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Visit Winston-Salem Offices & Visitor Center
200 Brookstown Avenue
Winston-Salem, NC 27101
8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Tour the home of RJ and Katharine Reynolds at Reynolda House Museum of American Art, which features the works of some of America’s most notable artists, from Mary Cassatt to Georgia O’Keefe. There’s also an adjacent botanical garden.
The Katharine Brasserie is named for the matriarch of the Reynolds family. The French-inspired eatery serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner as well as cocktails and brunch.
Fuel up for the day at Krankies Coffee, which has coffee and beer, along with sandwiches and salads. Later in the day, chow down on “puffy” tacos and margaritas at Porch Kitchen and Cantina.
The Kimpton Cardinal Hotel in the historic Reynolds Building has been carefully restored with perks like daily happy hour and morning coffee.
The Brookstown Inn is another historic hotel with a resident cat and daily breakfast. Or live in luxury at Graylyn, a 1930 mansion that is now a hotel and conference center.
Plentiful, delicious dining, a vibrant cultural scene and outdoor fun are set against the backdrop of beautiful, mountainous landscapes in Winston-Salem.
In the foothills of the North Carolina mountains, just before you hit wine country and a mere four hours from the beach, is Winston-Salem, a city of art and food and easy access to the natural wonders of the region’s terrain.
The ingenuity of the city’s Moravian founders has translated into a community of young entrepreneurs and creators who spurred a live-work-play revolution. That spirit is most apparent at Innovation Quarter, a downtown-based research park that encompasses 90 companies, over 1,000 residences, 5 academic institutions, and 20 miles of connected greenways and parks—plus restaurants, coffee shops, and watering holes.
Driving three and a half hours Northeast of Charleston brings you to Winston-Salem, one of the most interesting cities on the East coast. From textiles to tobacco roots, Moravian culture to a thriving arts scene, Winston-Salem holds a great getaway for the entire family. After a visit to a particular bakery, you may want to drive down just for one of the world-class pastries they serve. Here is what to do on your Winston-Salem road trip.
The Annual Tanglewood Park Festival of Lights drive-through holiday lights display is a four-mile experience in Winston-Salem, North Carolina with more than one million LED lights and 180 displays. Tanglewood Park is the former 1100-acre estate of Will and Kate Reynolds, of the R.J. Reynolds family.
I blinked, and it is already November. I don’t know about you, but it hasn’t felt like November for us on the East Coast. The weather has certainly been leaning on the warmer side this season–perfect for road trips and exploring a new city!
We were so excited to have the opportunity to partner with Visit Winston-Salem and explore Winston-Salem, North Carolina, for a long weekend. Zach and I adore everything about North Carolina and jump at any opportunity we get to visit.
If you didn’t know, Zach works in Charlotte, North Carolina. Pre-COVID, he would fly down to Charlotte every other week. Also, his family has a house in the Outer Banks. Visiting Winston-Salem was the highlight of our fall.
With help from Visit Winston-Salem, here is an overview of our weekend getaway to the very dog-friendly Winston-Salem, North Carolina!
On the surface, Winston-Salem looks much like Raleigh; even its skyline is similar. But once within the city, you’ll discover, its unique historic charm, eclectic shops, up-and-coming restaurants and exciting attractions give it a distinct allure.
Also known as “Camel City,” Winston-Salem played a notable role in the South’s tobacco industry. The R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company was responsible for providing most of the city’s residents with jobs in the 1940s and brought the city national recognition. Now, the Reynolds headquarters building soars high above downtown Winston-Salem while many other businesses, museums, Truist Stadium and the esteemed Wake Forest University radiate out from the heart of the city.
While Winston-Salem has certainly modernized, you can still catch a glimpse of the past on 260-year-old cobblestone streets as well as at its historic sites and art galleries.
Forbes.com includes Mrs. Hanes' Moravian Cookies in "Holiday Gift Guide 2020: Travel Products Made By Women"
Mrs. Hanes’ Moravian Cookies
Oprah Winfrey named this North Carolina delicacy as one of her “favorite things” in 2010. Located in Clemmons, a suburb of Winston-Salem, this bakery led by Evva Hanes continues this culinary tradition by the Moravians who came to settle in the state in the mid-16th century. These thin and crispy cookies come in six flavors: sugar, lemon, black walnut, chocolate, butterscotch and traditional Moravian ginger.
