Durham, NC City Guide

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Hello Loves! 
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What better way to kick off the blog than by showing some love for my hometown in NC? I love living in North Carolina, and it has far more to offer than just its coastlines (featured in like every Nicholas Sparks novel!). Durham and its surrounding cities are definitely worth a visit. I’ll offer my picks for shopping, food, entertainment, and all my favorite spots!
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THINGS TO DO
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Duke University is the first thing that comes to mind when you talk about Durham. It is one of the most prestigious universities in the nation, known for its top-tier athletic programs and academics. It also happens to have a fathomable campus, featuring the well known Duke Chapel. Take a walk around campus and see the chapel for yourself (the dorms are just as pretty!).
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A quick walk will take you to the Sarah P. Duke Gardens, a top Durham destination. Enjoy the scenery and beauty the garden has to offer, making it an ideal Instagram opportunity as it hosts hundreds of photoshoots for people across the state.
DPAC is the place to go to watch plays, musicals, and more. You can see Les Miserables, Phantom of the Opera, The Little Mermaid, The Sound of Music, Wicked, Newsies, Kinky Boots, The Nutcracker, and the Lion King.
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Sports fans can buy a ticket to see a baseball game at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park. One of the most popular events is the nights where all food concessions are only $1! By day, take a trip to the Duke Lemur Center to photograph or even paint with the lemurs.
Eno River State Park is the place to go hiking and experience NC. Go to the Eno Rock Quarry, a 60 foot deep abandoned stone pit, to swim. Get an adrenaline rush from jumping off the cliff or relax on a float in the water. Bring a float!! Even if you are an experienced swimmer, there is no place to touch once you are in the center of the quarry. There is a deep drop-off all around so having a float is essential to staying above water. There are logs that float in the quarry to hold onto, but having your own float is a better guarantee. Make sure to check the cliff for logs and other debris before jumping.
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For the history junkies out there, you must visit Bennett Place. This farmhouse is where the Civil War ended between Johnston and Sherman. Walk around the site to see the houses and watch a bayonet demonstration. They have several special events throughout the year to educate you about the time period.
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PLACES TO EAT
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Durham wasn’t named the South’s Tastiest Town for nothing! The city has over 700 restaurants, a large sum of which receiving national recognition. You can eat at some of the most delicious bakeries in the South by stopping in the Mad Hatter Bake Shop, Rise, Monuts, Scratch, and more! You can get your coffee at Cocoa Cinnamon along with a fresh pastry.
For lunch, you’ll have to head to Parker & Otis for a panini or Foster’s Market for legendary sandwiches. Go to Nanataco or Pizzeria Toro for a delicious lunch or dinner! My personal favorite is Burger Bach, a New Zealand inspired restaurant that imports their burgers from the country itself! The cows are all pasture fed and the burgers are fresh as nothing is ever refrigerated.
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Vin Rouge is the place to go for an upscale dining experience, and you can hit the Parlour for the best ice cream the city has to offer.
Southpoint Mall also has a wide range of dining options from Cheesecake Factory, Firebirds, Zinburger, and more! Head up towards the food court for Nestle Tollhouse cookies and Hagan Daaz ice cream. 
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SHOPS TO SEE

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This mall also is where you need to shop! It carries well-known brands like Urban Outfitters, Forever 21, and Topshop along with dozens of others. At Southpoint, you can head to Lush to buy your beauty products and homemade soap, Kendra Scott for charming jewelry or Madewell for your wardrobe needs. We have everything from Free People to Anthropologie to J. Crew.
Head to Crate & Barrel and West Elm to furnish your home in the latest styles, and go to Pottery Barn (and we have PB Teen too!) for the younger members of the family.  The Apple Store is in full operation with a cozy Barnes & Noble next-door. Southpoint has everything you need and more!
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In downtown Durham, Brightleaf Square is the place to go for antiques and art. Vert & Vogue, the most recognized store in Durham, also has a location inside the South building. Stop inside for cute clothes!
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HOTELS TO STAY
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Stay at the Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club if you are looking for luxury. You might just even see a celebrity sitting across from you at dinner.
The 21c Museum Hotel combines art and dining, and it’s only a short walk to DPAC! Aloft Durham and The Durham are also superb.
Also check out The Odyssey’s Durham Bucket List here to get more inspiration for your trip to our lovely city!
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