If you’re looking to sip a cocktail and catch up friends in a chill setting, you should check out Duke Mansion’s Cocktails in the Courtyard.
It’s from 5-8 p.m. Monday through Thursday — and they just extended it to last through August.
“On Tequila Day, we served more than 70 house made blood orange margaritas, made from tequila, Solerno Blood Orange Liqueur, Aperol and OJ,” said Andy Faulkenberry, a director at Duke Mansion.
How it works: You walk in the lobby of the Duke Mansion. Right past the receptionist, you’ll see a cash bar to your right. Order your drink of choice and grab a facts pamphlet and a map (conveniently in the form of a fan). Then, head outdoors and find a seat. You’ll see some immediate seating, but take a walk around both sides of the grounds — hidden benches are everywhere.
Vibe: It’s pretty chill. I saw older groups of women chatting, younger couples on dates, and a large, louder group with children. The grounds are spread out enough that you should be able to find your own little space. I went on Wednesday evening and probably saw a little more than 20 people — it wasn’t crowded at all, but it’s also not a place to party.
Beverages: The beer selection was kind of a hodge-podge but included domestics as well as local craft brews. Red, white, rosé and sparkling wines are available as well as gin, vodka, rum, whiskey, etc.
Prices: It’s free to attend, and drinks range from $3 (soft drink and mineral water) to $8 (mixed drinks and wine).
Do good: The proceeds from these evenings help support the Mansion, which happens to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Here’s a look around.