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Jane’s guidebook

Jane

Jane’s guidebook

Coffee Shops
With its three hopping Durham locations, each with their own discrete theme, you’d think Cocoa Cinnamon had cornered the market on coffee culture around these parts. They haven’t, there are still plenty of other coffee spots to choose from, but I just so happen to like Cocoa Cinnamon best. The one closest to us is the Chapel Hill Road location. Lots of space to spread out with your work over warm churros, made to order!
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Cocoa Cinnamon
2013 Chapel Hill Rd
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With its three hopping Durham locations, each with their own discrete theme, you’d think Cocoa Cinnamon had cornered the market on coffee culture around these parts. They haven’t, there are still plenty of other coffee spots to choose from, but I just so happen to like Cocoa Cinnamon best. The one closest to us is the Chapel Hill Road location. Lots of space to spread out with your work over warm churros, made to order!
Let former Oaklander, mom of three, and master tea blender Morgan fill your mug with the most delicious fair trade, organic, vegan-friendly teas at her sweet little shop downtown. It took Morgan a while to finally find and create a brick and mortar shop, but she worked hard and did it, and it’s glorious! You can also buy yummy candles made by her industrious eight year old in the shop.
Jeddah’s Tea
123 Market St
Let former Oaklander, mom of three, and master tea blender Morgan fill your mug with the most delicious fair trade, organic, vegan-friendly teas at her sweet little shop downtown. It took Morgan a while to finally find and create a brick and mortar shop, but she worked hard and did it, and it’s glorious! You can also buy yummy candles made by her industrious eight year old in the shop.
Another coffee shop with several locations around town. The closest one is in the nearby Woodcroft Shopping Center, which is fine for pop-ins, but I don’t like hanging out long term in strip malls. Maybe you’re OK with it, and if that’s the case, it doesn’t get more convenient than the Woodcroft JVG for a great espresso drink.
Joe Van Gogh Woodcroft
4711 Hope Valley Rd
Another coffee shop with several locations around town. The closest one is in the nearby Woodcroft Shopping Center, which is fine for pop-ins, but I don’t like hanging out long term in strip malls. Maybe you’re OK with it, and if that’s the case, it doesn’t get more convenient than the Woodcroft JVG for a great espresso drink.
Food scene
If you’re craving a burger, this is a popular counter service option that will not disappoint. Burgers -veggie and otherwise-, beer, dogs, and good company. If you don’t feel like trekking downtown, our local-er favorite is Town Hall Burgers over near Southpoint, about 5 minutes away.
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Bull City Burger and Brewery
107 East Parrish Street
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If you’re craving a burger, this is a popular counter service option that will not disappoint. Burgers -veggie and otherwise-, beer, dogs, and good company. If you don’t feel like trekking downtown, our local-er favorite is Town Hall Burgers over near Southpoint, about 5 minutes away.
Just a couple of miles away in the Woodcroft Shopping Center is Chubby’s, which is our favorite Mexican joint in town. They can’t roll a burrito to save their lives, but those aren’t really big in Mexico anyway. Try the tacos and every single one of the fresh salsas from the salsa bar.
Chubby's Tacos
4711 Hope Valley Road
Just a couple of miles away in the Woodcroft Shopping Center is Chubby’s, which is our favorite Mexican joint in town. They can’t roll a burrito to save their lives, but those aren’t really big in Mexico anyway. Try the tacos and every single one of the fresh salsas from the salsa bar.
I rarely go here, even though it’s super convenient to the house and super good. You can eat in, or get carry out, or dine on their big back patio. Lots of standards, but also loads of interesting innovation in sandwichery happening here. Hm, I really should go here more often.
Eastcut Sandwich Bar
3211 Old Chapel Hill Rd
I rarely go here, even though it’s super convenient to the house and super good. You can eat in, or get carry out, or dine on their big back patio. Lots of standards, but also loads of interesting innovation in sandwichery happening here. Hm, I really should go here more often.
A mainstay for baked goods (pies!), brunch, coffee, local groceries and vintage penny candy. Upscale-yet-casual country cooking at it’s finest, most hospitable and most charming. Groups large and small can grab a picnic table outside. Counter service only.
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Foster's Market
2694 Durham-Chapel Hill Boulevard
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A mainstay for baked goods (pies!), brunch, coffee, local groceries and vintage penny candy. Upscale-yet-casual country cooking at it’s finest, most hospitable and most charming. Groups large and small can grab a picnic table outside. Counter service only.
