A Day in Durham – You can have it all.

In 2016, US News rated the Raleigh-Durham area the top 6th place to live based on several quality of life factors. Since I live in the southern part of Wake County, and have lived in Johnston County previously, I admit that I have not spent a lot of time in the Durham parts of the “Raleigh-Durham” area- at least aside from a baseball game or two each year. When a couple of colleagues heard this, they suggested I take some time to explore the area.

When I finally had a little bit of free time, I decided to see what the hype was all about, and ended up spending the entire day. I was quickly and easily able to see why Durham is included in the growth and draw of the Triangle area. Even the whole day couldn’t cover all there was to do.

11 a.m.: A hike

When you think of a metropolitan area, you probably imagine high rise buildings, city sounds, and liveliness all around. Those things alone are a huge draw for young professionals; however, sometimes it’s nice to spend some time away from the hustle and bustle without spending the time and money it takes for a travel. Eno River State Park provides the perfect retreat from city life without actually forgoing the city life you crave.

I was looking for input on area hiking trails, and Eno River was suggested by several people. With a ton of trail choices, I took a more moderate level trail that looped by the rocky river, part of which campers were wading and swimming in. I even tried to imagine “big city” things happening outside the park, but it was a peaceful, challenging (in some parts) workout.

As mentioned, the park has several trail options, camping options, and even hosts family events. I was able to watch birds dance through the trees, busy squirrels rush away from me, and admire such clear water that the river bottom was visible. It was truly one of the best local parks I’ve been to, and there was no entry charge- always a bonus for a park with so much to offer.

3:40 p.m.: Late Lunch/Early Dinner

After my long hike, I was beyond hungry. In 20 minutes, I went from a wilderness retreat to hustle and bustle of a growing city. I decided to try Zinburger, a wine and burger bar. I had never heard of them, as it’s the only one in North Carolina, but apparently there are locations across seven east coast states. The service was prompt and friendly, the waitress even bringing two waters for me to hydrate more. She asked if I had been there before, and when I said I had not, she explained the menu and how the restaurant worked to me. They have a weekly burger, weekly wine, and weekly local brew, and a rewards program if you decide to frequent the establishment. I ordered a “Burger of the Week” which was an All-American Burger (in honor of the Fourth of July week), and a side salad with balsamic vinaigrette instead of French fries. Since it’s a wine and burger bar, I did order a Zingria (sangria). While this isn’t meant to be a complete review, the salad and dressing were fresh and perfectly refreshing after my hike. The burger was cooked perfectly (which doesn’t always happen with a medium rare order), huge, and filling. I had to take half home. The service, drinks, and food were so incredible and rich tasting that I felt like I was fine dining. I was able to sit outdoors, watch people pass by, and enjoy the sounds of the surrounding shops.

4:30: SHOPPING!

Even though I had just been on a 4-hour hike, what better way to digest a quality lunch than with some quality shopping. Streets at Southpoint has 172 stores (including 33 restaurants) to fit all tastes and financial levels. I usually fine malls have high end-fashion and specialized stores, or just have your regular mall variety. Southpoint impressed me with their shopping options, cleanliness, and unique “street” feel.

Evening/Night: ANYTHING

If I’d had a shower and fresh clothes, I could have (and would have happily) extended my “Day in Durham” to include a “Night in Durham”. The waitress and manager on duty of Zinburger were both kind enough to discuss their love of Durham with me, and both commented on how there is always something to do, and how much it’s growing. Sports are covered year-round with the Durham Bulls, and Duke University football and basketball. Durham Performing Arts Center (aka DPAC) covers the Broadway shows and theater. And, of course, there are a ton of restaurants, bars, and live music venues. With Duke University Hospital in the area, you even have cutting edge medical treatment available.

Basically, I have heard the old adage “you’re not going to find everything you’re looking for in one place” when I have moved before. However, I’m starting to believe that with Durham, you just MIGHT be able to get everything you could want. Housing markets in the entire triangle area are developing and growing, and whether it’s suburban or city life you’re looking for, the area has it all. Your Urhous agents can narrow down the best fit for you and make sure you’re as close to what you’re looking for as possible!

By Kristen Stephenson, Urhous Contributor

References: Thorsby, Devon. “The 20 Best Places to Live in the US for Quality of Life”. US News. 2 June 2016,  http://realestate.usnews.com/real-estate/slideshows/the-20-best-places-to-live-in-the-us-for-quality-of-life/?slide=16 . Accessed 5 July 2017.
 

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