Durham, North Carolina, was once the tobacco-producing hub of the United States, with the family of Washington Duke controlling 90 percent of all cigarette production in the country. In 2000, however, the City of Tobacco produced its last cigarette and figuratively rose from the smoke to become the City of Medicine. The moniker is not a tourism ploy. Because Duke University and Research Triangle Park are here, there are many doctors and other medical practitioners, as well as researchers who have made Durham their home. Now old cigarette factories and warehouses are no more. In their place stand restaurants, offices and homes.
Duke University has a number of attractions that no visitor should miss. The Sarah P. Duke Gardens on the Duke campus are worth an afternoon's stroll if the weather is cooperating. Duke Chapel and the Nasher Museum of Art are also great sights on the university campus. Outside Duke, families with kids as well as science enthusiasts will find the Museum of Life and Science interesting. Picnics and hikes can be enjoyed at Eno River State Park just minutes outside of town. You can also explore the historic buildings in Durham Central Park. The American Tobacco Trail is specially made for bikers, while golfers can choose to play the greens at Hillandale, Willowhaven Country Club or the Duke University Golf Club. If you wish to watch a Broadway show, the Durham Performing Arts Center features high-caliber performances. If you're visiting during basketball season, try to get a ticket (good luck!) to see a Duke men's basketball game. (Bring your face paint.)
Like a lot of college towns, Durham offers a diverse array of eating venues, from burrito joints to upscale bistros. Many restaurants can be found around Duke University along the 9th Street and Brightleaf Square. There are also a lot of eating venues in Research Triangle Park. Most of the restaurants here are concentrated in South Square, Southpoint and 54th Street.
Ninth Street near the Duke campus offers boutiques, bookstores and other shops for its college clientele. Refreshing outdoor shopping is the feature in the independently owned shops at Brightleaf Square. Sutton Station has eclectic stores (and a helicopter rental service). For chain-store shopping, head to Northgate Mall. More buys can be found in the Streets at Southpoint and Main Street. The wandering street performers make shopping more interesting here.
2517 Guess Road
2001 Campus Drive
2002 Hillsborough Road
1058 West Club Boulevard