I have not lived here long enough to have an informed opinion on the best NC BBQ around, but our neighbors, who have lived here since 1966, say Hog Heaven in North Durham is the way to go, and darn it, I believe whatever they tell me.
Hog Heaven Bar-B-Q
2419 Guess Rd
I have not lived here long enough to have an informed opinion on the best NC BBQ around, but our neighbors, who have lived here since 1966, say Hog Heaven in North Durham is the way to go, and darn it, I believe whatever they tell me.
Sandos as big as your head, crafted in a made-to-look-old-school New York deli. Really great food, probably a little more than I like to pay for sandwiches, but you can’t go wrong with the quality. Maybe get a half sandwich, unless your appetite is head-sized.
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Lucky's Delicatessen
105 W Chapel Hill St
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Sandos as big as your head, crafted in a made-to-look-old-school New York deli. Really great food, probably a little more than I like to pay for sandwiches, but you can’t go wrong with the quality. Maybe get a half sandwich, unless your appetite is head-sized.
A hipster haven for coffee, brunch, and fresh doughnuts. Get the bloody; it comes with a tiny bottle of Miller High Life on the side.
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Monuts
1002 9th Street
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A hipster haven for coffee, brunch, and fresh doughnuts. Get the bloody; it comes with a tiny bottle of Miller High Life on the side.
If you want bougie Mexican food, (nuttin’ wrong with that) check out NuvoTaco in the Rockwood Shopping Center. Good margaritas and good classics, plus, you can get some items with specialty meat items from Durham Dirty Meats - that is, if you like specialty meats like tongue, etc. Always busy.
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NUVOTACO
2512 University Drive
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If you want bougie Mexican food, (nuttin’ wrong with that) check out NuvoTaco in the Rockwood Shopping Center. Good margaritas and good classics, plus, you can get some items with specialty meat items from Durham Dirty Meats - that is, if you like specialty meats like tongue, etc. Always busy.
Seafood - this time, the emphasis is on the fried kind. People swear by this super casual, counter service operation. The picnic tables outside their two Durham locations are always bumping in good weather. Cute, cute, cute. Makes me wish I liked seafood.
Saltbox Seafood Joint
2637 Durham-Chapel Hill Blvd
Seafood - this time, the emphasis is on the fried kind. People swear by this super casual, counter service operation. The picnic tables outside their two Durham locations are always bumping in good weather. Cute, cute, cute. Makes me wish I liked seafood.
Warm your bones over steaming bowls of ramen in a sleek Japanese dining room. Visit the upstairs izekaya for sake or cocktails. A winter favorite.
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Dashi
415 East Chapel Hill Street
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Warm your bones over steaming bowls of ramen in a sleek Japanese dining room. Visit the upstairs izekaya for sake or cocktails. A winter favorite.
Pronounce it Google-Huff, or else. Full service German fare, indoor and outdoor seating, with an attached bakery that sells the most beautiful bread in the whole wide world. Come here day or night.
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Guglhupf Bakery, Cafe & Biergarten
2706 Durham-Chapel Hill Boulevard
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Pronounce it Google-Huff, or else. Full service German fare, indoor and outdoor seating, with an attached bakery that sells the most beautiful bread in the whole wide world. Come here day or night.
The name says it all. A tiny, hip space with innovative food. Great for a date night. Sometimes they have a DJ lightly spinning records. A favorite.
Littler
110 E Parrish St
The name says it all. A tiny, hip space with innovative food. Great for a date night. Sometimes they have a DJ lightly spinning records. A favorite.
An ever-growing collection of chef Michael Lee’s restaurants are taking over the Triangle. When asked about the philosophy behind his wildly popular cuisine, Korean native Lee says “The best way to describe it is ‘food we like to eat when we get drunk.’ Whether the food itself is Asian or Hispanic or something else is sort of beside the point.” Drunk or not, we can whole-heartedly recommend what’s coming out of the kitchens at M Sushi, M Kokko (ramen), and M Pocha (Korean street food) in Downtown Durham.
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M Sushi
309 E Chapel Hill St
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An ever-growing collection of chef Michael Lee’s restaurants are taking over the Triangle. When asked about the philosophy behind his wildly popular cuisine, Korean native Lee says “The best way to describe it is ‘food we like to eat when we get drunk.’ Whether the food itself is Asian or Hispanic or something else is sort of beside the point.” Drunk or not, we can whole-heartedly recommend what’s coming out of the kitchens at M Sushi, M Kokko (ramen), and M Pocha (Korean street food) in Downtown Durham.
