According to legend, Duke's longtime athletic director and basketball coach Eddie Cameron sat down with football coach Wallace Wade in 1935 to drum up plans for a new indoor stadium. Throughout the meeting, the two doodled plans for the arena on the back of—what else?—a matchbook. If true, the apocryphal tale makes a fitting story for Duke, considering the university itself was founded partly on a fortune from North Carolina's prized tobacco industry.
Little could the men know at the time, but that brainchild, Cameron Indoor Stadium, would become a symbol of Duke's success over the years, in both basketball and athletics in general. Combined, the men's and women's hoops teams have collected more than 1,200 wins in front of home crowds, whose notoriously raucous cheers make it nearly impossible for visiting athletes to write their term papers on the sidelines. Steps away, Wallace Wade Stadium has stood tall since 1929, becoming the only venue outside of Pasadena, California, to host college football's iconic Rose Bowl game, back in 1942.
Opened as a roller-skating center in 1977, Wheels Fun Park broadened its ambitions in 1992 when it bloomed into a full-fledged family fun center. After its metamorphosis, the park incorporated attractions that include an 18-hole mini-golf course, five batting cages, and a quarter-mile go-kart track. Nothing overshadows its roots though, and today's 25,000-square-foot roller rink commands a 14-speaker sound system and a dazzling light show that twinkles in skaters' sparkling eyes along with the glow of two disco balls.
A 6,500-square-foot play gym allows tots to act out the story of the Minotaur of Crete in a labyrinthine system of climbing tubes. An onsite skate park treats boarders to a slew of supervised rails and spines as well as a mini halfpipe. During holidays and when school is not in session, day camps keep kids well fed and well educated in subjects such as the geometry of mini golf.
The artists at Wine and Canvas awaken their students’ inner Rembrandts and van Goghs with classes that pair a featured painting with specialty cocktails and wines. The mobile studio’s monthly calendar includes themed classes in which instructors expound on the nuances of painting Parisian street lamps, Japanese flowers, or Venetian cityscapes. The master painters—many of them local artists—provide step-by-step instructions, and students mimic each stroke and periodically dip their brushes into glasses filled with crimson cabernet. Each of the studio’s various drink-friendly venues boasts a specialty libation selected to incite creativity or conversations with fellow painters. When the artistic frenzy concludes, students return home with a finished masterpiece large enough to conceal any wall safe or mirror portal.
Fueled by her passion for performance art, fashion, and choreography, Durham native Anjanée N. Bell founded Bellan Performance Centre as a philanthropic organization, and as a destination for those individuals with interests as diverse as her own. The disciplines and fundamentals of dance weave a common thread through the facility's many endeavors, which include aspirations to emerge as a performance-art community by way of engaging live shows. Off stage, Bellan provides various educational programs and fitness classes that encourage participants of all ages to get up and move, even if they lack the experience and spring-loaded toes of many professional steppers.
Tease Fitness Boutique isn’t a gym, and it isn't quite a dance studio. It’s a nonjudgmental fitness studio where women of all shapes and sizes can shimmy, slide, and kick calories—along with the monotony of standard workouts—to the curb. With a schedule filled with burlesque, flirty pole-fitness, boot-camp, and cardio classes, Vertical Tease tempts gals to enjoy their exercise routines, as the staff know that sticking to a workout, like playing catch with a baby black bear, can become difficult after a few months. Classes rotate every six weeks and are always kept small so that instructors can lavish each participant with personal attention.
Designed by architect Rafael Viñoly, the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University not only houses precious works of art that span centuries; it is a work of art itself. Composed of five separate, rectangular volumes, the Nasher Museum compartmentalizes its 65,000 square feet of space elegantly and efficiently. Two pavilions host rotating exhibits and another pavilion contains the permanent collection. In addition, an auditorium seats 173 people and features lectures and film screenings, whereas the final pavilion houses two classrooms, in addition to the museum's store and café, where members receive discounts.