Art, Architecture, Duke Basketball & More Make Fun-filled Daytrip
You don’t have to be a student to enjoy history, art, and sports at Duke University. Spend a day exploring this beautiful campus and see why Blue Devils pride runs deep.
The buildings look ancient as if they’ve been moved to the North Carolina Piedmont from Europe, but Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, is a 20th Century institution. Founded as Trinity College and renamed in 1924 after receiving an endowment from James Buchanan Duke, it is today one of the country’s top universities.
Duke also has one heck of a basketball team.
Medical, the arts, science, literature, and collegiate athletics; Duke is known for all of these disciplines which are reflected throughout campus in venues that are open to the public. So, take a self-guided campus tour and enjoy a day out at the home of the Duke Blue Devils.
Cameron Indoor Stadium/Duke Sports Hall of Fame
Opened in 1940 and built at a cost of $400,000, Cameron Indoor Stadium was originally the largest indoor arena in the South. Today it is one of the smallest in the country, but don’t let its size fool you. The gothic stone facade houses one of the winningest collegiate basketball teams in the nation.
Besides men’s and women’s basketball, you can see decades of Blue Devils athletic history in the Duke Sports Hall of Fame. Exhibits line the walls of the northwest side of Cameron and include video and audio displays celebrating Duke’s sports teams. Go Blue Devils!
Cameron Indoor Stadium is located at 301 Whitford Drive. Admission is free except for sports events. Call 919-681-2583 for basketball or other sports tickets.
Duke University Chapel
Step inside the Duke University Chapel and you feel like you’ve stepped into a cathedral in Europe. Completed in 1932, Duke Chapel is the last neo-gothic collegiate structure built in America. The chapel has 77 stained glass windows depicting over 800 Biblical figures and has three pipe organs totaling over 12,000 pipes. The tower stands 210 feet tall and houses a 50-bell carillon.
Duke Chapel is open daily throughout the year except for Christmas Day and is located on the West Campus of Duke University on Chapel Drive. Admission is free. Call 919-681-1704 for upcoming events.
Nasher Museum of Art
Art never had it so good until the Nasher came along. Located on the Duke University campus, this contemporary concrete, glass, and steel structure echo the towering cathedral-like feeling of Duke Chapel. Wide-open spaces beckon you inside (or are you outside) to view the museum’s traveling exhibits and permanent collections.
Over 13,000 works of art are housed here in five pavilions connected by a courtyard. Collections include Greek and Roman antiquities, medieval and renaissance art, and an extensive collection of African art, as well as a growing inventory of contemporary art. In 2008, the Nasher was chosen as one of only two U. S. venues to host the El Greco to Velazquez exhibition.
Visit the Nasher Museum of Art Tuesday through Sunday at 2001 Campus Drive. Admission is $5 for adults and children 16 and younger are free. Call 919-684-5135 for information.
Sarah P. Duke Gardens
Stop and smell the roses – and the azaleas, the daylilies, and all the other flowers at one of the county’s premier public gardens. The Sarah P. Duke Gardens is a feast for the eyes as well as the olfactory, with 55-acres of native plants, terraced gardens, woodland walkways, and a great gift shop.
The gardens, which were designed by landscape design pioneer Ellen Shipman, feature five miles of walks and pathways, bridges, waterfalls, ponds, and a bird-watching shelter. More than 2000 different plants can be seen here.
The Sarah P. Duke Gardens are located at 426 Anderson Street and are open daily from 8:00 am to dusk. Admission is free. Call 919-684-3698 for more information.