Authentic, beautifully prepared, adventurous Spanish tapas. Always a hit, great for groups, or just a couple at the bar. This is the place we bring visiting friends so we can show them how fun Durham is.
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Mateo Bar de Tapas
109 West Chapel Hill Street
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Authentic, beautifully prepared, adventurous Spanish tapas. Always a hit, great for groups, or just a couple at the bar. This is the place we bring visiting friends so we can show them how fun Durham is.
This was the first restaurant I went to in Durham and it convinced me that I could indeed leave my former food mecca of a town to move here. Authentic, authentic, authentic regional Italian cuisine with a seasonal menu and handmade pasta. The chef is nicknamed “skinny,” which is a cheeky way to say that you gotta check this place out and maybe wear your chicest elastic pants. Splurge on the Bistecca all Fiorentina, if you have a larger group.
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Mothers & Sons Trattoria
107 W Chapel Hill St
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This was the first restaurant I went to in Durham and it convinced me that I could indeed leave my former food mecca of a town to move here. Authentic, authentic, authentic regional Italian cuisine with a seasonal menu and handmade pasta. The chef is nicknamed “skinny,” which is a cheeky way to say that you gotta check this place out and maybe wear your chicest elastic pants. Splurge on the Bistecca all Fiorentina, if you have a larger group.
Let me put it to you this way; I have a big, red book that lists the best pizza places in every city and town in the world in the Sidekick. If you look up the best pizza in the Triangle in this huge tome, the only listing is for Toro. Put another way, my best friend came to visit a while back and often texts me to simply say “I can still taste the crust in my mind as I drift off to sleep sometimes.” They do not take reservations.
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Pizzeria Toro
105 East Chapel Hill Street
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Let me put it to you this way; I have a big, red book that lists the best pizza places in every city and town in the world in the Sidekick. If you look up the best pizza in the Triangle in this huge tome, the only listing is for Toro. Put another way, my best friend came to visit a while back and often texts me to simply say “I can still taste the crust in my mind as I drift off to sleep sometimes.” They do not take reservations.
Rose’s is an East Asian inspired eatery and bakery serving lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch with artisan pastries and sweets. Food is influenced by the cuisines of China, Japan and the rest of East Asia. They use North Carolina ingredients to produce dishes that embody the strong food cultures from across the Pacific that we find awe inspiring. The pastries, sweets, ice creams, and ice cream sandwiches are all made in house and inspired by what is in season in central North Carolina. I didn’t write the above, I’ve never been to Rose’s, its always been packed when I go by. But a friend has brought me sweets from there, and they went down very easy.
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Rose's Noodles, Dumplings and Sweets
121 North Gregson Street
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Rose’s is an East Asian inspired eatery and bakery serving lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch with artisan pastries and sweets. Food is influenced by the cuisines of China, Japan and the rest of East Asia. They use North Carolina ingredients to produce dishes that embody the strong food cultures from across the Pacific that we find awe inspiring. The pastries, sweets, ice creams, and ice cream sandwiches are all made in house and inspired by what is in season in central North Carolina. I didn’t write the above, I’ve never been to Rose’s, its always been packed when I go by. But a friend has brought me sweets from there, and they went down very easy.
More French food, zut alors! This one is good for dinner or Sunday brunch. A local favorite, named after the famous market street where the parents of founder John Vandergrift lived in the Seventh Arrondissement of Paris. Local, seasonal ingredients inspired by the French tradition. You know the drill.
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Rue Cler
401 East Chapel Hill Street
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More French food, zut alors! This one is good for dinner or Sunday brunch. A local favorite, named after the famous market street where the parents of founder John Vandergrift lived in the Seventh Arrondissement of Paris. Local, seasonal ingredients inspired by the French tradition. You know the drill.
I’m not a seafood eater, so I’ve never been, BUT, anything from the group that also brings us Mothers & Sons, Mateo’s and Lucky’s Deli is OK with me on principle. This place was destroyed in a horrible gas explosion in 2018, and has risen from the rubble, much to the delight of all of Durham, except me, because…seafood.
Saint James Seafood
806 W Main St
I’m not a seafood eater, so I’ve never been, BUT, anything from the group that also brings us Mothers & Sons, Mateo’s and Lucky’s Deli is OK with me on principle. This place was destroyed in a horrible gas explosion in 2018, and has risen from the rubble, much to the delight of all of Durham, except me, because…seafood.
