Durham, North Carolina

Wonderguide by

Hannah Bohlen

Durham, North Carolina

A guide for Duke Hospital School Families

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Image - Duke Lemur Center
Duke Lemur Center
Hannah:The Duke Lemur Center is an 85-acre sanctuary for rare and endangered strepsirrhine primates, located at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina. It is the largest sanctuary for strepsirrhine primates in the world. The center is open to the public through tours, for which visitors must make an appointment.
Image - Nasher Museum of Art
Nasher Museum of Art
Hannah:The Nasher Museum of Art is the art museum of Duke University.
Image - Museum of Life and Science
Museum of Life and Science
Hannah:84 acres of open-ended science and nature experiences designed to spark imagination, creativity, and new ways of thinking about our world!
Image - Duke Basketball Museum
Duke Basketball Museum
Hannah:Decades of Duke University’s athletic achievements are showcased with visual and audio exhibits, theater and trophies of national championships.
Image - Durham County Main Library
Durham County Main Library
Hannah:There are seven library branches you can visit in Durham. The best place for books!
Image - 21c Museum Hotel Durham
21c Museum Hotel Durham
Hannah:21c Museum Hotel is a multi-venue contemporary art museum offering more than 10,500 square feet of art-filled exhibition and event space, a full-service boutique hotel with luxurious guest rooms, and home to Counting House restaurant.
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Explore and Play!

Outdoor Adventures in Durham

Image - Eno River State Park
Eno River State Park
Hannah:Eno River State Park is a 4,319-acre North Carolina state park in Durham and Orange Counties, North Carolina. A wonderful place to hike, play in the water, picnic or camp.
Image - Sarah P. Duke Gardens
Sarah P. Duke Gardens
Hannah:Duke Gardens features four distinct gardens, each with its own focus and flavor: the Historic Gardens, including the popular Terrace Gardens, dedicated in 1939; the H.L. Blomquist Garden of Native Plants, a representation of the flora of the southeastern United States; the W.L. Culberson Asiatic Arboretum, devoted to plants of eastern Asia; and the Doris Duke Center Gardens, including the new Charlotte Brody Discovery Garden. There are five miles of allées, walks, and pathways throughout the Gardens, and many shaded benches.
Image - Duke Forest
Duke Forest
Hannah:Over 7,000 acres of forested land and open fields in Durham, Orange, and Alamance counties. A perfect place to visit for scenic, quiet hiking.
Image - Central Park
Central Park
Hannah:A 5 acre park in the heart of Durham featuring a fabulous playground and skate park.
Image - Forest Hills Park
Forest Hills Park
Hannah:Forest Hills Park offers a free sprayground where area residents can cool off during warm weather. The sprayground is open May through October. https://www.dprplaymore.org/facilities/facility/details/Forest-Hills-Park-24
Image - Trinity Park
Trinity Park
Hannah:Trinity Park is located within one of the oldest neighborhoods in Durham. https://www.dprplaymore.org/facilities/facility/details/Trinity-Park-70
Image - Little River Regional Park and Natural Area
Little River Regional Park and Natural Area
Hannah:Hiking trails, a butterfly garden and picnic areas.


Places to catch a game or a performance.

Image - Durham Performing Arts Center
Durham Performing Arts Center
Hannah:The DPAC hosts over 200 performances a year including touring Broadway productions, high-profile concert and comedy events, family shows and the American Dance Festival.
Image - Durham Bulls Athletic Park
Durham Bulls Athletic Park
Hannah:Durham Bulls Athletic Park is a 10,000-seat ballpark in Durham, North Carolina that is home to the Durham Bulls, the Triple-A affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays of Major League Baseball. It is also home to the Duke Blue Devils and North Carolina Central Eagles college baseball teams.
Image - The Carolina Theatre
The Carolina Theatre
Hannah:The Carolina Theatre is a performing arts and cinema complex in downtown Durham.
Image - Motorco Music Hall
Motorco Music Hall
Hannah:Indie bands, stand-up comedy & other events staged in an edgy space with a street-food eatery & bar.
Image - AMC CLASSIC Durham 15
Hannah:Cineplex with 3D & jumbo digital screens showing first-run films, opera productions & sports events.
Image - Northgate Stadium 10
Northgate Stadium 10
Hannah:Stadium-style cineplex with wall-to-wall screens plus party rooms, a video arcade & sports bar.
Image - Raleigh Road Outdoor Theatre
Raleigh Road Outdoor Theatre
Hannah:Double features of 1st-run films at this pet-friendly drive-in cinema with a snack bar & playground.


