Best Family-Friendly Spots to Sleep and Eat in Durham

Durham, North Carolina, has certainly come into its own over the last several years. Bull City’s downtown is thriving, with new hotels popping up and dozens of restaurants within walking distance, along with charming local shops and boutiques. Startups are swarming to the area to take advantage of diverse talent and tech. Whatever your reason for visiting Durham, you can feel good about deciding to bring the family along.


The Unscripted Durham Hotel is relatively new. With 74 guestrooms, it was converted from the previous Jack Tar Motor Lodge and still retains a certain mod style that’s both unique and aesthetically pleasing, without being over the top and design heavy. Just a 20-minute drive from the Raleigh-Durham International Airport, once you arrive at the Unscripted property, you can park your rental car and leave it, as you’re just steps away from some of Durham’s best spots.

The Patio Bar at Unscripted Durham

The Patio Bar at Unscripted Durham © Unscripted Durham

Pro tip: For families with children that have bedtimes, you’ll want to pick certain rooms from the floorplan. In the summer, the pool deck on the third floor stays busy well into the evening hours and the first floor is home to DJ-driven social events year-round. For privacy, quiet and the most space, choose a studio king on the second floor.



JackTar © Holly Riddle

Right next door to the Unscripted Durham Hotel is Jack Tar and The Colonel’s Daughter (obviously named after the Jack Tar Motor Lodge). The eatery features local cuisine that’s a bit ‘upscale diner’ in nature, from double cheeseburgers (with caramelized onions and jalapeños on a benne seed bun) to Szechuan peppercorn hot chicken, and pot roast to lamb spaghetti with buffalo ricotta. It’s a great pick for breakfast at any hour. Big appetite? Go for the Ham + Eggs and a side of coffee cake. The house-smoked ham is melt-in-your-mouth good.

Monuts © Holly Riddle

Monuts © Holly Riddle

Another great spot for all-day breakfast, as well as other light lunch items, Monuts is a bit outside of downtown, but not so far away you can’t reach it without a brisk walk. There are lots of different donut flavors to choose from, all created with just the best ingredients. This spot is also pretty budget-friendly. For the kiddos, a small section in the corner gives them a table most suitable for their own height, along with a selection of picture books to keep them entertained while you wait for your order.

Pool at Unscripted Durham

Pool at Unscripted Durham © Unscripted Durham