Close your eyes and imagine a city set among acres of hardwood and evergreen forests, hills and dales, serene lakes, meandering rivers and streams, and you will have an accurate picture of Durham, North Carolina.
Durham is the fourth largest city in the state, and is located about halfway between the Blue Ridge Mountains and the pristine beaches of North Carolina’s Outer Banks. Durham is a colorful, creative, and entrepreneurial community and is the proud home of Research Triangle Park, Duke, and North Carolina universities. Visitors have found this congenial town to be filled with an engaging spirit where diverse and passionate people are open and welcoming. Both residents and visitors enjoy the host of cultural, historical, educational, and natural amenities that Durham has to offer.
Durham has also been called the City of Medicine for its outstanding hospitals, major national and multinational health care companies, cutting-edge research companies, specialty clinics, nationally recognized medical teaching facilities, and acclaimed centers for weight management.
Although each is separate and distinct, Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill are the three main cities that make up thefamily of communities sometimes referred to as theResearch Triangle or the Triangle Region. Research Triangle Park (RTP) carved from Durham pinelands in 1959 as a special Durham County tax district for research and production, is encompassed on three sides by the City of Durham and a mere four miles from downtown Durham. The Triangle now refers to two metropolitan statistical areas (a four county MSA with the city of Durham at its core, and another around Raleigh-Cary), a 13-county state planning region, and other regional cooperatives
If you are wondering what to do during your trip to Durham, visiting adults and children enjoy the highly acclaimed, entirely hands-on Museum of Life and Science. Durham has many historic sites from which to choose, such as Bennett Place (where the Civil War ended) or Stagville (the largest plantation in North Carolina with the original big house, slave quarters, and a monumental barn still standing). Explore the miles of nature trails along the Eno River, or take a restful stroll through the Sarah P. Duke Gardens. At night, you may want to enjoy a live performance at Duke University or at the beautifully restored Carolina Theatre in downtown Durham.
No trip to Durham would be complete without visiting Duke University. The highlight of this showplace is the Duke Chapel, reminiscent of England’s Canterbury Cathedral. The bell tower rises 210 feet and houses a 50-bell carillon that rings out at the end of each workday and on Sunday. A half-million-dollar Flentrop organ with more than 5,000 pipes is in a special oak gallery, and renowned organists perform public recitals on the first Sunday of each month. During a visit to the West Campus, take a look at Cameron Indoor Stadium, the home of the Duke Blue Devils basketball team since 1935.
Thousands of locals and tourists fill the stands each summer as the Durham Bulls play a full season in the Class AAA International League as an affiliate of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. The Bulls shot to fame (and have been credited with rejuvenating minor league baseball ) on the shoulders of Kevin Costner catching for rookie pitcher Tim Robbins in the 1988 movie “Bull Durham”. While the Bulls no longer play in Historic Durham Athletic Park where the film was actually shot, the park is still standing and hosts numerous events and festivals each year. In 1995, the Bulls moved from the wonderful old-time ballpark to a state-of-the-art stadium about a mile south in downtown Durham.
Throughout the year, Durham is jumping with festivals and events. From free music concerts and chili cook-offs to art exhibits and world class film festivals, visitors to the Durham area will find both their days and nights filled with stimulating entertainment.