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Free Things to Do in Durham, NC

Some of the best things in life are free, and that's no less true in Durham. There are some of the leading public gardens in the country, historic sites where you can tour structures from bygone eras, and galleries where you can see the newest trends in art - all without spending a cent. Whether you're looking to get the most bang for your buck during your trip or just finding something easy to do with a big group, the following list of free things to do has you covered. Search by category to find what interests you most.


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Museum of Durham History / History Hub

  • 500 W Main St, Downtown Durham
  • Durham, NC 27701
  • (919) 246-9993
  • Downtown Area

The Museum of Durham History is a 21st-century museum that uses stories about people, places, and things to foster curiosity, encourage further inquiry, and promote an understanding of diverse …

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North Carolina Central University

  • 1801 Fayetteville St
  • Durham, NC 27707-9363
  • (919) 530-6100
  • SE Durham, including RTP & NCCU

Located in the historic Hayti neighborhood on the eastern side of Durham, NCCU is home to an art museum, biomanufacturing and biomedical research institutes, an award-winning marching band, and …

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North Carolina Central University Art Museum

  • 1801 Fayetteville St
  • Durham, NC 27707
  • (919) 530-6211
  • SE Durham, including RTP & NCCU

NCCU was the first publically funded African-American liberal arts college in the country, and the school continues that legacy today with one of the state’s leading collections of art that engages …

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Patterson's Mill Country Store, Inc.

  • 5109 Farrington Rd, between NC Hwy 54 & Old Chapel Hill Rd
  • Chapel Hill, NC 27517
  • (919) 493-8149
  • SW Durham, including Southpoint

Patterson’s Mill Country Store has been open since 1973, but don’t be surprised if it feels much older: the memorabilia and artifacts displayed in the aisles and on the walls harken back to the …

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The Research Triangle Park

  • NC Hwy 147 Exits 5-8, I-40 Exits 279 and 280
  • Research Triangle Park, NC 27709
  • (919) 549-8181
  • SE Durham, including RTP & NCCU

RTP is the world's largest university-related research park with more than 170 companies employing over 49,000 people. Carved from Durham pinelands in 1959, it is a prominent high-technology research …

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Maplewood Cemetery

  • 1621 Duke University Rd
  • Durham, NC 27701
  • (919) 560-4156
  • W Central Durham, including Duke

Over 100 acres of history dating to 1869. Civil War veterans and soldiers, tobacco magnates, and community leaders rest here, including the Duke and Carr families. Many gravesites marked with …

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Maplewood Park

  • 1507 Whitcomb St
  • Durham, NC 27701
  • (919) 560-4355
  • W Central Durham, including Duke

Includes play grounds.

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Mary Lou Williams Center for Black Culture

  • First and Ground Floors Flowers Bldg, Duke University West Campus
  • Durham, NC 27708
  • (919) 684-3814
  • W Central Durham, including Duke

Named after the “great lady of Jazz,” pianist, composer, and teacher Mary Lou Williams, who was artist-in-residence at Duke University from 1977–81. The purpose of the Center for Black Culture, …

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Morreene Road Park & Recreation Center

  • 1102 Morreene Rd
  • Durham, NC 27705
  • (919) 560-4355
  • W Central Durham, including Duke

Includes basketball courts, picnic facilities, play grounds, small recreation center, restrooms, small shelters, tennis courts, water fountains, and a youth baseball field.

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Mount Bethel United Methodist Church

  • 1605 Bahama Rd
  • Bahama, NC 27503-9104
  • (919) 477-4296
  • North Durham (North of I-85)

Built around 1750 as a non-denominational meeting house. Transformed into a Methodist church in 1808.

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Durham Spotlight
Durham Convention & Visitors Bureau
212 W Main St #101
Durham, NC 27701 USA
Phone: (919) 687-0288
Toll Free: (800) 446-8604