Top ChoicePlantation in Durham

Historic Stagville Plantation

Exceptional in prioritizing the 1000 or so ‘enslaved persons’ who worked here above the families that claimed their ownership, Stagville Plantation ranks among North Carolina’s most important historic sites. What...

Top ChoiceTapas in Durham

Mateo

A poster child for Durham’s remarkable comeback, this James Beard–nominated ‘bar de tapas’ is downtown’s culinary anchor. Many dishes come with a Southern bent, and particular revelations include the pan com...

Top ChoiceZoo in Durham

Duke Lemur Center

Duke Lemur Center

The secret is out – Durham’s coolest attraction has to be this research and conservation center, home to the largest collection of lemurs outside their native Madagascar. No one could fail to melt at the sight of...

Top ChoiceCoffee in Durham

Cocoa Cinnamon

If a local says you must order a hot chocolate at Cocoa Cinnamon, ask them to be more specific. This former service station, on downtown's northern fringes, offers so many cocoas (along with teas and...

Top ChoiceChicken in Durham

Dame’s Chicken & Waffles

While it can’t claim to have invented chicken and waffles – it’s been a ‘thing’ for a couple of centuries – Dame’s has raised the ultimate comfort food to a fine art. Its relocation to these larger premises...

Basketball in Durham

Cameron Indoor Stadium

Fans of the Duke University Blue Devils worship inside Cameron Indoor Stadium, which opened in 1940 and is perhaps the nicest basketball arena on the planet. When there’s no scheduled event, you can step inside...

Japanese in Durham

Dashi

The downstairs half of this cool, friendly, split-level Japanese joint serves sizable bowls of ramen noodles in various broths, with added ingredients such as pulled pork or catfish. Upstairs, and open in the...

Brewery in Durham

Fullsteam Brewery

Calling itself a 'plow-to-pint' brewery, Fullsteam has gained national attention for pushing the boundaries of beer with wild, Southernized concoctions. Going out of its way to support local farmers, neighborhood...

Gallery in Durham

Nasher Museum of Art

Set amid the Duke University campus woods, this impressive futuristic cube displays art from around the world and across the ages. Only a small portion of the university's collection is on show at any one time,...

Bakery in Durham

Guglhupf Bakery & Cafe

We like this superior German-style bakery and cafe for lunch, when skirt-steak sandwiches with blue cheese, homemade bratwurst on sub rolls and vegan mushroom salads bring an upbeat crowd to the sunny patio. Add...

Historic Site in Durham

American Tobacco Campus

American Tobacco Campus

The massive former American Tobacco factory has been transformed into a million-square-foot cavalcade of restaurants, bars and entertainment venues. Still dominated by the towering ‘Lucky Strike’ chimney, but now...

Museum in Durham

Museum of Life & Science

There’s something to appeal to every child at Durham’s Museum of Life & Science, 3 miles north of downtown. Its main building, stuffed with everything from live snakes to a lunar lander, serves as an...

Historic Site in Durham

Duke Homestead

After the Civil War, Confederate veteran Washington Duke returned to his farm and built an astonishing fortune, astonishingly fast. Tobacco manufacturing operations moved downtown in 1874, so the Duke Homestead,...

Craft Beer in Durham

Beer Study

Part bottle shop, part craft-beer bar, Starpoint Brewing’s second Triangle location is a lively oasis, complete with vintage furniture and a working turntable, in the otherwise uneventful Rockwood Center strip...

University in Durham

Duke University

Duke University

Although it can trace its history back to 1838, Duke University became a university, and took its current name, in 1926, thanks to a major endowment from the Duke cigarette family. Spreading across the...

Sandwiches in Durham

Toast

Families, couples, solos and the downtown lunch crowd – everybody loves this tiny Italian sandwich shop. Order your panini (hot and grilled), tramezzini (cold) or crostini (bundle of joy) at the counter, then...

Stadium in Durham

Durham Bulls Athletic Park

While away a quintessentially American afternoon of beer and watching the Durham Bulls minor-league baseball team, as seen in the 1988 Kevin Costner movie Bull Durham. They play between April and early September.

Live Music in Durham

Motorco Music Hall

This rather beautiful former auto-garage hosts gigs almost every night by local and touring bands, in every conceivable genre. The on-site restaurant, Parts & Labor, sells burgers and world street food.

Mall in Durham

Brightleaf Square

Occupying what were originally the Watts and Yuille tobacco warehouses, Brightleaf Square is home to boutiques selling everything from vinyl to gourmet olive oils, plus a few restaurants and breweries.

Gardens in Durham

Sarah P Duke Gardens

Sarah P Duke Gardens

These heavenly gardens on the Duke University campus include 55 acres of koi ponds, terraced rose gardens and magnolia groves. On warm afternoons, they fill with students and visitors playing Frisbee.