“I moved to Durham several years ago with my wife and two little girls,” said Stephen Raburn, a transplant from California. “We were specifically looking for a new hometown that felt like a community, an area that we could truly invest in and impact. Durham has exceeded our expectations. It meets all of our criteria: It’s family friendly, culturally diverse, international (thanks to the universities and Research Triangle Park), committed to smart growth, and unique.”
Few American cities can match the eclectic menu Durham offers: cutting-edge technology firms; great health care; top-rated education and research facilities; a revitalized, dynamic downtown; charming historic neighborhoods with pine and oak-lined streets; two acclaimed universities and a first-class technical community college; six major hospitals; big-city culture and entertainment with a small-town atmosphere and more.
Once a textiles and tobacco town, Durham now is an attractive, international town with great healthcare (the physician-to-patient ratio is four times the national average), but also a nationally recognized food, arts, and culture town.
Durham was named the “Tastiest Town in the South” by Southern Living and with good reason. No less than 53 of its restaurants have received regional/ national/international media attention. Its food truck scene is a model for the rest of the country and continues to attract new entries into its mobile dining culture. Monthly food truck gatherings, called “Food Truck Rodeos” regularly attract more than 5,000 folks.
What were formerly tobacco warehouses have morphed into downtown offices, research labs, specialty shops, restaurants, condominiums and apartments. Two big projects totaling more than $300 million have transformed downtown into a bustling area without spoiling its historic character, including the Durham Performing Arts Center, which is among the busiest theaters in the world according to the industry magazine Pollstar. This magnificent facility features Broadway shows and big-name performers, as well as up-and-coming talent.
Shopping options in Durham range from the Ninth Street Shopping District, a friendly, funky group of restaurants and specialty shops, to The Streets at Southpoint complex and the Brightleaf Square shopping area. Recreational activity abounds in Durham with several of North Carolina’s top 40 golf courses, 100+ public tennis courts, three recreational lakes, 20 miles of greenways and trails, 13 historic sites, the must-see Sarah P. Duke Gardens and its new neighbor, the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University.
More than 40 percent of North Carolina’s bio-tech companies call Durham County home, and the financial services, pharmaceuticals and informatics industry clusters are growing rapidly.
Back in 1959, the Research Triangle Park was established as a joint effort by Duke University, the University of North Carolina, and North Carolina State University. They wanted to attract research, and with so many superlative minds in close proximity, success was a sure thing. With 75 percent of the park located in Durham County, its presence has had a profound and positive effect on Durham and surrounding towns.
Today, the Park is home to 190+ companies and employs over 50,000 people and has been honored with three Nobel Prize winners. There also are more colleges and universities around here, creating even more of a draw for the finest minds of our time. (This area has a very high concentration of PhDs and with good reason.)
Durham has it all – cuisine, arts, culture, entertainment, and Duke University with its world-class academics and world-famous basketball.
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