The Best Hotels to Book Near the Museum of Life and Science, Durham

Duke Forest consists of over 7,000 acres (2,833ha) of land and is used for research purposes by the nearby Duke University
Duke Forest consists of over 7,000 acres (2,833ha) of land and is used for research purposes by the nearby Duke University | Courtesy of Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club /
Photo of Gabi Ancarola
5 October 2021

Formerly known as the North Carolina Museum of Life and Science and the NC Children’s Museum, the Museum of Life and Science is an 84-acre (34ha) science museum in Durham, North Carolina. Those looking to explore the museum should check these places to stay – bookable on Culture Trip.

Experience both indoor and outdoor learning environments here, including a farmyard, an aerospace exhibit and a three-story glass building home to the Magic Wings Butterfly House. Kids especially love the fascinating Dinosaur Trail.

Washington Duke Inn and Golf Club

Two double beds in the Washington Duke Inn and Golf Club with plush blue carpets and matching cushions
Courtesy of Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club /
The Washington Duke Inn and Golf Club is an exclusive place to stay on the edge of Duke Forest – the property is surrounded by tall pines and hardwoods, conveniently located on the campus of Duke University. This English-styled inn features spacious and super comfy lodging, world-class golf and award-winning dining facilities. The cuisine is showcased in different on-site restaurants and bars, sourcing fresh, local ingredients. Rooms offer an exceptional assortment of amenities including a minibar, luxurious linens and plush bathrobes, complimentary newspaper delivered upon request and an in-room coffee maker.

Arrowhead Inn

View of the outside of Arrowhead Inn, with a white wooden clad exterior, 4 pillars and the American flag
Courtesy of Arrowhead Inn /
The Arrowhead Inn is a romantic bed and breakfast surrounded by lush outdoor gardens to experience a truly relaxing getaway. Just minutes from the Triangle area gems, visitors staying at the Arrowhead Inn can enjoy easy access to Durham, Raleigh and Chapel Hill. Luxurious in-room amenities include terry satin robes, Egyptian cotton towels and high-end bath products, all-natural and made in Virginia. Thoughtful details such as fresh flowers, writing journals and cozy fireplaces are featured in every room for an unforgettable getaway.

21c Museum Hotel Durham

A pink penguin decoration and two double beds with white sheets in 21c Museum Hotel Durham
Courtesy of 21c Museum Hotel Durham /
Right in the center of downtown Durham, 21c Museum Hotel is a multi-venue contemporary art hotel museum with an amazing art exhibition. This full-service boutique hotel features luxurious guest rooms with comfortable and convenient amenities. Counting House is the magnificent on-site restaurant where local cuisine meets bold flavors inspired by old-school European gastronomy. For those looking to spend a relaxing holiday, the spa treatment rooms are adjacent to the sauna, steam room and state-of-the-art fitness center.

The Durham Hotel

View over the seating area at the Durham Hotel with freestanding lamps and geometric design pendant lights
Courtesy of The Durham Hotel /
The Durham is a mid-century modern boutique hotel in the heart of downtown Durham – providing the possibility to enjoy a vibrant stay in any of the over 50 rooms filled with thoughtful amenities and inspired design elements. Each room features modern interiors, platform beds and a delicious snack tray stocked with NC goods. One of its most beloved features is the Roof – a year-round gathering spot for delicious, original cocktails, snacks and food, as well as unbeatable panoramic downtown views.

JB Duke Hotel

Double room in the JB Duke Hotel with large TV and view over trees
Courtesy of JB Duke Hotel /
Sophistication is the main trait of the JB Duke. Choose one of the 198 spacious guest rooms inspired by natural settings decorated with warm shades inspired by Duke University’s colors and beautiful bathrooms in spa style. Home to a unique atmosphere, you can splurge in the hotel’s fantastic dining experiences. The contemporary MarketPlace Barista Bar is a full-service restaurant serving staple dishes of the most traditional American cuisine. Located in the heart of Duke’s West Campus, the property provides easy access to several activities – including a magnificent golf course just steps from the hotel.

Unscripted Durham

Bright blue and yellow geometric wallpaper with double bed, TV and well-designed chairs in a room at the Unscripted Hotels Durham
Courtesy of Unscripted Hotels Durham / Expedia
An easy-going venue, Unscripted Durham is located in a downtown building dating from the 1960s. This retro-chic hotel is only minutes from shops, restaurants and cultural venues at the landmark American Tobacco Campus – only two miles (3.2km) from the Sarah P Duke Gardens. The property offers mid-century modern furnishings with a vintage vibe – rooms are equipped with panoramic windows, comfortable mattresses and a convenient minibar. If you want to learn more about the local culture and history, the Museum of Durham History is just a few blocks from the Unscripted Durham.

Aloft Durham Downtown

Cosy communal space in Aloft Durham Downtown with grey, blue and orange colour scheme
Courtesy of Aloft Durham Downtown/
Aloft Durham Downtown is located in the heart of American Tobacco – Durham’s thriving entertainment district – within walking distance to elegant boutiques and local restaurants. In the local area, you can explore the Durham Bulls Athletic Park and the Durham Performing Arts Center tool. This tech-forward hotel features loft-inspired rooms with plush platform beds topped with plump pillows – while modern amenities include ample workstations and free high-speed wifi. On-site, there is also a relaxing outdoor pool to unwind in after a day of exploring.

The Siena Hotel, Autograph Collection

Double bed room in the Siena Hotel with padded headboard, brown floral carpet and red wall
Courtesy of The Siena Hotel, Autograph Collection /
Described as the perfect Italian experience in Chapel Hill, the Siena Hotel Autograph Collection is an upscale boutique hotel with a distinctive European character in the Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill areas. Set in an elegant Tuscan villa with luxurious décor, the property has hand-selected European furniture, Italian marble floors and majestic columns. Rooms and suites are spacious, featuring a cozy seating area, ample desks and comfortable beds. Serving regional Italian cooking, the different on-site restaurants celebrate the great tradition of Italian hospitality.

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