Durham  is a city of 228,330 inhabitants in central North Carolina in the United States. It is known best for being home to Duke University, Research Triangle Park, and a thriving health care industry. Durham and the neighboring cities of Raleigh and Chapel Hill form the Triangle, sometimes referred to as a Family of Communities.
Meet a city of tremendous contrasts. Much of what you'll find in the Bull City did not exist a decade ago. Other parts remain unchanged over half a century—or more. Amid the economic and intellectual engines of Duke University and Research Triangle Park, a mosaic of historic neighborhoods hold nearly 200 years of history. While not everything in Durham's past has been rosy, the city has endured as a place for all walks of life to coexist. Durhamites are intensely proud: of their barbecue, their basketball (fact: you will find just as many UNC fans here as Duke die-hards) and their resilience. For many decades, it was not an easy place to live and the butt of much ridicule in the eyes of other North Carolinians. Durham got the last laugh, though, as the city now stands as a Southeastern mecca of culture, food and innovation.
It's a place unlike any other, where cigarettes and curing warehouses gave way to computers and start-up incubators—all under the looming presence of an academic powerhouse.
Durham owes much of its wealth and history to tobacco. Through the second half of the 19th Century, Washington Duke and his family grew from a single farm into American Tobacco, which controlled 90% of all cigarette production for the United States. The Duke family donated money to Trinity College, which in 1924 was renamed Duke University.
In the early 20th Century, North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company, Mechanics & Farmers Bank, and Mutual Savings & Loan were founded in Durham by African-Americans. These prominent companies drew more African-American investment to Durham, to the point that Durham's Parrish Street neighborhood became known as "Black Wall Street." NC Mutual Life continues to this day as the oldest and largest African-American-owned life insurance company in the nation and as a visible part of the Durham skyline.
The last cigarette rolled out of Durham in 2000. Many of the old factory and warehouse structures have been converted into housing, retail, restaurant and office spaces. The city has changed its motto from "City of Tobacco" to "City of Medicine," based on the high concentration of medical practitioners and researchers at Duke and in Research Triangle Park, the Durham County special tax district formed in 1959 to attract high-tech jobs to the area.
There are many great attractions to visit in Durham including: Duke University (which includes the Sarah P. Duke Gardens, Cameron Indoor Stadium, Duke Sports Hall of Fame, Nasher Museum of Art, and Duke University Chapel); the Durham Bulls Athletic Park; the Durham Performing Arts Center; the Carolina Theatre; St. Joseph's Performance Hall and the Hayti Heritage Center; the Museum of Life and Science; Patterson Mills Country Store; West Point on the Eno; and three state historic sites including Duke Homestead and Tobacco Museum, Bennett Place and Historic Stagville.
Duke University has a unique Gothic architecture. Duke Chapel is a cathedral-like centerpiece that soars 210 feet high on West campus. Sarah P. Duke Gardens is one of the premier public gardens in the U.S. and has more than five miles of walkways and paths. The Nasher Museum of Arts features classical to contemporary works and just hosted the blockbuster exhibit El Greco to Velazquez.
The Durham Bulls are the most popular minor league baseball team in America, due to the enduring popularity of the 1987 movie "Bull Durham," filmed largely at the old Durham Athletic Park. They play now in the Durham Bulls Athletic Park which was designed by the architects of Baltimore's Camden Yards. The Duke University Blue Devils and North Carolina Central Eagles provide lots of opportunity for spectators through their mens and womens sports programs.
Among the historic sites, Bennett Place has the privilege of having hosted the largest troop surrender that ended the Civil War, 17 days after General Lee surrendered at Appomattox. Duke Homestead features the Duke family's mid 1800s home, tobacco barns and cigarette factory, Historic Stagville, once among the Wouth's largest plantation holdings, features an 18th century house, slave quarters and a unique great barn.
