Durham, once famous as the home of Bull Durham Tobacco, is now a global center for biotechnology, medicine, and information technology. Research Triangle Park (RTP), Duke University campus, North Carolina Central University (NCCU) campus, former tobacco warehouses, and restored mills provide distinctive meeting venues in Durham.
Halfway between the Atlantic and the Great Smokies, this city of over 250,000 is just an hour's flying time for half the U.S. population. Raleigh-Durham International Airport is served by nine commercial air carriers and their regional partners, and cab fare to Durham averages from $20-40. The free Bull City Connector links downtown to Duke University and the Golden Belt District, providing a convenient option for getting to and from several meeting venues in Durham.
The Durham Convention Center Complex consists of the Convention Center and 10 additional halls and theaters. The Durham Convention Center, the largest of the downtown Durham event venues, has 33,000 square feet, including a 15,000-square-foot ballroom, breakout rooms, and an exhibit hall.
Adjacent to the convention center is Carolina Theatre, a renovated Beaux Arts facility that has a 1,048-seat auditorium, a 1,050-square-foot ballroom for 125, two cinemas (one seating 226, the other 49), and pre-function areas. Next door, the Durham Arts Council Building offers just under 12,000 square feet of event space, including a theater for 200, a rehearsal hall for 150, and several galleries of various sizes. Across the street, the venerable Durham Armory offers 9,600 square feet with a ballroom for 585, a balcony for 314 and two meeting rooms.
The 190-room Durham Marriott City Center is attached to the Durham Convention Center. Additionally, you'll find 70 lodging properties with more than 8,000 guest rooms, including bed and breakfast inns, select or limited-service hotels as well as luxury hotels.
One of the most striking Durham event venues, the Durham Performing Arts Center features a three-story glass atrium that can host up to 1,000. LEED-certified Golden Belt, a renovated textile mill, offers the 11,000-square-foot Cotton Room and a 3.5-acre plaza. The American Tobacco Campus, a National Historic Landmark, features popular Bay 7, a 10,000-square-foot weathered brick space that accommodates 400.
Durham's internationally recognized dining scene includes family-owned barbecue restaurants as well as upscale, international cuisine. Have a food truck cater your event, or take your group to one of many private dining rooms.
While visiting Durham, don't miss the Brightleaf District, where turn-of-the-century tobacco warehouses now house outdoor dining and specialty shops. The former American Tobacco Campus has also been converted into a trendy entertainment destination worth visiting, near Durham Performing Arts Center and Durham Bulls Athletic Park.