Should You Visit Durham?

Is Durham worth visiting?

Yes, Durham offers many reasons for a visit. It's a city everyone should explore, and our experience here was wonderful. We didn't want to leave.

Whether you're a traveling as a family or a couple, this city has a lot to offer. Any local will tell you what makes it special is the fantastic museums and spectacular food.

Durham, NC is where you'll find Duke University, a top ranking college that is home to the Cameron Crazies and the impressive Duke Chapel. There's also the Sarah P. Duke Gardens, and several museums. The town also has the Durham Bulls, which is a minor league baseball team, as well as many great restaurants and bars.

Durham, NC Durham, NC

5 Reasons to Visit Durham

1. Museums

Duke University is one of the most popular destinations in town. There are several museums on campus as well as the famous Duke Chapel. Elsewhere in Durham there's the Durham Museum of Life and Science.

2. Food

Barbecue is a favorite around town. You'll also find plenty of restaurants that cater to the student population, particularly along Nineth Street near Duke's campus.

3. Nightlife

The younger population tends to hang out near campus and along Nineth Street. If you're looking for something less student oriented, head to downtown Durham.

4. Shopping

The Streets of Southpoint is the best mall in the area. Other shopping areas include Brightleaf Square and Nineth Street.

5. Authenticity

Durham has an authentic vibe where you can experience local culture, cuisine, and activities without the large tourist crowds of other popular destinations.




Is Durham worth visiting in the Summer?

Summer is the shoulder season for travel in Durham. This destination is not very touristy, and in the shoulder season it can become fairly quiet. The students are mostly gone during the summer months so things can be quiet.

The weather in Durham is fairly warm during summer, and stays around 26°C (79°F). But it can get as warm as 32°C (90°F) at times, too. It's also quite rainy during this season, so be prepared.

You'll find plenty to do during summer, as you'll be able to spend time at the museums and grab some drinks at a bar.


Summer Weather in Durham
Avg Temp
(°C/°F)
Avg Rain
(mm/inches)
July 26°C (79°F) 129 mm (5.1 in)
August 26°C (78°F) 125 mm (4.9 in)
September 23°C (73°F) 96 mm (3.8 in)

Is Durham worth visiting in the Autumn?

The high season for travel in Durham is the autumn, so expect to see more tourists than usual. Even though this destination is not very touristy, in the high season it's busier than usual because this is when most visitors come here.

You'll find the weather to be very nice here during autumn with average temperatures around 16°C (61°F).

Autumn is a great time of year to explore the numerous museums and landmarks around town. They are fun for the whole family as well great for couples. During this season it's fun to experience the museums and landmarks.


Autumn Weather in Durham
Avg Temp
(°C/°F)
Avg Rain
(mm/inches)
October 16°C (61°F) 71 mm (2.8 in)
November 11°C (53°F) 72 mm (2.8 in)
December 7°C (44°F) 78 mm (3.1 in)

Is Durham worth visiting in the Winter?

The weather in Durham can be quite cold during winter, and averages around 5°C (40°F). But be prepared for much lower temperatures, too.

The low season for travel in Durham is during the winter. This destination is not very touristy, so in the low season it can become fairly quiet.

This is a great time of year to wander through the museums, sample the delicious cuisine, and enjoy the evening activities.


Winter Weather in Durham
Avg Temp
(°C/°F)
Avg Rain
(mm/inches)
January 5°C (40°F) 82 mm (3.2 in)
February 6°C (43°F) 84 mm (3.3 in)
March 11°C (52°F) 87 mm (3.4 in)

Is Durham worth visiting in the Spring?

Spring is the high season for travel in Durham, so expect more visitors and higher prices. Even though this destination is not very touristy, in the high season it's busier than usual because this is when most visitors come here. Basketball is in full swing during the spring season, so the Cameron Crazies are out and about.

You'll find the weather to be very nice here during spring with average temperatures around 16°C (60°F).

You'll find plenty to do during spring, as you'll be able to find the best deals at the shops, browse through museums, and take advantage of the local nightlife.


Spring Weather in Durham
Avg Temp
(°C/°F)
Avg Rain
(mm/inches)
April 16°C (60°F) 78 mm (3.1 in)
May 20°C (68°F) 84 mm (3.3 in)
June 24°C (76°F) 93 mm (3.7 in)

Things to Consider Before Visiting Durham

Getting Around
The area is not very walkable, and public transit is not great here, so it might be difficult to get around without arranging your own transportation.

The Cost
Depending on your budget, schedule, and travel style, Durham might be an expensive destination for you. You can find out the travel costs for Durham here or see if Durham is expensive here.

Related

What is Durham most famous for?

Durham is most famous for its college town vibe as well as being the home of the famous Blue Devil basketball team. The city is very popular for its museums. Also, it's known for food, nightlife, and shopping. It is often described as student-filled, sports oriented, and diverse.


What is the most famous sight in Durham?

The most popular sight in Durham is the Duke University Chapel. You can see prices and costs for this and other sights in Durham on our travel costs page.

Or, see tickets, activities, and tours for the Duke University Chapel and other attractions here.

How touristy is Durham? Is it a popular city to visit?

Durham is an off-the-beaten-path city that many travelers overlook. Here are some of the most popular activities and tours. (Prices in US Dollars)


    • True Crime Tour: $13
    • Downtown Durham Historian-Guided Walking Tour: $16
    • Durham African American History Tour: $16
    • Durham NC: Art Walking Tour: $20

    How long should I spend in Durham?

    The ideal length of time for a trip to Durham is one to three days. Since Durham has activities such as museums, many visit for up to three days.

    If you have a specific amount of time for your trip, see our advice about how much time to spend here: Should I spend 1, 2, or 3 days in Durham? and Should I spend 3, 4, or 5 days in Durham?.