In North Carolina, Winston and Salem merged in 1913 to form one historic and culturally rich city. Today the vibrant college town is home to tons of entertainment ranging from the arts to nature and much more worth exploring.
Keep an open mind, and experience it all with these best things to do in Winston-Salem.
Best things to do in Winston-Salem, North CarolinaHow do these rankings work?
SECCA is an artistic point of pride in North Carolina and an unusual art museum at that. The center has no permanent exhibits, but showcases work from regionally, nationally and internationally recognised artists. Set in a 1929 Norman Revival home, the museum itself is worth seeing and observing. No matter what the current exhibit is, expect a fascinating display, but check the calendar for special events that might be occurring too.
Salem was originally founded in 1753 by Moravians who were Eastern Europeans hailing from modern-day eastern Czech Republic. They brought with them a rich culture and artistic influence, and left their mark on the city through their homeland traditions.
Today the historic district features a living museum and interactive tours to understand what the community was like. Try to catch a Night Watchman tour, and plan on being out late.
The Reynolda House Museum is home to the preeminent collection of Americana art ranging from colonial times to modern-day. The exhibits are small and focused, and provide a glimpse into the Americana community and the life of the artists. The museum remains a fixture of Winston-Salem and hosts events regularly, so check the calendar.
Salem Lake is just minutes from downtown and includes a 7-mile trail for walking or running. It’s the perfect escape without venturing too far outside of the city or onto a hiking trail, but you’ll still feel miles away. So, any time of day, the 365-acre lake is a peaceful and beautiful city break. Take your tennis shoes or bike and pack a lunch for a lake-side picnic after a bit of exercise.
There are plenty of breweries downtown, but get away from the bustle and visit a winery for a quiet afternoon among the hills. Sample Yadkin Valley wines at Raffaldini Vineyard or Sanders Ridge Vineyard and Winery for an atmospheric setting, and the wander through the vines. So, order your favourite bottle, and take a seat on the patio to drink in pleasant-weather days.
The Downtown Arts District Association, DADA, has brought countless shops, galleries and studios to the center of Winston-Salem. Stroll between 5th and Trade streets to browse local art, or settle into a cafe among the bustling district for an afternoon of people watching. Shop for unique, hand-made products, and meet the artists for a truly local experience.
Historic Bethabara Park and District is located in Old Salem. The park encompasses the remaining buildings of the settling Moravian community, and there are even archaeological remains from 1753 that visitors can view and learn about.
It has even been a National Historic Landmark since 1999, and the park continues to preserve the history of the settlement today. So take a walk around the buildings and appreciate the history of Old Salem.