What is Raleigh-Durham’s cultural scene like?

Answers from Our Experts (3)

Raleigh-Durham’s cultural scene has a patchwork quality to it; by day, the area cradles high-tech businesses and top-ranked universities. By night, alternative music streams out the doors of its hillbilly-hip venues, while glittering performance centers host Broadway shows and big-name performers.

In Durham, it’s hard to resist cheering for the unstoppable Duke Blue Devils; until of course, you venture across town to Chapel Hill and find yourself among an ocean of UNC Tarheels. Relive your college days as you soak up the culture at these top-tier universities.

And while the biggest rivalry in college hoops receives all the fanfare, the American Dance Festival, the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, two large performing arts centers, and a thriving food scene all round out cultural goings-on in Raleigh-Durham. And the area, thankfully, hasn’t lost site of its roots; you’re still as likely to encounter a barbecue joint as a sleek tapas bar.

Jim Beley

The arts flourish throughout Raleigh-Durham. The esteemed Carolina Ballet, North Carolina Symphony and North Carolina Opera hold regular performances throughout the year. Broadway Series South at DPAC in Durham, the North Carolina Theater, Theater in the Park and Raleigh Little Theater offer a variety of musical and dramatic shows

As far as visual arts, the North Carolina Museum of Art is a national treasure, featuring a large collection of classical Greek, Roman, Egyptian and European art from across the centuries. Most notable are a large collection of works by Auguste Rodin and an outdoors Museum Park that’s dotted with sculptures. The newly opened Contemporary Art Museum in downtown Raleigh offers the Art of our Time exhibit, meant to inspire and delight. The Nasher Museum on the Duke University campus presents thought-provoking works in a modern setting. And throughout Raleigh-Durham, art galleries and studios abound.

Theresa Chiettini

The University of North Carolina and Duke University make up the area’s cultural scene, offering museums, many historical sites, locally owned shops and businesses, as well as having ushered in the foodie scene. The area also offers several golf courses, sports and music venues, outdoor farmers markets and outdoor activities. Chapel Hill and Durham offer a little bit of everything to suit the diversified tastes of each visitor.

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