Tuesday Travel

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Bull City. The New South. Home of the Blue Devils. It’s true; Durham is all of these things. Since I’ve never been to North Carolina, I had high hopes for our weekend getaway to Durham and I am happy to report, I was not disappointed!

Stay

We stayed at the hip 21c Museum Hotel located in the historic Hill Building {a 17-story modernistic skyscraper built between 1935-1937 and designed by NY firm Shreve, Lamb & Harmon, who also designed the Empire State Building}. This is the fourth location in the 21C Museum Hotel family, with the first opening up in Louisville back in 2007. The property hosts a free contemporary art museum, 125 well-appointed rooms and a beautiful restaurant on the first floor. Bonus, the rooms are stocked with our favorite Malin + Goetz products.

Our second choice was the recently opened The Durham Hotel. I’m told their rooftop bar is a must!

Do + See

Truth be told, the impetus for our trip south was to attend the 20th year celebration of the Duke women’s lacrosse program. That’s right. My girl is an All-American athlete whose name is forever etched into the walls at Cameron Stadium. Pretty cool, right? So, much of our first day was spent on campus at Duke. I am partial to my Mount Holyoke campus but have to say, Duke is beautiful. The trees, Gothic architecture, chapel. It’s all quite impressive. I had read about The Nasher Museum of Art but unfortunately we didn’t have time to check out the collection. But, we did get to see Krzyzewskiville, the tent city where students camp out for Duke basketball tickets. Now that’s what I call dedication!

Eat

In recent years, Durham has been named one of the tastiest towns in the South. Although we didn’t get to try every place on my list {Saltbox Seafood Joint and Pizzeria Toro}, we did manage to indulge is some delicious fare.

Cosmic Cantina – Every college town needs its go to Cantina and K swears that Cosmic Cantina has the best burrito. Now while I’m partial to my Bueno y Sano in Amherst, I must admit that Cosmic Cantina is quite good. The staircase on the other hand, beware!

Foster’s Market – A mainstay in Durham since 1990, Foster’s market is a dream gourmet market and cafe with plenty of indoor and outdoor seating. I had the pimento cheese sandwich. Delicious!

Monuts Donuts – Yes, I had to find the local donut place! We ordered a half-dozen including plain glazed {perhaps the best glazed I’ve ever had}, blueberry cardamom, chocolate and apple cider. A Durham must!

Cocoa Cinnamon – We never did make it to Cocoa Cinnamon for an afternoon coffee but I really wish we did. On the list for our next visit!

Watts Grocery – A great spot for Sunday brunch serving Carolina classics like grits and big biscuits. My eggs were a little dry but the fresh squeezed O.J. and homemade english muffin made up for it!

For my first trip to North Carolina, I have to say Durham is one great little city. One that has great energy, gracious people and delicious food. While enjoying our final meal in Bull City, K and I joked about retiring to her college town. We shall see about that!

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