Excerpt: “After you touch down in the Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT), you’ll begin your journey in Winston-Salem, a city full of “firsts” that is a 75-minute drive from the airport. Winston-Salem may also be referred to as “City of the Arts and Innovation”, “Camel City” for its involvement in the tobacco industry (R.J. Reynold’s Tobacco Company’s Camel cigarettes are based in this area), or where the first Krispy Kreme doughnut shop opened!”
New Jersey luxury lifestyle magazine featured Winston-Salem’s local hotels and attractions a print article detailing how to enjoy an autumn visit to North Carolina. “The Perfect Fall North Carolina Road Trip” features Winston-Salem’s historic Graylyn Estate, the downtown Kimpton Cardinal Hotel, Reynolda House Museum of American Art, and Village Inn Restaurant in historic Reynolda Village.
Winston-Salem is one of North Carolina’s best-known cities, one chock full of rich history and world-renowned technology, arts, and medical care. It is located in the northwestern part of the state, has about a quarter-million population, and is synonymous with tobacco and agritourism. I’d driven by Winston-Salem probably 100 times before I finally visited, and could kick myself for taking so long to get there. Here is why you should consider a visit to Winston-Salem, the Twin City.
Kimpton Cardinal Hotel
Winston-Salem, North Carolina
In 1929, the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company built what was the tallest skyscraper in the South, an art deco stunner that would inspire the Empire State Building. In 2016, the landmark was given new life as a hotel. Its sleek guest rooms, brasserie, and rec room (complete with adult-sized spiral slide) are new, but the gleaming elevator lobby’s marble floors and walls, brass and nickel elevator doors, and a ceiling studded with gilded tobacco leaves are original.
Winston-Salem, North Carolina
In 1766, Moravians, members of a Protestant denomination from Central Europe, founded Salem. Today, 109 buildings from their historical settlement have been restored or reconstructed, and dozens of craftspeople and reenactors bring the village to life. Watch shoemakers, tailors, potters, and gunsmiths ply their trades as they would have two centuries ago, and stroll the numerous gardens showcasing heirloom plants.
Now that travel restrictions have eased, it’s an ideal time for that road trip you’ve been thinking about. I visited Winston-Salem many years ago during the holidays (highly recommended). I was anxious to return. It’s an easy drive from Charlotte, N.C. (just under 80 miles) and just under a three-hour-drive from Columbia, S.C.
True to their Beaufort heritage, a mother and daughter bring the bounty of the coast to their Winston-Salem fish market and restaurant, where seafood and friendship keep spirits afloat.
Artsy town of 246,000 in the Piedmont area of North Carolina 80 miles northeast of Charlotte, home to Wake Forest, Winston-Salem State, University of North Carolina School of the Arts and Salem College. Median home price $152,000, 47% below national median. Cost of living 19% below national average. PROS: High ratio of physicians per capita. Comfortable climate, good air quality. Very bikeable. No state income tax on Social Security earnings, no state estate/inheritance tax. Low climate-change risk.
Anne Rainey Rokahr was a teenager when she fell in love with vintage fashion and home decor while working part-time at The Snob Shop in Winston-Salem’s West End neighborhood. More than 20 years later — after living in San Francisco, New York, and Dubai — Rokahr returned to Winston-Salem and The Snob Shop. She purchased the iconic high-end consignment shop in 2009 and opened a second store, Trouvaille Home, also on Burke Street, in 2014. “Burke Street is the heart of the West End shopping district, and the retailers worked hard to make it a destination,” she says. “In Winston-Salem, there are opportunities to change the town and make an impact in ways that you couldn’t in New York or San Francisco. I love this town and wanted to be back here. I can’t think of anything I’d want to do more.”
Combining traditional Southern hospitality with international flair, the past meets present in Winston-Salem. The city is the gateway to the Yadkin Valley wine region, where you can find more than 40 wineries to enjoy, and is the state’s first and largest American Viticultural Area. Even more than that, Winston-Salem, known as “Winston” by the locals, has experienced steady growth over the past decade and maintains a low cost of living. Education is a top priority to residents and several higher ed institutions call Winston-Salem home, including Wake Forest University and Winston-Salem State, a top-ranking HBCU. Additionally, the arts scene is unparalleled and the historic Old Salem district, originally settled by the Moravian community in the 1750s, has become a cultural hub. Oh, and a little donut shop called Krispy Kreme is headquartered here!
According to U.S. News, “the rankings offer a comprehensive evaluation of the country’s 125 largest metropolitan areas – up from 100 last year – based on how well they meet Americans’ expectations for retirement, with measures including housing affordability, desirability, health care and overall happiness.”