Durham has a liberal  trendy arts culture. It is an eclectic blend of the high class with an unusual concentration of four star restaurants (part owing to a strange bit of local family history) to trendy cafés on 9th Street, the independent bookstore "the Regulator" which draws famed authors from former secretary of state Madeline Albright to expert on everything John Hodgman.
Duke vs. UNC
Basketball allegiance isn't bound by city limit in North Carolina. Durham is no exception.
Simply put, there's no predictor to who roots for whom. For Bull City natives, it comes down to many things: what street you live on, who your parents grew up rooting for, even where you went to elementary school. That said, most Durham basketball fans fall on one side of the Duke/UNC rivalry. Locals are passionate about explaining it. But beware trash talk; everyone from children to the elderly can and will school you. It's religion down here.
You'll find old hippies, bikers and families in generally happy co-existence. The area has a very active gay community which stages both a famed regional film festival and an annual pride march.
Politically the area is dominated by Democratic politics  in an otherwise (nationally) Republican leaning state. Because of the academic influences of Duke, UNC, NCCU and NC State University, you will easily encounter locals of any possible affiliation or background. It's not uncommon to hobnob with a seemingly random stranger at a Durham bar, only to discover they have a PhD and are international leaders in their field!
The 2010s and post-recession economic recovery brought unprecedented growth to Durham. Along with soaring home prices, a revitalized and thriving downtown, and seemingly countless new restaurants, the city has become an incredibly popular place to live on a national level. A cool factor rivaled by Austin, Nashville and Portland, OR, means it's common to see natives and newbies alike sporting pro-Durham clothing. Both groups will tell you that the Bull City offers what many other locales can't: a mix of blue-collar grit, sophisticated academia, tech-centric innovation and world-class diversity.
All major American airlines fly into Raleigh-Durham International Airport (IATA: RDU). It is best served by American Airlines and Delta Airlines. These and other airlines provide direct connections to most major hubs, including Charlotte, Atlanta, Washington-Dulles, Freeport (Grand Bahama), Baltimore-Washington, Chicago (Midway and O'Hare), New York (LaGuardia + JFK), Las Vegas, Houston, Dallas-Fort Worth, Phoenix, Toronto, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Cancun, and London, among others. Most other major cities are reachable after a single connecting flight.
You can take the #100 from the airport to the Regional Transit Center and then take the #700 to Raleigh.
Amtrak's  Carolinian and Piedmont lines stop in Durham. The Carolinian runs once daily north to New York City and south to Charlotte, while the Piedmont runs twice daily between Raleigh and Charlotte. The rail station is at 601 West Main Street downtown, close to the DATA bus system's new downtown terminal and in a historic and newly renovated building that once served as a tobacco warehouse.
Inter-city buses arrive and depart Durham from the Durham Station Transportation Center,  515 W Pettigrew St, near the Amtrak station.
Durham is served by Interstates 40 and 85, and US routes 15, 501 and 70 along with several state routes. "The Durham Freeway" generally refers to NC-147, which connects I-85 and 15/501 in northwest Durham to I-40 and Research Triangle Park in southeast Durham, by way of downtown. If you wish to rent a car, car rental options at the RDU airport are plentiful and range from $20 to $50 per day, with whole-week rentals significantly discounted.
It should be mentioned that like Atlanta's infamous "Peachtree", Durham has a number of synonymous roadways, in some cases miles from each other. This can easily confuse visitors but with the advent of Google Maps, Waze and the like, it's not too hard to find your way around. When in doubt, ask a local!
There are two toll roads just south of the city, connecting southern Triangle suburbs with Research Triangle Park and the Raleigh Durham International Airport. Signage is clear and plentiful to avoid accidentally entering these freeways.
Parking and traffic are major issues in booming Durham, especially downtown. Be mindful of parking in residential zones in the city for extended periods without a permit. Many downtown spaces require a pay-and-place receipt, purchased at a nearby machine that will require you to enter the vehicle's license plate number. Always consider Uber or Lyft to get around, as both services are inexpensive and convenient in the area.
