The Ultimate Durham, NC Bucketlist

The Ultimate Durham, NC Bucketlist

Go explore the Bull City this summer!

To a Durhamite, from a fellow Durhamite, I've comprised a list of everything you should cross off your bucket list this summer if you're in the Bull City.

1. Pick strawberries!

One of the first things I do every summer in Durham is go to the strawberry patch. I'll be honest, I go multiple times in the summer. Embrace the southern farm life that Durham has to offer.

2. Go to a Durham Bulls game

It's pretty cool that our town has a minor league baseball team right in the heart of the city. Go spend your Friday night downtown at the ballpark and catch some fireworks after the game.

3. Go cool off in the Eno Rock Quarry

Beat the North Carolina heat and take a swim in this naturally made pool, just be careful and bring a float and friends!

4. Check out the Farmers' Market on Saturday mornings

Fresh fruits and veggies are perfect for late summer lunches and dinners. Also go support local farmers and artists!

5. Eat ice cream at the Parlour

The best ice cream in the country (I may be biased) is right in our little city. I beg you to go to the Parlour to get a nice scoop of ice cream to cool off after a hot day. You won't regret it.

and while I'm on the topic of food...

6. Drive/walk/bike/run into downtown Durham

Because I promise hidden along the narrow streets you can find some of the best food in the country (may be a little biased again) but, seriously Durham has some fantastic restaurants and bars. I'm going to list a few of my favorites, but don't limit yourself to just these, try them all. Please. And again, by doing so you are supporting our local businesses.

Restaurant/Bar must tries: Pizzeria Toro, Gonza Tacos & Tequila, Mateo, Dame's Chicken & Waffles, Rue Cler, Dos Perros, and Fullstream Brewery

Still on the food subject...

7. Eat a donut or three at Monuts

And if you're not a donut person, don't worry; they have other food options that will keep your mouth watering for more.

8. Go downtown and experience the nightlife

I wouldn't say the nightlife is huge in our small town, however, it is really up and coming and there are so many interesting places to walk around at night and awesome bars (if you're old enough) that you really should check out.

9. Walk around American Tobacco Campus

It's beautiful. Go.

Sometimes American Tobacco Campus holds concerts on summer nights, I recommend pulling out your lawn chairs and checking those out as well.

10. Walk around the Duke Gardens

There are so many places to explore in the Duke Gardens, take a picnic, a frisbee, your camera or just your walking shoes and go check out the beautiful gardens on a nice day.

11. On a rainy day go explore the Museums

Both Downtown Durham and other areas in Durham have great museums that you should definitely explore.

12. Go catch a show at Motorco

Motorco Music Hall is an awesome scene all year round, but during the summer, you can sit outside, enjoy good food and drinks, as well as listen to live music and other performances.

13. Go to the Duke Lemur Center

You don't have to travel all the way to Madagascar to see lemurs, just head a few miles down the road and there you go! The Duke Lemur Center is definitely a must. From learning about their amazing work to seeing cute primates, it's worth a visit.

14. In the mood for a Broadway show? Go to the Durham Performing Arts Center

It's a beautiful theatre that brings performances and other forms of entertainment to our town.

Durham is an awesome place to spend the summer, there is so much to do hidden within the city and it's definitely worth being a tourist in our own city from time to time.

Go explore the Bull City!

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Prep These Snacks for Healthy On Campus Treats

Easy to Prep, Easy to Take With You

Eating healthy on a college campus can be a bit of a chore, especially when you’ve got fast food places every few feet, and the college meal plan doesn’t exactly offer the healthiest options. Snacks are normally limited to whatever you can get out of the vending machines, so chips and candy bars are a staple. If you want to eat a little healthier, here are some healthy snacks that you can prep easily to take with you to class, the dorm room, or wherever you need to go — even if you don’t have a kitchen to cook in.

Fresh Fruit

Most fresh fruit needs to be refrigerated, but you do have some options if you don’t want to haul around a portable cooler or lunchbox to your classes.

  • Apples are awesome sources of fiber and can be stored in a bag or backpack without refrigeration. Other tree fruits — pears, peaches, nectarines, etc — can also work, though you might need to be a bit more careful with someone of these. They’re soft enough that they might squish in your bag if they end up under a textbook.
  • Bananas — A potassium powerhouse, these little self-wrapped fruits are perfect if you need a quick pick me up during the day.
  • Citrus Fruits — Oranges, Tangelos and Mandarins are great little snacks, as long as you have somewhere to dispose of the peel when you’re done.


