What to do and see in Durham, North Carolina (NC): The Best Free Things to do

August 23, 2021 Toi Mattera

Durham is a city in the U.S. state of North Carolina. It is the county seat of Durham County. The U.S. Census Bureau estimated the city's population to be 251,893 as of July 1, 2014, making it the 4th-most populous city in North Carolina, and the 78th-most populous city in the United States. Durham is the core of the four-county Durham-Chapel Hill Metropolitan Area, which has a population of 542,710 as of U.S. Census 2014 Population Estimates. The US Office of Management and Budget also includes Durham as a part of the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill Combined Statistical Area, which has a population of 2,037,430 as of U.S. Census 2014 Population Estimates.
Restaurants in Durham

1. Duke University

Durham, NC http://www.duke.edu
Excellent
81%
Good
16%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
0%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

5.0 based on 646 reviews

Duke University

Reviewed By sherrycat - Burnsville, United States

Our first time to Duke University and the stadium for a football game. People were friendly and told us about a few things to see. We enjoyed the basketball Hall of Fame museum. Pretty place and nice signs placed on our way out of the game to help us find our parking area, in the dark

2. Sarah P. Duke Gardens

426 Anderson St Box 90341, Durham, NC 27708-0341 +1 919-684-3698 [email protected] http://gardens.duke.edu/
Excellent
83%
Good
15%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
0%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

5.0 based on 2,156 reviews

Sarah P. Duke Gardens

Reviewed By loguev - Durham, United States

Duke Gardens is a must see for all who visit or live in the Triangle. Allow hours to fully enjoy these extensive gardens with their varied areas that include terraced flower beds, a Koi Pond, a lake with a bridge, paths, ducks, and herons. You can enjoy a special Asian designed area and even exotic chickens. This is a place for all ages.

3. Duke University Chapel

401 Chapel Dr West Campus, Durham, NC 27708-9984 +1 919-681-9488 [email protected] http://chapel.duke.edu/
Excellent
81%
Good
16%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
0%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

5.0 based on 1,001 reviews

Duke University Chapel

Located on Duke University's West Campus, Duke Chapel is as magnificent in structure as it is rich in ministry. Construction of the Chapel was begun in October of 1930 and completed two years later. During that time students continually congregated at the stonemasons' huts to watch the Chapel take shape. It was first used for Commencement in 1932 and was formally dedicated on June 2, 1935.Duke Chapel continues to be a Christian church of uniquely interdenominational character and purpose. Through its tradition of inspiring worship and music, and a calling to walk with people of all faiths and circumstances, Duke Chapel acts a beacon of grace on campus and in the community. All are welcome to take part in worship, learning, dialogue, and service.

Reviewed By OnAir820535 - Elgin, United States

Awe-inspiring. Gothic style, a 210’ bell tower, ceilings at 73’, 3 pipe organs, 77 stained glass windows with the largest at 38’. This is no mere chapel. Admission is free and Sunday 11am services are open to all — a great way to hear the 6,900 pipes in the largest organ. Designed by Julian Abele, a noted African-American architect, the chapel was dedicated in 1935.

4. The Scrap Exchange

2050 Chapel Hill Rd, Durham, NC 27707-1110 +1 919-682-2751 http://www.scrapexchange.org/
Excellent
81%
Good
13%
Satisfactory
6%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5.0 based on 16 reviews

The Scrap Exchange

5. Waller Family Farm

5030 Kerley Rd, Durham, NC 27705-7117 +1 919-225-4305 http://www.wallerfamilyfarm.com/
Excellent
80%
Good
20%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
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Overall Ratings

5.0 based on 15 reviews

Waller Family Farm

Reviewed By bettye146 - Hillsborough, United States

This is the best place to pick strawberries and the charge is reasonable Waller Farms is a great place to to visit and meet other folks that love strawberries. The owners are wonderful and I love this place. I pass it almost every day.

6. Al Buehler Hiking Trails

Cameron Blvd, Durham, NC 27705 http://dukeforest.duke.edu/recreation/running-hiking/albuehler
Excellent
78%
Good
22%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5.0 based on 9 reviews

Al Buehler Hiking Trails

Reviewed By StephenCr0ss - Dublin, Ireland

Super running and walking area near to Duke University. It’s really excellent and a pleasure to walk here.

7. Duke Homestead

2828 Duke Homestead Rd, Durham, NC 27705-2726 +1 919-477-5498 [email protected] http://www.nchistoricsites.org/duke/DUKE.HTM
Excellent
43%
Good
43%
Satisfactory
13%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 164 reviews

Duke Homestead

At Duke Homestead, visitors can tour the early home, factories, and farm where Washington Duke first grew and processed tobacco. Duke's sons later founded The American Tobacco Company, the largest tobacco company in the world. The Dukes became one of the wealthiest families in the country at the turn of the 20th century and now lend their name to Duke University, Duke Energy, and the Duke Endowment.Duke Homestead offers an orientation film twice an hour, an extensive tobacco museum, and guided tours of the surviving historical structures on the grounds. Among these structures are early Bright Leaf tobacco barns, Washington Duke's first and third factories, and his 1852 homestead.The museum contains exhibits regarding tobacco farming, manufacturing, and marketing. Annual events include an Herb, Garden, and Craft Festival in June; Pork, Pickles and Peanuts: Tastes of North Carolina festival in July; a summer children's festival in August; the Tobacco Harvest Festival and Mock Tobacco Auction in September; and Christmas by Candlelight programs in December.

Reviewed By carriemleemba - Manassas, United States

I passed a sign for this place, and had about an hour before a meeting, and headed here. I was pleasantly surprised at how cool this place was. I was a landscape major, and grew up in the south and never realized how much of the economy of NC had to do with tobacco. I learned a lot, got scared to death with all the creepy exhibits (and a person I thought was part of the exhibit), and awesome old advertising and items. It was a great time. I only wish I had more time to look around the grounds and not just a quick run through the museum. It was a really good look into slavery, and share cropping and the culture of tobacco in the area; that I never knew that much about.

8. West Point on the Eno

5101 N Roxboro St , North Metro, Durham, NC 27704-1419 +1 919-471-1623 http://www.enoriver.org/what-we-protect/parks/west-point-on-the-eno/
Excellent
55%
Good
35%
Satisfactory
9%
Poor
2%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 66 reviews

West Point on the Eno

Reviewed By houseofnii - Durham, United States

Love visiting West Point on the Eno. There are historical buildings right off of the parking area and a small dam nearby. There are a few trails to take, I have taken the one along the river that loops back to the parking lot. It's a beautiful walk. Take snacks and some water.

9. Eno River State Park

6101 Cole Mill Rd North Metro, Durham, NC 27705-9275 +1 919-383-1686 http://www.enoriver.org/eno/Activities/paddling/pa
Excellent
59%
Good
34%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 256 reviews

Eno River State Park

Reviewed By TarHeel071 - Chapel Hill, United States

A great trail just under 5 miles. Explore the log cabin on the way up the mountain, stop and explore where the grist mill house once stood, and enjoy the river scenery--the swinging bridge is a welcome treat.

10. Bennett Place Historic Site

4409 Bennett Memorial Rd, Durham, NC 27705-2307 +1 919-383-4345 [email protected] http://www.bennettplacehistoricsite.com
Excellent
58%
Good
32%
Satisfactory
9%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 219 reviews

Bennett Place Historic Site

Reviewed By krissybee1979 - Wilmington, United States

I love visiting and being where history took place. The guides and documentary were very informative.

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