A couple times a year, when my husband has a particularly productive day at work, he likes to reward himself with lobster at this delicious and charmingly decorated French bistro. I don’t do shellfish, but I toast him across the table as I eat my more standard (and in my view, more delicious) traditional French fare.
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Vin Rouge
2010 Hillsborough Road
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A couple times a year, when my husband has a particularly productive day at work, he likes to reward himself with lobster at this delicious and charmingly decorated French bistro. I don’t do shellfish, but I toast him across the table as I eat my more standard (and in my view, more delicious) traditional French fare.
Shopping
Downtown Durham’s best spot for old and new vinyl, with an emphasis on its namesake genre.
Carolina Soul Records
117 E Main St
Downtown Durham’s best spot for old and new vinyl, with an emphasis on its namesake genre.
My favorite clothing store strictly dedicated to quality vintage clothing and small home furnishings in Durham. The owner, Sarah, is sweet as pie. The shop is quirky, fun, and Sarah will help you with anything you need. The wicker basket lamp above your bed is courtesy of Gibson Girl Vintage.
Gibson Girl Vintage
1001 W Chapel Hill St
My favorite clothing store strictly dedicated to quality vintage clothing and small home furnishings in Durham. The owner, Sarah, is sweet as pie. The shop is quirky, fun, and Sarah will help you with anything you need. The wicker basket lamp above your bed is courtesy of Gibson Girl Vintage.
Although we did just get a stunning new library down that way, this is the only remaining bookstore in Downtown Durham. Great selection, great service. Go! Support small bookshops!
Letters Bookshop
313 W Main St
Although we did just get a stunning new library down that way, this is the only remaining bookstore in Downtown Durham. Great selection, great service. Go! Support small bookshops!
Looking for a place to get a cute gift, yummy specialty groceries, fine wine, a bite to eat or all of the above? Get yourself to Parker & Otis downtown. Upscale and fun collection of cookbooks, fun presents for your fancy friends, or cute things for kids presented in a “market hall” concept. Speaking of cute kids stuff, head over to their sister store Tiny on Ninth Street for all the huggable things for bebe.
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Parker and Otis
112 South Duke Street
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Looking for a place to get a cute gift, yummy specialty groceries, fine wine, a bite to eat or all of the above? Get yourself to Parker & Otis downtown. Upscale and fun collection of cookbooks, fun presents for your fancy friends, or cute things for kids presented in a “market hall” concept. Speaking of cute kids stuff, head over to their sister store Tiny on Ninth Street for all the huggable things for bebe.
Need a bouquet for your sweetheart? Why settle for FTD, when you can have a lovely arrangement made by the only flower shop in the state to specialize in locally grown flowers? If you love flowers (fresh or dried), plants, farmers, independent makers, history, cool containers, or just want a breath of fresh air, I hope you’ll head by and say hi to owner Maggie!
Pine State Flowers
2001 Chapel Hill Road
Need a bouquet for your sweetheart? Why settle for FTD, when you can have a lovely arrangement made by the only flower shop in the state to specialize in locally grown flowers? If you love flowers (fresh or dried), plants, farmers, independent makers, history, cool containers, or just want a breath of fresh air, I hope you’ll head by and say hi to owner Maggie!
Another favorite, Raleigh Vintage is a big cut above your typical, mothball aroma-ed, vintage shop. The husband and wife team that owns it scour all the best vintage shows to bring you the cream of the crop. Perfectly preserved Yves Saint Laurent, Valentino, Ungaro, Pucci, Bob Mackie, all mixed in with more everyday pieces like French chore coats, selvedge denim and perfectly worn-in military garb. They also sell some smaller housewares and home furnishings. Weird hours, check ahead.
Raleigh Vintage
18 Glenwood Ave
Another favorite, Raleigh Vintage is a big cut above your typical, mothball aroma-ed, vintage shop. The husband and wife team that owns it scour all the best vintage shows to bring you the cream of the crop. Perfectly preserved Yves Saint Laurent, Valentino, Ungaro, Pucci, Bob Mackie, all mixed in with more everyday pieces like French chore coats, selvedge denim and perfectly worn-in military garb. They also sell some smaller housewares and home furnishings. Weird hours, check ahead.