Avoid downtown surface streets, the Durham Freeway (NC 147), US 15-501, US-70, I-40 and I-540 at rush hours; the traffic has quickly gone from bad to terrible. Outside of normal rush hours, you should be able to move about easily.
- Triangle Transit Authority, + 1 919 549-9999, . Routes between Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill as well as Research Triangle Park and the Raleigh-Durham International Airport.
- Durham Area Transit Authority, + 1 919 683-DATA, . Routes around the more urban parts of Durham, mostly every half hour.
- Watch a Durham Bulls  minor-league baseball game. Tickets are $5 and up.
- Go watch a Duke men's basketball game if you visit during basketball season. Tickets are hard to get. Your best bet may be between December 15th and January 1st, when students (and some locals) are gone. You can also check online sites like StubHub for last-minute deals. Do not buy from the scalpers outside of Cameron Indoor Stadium—you may well be transacting with a plain-clothes Duke police officer!
- See an independent film or a play at the historic Carolina Theatre .
- See the largest collection of lemurs outside of Madagascar at the Duke Lemur Center . Tours are by appointment only. Scheduling your tour at least two weeks in advance is recommended, but they can sometimes accommodate last-minute additions.
- See world-class art at the Nasher Museum of Art  at Duke University, located at the corner of Anderson and Duke University Roads. Don't miss the giant face-mask.
- Museum of Life and Science, 433 W. Murray Ave (http://www.ncmls.org/visit/campus-and-exhibits/maps/#google), ☎ 919-220-5429, . 10-5. Spend a day with kids exploring the many interactive exhibits here. Space vehicles, farm animals, playground, drum area, physics display, maps and globes, butterfly house, bugs!, and now with bears and lemurs. $10.85. edit
- Check out the local art scene during Durham's Third Friday Art Walk , often featuring live music and a myriad of food trucks, in addition to open studios and galleries throughout downtown.
- Listen to live music at The Pinhook , Casbah , Motorco  Broad Street Cafe , Historic American Tobacco Campus  or other local venues (the  Independent Weekly is a good source of local happenings.
- Watch a local live theater performance at Common Ground Theatre  or Manbites Dog Theater .
- Bennett Place, 4409 Bennett Memorial Rd., ☎ 919-383-4345, . 9-5 Tues-Sat.. This simple farmhouse was situated between Confederate Gen. Joseph E. Johnston's headquarters in Greensboro, and Union Gen. William T. Sherman's headquarters in Raleigh. In April 1865, the two commanders met at the Bennett Place, where they signed surrender papers for Southern armies in the Carolinas, Georgia, and Florida. It was the largest troop surrender of the American Civil War. edit
- Historic Stagville, 5828 Old Oxford Highway, ☎ 919-620-0120, . 10-4 Tues-Sat.. Comprises the remains of North Carolina's largest pre-Civil War plantation and one of the South's largest. It once belonged to the Bennehan-Cameron family, whose combined holdings totaled approximately 900 slaves and almost 30,000 acres by 1860. Today, Stagville consists of 71 acres, on three tracts. On this land stand the late 18th-century Bennehan House, four rare slave houses, a pre-Revolutionary War farmer's house, a huge timber framed barn built by skilled slave craftsmen, and the Bennehan Family cemetery. Free. edit
- Go for a walk in the Sarah P. Duke Gardens .
- See a world-class performance, including touring Broadway shows, at the Durham Performing Arts Center (DPAC). Ticket prices range from $30-$120 depending on the show. Buy in advance. 
- Explore the Duke Forest .
- Go hiking or have a picnic at Eno River State Park  or West Point on the Eno. West Point has an old-fashioned corn mill that still sells fresh cornmeal.
- Bike or roller-blade on the American Tobacco Trail. It's a paved-over railway line that extends from downtown Durham, near the ball park all the way to Raleigh. One section is not complete yet, so you may be stuck on Highway 54 unable to cross I-40 unless you bike on the roads. It is 7 miles from downtown Durham to the end of the trail at I-40 and Hway 54 junction.
