Forest Hills

Neo-colonial house in the Durham neighborhood of Forest Hills. |

One of the beautiful examples of neo-colonial architecture in Durham’s Forest Hills neighborhood.

The Forest Hills Neighborhood

The Forest Hills neighborhood of Durham, North Carolina, was developed in the 1920s as an intentional suburb of central downtown Durham. It was planned around a golf course and club house (now Forest Hills Park) and the developers built curving roads and sidewalks as a relatively self-contained and desirable alternative to downtown Durham. The forested, hilly area is still a highly sought-after place to buy a home in Durham; in addition, Forest Hills is a National Historic District.

The Forest Hills neighborhood lies next to the Tuscaloosa-Lakewood neighborhood, and is roughly bounded by Kent Street to the west, the American Tobacco Trail and Beverly Drive to the east, Wells Street to the north and Stuart Drive and Summit Street on the south. Many of the streets are circular or end in cul-de-sacs, which keeps the traffic to a minimum (but makes it a little harder to describe exact boundaries.) University Drive is the major artery through the middle of the neighborhood and Forest Hills Park sprawls across the center of the neighborhood.

As one of the neighborhoods on the south side of Downtown Durham, Forest Hills is a relatively easy commute to both Chapel Hill and Raleigh (about 30 minutes, give or take). Plus, the convenience to University Drive means downtown Durham is a quick five-minute drive.

Tudor revival-style home in Durham's Forest Hills neighborhood. |

An example of the Tudor revival style of home that can be found in Durham’s Forest Hills neighborhood.

The Forest Hills Real Estate Market

In the last twelve months (as of July 2016), the median sale price in Durham’s Forest Hills neighborhood was roughly $463,000, with smaller homes on the outskirts of the neighborhood ranging from the high $100s to low $300s, and a seven-bedroom home in Forest Hill’s historic center that sold for $1.1 million. The large luxury homes in this Durham neighrbohood include many beautiful examples of neo-colonial architecture, with grand, symmetrical facades, as well as some Tudor revival homes, with stucco, timbers and stone. You will find less-expensive homes on University, as it is a busy road, and there are some smaller three-bedrooms scattered throughout the neighborhood as well.

Things to do in Durham’s Forest Hills neighborhood:

Forest Hills is a residential neighborhood without any real commercial areas, but the convenience of University Drive means there are lots of great spots within a quick drive, or even a short walk.

  • Forest Hills Park
    • One of our favorite parks in the summer because of the sprayground. Nice playground, and big fields for playing games, plus a picnic pavilion and community pool.
  • American Tobacco Trail
  • Nanataco
  • Foster’s Market
    • Gourmet food market, restaurant and coffee shop.
  • The Original Q Shack
    • There was one week where I think our family ate here three times and somehow none of us got tired of barbeque. Everything’s delicious, but I recommend the creamed spinach and brisket.
  • Guglhupf Bakery and Restaurant
    • A great spot to grab lunch or get work done. Lots of outdoor seating, great ambiance, amazing baked goods and German food.
The playground at Forest Hills Park in the Forest Hills neighborhood of Durham, NC |

The playground at Forest Hills Park in Durham, NC.

Local Public Schools

(Please note these are the Durham public schools in, or close to, the neighborhood, or where many kids in the neighborhood are assigned and not a guarantee of assignment for any particular address. To find out the Durham public school assignment for a specific property, you can visit Durham Public School’s interactive map or which isn’t DPS-official but is more user-friendly.)

For a helpful explanation of Durham’s magnet program, neighborhood schools, walk zones, and more, check out Strong Durham Schools.

More about Durham’s Forest Hills neighborhood:

About the author: My name is Matt Minor and I’m a real estate agent with Hunter Rowe Real Estate in the Raleigh-Durham area of North Carolina. I’d love to help you buy or sell a home in the Triangle; I hope this information on Forest Hills helps you find the best Durham neighborhood for you and your family. Give me a call at 919-450-5999, or email me at if you’re thinking about buying or selling a home in Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, Cary, Apex, Carrboro, Clayton, Fuquay-Varina, Garner, Holly Springs, Knightdale, Mebane, Morrisville, Sanford, Smithfield or Wake Forest.