Places to shop in the Bull City

Image - South Point
South Point
Hannah:Discover over 150 shops, dine at distinctive restaurants, enjoy a movie, or relax in the lifestyle area.
Image - 9th Street
9th Street
Hannah:Discover Durham’s Ninth Street, where you’ll find a little bit of everything! Eats, errands, and eclectic gifts – everything you need in a unique, walkable district with a rich history and a friendly neighborhood feel. This colorful West Durham street has roots that go all the way back to Durham’s early days of textiles and tobacco. Today, its modern amenities are matched with a strong tradition of independent business to create a vibrant culture. Spend your Saturday afternoon on Ninth Street – drop off your dry cleaning, send a package, get a haircut, grab some groceries, and then relax over drinks or coffee beneath the shade of an awning. Our businesses are as independent and eclectic as our clientele. So, while you’re here, get to know your neighbors or make a few friends while you’re in town. Referred to by the Herald-Sun as “Durham’s Greenwich Village,” Ninth Street is a cure for your shopping-mall blues. This is a street with character, a street with soul. https://www.discover9thstreet.com
Image - The Scrap Exchange
The Scrap Exchange
Hannah:The Scrap Exchange is a nonprofit organization with a mission to promote creativity, environmental awareness, and community through reuse. It's essentially an art supply thrift shop, you never know what you will find!
Image - Durham Farmers' Market
Durham Farmers' Market
Hannah:The Durham Farmers' Market brings people together to celebrate the unique food and culture of downtown Durham and the farms and artists that sustain it.
Image - Golden Belt Artists
Golden Belt Artists
Hannah:Home to businesses such as Strata Solar, Pairwise, Camargo, The Cotton Room, WillowTree, and MetaMetrics, the Golden Belt Campus transforms a piece of Durham's industrial past into a vital hub where people live, create, and work. Golden Belt combines a vibrant local arts community, airy loft living, and modern offices in historic setting, while also saving space for fun. Explore an art gallery show, enjoy a beer and games at Hi-Wire Brewing, or check out a show at the outdoor stage.


Learn more about the history of Durham.

Image - Duke Homestead
Duke Homestead
Hannah:Duke Homestead State Historic Site and Tobacco Museum encompasses the historic home, farm, and factory buildings of Washington Duke and his family as they lived on the property from 1852 until 1874.The site interprets the early farming life of the Duke family and the beginnings of their tobacco manufacturing business on the property after the Civil War.
Image - Stagville State Historic Site
Stagville State Historic Site
Hannah:Historic Stagville is a state historic site that includes the remnants of the one of the largest plantations in North Carolina. The Bennehan-Cameron family owned approximately 30,000 acres of land, and claimed ownership over about 900 people who were enslaved on this property. Stagville protects a fraction of the land from that plantation, including original slave quarters (1851), a massive barn (1860), and a Bennehan family house (1787-1799). Stagville is dedicated to teaching about the lives and work of enslaved people on the plantation.
Image - Bennett Place
Bennett Place
Hannah:The site of the last surrender of a major Confederate army in the American Civil War, when Joseph E. Johnston surrendered to William T. Sherman.
Image - Durham Civil Rights Mural
Durham Civil Rights Mural
Hannah:Take a Durham mural tour: http://www.muraldurham.com/muralsindurham

Cheap Eats $

Good food in Durham

Image - Elmo's Diner
Elmo's Diner
Hannah:Breakfast anytime & other American square meals in homey digs with booths & a family-friendly vibe.
Hannah:Bright, cheery counter-serve spot known for its sophisticated takes on Mexican comfort classics.
Image - Bullock's Bar-B-Cue
Bullock's Bar-B-Cue
Hannah:Family-owned area institution serving locals & celebrities hearty BBQ & sides since 1952.
Image - Heavenly Buffaloes
Heavenly Buffaloes
Hannah:Snug take-out & delivery joint offering chicken & vegan wings with a range of unique sauce flavors.
Image - Alpaca Peruvian Charcoal Chicken
Alpaca Peruvian Charcoal Chicken
Hannah:Alpaca Chicken is a veteran, minority & family-owned and operated business. Their specialty is Peruvian “Pollo a la Brasa” style Rotisserie Chicken, marinated and slow cooked over natural wood charcoal in our signature custom-made rotisserie oven.
Image - Home Plate Restaurant
Home Plate Restaurant
Hannah:Specialized in Southern cooking served cafeteria style. Dine in, take out and catering are available.

