Durham, North Carolina is a city filled with a rich, Black history. Also dubbed as the "Bull City," the North Carolina destination is a great option for those who love to delve deep in culture. From a recent James Beard awarded Black-owned restaurant to one of the country's premier historically Black law schools, the historic Southern city is perfect for your next weekend adventure.
If you're looking for a getaway that goes beyond the surface, we've curated this guide that will help you explore the best of Black-owned businesses in Durham, in a short amount of time. Here's how you can spend 24-hours exploring the Bull City like a pro.
How to Spend the Morning
As you arrive into the city, check into your accommodation to drop your bags before your day of exploration. In sticking with the theme, consider the historic Morehead Manor. The Black-owned bed and breakfast is a one-of-a-kind stay where elegance, excitement, and hospitality meet. Or, if you're someone that prefers more of a traditional hotel experience, 21c Museum Hotel is for you. Although not Black-owned, this downtown spot doubles as an art museum that often features works from local Black artist. Centrally located, you'll never be too far from all the city's action and best hangouts.
Once you've dropped your bags and refreshed a bit, drive just a few blocks away to Rofhiwa Book Café for your morning fuel. Whether you need a shot or espresso or a cup of tea to start your day, owner Beverley Makhubele and team have you covered.
Next, head out for your city tour with Whistle Stop Tours. Led by Aya Shabu, you'll be immersed in the area's African American neighborhoods, but with a unique twist. Shabu is a professional dancer, choreographer, and teaching artist who brings her talents to make the stories she tells come to life.
How to Spend the Afternoon
For lunch, it's only right that you stop by 2022 James Beard award winner Chef Ricky Moore's Saltbox Food Joint. Get there early, though, because depending on the day, the line can be pretty long. To work off all the delicious seafood you indulged in, take a stroll around the North Carolina Central University campus, a historically Black university with one of the nation's only HBCU law programs.
For a more scenic stroll, head to The Sarah P. Duke Gardens, one of the top public gardens in the U.S., purposefully planted so that something is always in bloom year-round.
As a fun way to take in a little more of the city and its history, book a tour with Bull City Laughs. The company is Durham’s first and only comedy history tour, ranging from PG to R-rated material. It's BYOB-friendly as the bus ride takes you through various neighborhoods and other landmarks.
How to Spend the Evening
Before dinner, it's time for a little pre-game—in a classy way. Stop by Melanated Wine, a Black and female-owned spot by a wine negociant, working to “uncork the culture” and make wine more accessible to all.
For dinner, checkout Ekhaya for delicious Bantu tapas and handcrafted specialty cocktails. And, if you need a nightcap before retreating back to your accommodation, Glori Cocktail Bar is a new Black-owned spot situated in the perfect location to grab a drink before or after a show at Durham Performing Arts Center.