Once the home of Big Tobacco, Durham is now the turn-around king.
The abandoned tobacco warehouses now host cool office spaces for start-ups, urban lofts for downtown living, and eclectic mix of restaurants, shops and bars which help make up parts of Durham neighborhoods.
Urban housing in Durham has exploded, with contemporary lofts and condos being built above retail stores on unprecedented pace. (For those who prefer a more tranquil setting, there are several neighborhoods close to campus, like Forrest Hills and Trinity Park, built in the 1920’s & 30s that offer the charm and architecture of traditional Durham neighborhoods with tree-lined streets.) Revitalization projects, like Southside are also transforming once run-down neighborhoods with attractive housing options close to the vibrant downtown area.
On any given night, evidence of the Bull City’s youth-driven renaissance is on display at the intersection of Rigsbee Avenue and Geer. On one corner sits Motorco Music Hall , a garage bar and music venue that has hosted everything from indie bands and improv nights to all-female Mexican wrestling events. Across the street is the cavernous Fullsteam Brewery , where picnic tables are packed with people sipping house-brewed beers like hickory-smoked porter and sweet potato lager made from local tubers. Pair your pint with a snack from one of the food trucks usually parked outside, like American Meltdown or the Chirba Chirba Dumpling trucks—both culinary treats not to be missed!
Duke University remains a huge draw for people moving to this part of Durham neighborhoods, and its influence can be felt throughout the city. Ninth St., running along the edge of campus, is always a bustling hotspot for popular eateries, bars and shops. The university’s West Campus is the quintessential collegiate setting, with grassy quads and lovely neo-Gothic buildings lorded over by the stately stone facade of the 210-foot-tall Duke Chapel. Nearby are the Sarah P.Duke Gardens , 55 gorgeous acres of tended flowers, meandering trails & ponds. From the gardens, it’s not far to the Nasher Museum of Art . hosting a wide array of exhibitions focusing on contemporary and visual art.
Also making its imprint on Durham is the Durham PerformingArts Center, The Triangle’s award-winning live entertainment venue featuring an exceptional design that puts you close to the stage and allows you to experience live performances in an entirely new way. Since its opening in 2008, DPAC has become the center for live entertainment in North Carolina. Recognized for its contemporary design, DPAC features 2,700 seats, intimate sightlines and state-of-the art sound and video. Listed five times in the top 5 in Pollstar magazine’s annual worldwide theater attendance rankings, DPAC is currently the #4 ranked theater in the U.S.
The Durham public school system is continuing to improve, and private schools such as Durham Academy and The Hill Center have excellent reputations. Come check out all of Durham neighborhoods. You’ll find one just right for you.