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If You Didn't Post About It, Did it Happen?

Our list of all of the socially distanced, social media-worthy pairings to enjoy before summer ends.

Posted By Discover Durham Staff on Jun 20, 2020

Despite being safer at home, the days and weeks are melting together (literally). Before it passes us by, we wanted to compile a list of Durham partners and places you can put together to make for the perfect socially distant social media album. The summer of 2020 can still happen, y'all!

Eat Well

All of the drool-worthy reasons you first fell in love with Durham are still here — they're just in compostable containers now! Snack and snap at will.

Durham Skyline + Saltbox Seafood Joint

Pick up a couple of boxes of today's fresh catch and walk just a block over to the skatepark to take some photos of your meal with the skyscrapers at your back.


The Durham Sign + Boricua Soul

This motor to mortar success story features husband and wife team Toriano and Serena Fredericks: a beautiful family you're going to want to be best friends with (and that's before you have their maduros and empanadas). Enjoy your meal under their covered American Tobacco Campus awning, and then take two steps over to the Durham sign to take a selfie in front of the Lucky Strike water tower.

ATC Durham Sign

Historic Durham Ball Park + Parts & Labor

Sliders. Drinks. Poutine. The good eats abound at Parts and Labor, and it's only steps from the site of the Durham-favorite "Bull Durham" film site. Check your calendar: there may even be a socially distanced baseball game playing!

Local eats + Local retailers + Anywhere

Pack a Durham-themed blanket for impromptu picnics with takeout, and make sure you're wearing something Durham themed while you're at it. Who says you can’t look stylish while you’re sitting cross legged in nature balancing a plate on your knee? Blankets from Hometown Apparel, Bull City Apparel & Customs or Runaway are a great way to sit in style.

Insider tip: Runaway blankets live up to their namesake and literally run out the door when they hit their online store so keep your eyes posted for the next drop (they’re divine as throws in the cooler months).

Stay Cool

Some like to breathe a sigh of relief as we get closer to August, as if it's not just as hot as July. Here are a few of the parks and ice cream pairings that are sure to keep you cool, with beautiful desserts and backdrops that are sure to make your snap share-worthy. (Some of our cool partners are operating on reduced hours to keep those treats frozen, so be sure to call ahead!)

Eno River + La Monarca

Dip a toe into the Eno River at Eno River State Park or West Point on the Eno after an invigorating hike – or jump all the way in! The Eagle Trail and Sennett Hole Trail at West Point on the Eno lead to a popular swimming area at Sennett’s Hole as well as the Bobbitt Hole Trail at Eno River State Park leads to Bobbitt’s Hole.

After exploring the banks of the Eno River, explore the menu at La Monarca, a traditional paletería serving Mexican-style popsicles and ice cream. Next door, you can pick up Mexican baked goods at Panaderia Pahuatlan.

Falls Lake + Pine Cone

Lounge on the sandy beach at Rolling View State Recreation Area at Falls Lake, hike the wooded trails, or set up camp and see the stars shine over the water. The 12,000-acre lake offers gorgeous lakefront views only 30 minutes from downtown Durham.

After a day at the lake, stroll through historic Brightleaf Square, where you can enjoy a shake, ice cream cone, or iced coffee at Pine Cone. Afterwards, pop into nearby boutiques like Indio and Morgan Imports.

Little River Lake, Lake Michie + The Parlour

Take a short drive north of Downtown Durham to Little River Lake or Lake Michie, where you can push off from the shore in an electric motor boat, row boat, or kayak, which are available for rent from the City of Durham. You can also fish from the banks.

Head back downtown for a frozen treat from The Parlour, which features seasonal ice cream flavors made with local dairy, along with a sizeable selection of vegan offerings. Our favorites include salted butter caramel (with fudge), cookies and cream, and Vietnamese coffee.

(Your personal) Spraygrounds + Locopops

Put the kids in their bathing suits and get that sprinkler going. Although our city-wide spraygrounds are currently closed, you could be having this much fun in your own backyard, with a popsicle in tow. It’s a great way to expend some energy and cool off at the same time!

After a hot afternoon at the park, chill out at Locopops. Kids (and parents!) will love the array of gourmet popsicle flavors, which range from mojito and mango chili to chocolate brownie.

Museum of Life and Science + Pelican’s SnoBalls

Discover the science behind clouds at The Museum of Life + Science’s outdoor water exhibit Into the Mist. Kids and adults are encouraged to learn about cloud formation by playing in the mist that forms over the green landscape.

Post-playdate, take the kids to Pelican’s, a short five-minute drive away from the museum. You can order New Orleans-style sno-balls in flavors like tutti frutti and cherry cola. If you really want to go for gold, try all 100 flavors and win a free t-shirt!

Frog Hollow + Rose’s Noodles, Dumplings & Sweets

Get some adventure during your time in the water! Frog Hollow Outdoors will guide you on a kayak or canoe trip on Falls Lake or Jordan Lake. They offer instructions and classes for beginners, and if you’re a seasoned veteran, you can rent their equipment and go out on your own.

Afterwards, fuel up with a homemade ice cream sandwich from Rose’s, a butcher-bakeshop owned by a husband-wife duo.

Stay Freshhhh

Have you thought about all of the ways that you can rock Durham swag while you're out and about? Let us count the ways.

Major the Bull + Local Mask Makers

Make that mask work and support local makers. Consult this list of minority-owned makers to support; you can wear your wares while you venture out, and take a piece of Durham home with you for future use. The real spot for the photo op here is right next to Major, who happens to have been wearing his own mask proudly for weeks now.

Majors Mask

Downtown + Local Art

Our murals are always waiting, and now is your time to score some dope summer memories for your social followers with a mural backdrop. Now more than ever, there are opportunities to navigate Durham’s downtown areas at a safe social distance, and stop for a photo by the Durham sign at the American Tobacco Campus.

This is an especially important time to grapple with how to use social platforms to engage in important dialogue. Our downtown area is currently supplemented with artwork from artists of color that support Black Lives Matter and community activism. Take a walk through the Five Points District to honor those messages.


About the Author

Discover Durham Staff