- Year Durham County Created: 1881
- Year Durham Became a Place: 1823
- Year Durham Got Its Name: 1853
- Year Durham Re-established: 1869
- Durham Population see chart
(City & County) 273,392
(City Only) 233,252
- Airport: RDU International Airport, located 12.5 miles from downtown Durham
- Number of Lodging Properties: Durham has 64 lodging facilities
- Number of Guest Rooms: Durham has more than 7,600 guest rooms
Climate & Weather
Latitude: 35° 52' N
Longitude: 78° 47' W
Elevation: Ft. Grnd 416, Baro 415
Time Zone: Eastern
Temperatures here are very pleasing, allowing for outdoor activities like golf almost year round. Seasonal temperatures fall into the following ranges:
National Weather Service
Provides 24-hour taped message about local weather that is updated throughout the day.
Size & Landscape
- 299-square mile single-city county
- 25 miles long, 16 miles wide and 28 miles from corner to corner and one of the most compact counties in North Carolina at one-half to one-third the land area of neighboring counties
- Downtown Durham is .751 square miles and 14 x 12 blocks
- More than 96,000 acres of hardwood and evergreen forests including the only remaining old growth Piedmont bottomland forests
- 7,800 acres of cropland... hills and dales, meandering rivers and streams, several lakes
- 26 rare plant species and several rare species of birds and animals
City of Medicine, USA
Durham is known as the City of Medicine, USA, with healthcare as a major industry including more than 300 medical and health-related companies and medical practices with a combined payroll that exceeds $1.2 billion annually.
Major Corporate and Research Parks
Research Triangle Park: A 7,000-acre Southeast Durham-based, special county research and production district, encompassed by the city of Durham and served by Durham postal substation, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709. More than 170 major research companies employing 42,000 full time employees and 10,000 contract workers.
Treyburn: A 5,300-acre corporate park, country club and residential area in Northeast Durham. Companies like bioMérieux and Becton Dickinson and more than 100 families call Treyburn home.
Economic Impact Of Durham Visitors
- 7.8 million visitors spend $780 million each year
- Close to 4,000 conventions and meetings with more than 150,000 delegates
- 3,000 visitor-sector businesses and organizations
- More than 13,859 visitor-supported jobs
- Learn more about the importance of the visitor sector, and the travel and tourism industry
Meetings & Events
Durham has 300,000 net square feet of meeting space in major hotel convention centers, several conference facilities, and unique meeting venues including the Durham Civic Center Complex with 120,000 usable square feet.
In addition to Duke and NCCU, Durham is home to NC School of Science & Math, Durham Technical Community College, many private schools and progressive Durham Public Schools, the seventh largest school district in the state with 33,000 students and 4,500 employees.
- Effective April 1, 2013, Sales tax for Durham County will increase to 7.50%.
- During the first weekend of August, the state observes a sales tax holiday on certain school-related items.
- Alcohol is taxed at 10.5% (8% state, 2.5% county).
- Non-prepared food purchases at retail stores are taxed at 2%.
- Lodging rooms are taxed at 13% (4.75% state sales tax, 2.25% county sales tax, 6% county occupancy tax).
- Car rentals are taxed at 16% in Durham (25.61% at RDU International Airport).
The term “Triangle” was first coined to refer to an area anchored by three major universities: Duke University in Durham (and later North Carolina Central University), the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill and North Carolina State University in Raleigh. The three joined in the 1950’s to help create Research Triangle Park, centered in southeast Durham.
Today, the term is used to refer to a five-county metropolitan statistic area or census laborshed, or a 3,000 square mile, six-county, 26-community planning region.
Durham and Raleigh
“Raleigh-Durham” is the name of the airport that serves two, distinct metropolitan statistical areas—one centered around Durham, NC, and another called Raleigh-Cary. The airport is co-owned by the cities of Durham and Raleigh, along with Durham and Wake counties. RDU is located at the western edge of Wake County, midway between the cities of Durham and Raleigh.
"Raleigh-Durham” is also a misused, shorthand term for the two-metro Raleigh-Durham-Cary combined statistical area, or the 22-county Raleigh-Durham-Fayetteville television and radio coverage area.
Twenty-three miles from the Virginia border, Durham is in the northeast corner of North Carolina’s central piedmont, a geographic foothills region lying between mountains and coastal plains. Durham is 140 miles from the Appalachian highlands and 130 miles from the coast.
- “Old North State” - a reference that originated with the division of the Carolinas in 1710
- First of the original 13 colonies to vote for independence
- Size - 52,660 square miles
- Population - 8,186,268 residents
- North Carolinians are sometimes called “Tar Heels,” a nickname that dates back to pre-Revolutionary days, when tar, pitch and turpentine were extracted from North Carolina pine forests for British naval stores.
- Taxi cab - Average cost of a cab from RDU International Airport to Downtown Durham, $30-$45 (price is variable depending on destination location and number of passengers)
- Durham Area Transit - Average cost of riding a City bus is $1.00 for a one-way fare, $.25 for students 17 and under with a student ID and free for youth 12 & under and seniors (transfers are free)
- Triangle Transit - Triangle Transit fares on regular Triangle Transit routes are $2.00, fare on the Triangle Transit Express routes is $2.50. Riders age 65 or older and 12 and under ride free
Right turns on red are legal unless otherwise posted. North Carolina requires drivers, front seat passengers and children 12 and under to wear seat belts. The Child Passenger Protection Law requires children under 40 pounds or three years of age to ride in a properly installed safety seat.
Drivers in Durham should be aware that road names and numbers sometimes change on what appears to be the same road. Even more confusing is that roads may be referred to by a number, a name and by a memorial name, which is often used to pay tribute to an individual.
Another important point for drivers in Durham to know is that some postal addresses tend to be arbitrary. Due to postal policy, many parts of Durham receive mail with a variety of postal designations, including Morrisville, Rougemont, Bahama, Timberlake, Chapel Hill and Research Triangle Park. In fact, many organizations use particular post office boxes even though they are not located in that district. Research Triangle Park is a prime example.
Fishing and Hunting
Licenses are required for fishing and hunting and are available at all sporting goods and outdoor activities stores. Children 16 and under are not required to have a license but must be accompanied by a licensed adult.
Lodging properties have the option to set aside rooms for guests with pets. This information can be found in the Places to Stay section of this web site. Call the Durham Visitor Information Center at 1-800-446-8604 for information about local kennels.
The NCABC operates ten Durham outlets for alcoholic beverage sales to those 21 years and older. Stores are open from 9am to 9pm, Monday through Saturday. Call 919-383-5529 for store locations. Wine and beer are sold at most grocery and convenience stores.
Research studies, demographics, historical housing supply, projections, indicators, and community statistics. Portal contains numerous charts and graphics.
Durham CVB Visitor Services
- Durham Visitor Information Center: (see location & directions here)
- Located at 101 East Morgan Street (corner of Morgan and Mangum). Hours are 8:30am-5pm M-F, 10am-2pm Sa. Official Durham Visitor Guides, maps and an after-hours lobby display and Internet kiosk from 6am-midnight.
- Durham BULLHORN: (800) 772-BULL (2855):
- A 24-hour voice information recording of events and activities, and a convenient way for visitors to request information any time of the day.
- Durham Lodging Hotline (For peak visitor periods like graduation and homecomings): (919) 687-0288
- Web Site: www.durham-nc.com