This might seem messy, but apple sauce packets designed for small children can be a great way to carry a healthy snack with you without the need for a spoon. If you’re handy though, you can turn the foil lid of a regular applesauce cup into a spoon with a few twists! As an added bonus, many of these packets contain other fruits and some even contain vegetables.

Green Bean Chips

These sound a little odd but hear us out — dried green beans have the consistency of potato chips while giving you all the nutritional benefits of regular green beans. You can buy them pre-packaged (check your local farmers market if you don’t see them at the grocery store) or you can make them yourself, just by drying them for a few hours in a cool oven.

Fresh Vegetables

These might require some refrigeration, but you won’t need anything more than a cutting board and a good knife to prepare them. Some good vegetable options might include:

  • Carrots — alone or with hummus or dip, these snacks keep for quite a while in your bag, making them ideal for between class snacks.
  • Celery — while it doesn’t have a lot of nutritional value, it’s super tasty when paired with peanut butter or other nut butters.
  • Sugar Snap Peas — a tasty treat with a hint of sweetness, these can be eaten raw and whole or dried into chips.

Any fresh vegetable you can chop up and stick in a container can potentially be a good snack. Some of the softer vegetables, like tomatoes or cucumbers, should be stored with a cold pack though to keep them fresh.


Most nuts, like almonds, cashews, peanuts, and walnuts, are packed full of good protein and fiber to keep you going throughout the day. They also don’t need any refrigeration, so you can stash them in your bag and forget about them until you need them. If you get bored of one type, it’s easy to mix them up. They’re also a great addition to any trail mix.

Just be careful to enjoy them in moderation. While nuts are good for you, they can also be high in calories.

Nut Butters

If crunching on nuts in a quiet lecture hall doesn’t appeal to you, try switching to nut butters instead. They have all the nutritional benefits of the nuts themselves, come in a variety of types, and can be spread on just about anything. Make a nut butter and jelly sandwich, eat celery with nut butter, or spread it on crackers — the sky is the limit. Stick to natural or organic nut butters though — these usually don’t have any additives, which makes for a healthier snack.


Don’t start loading up the butter. Without all the extra toppings, popcorn can be one the healthiest snacks in your arsenal. Invest in a cheap air popper — they’re about $20 at Wal-Mart and take up very little counter space — and pop your own. It’s okay to add a little bit of butter, but you don’t want to make it equal the stuff you can get at the movie theater.

Protein Bars

These aren’t always the healthiest option, depending on the brand you choose, but they can do in a pinch and many are flavored with chocolate or other sweet options, making it easier to pick up a protein bar instead of a chocolate candy bar. Look for brands that are low in processed sugars and made with all natural ingredients.


This savory spread is made from chickpeas, which are high in protein, and can be paired with just about anything. Dip carrots or pretzels in it, spread it on crackers, or use it as a replacement for mayo on your turkey sandwich. Hummus can be high in salt, depending on the flavors that are added to it, so enjoy it in moderation. It does also need to be refrigerated, so stash your hummus in with your fresh vegetables or other cold snacks.

Snacking on campus doesn’t need to be entirely unhealthy, even if you do enjoy your chips and candy bars. Supplement your snack regimen with a few of these healthy alternatives to help you lower your sugar intake and keep you energized so you can get to all those early morning classes!

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To My Beloved Starbucks, Thank You

I could not do it without you.

Dear Starbucks,

I cannot thank you enough.

You have truly helped me survive school, work, and just life in general. I truly enjoy the whole Starbucks brand.

Since I have been in college, you have always given me a good place to study. There are two Starbucks on my campus and each has just the right amount of noise, the smell of coffee, and always enough sunshine or lighting to read or write.

I have never met anyone who works at Starbucks who I have not liked. I am sure being a barista is a stressful job, and the things I have seen people order and ask for are absurd. However, I have never seen a Starbucks employee not fulfill these needs with a smile.

If only your drinks were always 50% off, I think you would truly fulfill my greatest dreams.

Respectfully Yours,

A Coffee Lover

Cover Image Credit: Max Pixel

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