- Attend one of the renowned annual festivals. Each April is the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival , the country's largest such festival, and each summer is the country's largest contemporary dance festival, American Dance Festival .
- Check out Ninth Street, a pedestrian friendly street with a variety of eating, shopping, and entertainment options. .
- Play on many different Golf courses from Hillandale Golf  to Willowhaven to the Duke University Golf Club among many more.
- The Streets at Southpoint, off of Interstate 40, . The largest and most varied mall in the area, if not the whole state. It mixes indoor and outdoor shopping and dining, in a setting that tries to recapture the spirit of old downtown Durham.
- Northgate Mall, off of Interstate 85, . One of the nation's last family-owned malls.
- Brightleaf Square, just west of downtown Durham, is built in a restored tobacco warehouse. It houses boutique shops and several nationally-renowned restaurants.
- Ninth Street, near the Duke campus, has boutique stores catering to a college crowd. Look for bookstores, clothing stores, an art gallery or two, and an upscale toy store.
- Grandfather Clocks (The Clock Depot in Durham), 3750 Chapel Hill Blvd ((Old South Square Area)), ☎ 919-402-8714, . 10:00 - 6:00. Family owned clock shop in Durham featuring new Grandfather Clocks.
Durham is a terrific city to eat in, and if you search around enough, you'll find no need to go to our friends in nearby Chapel Hill or Raleigh to cater to your tastes. From time-tested burger shacks to upscale eateries on par with Atlanta and Washington, it's easy to find unique flavors all over the city. There's an especially good concentration of remarkable eats around the Duke and Research Triangle Park areas, specifically 9th St/Brightleaf for the former and South Sq/Southpoint/54 for the latter.
- Bahn's Cuisine, 750 9th St, + 1 919 286-5073. Most of the week this is an average Chinese takeout place; however, on Wednesday and Saturday they serve Vietnamese home cooking and soups. A local hangout since 1985. The locals can tell you're "not from around here" if you order Chinese on those days. There are both vegetarian and vegan plates. The "#8 Vegetarian plate" of fried tofu and a vegetable roll is the most popular dish on Saturdays and to a lesser degree on Wednesdays. The "Pork Bun" is a good choice for small children as is the Satay Chicken (they'll frequently make adapted portions for children). It is cash only. Plates and sides are $3-$9.
- Triangle Coffee Co, 714 9th St, Durham, + 1 919 286-6087. The local coffee place on 9th street. The coffee is Larry's Beans and the atmosphere relaxed and causal (2 stories of it). Cookies and baked goods are also for sale. Wireless access is provided.
- Cosmic Cantina, 1920 1/2 Perry St, + 1 919 286-1875. A Duke hangout with cheap California-style burritos, cheap beer, and quick service. Entrees, if they can be called that, range from $2-$6, beer is $2, soda is $1. Cosmic is open late, generally until 4AM. Durham is home to the original Cosmic Cantina, which can also now be found in Chapel Hill and Manhattan.
- Elmo's Diner, Ninth Street, . Serves the best breakfast in Durham, as well as good comfort food and diner fare for lunch and dinner. Grab a table or sit at the bar. You may have to wait a bit on weekend mornings, but Elmo's makes coffee and newspapers available to help pass the time.
- Loco Pops, 2600 Hillsborough Rd. Serves gourmet popsicles in a variety of unusual, Mexican-inspired flavors. Try the Mexican chocolate or the mojito. Each popsicle is $1-$2.
- The Mad Hatter's Bake Shop, . A local bakery that has recently branched out into full dinner fare. Their dinners are as good as (and more creative than) their cakes and cookies. Entrees tend to be $6-$8, and many are healthy and vegetarian-friendly.
- The Original Q Shack, 2510 University Drive. They serve traditional NC barbecue, chicken, and beef sausage. Choice of side dishes include onion rings, mac and cheese, fried okra, deviled eggs, french fries, and hush puppies. It is a pleasant, informal dining experience with both indoor and outdoor seating. Price range is $6-$12.
