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Plan a Durham Weekend that Fits your Personality

Durham is filled with so many activities, events, local restaurants, and shops that it can be hard to narrow down your itinerary over the course of one weekend in town.

Posted By Shayla Martin

Depending on your personality and interests, you may want to hop through Durham’s celebrated restaurant and craft brewery and distillery scene, or spend time outdoors exploring beautiful gardens and hiking along the Eno River. Intellectuals will love the lecture series at Duke and North Carolina Central University, while artists can explore both public art and museum collections.

Use our custom itineraries as your guide, or mix and match recommendations to create your perfect weekend in Durham.

For the artist

Both the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University and the North Carolina Central University Art Museum are home to extensive art collections, in addition to rotating exhibits.

Make your own work of art at The Scrap Exchange, a creative reuse art center with workshops and classes including handcrafted cosmetics, leatherwork, and crochet.

Check the performance schedule at the Durham Performing Arts Center (DPAC), one of the premiere performing arts centers in the country. Performances range from Broadway musicals to concerts, dance performances, and comedy shows.

For the outdoorsy traveler

Stop by Bull City Running Company to pick up new running or walking shoes based on the advice of the well-educated staff, then join the Fullsteam Ahead! Run Club before rewarding yourself with a craft beer.
Enjoy the sunshine and views of the river from the 28 miles of trails at Eno River State Park, and spend an afternoon exploring the 55-acre botanical wonderland that is the Sarah P. Duke Gardens. Make sure to see the lush blooms in in the Terrace Gardens during the spring and summer. Plus, enjoy the grounds of the rustic Arrowhead Inn, perfect for an outdoor adventure.

For the one in need of serious R&R

Have a bodywork and integrative rest session at the newly launched Durham Bodywork community clinic, where skilled massage therapists work to release tension in your muscles during a clothed massage session. Afterwards, relax amongst pillows, blankets, and bolsters during an Integrative Rest session to deepen the benefits of your bodywork.
For a more traditional spa experience, venture to the spa at the 21c Museum Hotel for a detoxifying and conditioning Red Clay Body Mask, made from local North Carolina red clay.
Give your mind a rest at the Shambhala Meditation Center, where open walking or sitting meditation is offered every Sunday morning from 9:00 am until noon. There are even meditation teachers on hand to offer instruction free of charge for first-timers.

For the gourmand

Plan your entire itinerary around your mealtimes so you can sample every last bite of this culinary mecca. Select a restaurant for both Saturday and Sunday brunch from this detailed list, then use this guide of favorite restaurants chosen by Bull City locals, or dive a little deeper into the Durham food community with a selection of hidden gem dining spots.
Enjoy Durham’s craft beer scene without worrying about transportation on a Tap the Triangle brewery tour. The Friday Night Flights Craft Beer Shuttle stops at seven breweries and bottle shops in Bull City, and a ticket includes a sampler flight at Durty Bull Brewing Co., the first stop on the tour.

Pick up locally made food products to take home and share with friends and family from specialty shops like Parker & Otis, Bulldega Urban Market, and Foster’s Market, or bring home a ready-made Durham Box filled with food items made by Durham vendors from Durham-based gift box company, Taste and See North Carolina.

For the intellectual

Spend a day at The Regulator Bookshop, the oldest independent bookstore in the Triangle. The community-oriented space regularly hosts author-led readings and book signings, and provides recommended reading lists from staff, local Durham book groups, and area librarians. Check their calendar for event listings.

Various schools within Duke University host lecture and speaker series that are open to the public, with topics ranging from biomedical engineering and global health, to Duke Law School-sponsored panels discussing the Black Lives Matter movement. North Carolina Central University’s Lyceum Series regularly welcomes nationally recognized scholars, thought-leaders, and performers throughout the school year.

Although most showings aren’t posted until the fall, the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival hosts year-round events, including a winter series of documentaries and discussions.

About the Author

Shayla Martin