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Once the home of the American Tobacco Company for which it is named, The American Tobacco Campus is now a flourishing urban center known for its restaurants, shops, art galleries, and theaters. The district consists of 17 restored historic structures built between 1874 and the 1950s, some in Italianate, Romanesque Revival, and Art Moderne styles. A marvel of urban renewal, the district is a pleasure to simply walk through.
Pull up a bench and revel in nature's beauty in this eight-acre (three-hectare) garden wonderland. This outdoor laboratory for the Department of Horticulture at North Carolina State University is a delight for visitors and locals alike. Sit in the shade of trees from over 50 different countries, wander down the 450-foot (137-meter) long mosaic of the Perennial Garden, or bring a good book and relax in the Reading Garden. The Victorian gazebo in the Klein-Pringle White Garden is a popular choice for local brides and the Japanese and Paradise gardens are must-sees.
Founded in 1934, The Sarah P. Duke Gardens offers 55 acres (22 hectares) of world-class gardens in the center of Duke University. More than five miles (eight kilometers) of pathways lead visitors on walks through four sections of beautifully landscaped terraces, gardens, and arboretums. The Duke Gardens host gardening, photography, and natural history classes, and a summer concert series. A cafe and a visitor center are on the grounds. Walking and trolley tours are given four days a week; reservations are recommended.
Named after the family of industrialist James Duke, this private, independent research university sprawls over three campuses, and is an icon of research, culture, and education. The university attracts visitors for its Collegiate Gothic Architecture, the highlight of which is Duke Chapel, an active interdenominational chapel in the center of the school's campus. Other highlights include the Lemur Center–a rare and endangered prosimian primate sanctuary—a Medical Center, the Perkins Library, the Sarah B. Duke Gardens, and the Duke Forest and Golf Club. Student-led tours, and maps for self-guided tours, are available through the undergraduate admissions office.
The Duke Lemur Center is a sanctuary for rare and endangered prosimian primates – mostly lemurs – located a few miles from the Duke University campus. The sanctuary is the largest of its kind in the world, and houses nearly 250 non-primates across 21 species, on 85 acres. The center focuses on conservation, research, and outreach, but provides opportunities for guided tours seven days a week. Visitors can tour the grounds with a staff photographer, paint with lemurs, or experience a day in the shoes of a lemur caretaker. Tours are by appointment only, and should be reserved several weeks in advance.