Outer South Durham – Durham, NC

The American Tobacco Trail runs straight through the center of the Outer South Durham neighborhood and speaks directly to the history or the city and the vision for its future. This pedestrian and exercise trail stretches for over 22 miles into other major cities in Wake County, providing residents with access to miles of natural settings along an old railroad train route. It also represents a revitalization of the area and a daring metamorphosis from a tobacco and farming town to one of the nation's premier hubs for innovation in technology and health care as well as food and music. Residents of this neighborhood stand of examples of the best and brightest minds in the country. The promise of opportunity, proximity to arts and culture and access to natural landscapes has lured people to this neighborhood to live and work.

Schools in Outer South Durham

School data provided by GreatSchools

Restaurants & Nightlife

The city of Durham has earned numerous accolades as a destination for both chefs and foodies. The local food truck movement began in Durham, and now residents can buy gourmet food served right from the side of a truck throughout the city at practically any time of day. Many trucks set up shop for the evening on Roxboro Street outside some of the Fullsteam Brewery and Motorco music venues to provide revelers with a quick bite to eat. Food truck rodeos also form throughout the year to gather all the great vendors in one place for one gluttonous day of sampling. If one food truck king had to be crowned, locals would point to Only Burger as the winner. Cooks here serve up huge, juicy burgers made using only Piedmont-raised beef that is hormone- and antibiotic-free, and pile on the extras including a fried egg for good measure. This section of town also plays host to the popular Nantucket Grill & Bar. Visit for a more upscale dining experience and a taste of great Southern-inspired surf-and-turf style meals. Every dish comes with sides of fresh, seasonal vegetables. The classic filet and baked potatoes consistently wins fans, but turn to the seafood menu to choose from a list of specialties. The Atlantic Grilled Salmon puts up a good fight for the best dish. For an after-dinner refreshment and some entertainment, head towards Roxboro Street. The Surf Club features a spacious outdoor patio and serves up a nice selection of top-shelf drinks. Order your favorite cocktail and rest assured that the experienced bartenders will mix it up just right. Right down the street, residents can pull up a stool at the Fullsteam Brewery and try their popular lineup of beers. Picnic tables encourage visitors to mingle and meet new people, and the ping-pong table always has some action going on. Guests can even bring their dogs. Motorco Music Hall sits just across the street and hosts nightly events that range from adult spelling bee competitions and burlesque shows to local bands. Sports fans can also catch an amateur baseball game at the local Durham Bulls Athletic Park.

History & Culture

Like much of early American, the Durham area was originally inhabited by Native American tribes and eventually settled by Europeans and turned into a farming community. The town began to grow when a railroad was installed, but didn't enjoy any significant influence until the Civil War. Some of the last and most decisive battles were fought both west and east of the city in Greensboro and Raleigh, respectively, making the railroad depot in Durham a strategic location. Following the war, tobacco production began to flourish, and future giants in the industry were making their first millions in Durham. Well into the 1980, cigarette and tobacco companies dominated the local landscape and economy. As smoking slowly started going out of fashion, the town was abandoned and left a shell of its former glory. However, bold revitalization plans have created an impressive rebirth based largely on technology, health care and entrepreneurship. History buffs can visit the Duke Homestead Museum in Durham to learn about the processes of tobacco farming, manufacturing and advertising in the early days. If art is your interest, visit the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke university to view their collection of over 13,000 works of art.


Although Durham provides much to see and do, the town is relatively small and traveling the Outer South neighborhood is easy. Durham has also led the way in creating a bike-friendly community. A significant portion of the population commutes by bike and enjoys plenty of safe bike lanes, trails, and sidewalks throughout the city. Drivers can also enjoy lots of free parking and access to the major expressway I-40 and the Durham Freeway 147. Pedestrians may have a wait a bit to hail a cab, but it can be relatively easy to catch a ride or use Uber to track down a nearby car. The Durham Area Transit Authority has a hub right downtown and provides an abundance of fixed routes. Passengers can also catch a Greyhound bus out of town or use the Triangle Transit buses to commute to Chapel Hill or Raleigh. For national and international travel, the Raleigh/Durham airports sit just 15 minutes southeast off of I-40.


Because this area of town represents such an up-and-coming neighborhood, housing prices trend above averages for the rest of the city and surrounding cities. A one-bedroom apartment rents for $800 per month. Drivers can also expect to pay about 5 percent more than the national average for a gallon of gas. A one-way ride using the bus system costs $1.25 although frequent riders can save money by purchasing a pass. Head out to one of the local bars and pay about $5 for a pint of locally brewed beer or $2 for a tallboy of Pabst Blue Ribbon.


The Brightleaf Square area of town provides some great shopping choices. This outdoor mall used to be a tobacco factory and now houses many specialty stores and restaurants. Boutiques and shops also line the surrounding streets, offering plenty of options. At Parker and Otis, shoppers can fill up bags with old fashioned candy of their choice, purchase Durham themed t-shirts, mugs and kitchen items or pick up some great gifts for family and friends. Just browsing through their unique selection of toys, books and other knick-knacks can be a lot of fun. Morgan Imports sits right across the parking lot and features a huge and unique selection of furniture and goods from all over the world. It is a truly one-of-a-kind experience, and shoppers should set aside plenty of time to peruse every square foot. They sell furniture, stationery, globes, kitchen items and just about anything else you might want or don't even know you wanted. Residents stock up on groceries at the local Whole Foods where they can also grab a quick meal on the go or sit down for a cup of coffee. Kroger and Food Lion also service residents on the outskirts of town. The Durham Farmer's Market on Foster Street opens for just a couple hours every Saturday morning, so don't sleep in too long.


In addition the American Tobacco Trail, which is great for bikers and joggers, Durham also houses the Eno River Park. The extensive grounds feature hiking trails, and allow fishing and swimming during the summer months. Bring along the dog for a great day outdoors. Families can visit the Southwest Elementary school during certain times of day to take advantage of the play structures and pint-sized sports fields. The Festival for the Eno takes place every Fourth of July weekend hosts musical acts at venues throughout the park and vendors selling handmade crafts.
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