: This attraction is located at Duke University, 420 Anderson Street, Durham, North Carolina, USA.

Best Time To Visit Durham, North Carolina

It’s best to visit Durham, North Carolina, during the fall and spring because the climate is more pleasant. During this time, colors begin to appear on the landscape.

How Much Does It Cost To Visit Durham, North Carolina?

The average amount to spend in a day in Durham during a trip is $130. This is based on other visitors’ expenses during their stay in the area.

Some of the most common costs travelers incur during their stay in the city are local transportation and meals.