If counties could get reviews that same way movies and restaurants do, surely Durham County, North Carolina would rate the title “best.” This colorful and creative community of more than 260,000 residents consistently receives accolades for being one of the top places to live and work in the United States.
Durham County covers an area of 298 square miles, and was named in honor of Dr. Bartlett Snipes Durham who donated the land on which its original railroad station was located. The county is divided into six townships: Carr, Durham, Lebanon, Mangum, Oak Grove, and Triangle; the township of Durham is the county seat, and the only incorporated municipality in Durham County.
Tourism is a big part of the economy in Durham County. This community welcomes more than 6.8 million visitors each year to enjoy its wealth of art galleries, entertainment and events, golf, historic sites, outdoor recreation venues and sports events.
Durham’s unique shopping opportunities include the Brightleaf and Ninth Street shopping districts where funky merchandise and unexpected treasures abound. The Streets at Southpoint, a super-regional mall, was named by USA Today as one of the nation’s “10 great places to spend it all in one place.”
Durham has been called the “Foodiest Small Town in America;” more than 40 Durham restaurants and chefs have earned reputations in high-profile media such as Bon Appétit, Gourmet, The New York Times and Food & Wine. Durham’s favorite restaurants include Watts Grocery and Broad Street Café; for a midnight snack, try Cosmic Cantina.
Durham’s public school system is a leader in the state for its small high school options; middle and high school improvement has been at the forefront for Durham County, and the school district has the results to prove this.
In the area of higher education, Durham’s Duke University enrolls approximately 13,000 undergraduate and graduate students and a world-class faculty. It enjoys a tremendous number of accolades; the Duke University Fuqua School of Business ranked number 10 among elite business schools by Poets & Quants Composite Rankings. It was named seventh “Best Value in Private University” by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance Magazine; and placed 19th among the “World’s Best Universities: Top 400” by US News & World Report.