Quality thrifting for art lovers and artists. The Scrap Exchange creative re-use compound in the Lakewood District contains a retail store for thrifted goods, a separate store for items donated for creative reuse, an art gallery, a Design Center to host classes, a Make-N-Take classroom for open studio art-making, and much more. Worth your time if you like to rummage and create stuff from other stuff!
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The Scrap Exchange
2050 Chapel Hill Road
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Quality thrifting for art lovers and artists. The Scrap Exchange creative re-use compound in the Lakewood District contains a retail store for thrifted goods, a separate store for items donated for creative reuse, an art gallery, a Design Center to host classes, a Make-N-Take classroom for open studio art-making, and much more. Worth your time if you like to rummage and create stuff from other stuff!
This place has it all, assuming a mall can have it all. It’s a nice mall, with an indoor part and an outdoor part and a movie theater, but a mall is a mall is a mall is a mall. Here, you’ll find big brands like Madewell, Nordstrom, H&M, Belk, Anthropologie, J. Crew, etc. Satellite strip malls orbiting around it play host to brands like World Market, Nordstrom Rack, REI, SuperTarget, etc. Maxxinistas, take note, our Homegoods caught fire recently and will be closed indefinitely. Sniff.
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The Streets at Southpoint
6910 Fayetteville Road
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This place has it all, assuming a mall can have it all. It’s a nice mall, with an indoor part and an outdoor part and a movie theater, but a mall is a mall is a mall is a mall. Here, you’ll find big brands like Madewell, Nordstrom, H&M, Belk, Anthropologie, J. Crew, etc. Satellite strip malls orbiting around it play host to brands like World Market, Nordstrom Rack, REI, SuperTarget, etc. Maxxinistas, take note, our Homegoods caught fire recently and will be closed indefinitely. Sniff.
Here’s another Raleigh gem, my favorite home furnishings spot in the whole Triangle. Tell high energy, helpful owner Charlotte what kinds of household holes you’re looking to fill, and she will snap into Tasmanian Devil mode and tour you around her large warehouse scouring for options. I never leave empty-handed, and lots of The Sidekick stuff comes from Union Camp. Open Weds-Sat and closed all of July, so she can venture out and bring us new things from afar.
Union Camp Collective
1109 N West St
Here’s another Raleigh gem, my favorite home furnishings spot in the whole Triangle. Tell high energy, helpful owner Charlotte what kinds of household holes you’re looking to fill, and she will snap into Tasmanian Devil mode and tour you around her large warehouse scouring for options. I never leave empty-handed, and lots of The Sidekick stuff comes from Union Camp. Open Weds-Sat and closed all of July, so she can venture out and bring us new things from afar.
Here’s one for you fancy ladies and gents. It’s like shopping in a New York boutique. One time, I walked in, and the shopkeeper mistook me for a Raleigh businesswoman’s personal shopper who she had an appointment with at that same time. So, this is the kind of place you send your personal shopper. Enough said? The owners are so very nice and keep the place stocked with gorgeous threads from high-end brands like Rachel Comey, Apiece Apart, Ace &Jig, Raquel Allergra, etc. I only dare enter during their semi-annual sales, but that's because I'm cheap. Oh la la!
Vert & Vogue
353 West Main Street
Here’s one for you fancy ladies and gents. It’s like shopping in a New York boutique. One time, I walked in, and the shopkeeper mistook me for a Raleigh businesswoman’s personal shopper who she had an appointment with at that same time. So, this is the kind of place you send your personal shopper. Enough said? The owners are so very nice and keep the place stocked with gorgeous threads from high-end brands like Rachel Comey, Apiece Apart, Ace &Jig, Raquel Allergra, etc. I only dare enter during their semi-annual sales, but that's because I'm cheap. Oh la la!
Arts & Entertainment for Everyone
Carolina Theater is a smallish vintage venue for acts that maybe don’t draw as big a crowd as they used to. There is a theater and a performance stage. In the theater, sometimes they do double-header classic movies and it’s big fun. I had the chance to see Dwight Yoakam in his leather pants in their auditorium recently and I didn’t go. Don’t harbor the same sort of regrets that I do, check out their schedule and go.
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The Carolina Theatre
309 West Morgan Street
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Carolina Theater is a smallish vintage venue for acts that maybe don’t draw as big a crowd as they used to. There is a theater and a performance stage. In the theater, sometimes they do double-header classic movies and it’s big fun. I had the chance to see Dwight Yoakam in his leather pants in their auditorium recently and I didn’t go. Don’t harbor the same sort of regrets that I do, check out their schedule and go.
