Located in the Piedmont region between the Great Smoky Mountains and the Atlantic Ocean, Durham, North Carolina stands out as a vibrant, forward-looking city and home to the prestigious Duke University. An economic shift toward service and technology industries, along with the closing of tobacco and textile manufacturing plants opened space for new shopping, dining and entertainment districts, giving Durham a distinctive urban flavor and vibrant culture. The renowned Research Triangle Park borders Durham, housing over 170 high-tech companies employing more than 50,000 workers and contractors. It is no wonder Durham is listed as one of the top 5 places to live.
Durham began as a crossroads surrounded by large plantations and served as a convenient location for small businesses tending to the needs of travelers between other North Carolina settlements. In 1849, When the North Carolina Railroad needed to establish a refueling depot, land was provided by Dr. Bartlett Durham. The railroad provided cheap transportation for goods, creating opportunity for tobacco growers, and eventually establishing Durham as one of the major US tobacco producers. In 1884, textile manufacturing followed the tobacco industry, generating more wealth and opportunity. Even when tobacco and textile manufacturing was still strong, Durham turned its attention toward technology and medical research, aided by the opening the Research Triangle Park in 1959.
The weather in Durham is moderate and pleasant, with high temperatures in the summer averaging in the mid-80’s during the day and nighttime temperatures cooling to the mid-60’s. The winter months of December through February are expectedly colder, but not wintery. Snowfall of more than a few inches is extremely rare.
Durham is served by the Raleigh-Durham International Airport with flights to 40 destinations around the USA, as well as Amtrak service on the Piedmont route running from Charlotte to Washington, D.C. Around town, the Bull City Connector offers fare-free bus service between Duke University and several destinations along Durham’s central corridor. The Durham Area Transit Authority provides bus routes throughout the city, with support for handicapped riders and bike racks for cyclists, and the Triangle Transit connects Durham with the cities of Raleigh, Chapel Hill, and Wake Forest.
Cost of Living in Durham
Durham offers residents a host of cultural, historical, and educational amenities, yet the cost of living in Durham is nearly 10% lower than the national average, contributing to a higher quality of life. Use these cost of living tools to personalize your cost of living in Durham.
Durham, North Carolina was selected as one of the top 20 places to educate your child. Durham’s public school district is progressive, with two elementary Montessori schools, a health sciences academy, and a School for the Arts.
The number one hospital in Durham is Duke University Hospital. Also recognized as the top hospital in the state, this hospital is nationally ranked for 13 adult specialties. Duke University Hospital is also a teaching facility. If you’re planning on moving to Durham, it’s a good idea to know the medical resources available to you.
Durham Real Estate
Durham offers a broad range of living options from trendy, loft apartments for urban-dwellers to quiet country settings just beyond the city limits. Many of the historic neighborhoods offer beautiful homes at affordable prices. Use the links below to discover your real estate options in Durham.
When staying in Durham, there are many choices available. From the intimate Arrowhead Inn, a former plantation home, to the luxurious Washington Duke Inn and Golf Club, located at the edge of Duke University campus. Use the following links to find places to stay in Durham.
Durham is home to over 300 restaurants, with several of the unique establishments concentrated in the Brightleaf and American Tobacco Districts, and downtown, on Chapel Street. Take a few minutes to explore the links below and you will find Afghani, Irish, and Brazilian cuisine, along with the tastes of France, Italy, Spain, Cuba, India and more.
Things to Do in Durham
With over 150 events a year, the Durham Performing Arts Center is one of the city’s most visited entertainment venues, featuring Broadway shows, concerts, and comedies for all ages. For a fun learning adventure with the kids, visit the Museum of Life and Science. It is one of North Carolina’s top attractions, featuring one of the world’s largest butterfly conservatories and a natural habitat for rescued black bears, lemurs, and endangered red wolves. When you are ready to shop, The Streets at Southpoint offers a contemporary shopping experience, while the Ninth Street Shopping District offers eclectic shops and galleries with items you’re not likely to find anywhere else.