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Moving to the Bull City ten years ago, I’ve seen this city transform from a place that was in parts abandoned, to the vibrant community that it is today. Durham became known as the Bull City after an advertising by the Bull Durham Tobacco Company. More properly pronounced as “Durm,” you will find both old and newcomers proudly announcing their love of the city. But this city does not want to be polished and modern – that is why you’ll often hear the expression “Keep it Dirty, Durham!” We love the rough edges that reflect the diversity of those who are here.

Durham bull statue

Durham, North Carolina, makes the list of up-and-coming cities with so many publications!  The city ranks #16 on Forbes of best places for business and careers. Best Cities ranked it #16 as one of America’s best small cities.  U.S. News and World Report listed Raleigh and Durham #13 on its list of best places to live. Alright, we moved up a few spots, even though we had to share the spot with Raleigh. Durham NC real estate has become a hot commodity too. So many people are moving here!

So what makes this city so special? Durham was a center for tobacco trading. With the decrease in tobacco’s popularity, I moved to Durham just as it was beginning its transformation. Abandoned tobacco warehouses have been transformed into office space, event space, and even living quarters.

And there are so many great aspects about living and visiting our fair city!

front of Duke University Medical Center

World-Class Medical Care

Every year, Duke University’s Hospital makes the lists for top medical facilities in the United States. People come from all over the world to receive treatment at Duke. And if you’re receiving treatment here, you get to enjoy the rest of this great city.

Duke University Chapel

Duke University

Nationally ranked as one of the best institutions of higher education, Duke University also has a beautiful campus! Sports fans are familiar with Duke’s sports teams as well. Duke University students and staff add to the cultural richness of our city.

DPAC at night

Durham Performing Arts Center (DPAC)

Did you know that DPAC ranked #2 nationally in attendance during 2018’s first quarter? We get Broadway shows on a regular basis (Hamilton is coming!) and comedians and performers are also featured here.

picnic tables in foreground with red barn, trees with lights and food trucks in background
County Fare – food trucks every day!


Foodie Destination

Southern Living has listed Durham as the South’s Tastiest Town. And it isn’t always obvious where the great food may be found. With options like new comers like Littler and M Sushi, to 21c Hotel’s Counting House, Mateo for Tapas and Mothers & Sons Trattoria, there is a diversity of food options. The food truck scene is also strong in Durham – you’ll find them at breweries and other gathering places around town. There’s even a food truck rodeo every season where you can pick from a variety of cuisines!

flight of beer on tray in shape of NC state
Enjoy a flight at Fullsteam!

Craft Drink Industry

Fullsteam Brewery took farm to table and applied it to craft beer. Ponysaurus Brewing spearheaded social conscience. Durham now has a distillery and a meadery as well. There are also more refined drinking establishments like Alley 21 if you prefer a more sophisticated drink. Bedlam Vodka is also distilled in our fair city.



mural of wheat shafts on blue building
Mural at Ninth Street Bakery


From the beautiful murals to the art placed throughout town, this city is special to me and so many others. With a lively art scene and downtown, I’m so lucky to have witnessed Durham’s transformation in the last ten years! And if it rains during your visit, here are some things to do if its raining.

Whether you’re considering moving here or just visiting, you’ll fall in love with everything Durham has to offer. I hope to see you soon – and let me know if you want someone to show you around!

If you’re looking for things to do nearby, consider visiting the Tiger Rescue or taking a side trip to Greensboro to learn about the civil rights movement.

Happy travels!

Annick, The Common Traveler

Durham, NC - A Great Small City: There are so many great things to appreciate in Durham. No wonder it is so frequently on lists of up and coming cities!