Dirty Durham



Anyone else feel like they’ve found themselves stuck in an RDU rut? Yeah, I’ve spent 16 years here – cumulatively – and I just was feeling like there was nothing fun to do around here. Granted, I was a child for 15 of those years but still. The pool and the park were sufficient in those times.

I live here now, it’s my home, it’s were I do life and where I’ve made new friends. So, I decided it was time to stop going straight home after work to watch 3 episodes of Gossip Girl before going to bed. I needed to find reasons to make myself go out after work and find something fun to do. And that’s what I did! I still allow myself at lease two nights a week to go straight home and watch Netflix – no shame, it’s called “me time.”

Dreamily I hope that you’ll ask me to go do these things with you (if we’re not already friends, we could be!). Then is a two-for-one: I get to hang out with my friends/make a new friend and you don’t have to be lonely while finding out that this area is actually cool.

Without further *ado:

  • Drinks/board games a Fullsteam Brewery: seriously, they have everything
  • THE BEER BATTERED FRIES at Bull McCabes: if you have kids or pets (not that they’re the same) this place is amazing. It’s smack in the middle of down town and there’s an enormous fenced area. Eat, drink, let your kids/pets roam free!
  • Picnic at Duke Gardens: should be free but they rip you off by making you pay $1 for 30 minutes to park your car on a slab on asphalt – rude. But still a neat place to check out.
  • Coco Cinnamon: go to the old one, the new one has zero comfortable seats nor does it have any interesting people watching. Plus it’s near a hair salon called “Clem Rice” which I just think should be illegal.
  • Durham Bulls game: if you’re less than 30 minutes early, you’ll only get lawn seats. Don’t make the rookie mistake of showing up empty handed (aka sans a blanket)
  • Motorco: best outdoor lighting of any Durham hot spot to date.
  • Rooftop yoga at the Durham Hotel: oh, is 9 am too early for a Saturday? Just go on Monday and show up late to work. Your boss won’t mind because it’s “self care.”
  • Dessert at Rue Cler: crepes, beignets, creme brûlée, and coffee all for less than $30. boom.
  • Eat at Gonza: the best freakin Mexican I’ve ever had
  • Jordan Lake: a little bit trashy, not really very classy, totally fun.
  • Paddle board rentals at aforementioned, Jordan Lake: also kayak rentals
  • Get your nails done here: seriously, the best one I’ve been too…anywhere.
  • Join this hot yoga studio: A previous co-worker convinced me to get their Groupon so I hesitantly parted with $20 and loved it so much that now I gladly part with many more dollars than that a month to call myself a member. Honestly, these people are so kind and I never once have felt intimidated. Plus, they have 3 locations (Raleigh, Durham, Charlotte) so I can just hot yoga my way through NC. Worth it.
  • If you don’t join Arrichion (if you didn’t click the previous link, Arrichion is the hot yoga studio), join SOMETHING: a gym, a pool, a church (I encourage you to do this anyways), a kickball league, a choir, a step team, a book club, a furniture making club, a water aerobics team.

And for the grand finale:

  • Rent yourself a dang room at a dang fancy hotel and order fancy room service. Maybe even get a dang Uber if you’re feeling free: maybe you don’t have the time (or funds) to fly to Cape Cod or Napa Valley or Paris for the weekend, but Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill have some amazing hotels. Get your bestie, or your man, or whoever, and rent a room for a night or two and treat it as if you were celebrating something really exciting like a huge job offer or an anniversary or the fact that you passed your boards. JUST CELEBRATE YAY!

*I do not promise to have done everything on this list. But I have encouraged myself to try everything!

Yay, so have fun, be free, enjoy Durham, let me know what you think! Other suggestions? This list will only last me so long..