In terms of size and recognition, pales in comparison to its North Carolina neighbors, Charlotte and Raleigh. Yet, in terms of quality—and cost—of living, the mid-sized city has it all. Here, the median home sale price comes in at a reasonable $178k. And with nearly 20 percent of the jobs considered high-paying (big employers here include the Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, Hanes, and BB&T Bank), that leaves a good chunk of cash left over to invest.
Just as the sun dips behind Winston-Salem’s skinny R.J. Reynolds smokestack, a blanket of shade revives the 100 or so yogis moving into warrior pose on the grassy lawn of Bailey Park. Their Sunset Salutations class — a free yoga practice held every third Wednesday of each month — has been going strong for 10 minutes, but latecomers are still arriving on the scene and rolling out their mats.
Winston-Salem has never entirely left its eighteenth-century Moravian past behind. In fact, Old Salem’s 1766 historic village is actually just a stone’s throw from downtown’s Village Juice Company, which couldn’t be more Instagram-worthy. The juxtaposition of the two old cities (Winston and Salem) and the innovative spirit that combines them into modern day Winston-Salem, is a fascinating study of how cities stay true to their roots, while moving forward through the decades.
Making this Monday a little more exciting with a travel diary + guide from my recent trip to Winston-Salem, NC. If you’re anything like me, this is a spot you didn’t know you needed to visit but absolutely do! Hillary and I visited two weeks ago and had the BEST time exploring the southern town. There is so much history, character, and beauty in this gem of a city. Not to mention the culinary scene is incredible! Every where you turn there’s a unique spot to dive into and enjoy an amazing meal – whether you want to indulge or veer on the healthy side. Winston-Salem’s Culinary scene has you covered!
The Yadkin Valley wine region — the state’s first American Viticultural Area — is dotted with vineyards, many just minutes apart. Get winery hopping with these three itineraries.
Every Easter Sunday for almost 250 years, residents of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, have been awakened by small groups of musicians playing the hymn “Sleepers, Wake,” before the Home Moravian church’s sunrise service.
Not this year.
The groups of trumpeters and tuba players that proceeded through the streets during the Revolutionary War, Civil War and World Wars One and Two have been silenced this year because of the novel coronavirus.
A taste of Naples has come to Winston-Salem. At Peyton Smith’s restaurant, the humble, cheesy pie you think you know is transformed into something you’ll never forget.
TOBACCO BUILT this town, tobacco and R.J. Reynolds. Between the time Reynolds arrived in Winston-Salem in 1875 and his death in 1918, this town grew 90-fold. His packaged cigarette and knack for advertising took Winston-Salem from a country town to Camel City.
The Kimpton Cardinal, Winston-Salem, NC
One of the coolest historic hotels in the Southeast, this AAA Four Diamond Rated hotel occupies an art deco skyscraper that was once the headquarters of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. and the architectural inspiration for New York City’s Empire State Building. Check out the historic details, like the gilded tobacco leaf motif on the ceiling in the lobby and the art deco designs on the elevator doors. On the lower level you’ll find a modern recreation area with basketball courts, a bowling alley, shuffleboard, pingpong and pool tables and a tube slide.
Graylyn International Conference Center, Winston-Salem, NC
Built in the 1930s as the estate of Bowman Gray, former president of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., Graylyn feels like your own private castle on lush, sprawling grounds. Be sure to be on the lookout for hotel’s elaborate Persian card room, and the library’s hand-carved 300-year-old oak paneling that once covered the walls in King Edward VII’s Paris office. Look for the bullet hole in the paneling that a spurned girlfriend is said to have created when she shot at the king and missed him. There’s also a fantastic indoor art deco pool, and an ice cream room on every floor where guests can indulge in free frozen treats any time of the day or night.
North Carolina’s city of arts and innovation, Winston-Salem is your Southern wake-up call, a feast for the thinking traveler. Evolved from its traditional Moravian, tobacco and textile roots into a thriving city gaining popularity as the gateway to the Yadkin Valley wine region, Winston-Salem is a city that boasts a rich history and impressive culinary scene reflective of it’s Southern heritage. Winston-Salem is a city of immersion, a place of diversity and activity, commerce and achievement, and local flavors and sips. That’s why it’s the nicest place and visitors return again and again!
Buns flavored with spice and a hint of orange star in the Moravian tradition of lovefeast. And that keeps one bakery in Winston-Salem very busy at Christmastime.
