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From Beer Gardens to Nature Trails: Your Guide to Durham's Outdoor Hot Spots

Summer months are meant to be spent outdoors.

Posted By Shayla Martin on Jul 20, 2017

Even on days when it feels like it’s too hot to function, there are plenty of places in and around Durham where you can enjoy the sunshine and still keep cool, either on the water or with a cold drink in hand. Here are some of the best ways to enjoy Durham’s outdoor locales.

Alfresco Entertainment

Durham’s streets and greenspaces truly come alive during the summertime. There’s everything from farmers’ markets to concerts and movies.

    • The Durham Bulls, our beloved minor league baseball team, is the source of entertainment for both date nights and family nights from April through September. Make sure to stay after the game to catch the fireworks on Friday evenings.
    • Durham Central Park hosts a concert series as well as the Rock the Park Concert and Movie Series , a Yoga in the Park partnership with Blue Point Yoga, and the Durham Farmers’ Market and Durham Craft Market on Saturday mornings.
  • If you’d rather to do yoga with farm animals, head to Hux Family Farm for Yoga with Goats classes.
  • Spend every other Friday in Brightleaf Square at a free Summer Concert Series, which runs until September 15.
  • For a closer look at Downtown Durham, Preservation Durham hosts free, 90-minute walking and bike tours every Saturday morning.
  • In South Durham, enjoy live music at the Music on Main Summer Concert series at Southpoint Mall on Saturday evenings.

Outdoor Dining & Drinking

Many of Durham’s fantastic restaurants have outdoor dining spaces where you can enjoy your meal with a summer breeze.

    • Have a seat on the back deck at Tobacco Road Sports Cafe, right in the heart of the American Tobacco Campus and overlooking the Durham Bulls Stadium.

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    • The strings of twinkling lights over the outdoor seating at both Geer Street Garden and Parts & Labor make for sweet summer date nights
    • The expansive, multi-level back deck at Parker & Otis always catches a good breeze and is great for both brunch or a book club meet up
    • Bull McCabe’s Irish Pub might have the largest outdoor space in downtown Durham, complete with a patio that seats nearly 85 guests and a front lawn for live music and lawn games
    • Toast to a night in Bull City from the rooftop bar at The Durham Hotel, Unscripted Hotel, or The Lakewood
    • Enjoy a leisurely outdoor brunch in Guglhupf or Vin Rouge’s outdoor courtyards.

The Great Outdoors

Durham’s city vibe is paired with easy access to the wonders of nature in the form of lakes, forests, beautiful gardens and golf courses. You can even work up a sweat while exploring!

  • Discover eight miles of trails through mature forests and meadows at Horton Grove Nature Preserve, tucked away in northern Durham County.
  • The Al Buehler Trail and Duke Forest offer close-to-town trails for runners and walkers.

About the Author

Shayla Martin