I debated whether to put this in the Fun for Everyone or Fun for Adults Only category, but then I remembered that we took our kid to see Charlie and The Chocolate Factory here, and we all had fun. So, this gets filed here. DPAC is the region’s premier spot for Broadway productions, large concerts from well-known artists, impossibly expensive Hamilton performances, etc. If you’re not already here for a DPAC visit, check the schedule and see if there’s anything you’re into.
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Durham Performing Arts Center
123 Vivian Street
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I debated whether to put this in the Fun for Everyone or Fun for Adults Only category, but then I remembered that we took our kid to see Charlie and The Chocolate Factory here, and we all had fun. So, this gets filed here. DPAC is the region’s premier spot for Broadway productions, large concerts from well-known artists, impossibly expensive Hamilton performances, etc. If you’re not already here for a DPAC visit, check the schedule and see if there’s anything you’re into.
A former tobacco industry brick and timber factory, Golden Belt Campus transforms a piece of Durham's industrial past into a vital hub for artists, working stiffs and loft livers. Golden Belt combines a vibrant local arts community with fun dining and drinking venues. Explore art gallery shows during the citywide Third Fridays Art Walk, enjoy a beer and games at Hi-Wire Brewing's first Durham outpost, or check out free live music during summertime at the outdoor stage. Fun fact: Your host Justin was in charge of the rehabilitation of this historic structure and it’s the reason we moved here.
Golden Belt
A former tobacco industry brick and timber factory, Golden Belt Campus transforms a piece of Durham's industrial past into a vital hub for artists, working stiffs and loft livers. Golden Belt combines a vibrant local arts community with fun dining and drinking venues. Explore art gallery shows during the citywide Third Fridays Art Walk, enjoy a beer and games at Hi-Wire Brewing's first Durham outpost, or check out free live music during summertime at the outdoor stage. Fun fact: Your host Justin was in charge of the rehabilitation of this historic structure and it’s the reason we moved here.
Here you’ll find contemporary art with a focus on works by artists of underrepresented backgrounds, with a particular focus on artists of African descent. Other strengths in the collection include European medieval art, European and American paintings, Outsider art, classical antiquities, African art and ancient American art. Check out the website for free Family Days, performing arts and lectures. Good stuff. Beautiful building. We always learn something new here.
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Nasher Museum of Art
2001 Campus Drive
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Here you’ll find contemporary art with a focus on works by artists of underrepresented backgrounds, with a particular focus on artists of African descent. Other strengths in the collection include European medieval art, European and American paintings, Outsider art, classical antiquities, African art and ancient American art. Check out the website for free Family Days, performing arts and lectures. Good stuff. Beautiful building. We always learn something new here.
The North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh serves the people of North Carolina and all visitors as a top destination for compelling encounters with art, inside and out. A stunning permanent collection, and high-profile traveling exhibitions come through here. The sculpture garden is vast and modern. If you are lucky enough to be here in summer, their summer music series is contemporary, bustling, and the setting is gorgeous. Bring a picnic. If you plan to imbibe, buy your alcohol there, they don’t let you haul it in.
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North Carolina Museum of Art
2110 Blue Ridge Road
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The North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh serves the people of North Carolina and all visitors as a top destination for compelling encounters with art, inside and out. A stunning permanent collection, and high-profile traveling exhibitions come through here. The sculpture garden is vast and modern. If you are lucky enough to be here in summer, their summer music series is contemporary, bustling, and the setting is gorgeous. Bring a picnic. If you plan to imbibe, buy your alcohol there, they don’t let you haul it in.
Outdoor
Are you feeling sporty? Did you bring a bike? How about your own two feet and some sneaks? A HORSE? Any way you ride it, so long as you don’t have a motor on you, you’ll be doing it up right on the American Tobacco Trail. This popular 22-mile Rails-to-Trails project runs along an abandoned railroad bed originally built for the American Tobacco Company in the 1970s. The route crosses through the City of Durham, Durham County, Chatham County, and Wake County. The ATT is part of the East Coast Greenway and is open to pedestrians, cyclists, equestrians (in non-urban sections) and other non-motorized users. A map of the trail is included in this guide, and how you access it from here is highlighted. We are about a ¼ mile from a trailhead that eventually leads to the ATT. Also useful for getting around our trail system is the free All Trails app, which you can get for free in your app store.