Eats $$

Good food in Durham

Image - Rose's Noodles, Dumplings and Sweets
Rose's Noodles, Dumplings and Sweets
Hannah:Rose's is an East Asian inspired eatery and bakery serving lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch with artisan pastries and sweets. Be sure to get an ice cream sandwich while you are here!
Image - Picnic
Hannah:Locally sourced whole-hog BBQ & Southern fare, with craft beer & cocktails, in hip-rustic digs.
Image - M Kokko
M Kokko
Hannah:M Kokko is a cozy space for casual chicken dishes with Korean and Japanese influences.
Image - Foster's Market
Foster's Market
Hannah:Cafe serving breakfasts, sandwiches & soups made from scratch, attached to a gourmet food market.
Image - Dame's Chicken & Waffles
Dame's Chicken & Waffles
Hannah:Various combos of waffles & buttermilk fried chicken in a simple setting with a jazz theme.
Image - Pizzeria Toro
Pizzeria Toro
Hannah:Buzzing, modern pizza parlor featuring wood-fired pies & a bar, plus an assortment of Italian wines.
Image - Bull City Burger and Brewery
Bull City Burger and Brewery
Hannah:Family-friendly microbrewery serving locally raised beef burgers & house beers in a casual setting.
Image - Guglhupf Bakery, Cafe & Biergarten
Guglhupf Bakery, Cafe & Biergarten
Hannah:Vibrant cafe serving seasonal German fare, baked goods & drinks in an open, airy venue.
Image - Namu
Image - Bleu Olive
Bleu Olive
Hannah:Mediterranean bistro with outdoor seating serving inventive fare in a white-tablecloth setting.

Fancy Eats $$$

Good Food in Durham

Image - Vin Rouge
Vin Rouge
Hannah:Classic French cuisine backed by an extensive wine list in an intimate, upscale atmosphere.
Image - NanaSteak
Hannah:Steakhouse classics served in a light-filled, bi-level space with hardwood floors, a bar & a patio.
Image - Metro 8 Steakhouse
Metro 8 Steakhouse
Hannah:Traditional steakhouse fare with an Argentinean accent served in a spare, genteel setting.
Image - Littler
Hannah:An intimate New American eatery offering seasonal plates paired with wine & cocktails.
Image - M Sushi
M Sushi
Hannah:Dimly lit, industrial-chic space turning out traditional Japanese seafood, plus sushi options.
Image - Parizade
Hannah:Upscale locavore Mediterranean fare prepared in an open kitchen & served in an elegant dining room.

Ice Cream!

Ice Cream Escapades for the Sweet Toothed Durham visitor

Image - Pincho Loco Ice Cream
Pincho Loco Ice Cream
Hannah:Ice cream and popsicles with native Latinx flavors.
Image - LocoPops
Hannah:A family friendly popsicle shop.
Image - Two Roosters Ice Cream
Two Roosters Ice Cream
Hannah:Award-winning ice cream.
Image - Broken Spoke Farm
Broken Spoke Farm
Hannah:A farm stand with a freezer full of ice cream. Fresh soft serve with seasonal flavors available each weekend. Observe the sheep while you eat.
Image - Sugar Koi
Sugar Koi
Hannah:Fresh, unique ice cream flavors served in fish koiyaki cones.
Image - Rockwood Dairy Bar
Rockwood Dairy Bar
Hannah:Freshly made ice cream in a variety of flavors
Image - The Parlour
The Parlour
Hannah:A favorite ice cream shop in downtown Durham.

Day Trips!