- Durham also has plenty of fast-food restaurants, with a particularly high concentration on Hillsborough Road. Try the Dog House (4 locations, ask around) and Cook-Out (Hillsborough Rd, N Duke St, Miami Blvd locations) especially.
- blu seafood and bar 2002 Hillsborough Rd, + 1 919 286.9777.  Hours are 5 pm to 10 p.m. A casual, yet upscale restaurant focusing on regional and global classics with fresh fish. Price $$.
- Bullock's, . A local tradition, serving eastern-North Carolina BBQ, sweet tea, hush puppies, and plenty of fried vegetables. Go "family style" for about $9 and eat a bit of everything. Note that eastern-NC BBQ is dry and is cooked with vinegar, and may not be what outsiders are used to. Bullock's is often crowded, but the line moves fast. Bullock's is cash only and closes at 8PM.
- Cinelli's Ristorante & Pizzeria of Durham, 607 Broad Street, + 1 919 416-4554, . There are several Cinelli's in the area, however Gaitano "Guy" Cinelli's is the best. Cinelli's pizza is some of the best outside of New York. Highly recommended is the signature Grandma's pizza. In addition to the excellent pies, Cinelli's offers a full range of traditional Italian fare. Large pizzas are about $20, and traditional Italian entrees range from $10-$15.
- Guglhupf Guglhupf Bakery & Pâtisserie , 2706 Durham-Chapel Hill Blvd, +1 919 401.2600, . Eat great German fare and baked goods.
- Piedmont, 401 Foster Street, + 1 919 430-0261, . Italian and French country food, emphasizing local produce in menu. Limited lunch menu, but decent dinner menu. Brunch and dinner ranges from $9-28.
- Chamas churrascaria Brazilian Steakhouse, 905 West Main St. (in Brightleaf Square downtown), + 1 919 682-1309. The restaurant features an extensive buffet of salads, cheeses, seafood, vegetables and international hot dishes. Gauchos make their rounds among the tables continuously serving diners unlimited cuts of meat such as beef, pork, lamb, and chicken. Fried bananas and mashed potatoes are also served to each table. Reservations suggested.
- Four Square, 2701 Chapel Hill Rd (at Pickett), + 1 919 401-9877. Not far from Duke University and the Lakewood neighborhood, presents superlative contemporary European and American flavors in an incredible early 20th century Victorian mansion. Completely out of place in its working-class neighborhood, it is an experience in every sense. Very romantic. Reservations strongly suggested.
- Metro 8 Streakhouse, 746 9th St, +1 919 416 1700. Upscale Argentinian steakhouse. Unusually great salad and steak with great service and a romantic atmosphere.
- Mateo, 109 W Chapel Hill St (Downtown), + 1 919 530-8700. Featuring a tapas menu that blends the flavors of Spain with beloved ingredients and dishes of the South. Reservations recommended.
Other higher-end standbys and new additions to the city's burgeoning culinary scene include Parizade' (Erwin Square, near 9th St), "Vin Rouge (on 9th and Markham), and Rue Cler (downtown, on East Chapel Hill St.).
Until recently, Durham was not a great city for bars. The waves of growth in the past decade have changed that, and now you can find just about any nightlife to suit your fancy, from high-end cocktail dens to hipster dives.
Your best bet for a night out is downtown, specifically around Five Points and slightly north to the burgeoning area of Rigsbee Avenue and Geer Street. There are several places to eat and drink further west toward and just beyond Duke's East Campus, namely the Brightleaf Square and Ninth Street corridors.
Durham boasts some great breweries in off-the-beaten-path areas close-in to downtown, among them Ponysaurus and Honeygirl Meadery. Do not walk to these areas after dark. Use a ride-hailing service or drive yourself, minding your belongings when you park.
