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Romantic Day Trips in Durham NC (Social Distancing Friendly!)

(The Triangle Trend) Looking to steal a mini getaway with your boo without putting your health on the line? When it comes to the Durham area, there are tons of hidden gems that just so happen to be perfect spacious couple’s getaways. Though not necessarily built to be intrinsically romantic, these locations offer the perfect opportunities to spend hours on end with your date, spouse, girlfriend, or boyfriend. And any trip can be romantic as long as you’re with your partner. So here are our top picks for romantic getaways in good ole’ “Bull City” Durham.

Sarah P. Duke Gardens

426 Anderson St, Box 90341, Durham, NC

More than 400,000 visitors from all over the world visit Sarah P. Duke Gardens annually (with the exception of 2020), enjoying its 55 acres of specialized gardens in the heart of Duke University. Admission is free, and they’re open from 8 a.m. to dusk 365 days a year.

The rolling woodland terrain of the 6.5-acre H.L. Blomquist Garden of Native Plants is filled with more than 900 species and varieties of regional native plants. The Blomquist Wildlife Garden provides a home for not only plants but a diverse collection of Southeastern wildlife. Couples also love the bird viewing shelter.

You can even take a virtual tour of Duke Gardens and beyond to prep before your visit.

Duke University Chapel

401 Chapel Dr West Campus, Durham, NC

Duke University Chapel is a sanctuary open to all people throughout the year for important personal moments of prayer, reflection, grief, and gratitude.

The architectural style of the Chapel is English Gothic, but it is modeled upon no particular cathedral, college chapel, or parish church.

Through its tradition of inspiring worship and music, and a calling to walk with people of all faiths and circumstances, Duke Chapel acts a beacon of grace on campus and in the community. 

Museum of Life + Science

433 W Murray Ave, Durham, NC 27704

Located less than five miles from downtown Durham, the Museum of Life and Science is one of North Carolina’s top family destinations (but you can leave the kids at home!).

Situated on 84-acres, their interactive science park includes a two-story science center, one of the largest butterfly conservatories on the East Coast and beautifully landscaped outdoor exhibits which are safe havens for rescued black bears, lemurs, and endangered red wolves.

Other popular attractions include over 60 species of live animals, Dinosaur Trail, Ellerbe Creek Railway, and Into the Mist.

Eno River State Park

6101 Cole Mill Rd North Metro, Durham, NC

The Eno River State Park is currently composed of more than 4,200 acres of protected natural area that provide vital water quality protection, wildlife habitat, and preservation of historic resources.

In addition, five access areas – The Cabe Lands, Cole Mill, Few’s Ford, Pleasant Green, and The Pump Station – and over 24 miles of trails offer entry into this largely unspoiled river environment.

Plant communities along the river provide the perfect home for various animals. In the old fields, you can find bobwhite quail and eastern cottontails resting in the weeds. White-tailed deer, raccoons and possums feed on the fruits and seeds of the hardwood forest.

American Tobacco Historic District

318 Blackwell St, Durham, NC

The heart and start of downtown Durham’s renaissance—The American Tobacco Campus is a revitalized historic campus featuring creative office space, restaurants, and other venues.

Durham’s dynamic downtown is a national marvel, from buzzing Main St. to Duke U to museums and much more.

This campus is also home to the Durham Performing Arts Center, which has been consistently ranked among America’s top-five theaters and is a state-of-the-art center for live entertainment attracting over 500,000 guests annually during previous years to it’s 200+ events.

Brightleaf Square

905 W Main St, Durham, NC

Brightleaf Square features a unique mix of locally-owned restaurants and shops in a pair of historic tobacco warehouses in downtown Durham. You and your partner can stroll through the courtyard and enjoy Distinctly Durham shopping and dining.

Brightleaf Square features independent retail in a historic setting. Shop for unique gifts from locally-owned shops and have a bite to eat at any of their restaurants for a truly memorable afternoon or evening.

Authentic Mexican. Fondue. Fresh seafood. Burgers & fries. Cocktails and nightlife. Brightleaf Square has all that and more, with outdoor dining featured at many of their locally-owned restaurants.

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Cierra Smith | Editor

Raleigh-born writer passionate about cultural awareness and social change. You’ll typically find me somewhere studying a language, writing, or doing pilates. Consider me a health-conscious foodie with an interest in all diets and lifestyles.

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