By Joi S. Tannert
Durham
North Carolina
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The smokestacks are still visible but remarkably clean as Durham has quietly transformed itself from the old Bull City of Tobacco Road to the modern, vibrant City of Medicine. Durham sits on the west side of Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU), the major entry to all points in the Triangle region of North Carolina. We invite you to book your flight thru EscapeWizard.com. Please follow the link to make all flight arrangements (www.escapewizard.com/flight.php).  Access to downtown sites, area shopping, and neighboring cities is available thru taxi, local and regional buses, and Amtrak train systems. And, when booking your hotel, just click here to book with EscapeWizard.com (www.escapewizard.com/hotels.php?flag=htl).
   
While in Durham, EscapeWizard.com suggests a visit to the downtown area. The old Durham Courthouse on Main St. includes memorials to the locals who have fought and died in the nation's wars from the Civil War to the mid-20th Century. Veteran memorials honor those of the Confederacy, the World Wars, Korea, and Vietnam.  There is also a memorial at Fire Station No. 1 to honor the local fallen firefighters. Another statue in the heart of Durham is the bronze Bull; harking back to the heritage that supported the economy of Durham from its early years. A memorial of sorts, it gives homage to a former life. 
   
Many visitors and locals alike enjoy strolling through the Sarah P. Duke Gardens, especially in the spring, but open year round. Located adjacent to the Medical Center, it encompasses 55 acres on the campus of Duke University, another namesake institution. One of the premier public gardens in the United States attracting over 300,000 worldwide visitors annually, it provides education on horticulture as well as landscape beauty, discovery, solace, renewal and inspiration.
   
Primary museums in the area include the Museum of Life and Science, Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, and NCCU Museum of Art. The Bennett Place Historic Site preserves memorabilia from the largest Confederate surrender in the Civil War and provides events and programs that are relevant. The Hayti Heritage Center honors the culture and contributions of the early black community.
   
Area shopping is varied, from the typical all-encompassing mall experience of the Streets of Southpoint to the revitalized historic tobacco and textile manufacturing buildings converted into mixed complexes that titillate the nostalgic factor of bygone eras. Names like Brightleaf, American Tobacco, and Golden Belt all carry on the names of their former self, but offer a new product variety. Specialty shops, art galleries, restaurants, wine bars, and even chic offices and gyms now occupy the former downtown manufacturing facilities and each celebrates the old rather than disguise it. Developers of these sites have chosen to preserve the heritage in the process of adaptive reuse, keeping many a brick and beam.
   
Nightlife in Durham offers visitors a variety of venues as well. Most of the restored complexes offer multi-global restaurants, bars and bistros. Movies are available from the standard cinemas to art houses and the historic Carolina Theatre offers both film and live theatre. The Durham Performing Arts Center provides top-notch shows from concerts to Broadway productions. Other events include a multitude of festivals offered at various times; jazz, blues, arts, dance, food, and film, to name a few. EscapeWizard.com recommends you explore some of this walkable downtown community.
   
Recreation is abundant with both participation and spectator sports. The Triangle region is home to one of the strongest college sports rivalries in the country, which has its own triangle; UNC, Duke, and NCSU. You may wish to visit the minor league baseball stadium of the team that spawned the movie 'Bull Durham.’ Falls Lake to the northeast and Jordan Lake to the south offer boating, camping and summer recreation. The American Tobacco Trail is popular for biking and hiking. There are several public parks and squares scattered throughout the city, and a state park along the Eno River for respite and relaxation.
   
EscapeWizard.com is your source for travel arrangements to Durham and surrounding areas. Visit the Piedmont area of North Carolina for a good Southern welcome. Y'all will want to come back!
Hotels in Durham
By Jaclyn Bealer
Sheraton Imperial Hotel & Convention Center
4700 Emperor Boulevard, Durham, NC
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EscapeWizard.com invites you to stay at the Sheraton Imperial Hotel & Convention Center on your next visit to Durham, North Carolina. The newly renovated hotel is located in the southeast area of Durham and offers a complimentary shuttle to the Raleigh-Durham International Airport. Whether you’re in town on business or on vacation, you’ll appreciate the hotel’s easy access to the city’s major attractions including universities, business, medical centers, and so much more. Check-in is at 3:00 p.m.

The redesigned hotel has 331 smoke-free guest rooms. Choose from a double room, king room, suite, or presidential suite and learn the true meaning of southern comfort. Each room features a Sheraton Sweet Sleeper bed, cable channels, complimentary wireless high speed Internet access, and a free national newspaper on weekdays. Re-energize yourself with the hotel’s Shine for Sheraton® products which can be in each sleek bathroom. If you’re looking for more amenities, upgrade to the Sheraton Club and take advantage of the Club Lounge, a private area that provides breakfast, evening hors d'oeuvres, and a plethora of beverage options--all complimentary.

When you’re not in your stylish room, the hotel’s new facilities await you. Play a game of tennis, take a lap in the outdoor pool, or just relax in the whirlpool. Looking for fresh air? The hotel’s prime location is near some of North Carolina’s finest golf courses and jogging trails. After breaking a sweat, settle in at one of the hotel’s dining options: The Cafe for a relaxing cup of coffee, Seasons Restaurant for casual American food, or Seasons Lobby Bar for a comfortable night in.

EscapeWizard.com is sure that your stay at the Sheraton Imperial Hotel & Convention Center in Durham, North Carolina will be one of true southern hospitality. Let us help you book your room by clicking the link to get started (www.escapewizard.com/hotels.php?flag=htl).
Hotels in Durham
By Chris McCarthy
Homewood Suites by Hilton Raleigh-Durham Airport/Research Triangle
4603 Central Park Drive, Durham, NC
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Homewood Suites by Hilton® Raleigh-Durham Airport/Research Triangle is your home away from home whether you are here for business or pleasure. Conveniently located near the Raleigh-Durham Airport, the hotel is in the heart of Research Triangle Park and offers complimentary local and airport shuttles. Whether you need to stay one night or many, the hotel offers a plan for everyone. Short term corporate housing is also available. Choose from studio suites to two bedroom accommodations. For business, the hotel offers an ideal meeting space or conference room with easy planning tools online. Baggage storage is available. Plus, there is an on-site convenience store near the lobby.  Suite check-in time is 3:00 p.m., with check out at noon.

Start your day right with the Suite Start® hot breakfast buffet seven days a week at the Lodge. And when you return in the evening, be sure to check out the Welcome Home Reception® where you’ll enjoy a complimentary light dinner with beer or wine. Or venture out to one of the fabulous area restaurants just minutes away. Complimentary local transportation is available. And for the late night growling stomach, the Suite Start Snack Center is right down the hall.

Each suite is designed with creature comforts in mind, such as: Fully equipped kitchen with granite countertops, plush bedding, complimentary high speed internet access, two phones with voice mail. two TVs, and more. Laundry/Valet services are always available. Step outside your door and get a work out in the fitness room or swim in the pool. End your day with a nightcap at the bar.

The business center, open 24 hours a day, provides services such as: Fax, complimentary printing service, photocopying, and Express mail. 

Homewood Suites Raleigh-Durham Airport is perfect for short term visits or extended stays. It’s easy to book your stay today at EscapeWizard.com by clicking this link: (www.escapewizard.com/hotels.php?flag=htl).