Just remember: Uber and Lyft are inexpensive and easy to use in the Bull City.
Some notable establishments include:
- Shooters II Saloon, 827 W Morgan St. A wild-west themed bar and dance club popular with Duke kids, Shooters is famous for its mechanical bull and dancing cage. Doesn't really pop off outside of weekend nights after 10PM.
- Fullsteam, 726 Rigsbee Avenue (Rigsbee), + 1 919 682-2337. A popular Durham hangout. They are a brewery which serves their own beer and a selection from other breweries.
- Motorco, 723 Rigsbee Avenue. Music venue and converted garage. Great food, plentiful outdoor seating. A nice place to start the night before walking/ubering to other downtown spots.
- Alley Twenty Six, 320 E Chapel Hill St. Perhaps the first mixology bar to grace Durham, this cozy, two-sided bar offers exceptional cocktails at DC or NYC prices. But it's worth it for the inventiveness and the snacks, which include appropo takes on Southern favorites like pimento cheese.
- Dain's Place, 9th Street. A non-smoking bar with many types of beers. It draws more the post-grad and 25-35 crowd. Great burgers and also an unusually good salad.
- Comfort Inn, 4507 NC 55/Apex Hwy, ☎ (919) 361-2656, . checkin: 3PM; checkout: 12PM. Offers guests an exercise room and a business center. edit
- Comfort Inn Medical Park, 1816 Hillandale Road, ☎ (919) 471-6100, . checkin: 3PM; checkout: 12PM. Offers guests free shuttle service and a small meeting room. edit
- Comfort Suites Raleigh Durham Airport/RTP, 5219 Page Road, ☎ (919) 314-1200, . checkin: 3PM; checkout: 12PM. Located by the Raleigh-Durham International Airport. edit
- Doubletree Guest Suites Raleigh/Durham, 2515 Meridian Parkway, ☎ +1 919-361-4660, . All-suite atrium hotel located lakeside near Research Triangle Park and ten minutes from the airport. Rooms feature refrigerator, microwave, and wetbar area. edit
- Duke Tower Hotel & Condominiums, 807 W. Trinity Ave, ☎ +1 919 687-4444 (fax: +1 919 683-1215), . edit
- Hotel Indigo Raleigh Durham Airport at RTP, 151 Tatum Dr., ☎ 919-474-3000, . edit
- The Durham Marriott, ☎ + 1 919 768-6000. The people there are friendly and provide great service. They have a shuttle to take you up to a five mile diameter from the hotel which gets you to most places in town. Ask for the 8th floor rooms facing west. edit
- Millennium Hotel Durham, 2800 Campus Walk Ave, ☎ +1 919 383-8575, . Accommodations, meeting space, and dining venues about a mile from Duke University. edit
- Quality Inn & Suites, 3710 Hillsborough Road, ☎ +1 919-382-3388 Fax: 919-382-9298, . Pet-friendly, free breakfast. edit
- Sleep Inn, 5208 Page Rd I-40 & Page Rd, ☎ +1 919-993-3393 Fax: 919-314-1401, . A Pet Friendly hotel which offers free airport transportation. edit
- SpringHill Suites, 5310 McFarland Drive, ☎ 919-403-1111, . edit
- Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club, 3001 Cameron Blvd., ☎ (919) 490-0999, . edit
- Wyndham Garden Hotel, 4620 South Miami Blvd, ☎ + 1 919 941-6066 (fax: + 1 919 941-6363), . edit
- Arrowhead Inn, 106 Mason Rd., ☎ (919) 477-8430, . checkin: 3PM; checkout: 11AM. 9 room luxury inn on 6 acres featuring fireplaces, 6 jacuzzi rooms, free Wi-Fi, daily breakfasts, private cottage, and made to order dinners. $150-$325. edit
- Courtyard Durham Research Triangle Park, 301 Residence Inn Boulevard, ☎ 1-919-484-2900, . Durham, NC hotel located minutes from Research Triangle Park (RTP). 117 rooms and 6 suites. Complimentary parking and Internet access. (35.903883,-78.89643) edit
- Residence Inn Durham Research Triangle Park, 201 Residence Inn Blvd., ☎ 919-361-1266, . Located just 2 miles from the 7,000 acre Research Triangle Park, the largest research park in the United States with over 100 research and development companies. The hotel is near North Carolina Central University is just minutes away from Durham and Cary businesses, shops and restaurants (35.903463,-78.897701) edit
