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This former tobacco town has morphed from ho-hum to hip. For decades, Duke University and its basketball team, the Blue Devils, were Durham’s claim to fame. But today, the revitalized downtown draws the crowds, impressing the smart set with a global array of new restaurants, one-of-a-kind breweries, cool coffee shops and a vibrant social scene.
Duke’s stately campus is a stunning example of Collegiate Gothic architecture. For the cuteness factor, the Duke Lemur Center is home to a loveable collection of the endangered, round-eyed primates, native to Madagascar. Nearby, the lush Sarah P. Duke Gardens is a pleasant place to stroll, and there’s always something interesting on exhibit at the university’s Nasher Museum of Art.
The movie “Bull Durham” immortalized the city’s minor league baseball team, the Durham Bulls. Catch a game at the athletic park from April to September. After the last inning, check out the eclectic but inviting bevy of restaurants downtown. For a post-dinner brew, try a “plow-to-pint” beer at Fullsteam Brewery. A Summer Basil Farmhouse Ale, anyone?