“There is nothing like Southern hospitality, and you will definitely find that in the heart of Winston-Salem. The walkable downtown continues to grow, with more than $1.5 billion invested into downtown revitalization over the last decade. Visitors can enjoy a taste of Winston-Salem, thanks to seven craft breweries in a one-mile radius, more than 80 locally-owned restaurants and cafes (many of which are women-run) and an array of live music venues, eclectic art galleries and innovative cocktail lounges.”
In Winston-Salem, neighbors gather together to celebrate lovefeast the way they have since the first Moravian settlers arrived here centuries ago: with hot coffee, sweet buns, stirring music, and the warm glow of candlelight.
Thick red lines climb over buildings and spill down sidewalks, guiding pedestrians to the metal structures and grassy hills that make up Winston-Salem’s ARTivity on the Green. Opened in 2015 as a way to revitalize a once-forgotten area of downtown, this half-acre park connects the city’s arts district to Wake Forest University’s Innovation Quarter. But ARTivity merges art and innovation more than just geographically.
At Sutler’s Spirit Company in Winston-Salem, Scot Sanborn leads an unconventional, personalized approach to bottling gin.
Mary Reynolds Babcock was a free spirit with a green thumb. At the Reynolds family estate in Winston-Salem, her ingenious gardening secrets have been preserved for budding florists.
When it opened its doors in April 1929, the Reynolds Building was the tallest skyscraper in the South, and Winston-Salem the largest city between Washington D.C. and Atlanta. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company constructed the twenty-two-story Art Deco stunner as its headquarters, heralding the success of the company, which had introduced the incredibly popular Prince Albert pipe tobacco and Camel cigarettes earlier in the century. The building became a beloved local landmark, as well as the inspiration for New York’s Empire State Building
A new hotel in the Art Deco splendor of the old R.J. Reynolds headquarters hoped to attract travelers from far and wide. Nobody expected guests to come from just across town.
Built in 1929 as the headquarters for R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, this art deco masterpiece famously served as the model for the Empire State Building, which was designed by the same architectural firm. Last spring the 22-story tower began its second life as a residential building anchored by the Kimpton Cardinal Hotel. Though cigar-chomping execs have been replaced by vacationing couples and young downtown residents, the building’s glamorous luster remains intact.
I confess that I’ve always been a little bit wary of The South. Being a Philadelphia native, in The South I am what’s called a Yankee. When I visit, I don’t always wear my Philly roots on my sleeve, because why stir up trouble?
So the first thing I say upon meeting Erin Doby of RayLen Vineyards & Winery in northwestern North Carolina is “How y’all doin’, darlin’?” I’m also chewing on a piece of straw for added effect. And apparently the ruse works, because Erin says “how y’all doin’ ” right back and proceeds to pour me a sample of every wine in the tasting room — nearly 20 in all — free of charge.
Raised on Southern comfort food and trained in traditional culinary arts, a chef in Winston-Salem brings the best of both worlds to his menu at Willow’s Bistro.
There’s no shortage of fun in the Twin City. As the weather warms up, you have your options of things to do, and our visitor’s itinerary will tell you what’s new and can’t be missed this spring.
The Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts in Winston-Salem celebrates the tools and trades that pioneers brought with them to North Carolina’s backcountry.
Stephanie Tyson grew up watching her grandmother cook. Now, she makes her butter bean soup from memory.
In the past, North Carolina’s fifth-largest city was overshadowed by larger and more touristy locales in the Tar Heel State, but not anymore. Today, it’s a bustling center of business, recreation, and cultural opportunities. The hyphenated name comes from its dual heritage: Salem was a Moravian settlement founded in 1766; later, a more secular industrial center, Winston, emerged nearby. The two towns in the scenic Yadkin Valley merged in 1913, and “Twin City” was born. Winston-Salem is poised to become North Carolina’s hot new destination city–but don’t wait to visit. Get here before the word gets out.
Once strictly known as a tobacco town, the Camel City is reviving itself through technology and the arts in such a way that’s prompting the world take notice.
Krispy Kreme was born in Winston-Salem, but its popularity — and the siren call of that glowing sign — has spread around the globe.
TorontoSun.com: Nothing finer than North Carolina: History, rugged beauty, wonderful wines all wrapped in southern charm
Every year hundreds of thousands of Canadians looking for a respite from the ravages of winter point their vehicles south and head for warmer climates.
Many may put pedal to the metal to reach Florida or other snowbird destinations as quickly as possible.
But for those who prefer a more leisurely meander on their way down or later on the return home, folks in North Carolina hope you will consider turning off the interstate to check out some of the state’s wonderful offerings. During a recent trip, we started our adventures in historic Winston-Salem, then made our way over to the beautiful Yadkin Valley to check out the region’s growing wine industry, making inroads as less tobacco is being grown in the home of R.J. Reynolds.