- Holiday Inn Express & Suites Research Triangle Park, 4912 South Miami Blvd (Exit I-40 at Miami Blvd), ☎ 919-474-9800, . checkin: 3:00 pm; checkout: 12:00 pm. Modern Hotel with Free Breakfast, Free WiFi, Business Center, Board Room, Fitness Center, Spacious Lobby, Laundry, Snack Pantry, Outdoor Pool (pool added in 2017) edit
- Holiday Inn Express Durham, 2516 Guess Rd (Exit I-85 at Guess Rd), ☎ 919-313-3244, . checkin: 3:00 pm; checkout: 12:00 pm. Free Medical Shuttle, Free Breakfast, Free WiFi, Business Center, Outdoor Pool edit
- Hampton Inn & Suites Durham North I-85, 1542 North Gregson St (Intersection of I-85 and 501), ☎ 919-688-8880, . checkin: 3:00 pm; checkout: 12:00 pm. Modern hotel with Spacious Lobby, Free Medical Shuttle, Free Breakfast, Free WiFi, Business Center, Meeting Room, Fitness Center, Indoor Pool edit
- The King's Daughters Inn, 204 N Buchanan Blvd, ☎ (919) 354-7000, . checkin: 15; checkout: 11. Next to the Duke East Campus and within walking distance to downtown restaurants, this inn offers free breakfast and WiFi. edit
Historically considered unsafe and still regarded by many Triangle residents as dangerous, crime in Durham is actually on par with other Southern cities its size. Certainly just as many unfortunate incidents can be found in the news occurring in neighboring Raleigh. What sets Durham apart are two important factors, namely that a patchwork of neighborhoods can vary wildly in affluence within just a few blocks—and that explosive gentrification in the past ten years has brought many new affluent residents to areas that were quite distressed for decades prior.
Far and away, most areas of the city that visitors will encounter are safe, including the areas around Duke, downtown and most of the southwest of the city. The areas immediately north, east and south of downtown are not always well-lit and contain geography that could be confusing to outsiders. Basic rule of thumb: use common sense like you would anywhere else. Be aware of your surroundings at night, avoid walking alone, lock your car, and remove valuables when parking. Politely ignore panhandlers or dismiss them with a simple, "sorry" and you won't have any trouble. Most violent crimes in Durham, while not particularly frequent, are drug-related or domestic and by avoiding the drug trade one can avoid these issues .
When in doubt, ask a Durhamite. Even the relative newbies will offer their two cents on what feels safe to them. As of this writing (2019) the only true areas of concern are in far-flung residential parts of town that visitors will not likely encounter. This includes Old Oxford Highway in the northeast part of the city and the area near Highway 70 and Miami Boulevard going east toward RTP and RDU Airport.
Keep a heads up on the American Tobacco Trail and city greenways if using them alone or after dark.
For Medical Care, Durham has a large supply of physicians, and is also known as the "City of Medicine"
Duke University Medical Center "2301 Erwin Road", " + (919) 684-8111".
Duke University Medical center is a Solucient Top 100 Hospital, and named one of America's Best Hospitals by US News and World Report, is in Durham.
- Chapel Hill, about 8 miles from Durham, is home to the University of North Carolina (UNC-CH). Chapel Hill has many good restaurants and bars on Franklin Street, adjacent to the UNC campus.
- Raleigh, about 21 miles away, the state capital. Raleigh has North Carolina State University; the state museums of art, history, and science; and the state symphony and ballet.
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