Once a force in the tobacco, Durham, NC faced a major challenge when the industry shrank. The end of tobacco in Durham presented a challenge and an opportunity—an opportunity the people of Durham did not squander.
The tobacco company occupied large swaths of prime real estate, and the location was transformed into the American Tobacco Historic District and the American Tobacco Campus. Ironically, the campus is a smoke-free environment.
We had an early morning visit, so the campus was not busy at all. But, it was clear that everything you need for business, social activities, and housing was all right there.
What stands out right away is how inviting the central area is. There is a very pleasant waterway meandering from one end to the other. The open grassy park is well-kept, and the shops and restaurants around the parameter are quite inviting. It was simply a pleasant place to wander and relax.
Baseball in Durham! The Durham Bulls stadium is part of the American Tobacco Campus. Wonder in and take a look. It’s a great-looking stadium, and attending a baseball game there would be a blast. If you visit in season, you can take in a AAA game or a college game; the Durham Bulls, Duke Blue Devils, and the North Carolina Central Eagles all play at the park.
ACT also houses YMCA facilities, including outdoor basketball courts.
ATC is a great place to spend a relaxing day, from the old power plant to the new stadium and all the shops and restaurants in between. If you prefer nightlife, ATC has that too. Stop at ATC, and you’ll likely want to return to revisit and discover new features you missed.