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36 Hours in Durham

Explore dining, shopping, and entertainment options around the locations featured in our new Discover Durham Virtual Tour!

Posted By Shayla Martin

Make sure to wear comfortable shoes. There is a lot to experience.


12:30 p.m. at Five Points

The Five Points intersection is the heart of great eats in downtown Durham. Pizza lovers can get their fix at Pizzeria Toro, where wood-fired pies are paired with antipasti, salads, and Italian wines. For something on the lighter side, head to Lucky’s Delicatessen for handcrafted, gourmet sandwiches, hero subs, matzo ball soup, and salads.

2 p.m. with Major the Bull

After lunch stroll to CCB Plaza to pose with an icon of the city—Major The Bull, a 10-foot tall bronze sculpture and symbol of Durham since the 1800s. Then pop into the nearby Jack Tar and the Colonel’s Daughter and order up a spread of desserts to share, like the five spice angel food cake, fried-to-order Cruller donuts, and a classic sundae with chocolate sauce, peanuts, and whipped cream. Savor your sweets at an outdoor table overlooking the plaza, where you’re likely to enjoy the sounds of live music and people watching.

3:30 p.m. at Hayti Heritage Center

The cornerstone of Durham’s unique personality is a combination of its rich history and diverse culture. As the home to what was once known as the most prosperous African-American community in the United States, black history and its effect on American history is celebrated all throughout Durham but truly centered at the Hayti Heritage Center. Formerly St. Joseph’s AME church, the Hayti Heritage Center promotes cultural understanding through events and programs like an annual Kwanzaa celebration, Heritage Film Festival, and African dance classes.

5:30 p.m. at the American Tobacco Campus

Former Lucky Strike tobacco warehouse bays get a second life at the American Tobacco Historic District, a one-million-square-foot entertainment campus, complete with restaurants, Full Frame documentary theater, and event spaces. Take some time to stroll through the bays to view vintage Lucky Strike and Bull Durham posters, signs, and billboards.

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8 p.m. Durham Bulls Game

In Durham we love our minor league baseball team in a major way. Durham Bulls games are a fun and inexpensive way to spend an evening, with Outfield Reserve tickets costing only $7.99 per person. Not to mention discount concessions nights sprinkled throughout the schedule, featuring cheap hot dogs, soda, and, popcorn. Make sure to stay after the game on Friday nights for an epic fireworks display.


9 a.m. at Durham Central Park District

Skip the brunch crowd in favor of a food truck and farmers’ market breakfast at Durham Central Park. The world-class Durham Farmers’ Market welcomes more than 50 vendors and farmers whom are located within 70 miles of the market. Expect to find locally grown fruits and vegetables, eggs, fresh cut flowers, baked goods, preserves, artisan soaps, pottery, and artwork. Nearby a row of food trucks serves up everything from breakfast sandwiches to dumplings. Afterward let little ones run around at the interactive Mount Merrill play area on the east side of the park.

12 p.m. at Brightleaf Square

You won’t find any major chain retailers at Historic Brightleaf Square complex and we think that’s a good thing. Pick up an item that’s distinctly Durham at locally-owned shops like Indio, where you’ll find a curated selection of beautiful gifts and textiles, or a collection of delicacies at shops like Bull City Olive Oil, Details, and AR Workshop, among others.

3 p.m. at Carolina Theatre

Stop by one of Durham’s most beloved landmarks, the Carolina Theatre. Check to see if there are any afternoon retro films playing, or just spend a few minutes touring the theatre. Built in 1926, the theater was Durham’s premier showplace for film and foreign arts in the 1940s and 1950s, welcoming stars like Katharine Hepburn and Ronald Reagan. It continues to be the host of the acclaimed Full Frame Film Festival each April. The world premiere of baseball film "Bull Durham" also took place here in 1988.

7 p.m. at DPAC

DPAC (Durham Performing Arts Center) is one of the premiere performing arts centers in the country, so you won’t want to miss out on a chance to catch a concert, comedy show, dance performance, or Broadway musical in this luxurious setting.


9 a.m. on Rigsbee Avenue

Start the morning strong with an Align and Awaken yoga class at Carolina Yoga Company. Then consider throwing all your hard work away at Parts & Labor with a spread of globally-inspired street food snacks. Favorites include German pretzels with house-made beer cheese, veggie samosas, and bulgogi tacos. Wash it all down across the street with a southern-made craft beer at Fullsteam Brewery.

About the Author

Shayla Martin