Durham - Best Cities

Durham

Durham is one of America’s top college towns and at the heart of it is Duke, a private research university that has a global academic reach and counts among its game-changing alumni Melinda Gates and Apple Inc. CEO Tim Cook. In a city that ranks second for Educational Attainment and #18 for Neighborhoods, it’s not surprising that the 55-acre Sarah P. Duke Gardens and lively neighborhoods like Rockwood and South Square are mere steps away from the campus—the better to create a happening restaurant (#25)and nightlife (#24) scene. And just as Duke University connects Durham to the world, Raleigh-Durham International Airport, a 20-minute drive from campus, puts this small North Carolina city on the flight paths of nine carriers. With 400-plus nonstop flights per day to more than 50 destinations (before the pandemic), and its Refresh campus improvement program in full effect, this facility earns Durham the top spot among midsize cities in our Connectivity subcategory.