Places to visit around North Carolina

Image - Marbles Kids Museum
Marbles Kids Museum
Hannah:Delivering purposeful play in a big way in Raleigh, Marbles allows children to imagine, discover and learn in dozens of interactive exhibits, special events and giant-screen IMAX films.
Image - Kidzu Children's Museum
Kidzu Children's Museum
Hannah:A hands-on museum located in Chapel Hill dedicated to inspiring young children and the adults in their lives to learn through creative play.
Image - Greensboro Science Center
Greensboro Science Center
Hannah:The Greensboro Science Center is an aquarium, museum, zoo, and treetop adventure park in Greensboro, North Carolina.
Image - North Carolina Museum of Art
North Carolina Museum of Art
Hannah:The North Carolina Museum of Art encompasses a collection that spans more than 5,000 years of artistic work from antiquity to the present, an amphitheater for outdoor performances, and a variety of celebrated exhibitions and public programs. The Museum features over 40 galleries as well as more than a dozen major works of art in the nation's largest museum park with 164-acres.
Image - Hammocks Beach State Park
Hammocks Beach State Park
Hannah:A crown jewel of the North Carolina coast and Hammocks Beach State Park is Bear Island—a 4-mile-long, undeveloped barrier island accessible by the park’s passenger ferry or private ferry, or by paddling a canoe or kayak.
Image - International Civil Rights Center & Museum
International Civil Rights Center & Museum
Hannah:The International Civil Rights Center & Museum is located in Greensboro, North Carolina, United States. Its building formerly housed the Woolworth's, the site of a non-violent protest in the civil rights movement.
Image - North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences
North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences
Hannah:The state’s museum devoted to science and nature, the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences in central Raleigh is the largest institution of its kind in the Southeastern United States and, with over a million visitors a year, the state’s most visited museum. Its 300,000 square-foot downtown campus is augmented by Prairie Ridge Ecostation and satellite facilities in Whiteville, Greenville and Contentnea Creek. Together, they provide a variety of curriculum-focused classes onsite, offsite, outdoors and online for pre-kindergarten through graduate students across the state.

Wonderguide map

  1. Duke Lemur Center
  2. Nasher Museum of Art
  3. Museum of Life and Science
  4. Duke Basketball Museum
  5. Durham County Main Library
  6. 21c Museum Hotel Durham
  7. Eno River State Park
  8. Sarah P. Duke Gardens
  9. Duke Forest
  10. Central Park
  11. Forest Hills Park
  12. Trinity Park
  13. Little River Regional Park and Natural Area
  14. Durham Performing Arts Center
  15. Durham Bulls Athletic Park
  16. The Carolina Theatre
  17. Motorco Music Hall
  18. AMC CLASSIC Durham 15
  19. Northgate Stadium 10
  20. Raleigh Road Outdoor Theatre
  21. South Point
  22. 9th Street
  23. The Scrap Exchange
  24. Durham Farmers' Market
  25. Golden Belt Artists
  26. Duke Homestead
  27. Stagville State Historic Site
  28. Bennett Place
  29. Durham Civil Rights Mural
  30. Elmo's Diner
  32. Bullock's Bar-B-Cue
  33. Heavenly Buffaloes
  34. Alpaca Peruvian Charcoal Chicken
  35. Home Plate Restaurant
  36. Rose's Noodles, Dumplings and Sweets
  37. Picnic
  38. M Kokko
  39. Foster's Market
  40. Dame's Chicken & Waffles
  41. Pizzeria Toro
  42. Bull City Burger and Brewery
  43. Guglhupf Bakery, Cafe & Biergarten
  44. Namu
  45. Bleu Olive
  46. Vin Rouge
  47. NanaSteak
  48. Metro 8 Steakhouse
  49. Littler
  50. M Sushi
  51. Parizade
  52. Pincho Loco Ice Cream
  53. LocoPops
  54. Two Roosters Ice Cream
  55. Broken Spoke Farm
  56. Sugar Koi
  57. Rockwood Dairy Bar
  58. The Parlour
  59. Pelican's SnoBalls
  60. Marbles Kids Museum
  61. Kidzu Children's Museum
  62. Greensboro Science Center
  63. North Carolina Museum of Art
  64. Hammocks Beach State Park
  65. International Civil Rights Center & Museum
  66. North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences

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