PictureDURM: Instagrammable Spots in the Bull City
Looking for a backdrop to share your trip to Durham? Our slice of North Carolina heaven is home to captivating art, beautiful places to explore, and rich history.
Posted By Meredith Martindale on Jul 31, 2019
As a Durham native and current resident, I'm proud to call Durham home. Four years ago, I founded PictureDURM as a platform for the community to share their unique perspective of Durham. Over 21,000 ways to #picturedurm have been shared. In an effort to be as inclusive as possible, we even got cameras in the hands of an often-overlooked perspective: our neighbors experiencing homelessness. In the spirit of PictureDURM, I've chosen these spots to have a broad reach — they span the city geographically, celebrate many different parts of Durham, and can be enjoyed by all.
From meaningful murals to bronze bulls, here’s a roundup of my top picks to document your time in Durham. Experience the Bull City with all your senses while capturing these Instagrammable shots.
The Durham sign at American Tobacco Campus
Stand proud and snap a photo! Commissioned to celebrate Durham’s 150, this sign is dedicated to the city’s strength and resilience. Think of this stop as a modern version of taking a photo by the highway road sign. See if you can find the life-sized chess set and observation beehive while at the American Tobacco Campus.
📍 On the south side of the American Tobacco Campus near Bay 4
Find your zen in the beautiful Namu garden. Though it’s an inviting spot to unplug, the Wi-Fi reaches outside, making it a great place to work outdoors. Namu is a locally owned brick and mortar concept from two local food truck owners. Their coffee and food are delicious, and the bamboo backdrop is perfection!
📍 5420 Durham-Chapel Hill Blvd at Straw Valley
Civil Rights Mural
This powerful, colorful mural documents many stories of Durham’s civil rights history. Discover Julian Francis Abele, the African American architect who designed Duke Chapel and much of Duke but was never able to step foot on campus. Also featured is Ann Atwater, a Durhamite who worked to integrate Durham Public Schools (and is the inspiration of feature film “The Best of Enemies”). The mural was a collaborative effort and is the product of local artist Brenda Miller Holmes and over 30 community members.
📍 120 Morris Street near the Durham Arts Council
Eno River Bridge
There are endless adventures to be held around the Eno, so be sure to set aside some time to explore. Go for a swim, wade in, or hike the 25+ miles of trails. The old, industrial bridge at West Point creates an interesting contrast to the natural surrounding. The Eno is worth visiting (and documenting!) in every season.
📍 West Point on the Eno at the N. Roxboro Street bridge
These newly renovated basketball courts feature the city’s colors and flag as well as an original design by local artist Sarahlaine Calva. This roundup would not be complete without a nod to the greatest rivalry in all of sports — Duke vs UNC. So, head to Hillside Park to shoot some hoops and an unforgettable photo.
📍 1301 S. Roxboro Street
The Durham Hotel Rooftop
This is one of the best spots to watch the sunset in Durham. Our skyline is quickly changing, so what it looks like today will not be forever. Stop by on Thursdays to watch a beautiful sunset and snap Insta-worthy pics, as well as enjoy free jazz music outside!
📍 315 E Chapel Hill Street
You might recognize this landmark at the “Cow Store.” I came here often as a child when it was a drive-up store for milk and other necessities. The famous cow now looks over La Vaquita while it serves some of the best tacos you’ve ever tasted. It features many Mexican items not frequently offered in other restaurants in Durham, including lengua (tongue), cabeza (cheek meat), and tripas (cow’s udder).
📍 2700 Chapel Hill Road
Pauli Murray championed civil and human rights and lived in Durham. She was a powerful voice for the unheard and marginalized, and her vision for community lives on through several murals around town. This one reads, “True community is based upon equality, mutuality, and reciprocity. It affirms the richness of individual diversity as well as the common human ties that bind us together.” Learn more and discover other murals created by Brett Cook and dedicated to Murray.
📍 311 Foster Street
East Chapel Hill Street Murals
In partnership with the North Carolina Museum of Art, the City of Durham, and the Durham Convention Center, Cornelio Campos and Cecelia Lueza completed these stunning pieces. They are inspired by the works of Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo, respectively. These are the doors for the loading dock of the Durham Convention Center so they might be up during the mornings and afternoons. The best times to catch them down are in the evenings and weekends.
📍 198 E Chapel Hill Street
Major the Bull
The bull has been a symbol for Durham since the 1800s. And in the heart of downtown, Major the Bull stands tall. This bronze sculpture has been a part of countless selfies over the years and knows no stranger. Major was created entirely in Durham at Liberty Arts by Leah and Mike Waller.
📍 201 Corcoran Street at CCB Plaza
Duke Expression Bridge
Ever-changing and always expressive, this spot is both a bright backdrop and a source of inspiration. Students and locals contribute to the bridge by sharing hopes, frustrations, dreams, and more. If you want to explore Duke, this sidewalk connects the university's east and west campus. Not only can you stop here for a photo, but you can also add your mark in Durham, too!
📍 Campus Drive near Maxwell Avenue; for reference, the two bridges are Main and Pettigrew Streets
There’s more to discover and document along the way. With no time to waste, it’s time to plot your next adventure! View the locations on one map.
If you'd like help creating a mural, visit the Visitor Info Center at 212 W Main Street and pick up a free mural finder.