American Tobacco Trail
Are you feeling sporty? Did you bring a bike? How about your own two feet and some sneaks? A HORSE? Any way you ride it, so long as you don’t have a motor on you, you’ll be doing it up right on the American Tobacco Trail. This popular 22-mile Rails-to-Trails project runs along an abandoned railroad bed originally built for the American Tobacco Company in the 1970s. The route crosses through the City of Durham, Durham County, Chatham County, and Wake County. The ATT is part of the East Coast Greenway and is open to pedestrians, cyclists, equestrians (in non-urban sections) and other non-motorized users. A map of the trail is included in this guide, and how you access it from here is highlighted. We are about a ¼ mile from a trailhead that eventually leads to the ATT. Also useful for getting around our trail system is the free All Trails app, which you can get for free in your app store.
Open in temperate seasons on Saturdays from 8:00-Noon, and 10:00-Noon in winter, this is the spot to go get your fresh produce, gourmet prepared foods, local crafts, pretty flowers, and a glimpse of how Durhamites start their weekend. Sometimes there’s live music, mostly of the folk persuasion. A market basket is provided in The Sidekick for you to borrow. It was my book bag when I was in fourth grade.
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Durham Farmers' Market
501 Foster Street
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Open in temperate seasons on Saturdays from 8:00-Noon, and 10:00-Noon in winter, this is the spot to go get your fresh produce, gourmet prepared foods, local crafts, pretty flowers, and a glimpse of how Durhamites start their weekend. Sometimes there’s live music, mostly of the folk persuasion. A market basket is provided in The Sidekick for you to borrow. It was my book bag when I was in fourth grade.
How comfortable are you with historic gristmills and outbuildings surrounded by acres of lush green parks and trails, aside a meandering river? You good with that? Then you’ll like the Eno River State Park. A great spot for hiking and nature photography. Our favorite not-so-secret-anymore Eno trail is approximately 2 miles long and ends at the Eno Quarry, a good old fashioned swimming hole. Find instructions on how to access it here: www.enotrails.com/quarry-trail In summer, and especially on hot summer weekends, you will find many people sunning themselves, swimming, and jumping off cliffs into the water. Swim at your own risk, the patrolling rangers would really prefer that you don’t, it seems like every season someone gets badly hurt or even dies jumping off rocks. It’s very sad. But if you can go and swim without behaving like a knucklehead with a death wish, it’s perfectly legal, free and fun!
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Eno River State Park
6101 Cole Mill Rd
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How comfortable are you with historic gristmills and outbuildings surrounded by acres of lush green parks and trails, aside a meandering river? You good with that? Then you’ll like the Eno River State Park. A great spot for hiking and nature photography. Our favorite not-so-secret-anymore Eno trail is approximately 2 miles long and ends at the Eno Quarry, a good old fashioned swimming hole. Find instructions on how to access it here: www.enotrails.com/quarry-trail In summer, and especially on hot summer weekends, you will find many people sunning themselves, swimming, and jumping off cliffs into the water. Swim at your own risk, the patrolling rangers would really prefer that you don’t, it seems like every season someone gets badly hurt or even dies jumping off rocks. It’s very sad. But if you can go and swim without behaving like a knucklehead with a death wish, it’s perfectly legal, free and fun!
A 20 minute drive north to Hillsborough will lead you to the former Occoneechee Speedway, the first-ever and only remaining NASCAR dirt track from the inaugural 1949 racing season. The original mile-long dirt track is still there, and is dotted with rusted-out racecars from the era. It is now a historic site and public park frequented by dog walkers, joggers, picnickers, etc. Other local trails meet up to the speedway, as does the Eno River. A trip to the quaint town of Hillsborough, along with a quick hike around Occoneechee Speedway is one of my favorite ways to spend a day.
Historic Occoneechee Speedway Trailhead
A 20 minute drive north to Hillsborough will lead you to the former Occoneechee Speedway, the first-ever and only remaining NASCAR dirt track from the inaugural 1949 racing season. The original mile-long dirt track is still there, and is dotted with rusted-out racecars from the era. It is now a historic site and public park frequented by dog walkers, joggers, picnickers, etc. Other local trails meet up to the speedway, as does the Eno River. A trip to the quaint town of Hillsborough, along with a quick hike around Occoneechee Speedway is one of my favorite ways to spend a day.
