Start your amazing day in Durham with a filling breakfast at Jack Tar and The Colonel’s Daughter. This upscale diner and comfort food spot will surprise you with its high-class renditions of rib-sticking favorites. If you’re really hungry, try the Ham + Eggs. It’s a $16 plate piled high with the biggest serving of house-smoked ham you’ve ever seen (and likely the most mouth-watering as well), along with heirloom grits and runny eggs. It’s everything you’ve ever needed and more to fuel a proper day of exploration.
You’re going to need to walk off all that ham, so head to the American Tobacco Campus. This historic spot in Durham gives you a glimpse of what the city was founded on and revolved around for so many decades — the tobacco industry. Though those days are behind it, the city has still found a way to reclaim these beautiful historic structures of industry for new use. Now, the American Tobacco Campus is a lovely spot that blends outdoor green space with spots for startups, breweries, theaters and more. Take a walk around the campus to explore, check out the hidden mural on the side of the Burt’s Bees Headquarters (and check out Burt’s original cabin!) and enjoy this little piece of history.
Once you’re in the mood for a light lunch, indulge at Rue Cler. The Parisian-style restaurant is a favorite of locals and visitors alike. The vibe is upscale yet unpretentious and the menu is similar. Try simple yet perfectly French classics like steak frites, coq au vin or salade nicoise. You can easily enjoy lunch for less than $15.
There are plenty of activities to fill your free time in the afternoon and early evening. The Durham Bulls Athletic Park is a thoroughly charming piece of Americana, plus great for both sports fans and just those of us who enjoy going to a game for beer and hot dogs. This Minor League stadium gives you great views from every seat, affordable ticket prices and weekly fireworks shows. (If you’re a movie buff, you might just also recognize it from the Kevin Costner and Susan Sarandon film, Bull Durham.)
If you’re in the mood for something cute and Insta-worthy, pay a visit to the Duke Lemur Center. This research center that’s open to the public is home to the largest collection of lemurs anywhere in the world outside Madagascar, for a total of approximately 250 lemurs and 21 lemur species. Tickets start at $12.
End the night with a late dinner at Geer Street Garden. The highly lauded eatery is super casual and cozy, but the food is out of this world. If you have a soft spot for Southern soul food, the folks at Geer Street will truly thrill you, from the bourbon cocktails to the fried chicken to the pimento cheese. You can easily get dinner and a drink for less than $25.
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