Do you like plants as much as we do? How about giant koi ponds? Exquisite and rare specimen plants? Wide-open manicured parkland for the kids to run around or to toss a frisbee? Plant nerds, rejoice! You will find your people here. A dizzying display of blossoms and blooms – open year round – and free to the public. All you need is a few bucks to pay for the onsite parking. We could spend many a spring, summer or fall day ambling around smelling the roses here.
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莎拉·杜克花园
420 Anderson St
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Do you like plants as much as we do? How about giant koi ponds? Exquisite and rare specimen plants? Wide-open manicured parkland for the kids to run around or to toss a frisbee? Plant nerds, rejoice! You will find your people here. A dizzying display of blossoms and blooms – open year round – and free to the public. All you need is a few bucks to pay for the onsite parking. We could spend many a spring, summer or fall day ambling around smelling the roses here.
I have heard this place is fun for adults and kids alike. Just not my adults and kids. It has ziplines and ropes courses, climbing walls, etc. I hope you have good upper body strength if you’re doing the treetop stuff. Stay hydrated. Let me know how it goes.
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ZipQuest - Waterfall & Treetop Adventure
533 Carvers Falls Rd
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I have heard this place is fun for adults and kids alike. Just not my adults and kids. It has ziplines and ropes courses, climbing walls, etc. I hope you have good upper body strength if you’re doing the treetop stuff. Stay hydrated. Let me know how it goes.
Sports Viewing
I was a little too young to be allowed to watch the famously steamy Tim Robbins/Susan Sarandon movie Bull Durham when it came out, but maybe it’s time to put it on the watch list. Check out the team that put minor league ball on the map back in the 80s. I hope they got some new players since then, otherwise the game will be slow…or conversely…over real quick. The newish Durham Bulls Athletic Park (DPAB) is a world-class stadium for Minor League ball. Cheap, easy to get to, and fun for everyone. Check the schedule to see when they’re doing fireworks. Bonus!
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Durham Bulls Athletic Park
409 Blackwell Street
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I was a little too young to be allowed to watch the famously steamy Tim Robbins/Susan Sarandon movie Bull Durham when it came out, but maybe it’s time to put it on the watch list. Check out the team that put minor league ball on the map back in the 80s. I hope they got some new players since then, otherwise the game will be slow…or conversely…over real quick. The newish Durham Bulls Athletic Park (DPAB) is a world-class stadium for Minor League ball. Cheap, easy to get to, and fun for everyone. Check the schedule to see when they’re doing fireworks. Bonus!
NHL hockey? In the South? Yes, that’s right, Raleigh has its own team and has since 1997 (they used to be the Harford Whalers). They even won the Stanley Cup in 2006. Can you tell I’m just pulling facts from their website? I’ve never been to a game, but my family has, and the fellas around this house are fans of the ‘Canes.
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PNC Arena
1400 Edwards Mill Road
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NHL hockey? In the South? Yes, that’s right, Raleigh has its own team and has since 1997 (they used to be the Harford Whalers). They even won the Stanley Cup in 2006. Can you tell I’m just pulling facts from their website? I’ve never been to a game, but my family has, and the fellas around this house are fans of the ‘Canes.
Sightseeing
About a half hour away, in Pittsboro, is a unique rescue facility for exotic cats. They take in tigers and other big cats from around the country - from individuals who have come to realize they don’t make great pets (!)), failed zoos, circuses, etc. Education is a big part of their mission, so you can tours the facilities for a small fee. Get your tickets in advance and check out the good work they do.
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Carolina Tiger Rescue
1940 Hanks Chapel Road
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About a half hour away, in Pittsboro, is a unique rescue facility for exotic cats. They take in tigers and other big cats from around the country - from individuals who have come to realize they don’t make great pets (!)), failed zoos, circuses, etc. Education is a big part of their mission, so you can tours the facilities for a small fee. Get your tickets in advance and check out the good work they do.
Founded in 1966, the Duke Lemur Center is an internationally acclaimed non-invasive research facility housing over 200 lemurs across 14 species – the most diverse population of lemurs on Earth, outside their native Madagascar. Right here! In Durham! Just think, only a few miles away, hundreds of lemurs are awaiting your arrival. Don’t let them down!
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Duke Lemur Center
3705 Erwin Road
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Founded in 1966, the Duke Lemur Center is an internationally acclaimed non-invasive research facility housing over 200 lemurs across 14 species – the most diverse population of lemurs on Earth, outside their native Madagascar. Right here! In Durham! Just think, only a few miles away, hundreds of lemurs are awaiting your arrival. Don’t let them down!