In 1773, America’s first Sunrise Service — an Easter Mass held early enough for congregants to witness the dawn’s first rays together — was held in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, organized by the Moravians — a church with its roots in the present-day Czech Republic. The service is held to mark the empty tomb that greeted Mary as dawn broke on Easter morning.
There is no one universal black slavery experience. Each person’s story is different, impacted by where a person was enslaved, who enslaved them, their gender and a quixotic and inexhaustible menu of circumstances that might change over time. Through travel to sites with particular resonance for African Americans, it is possible to immerse yourself in the lives and singular experiences of people of African descent and nowhere is the journey more unique than in Old Salem, North Carolina.
Keep looking. To find The Porch Kitchen and Cantina in West End Mill Works, a renovated mill turned mixed-use space, you have to go inside to get outside. Here in Winston-Salem’s funky West End neighborhood, this seeming paradox makes perfect sense.
Winston-Salem is known as the “City of Arts”, home to the first arts council in America. One of its neighborhoods, Old Salem, acts as a living history museum, where visitors will find blacksmiths, cobblers, potters, and carpenters that still practice their trade. Old Salem currently features more than 20 restored buildings with more than half featuring costumed interpreters living life the way the Moravians did in the 1700’s. Winston-Salem keeps the bright leaf colors longer than most of the other areas in North Carolina, so leaf peepers can see foliage through the second week of November.
Single Brothers in Winston-Salem is a study in contrasts. It has an extensive and innovative cocktail menu, many craft spirits, and even a garden out back to grow mint and basil to mix into drinks. On the other hand, it also has a beer cave, and low-priced Tecate is one of the most popular items on the menu. As you quickly learn, there’s no “typical” at Single Brothers. It’s not just a quirky local bar: It’s the place where Winston-Salem residents take their out-of-town guests to experience the full range of the town’s character, one among a handful of bars, art galleries, event spaces, and restaurants that are bringing crowds of people to Trade Street and energizing downtown.
In North Carolina, few treats provoke as many fond memories as Moravian Sugar Cake, a coffee cake with dimples that collect a molten topping of butter, sugar, and cinnamon in shimmering pools. And while the cake has become a holiday-season treat for many families, it has long been an Easter morning tradition for members of the Moravian Church. In Winston-Salem, where Moravians first settled more than two centuries ago, the most popular sugar cake in town comes from Dewey’s Bakery, a local institution for eighty-five years. This Easter, the bakery was kind enough to share with us its never-before-published recipe.
This eclectic city in northwestern North Carolina has the Smokies and the Blue Ridge to the west and the Outer Banks to the east. Its famed hyphen comes from the merger of two cities in 1913. Salem was settled in 1766 by serious-minded, Eastern European Moravians known for arts and culture. Upstart Winston, established in 1851, attracted entrepreneurs like tobacco titan R.J. Reynolds. Put the two together, and you have a city with a thriving arts community—it’s home to the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, the National Black Theatre Festival, and much more—and an inventive spirit. Krispy Kreme doughnuts and Texas Pete hot sauce were born here.
Wine in Winston-Salem, N.C.
Winston-Salem is the gateway to North Carolina’s largest wine region, the Yadkin Valley, where more than 40 award-winning wineries offer tastings, tours and special events.
From the singing of carols to making of beeswax candles, tasting of Moravian ginger cookies to candlelight tours of historic homes and strolls along cobblestoned streets, Winston-Salem is a special place to visit any time of year, but especially at Christmas.
North Carolina’s city of arts and innovation has its roots in the town of Salem, founded in 1766 by the Moravians (a Protestant sect that began in part of Europe that is now the Czech Republic). Missionaries that had established earlier towns in Pennsylvania, the Moravians brought with them their architecture, trades, gardening and holiday baking.
The idea that universities and government could jointly build a business park framed around technology was born 55 years ago in North Carolina, on farm and forest land eight miles south of downtown Durham.
Here in Winston-Salem, about 80 miles west, the technology business park is being updated to fit two development priorities of the 21st century: proximity and collaboration.
North Carolina and sweet potatoes go way back. The relationship, according to the food writer Sheri Castle, hinges on a history of abundance. “Sweet potatoes were plentiful, even among the poorest folks of any ethnicity,” she said. “Enslaved Africans used sweet potatoes in place of yams and other West African root vegetables.” To this day, the state is a national leader in growing the crop.
Stephanie L. Tyson, the chef who oversees the kitchen at a Winston-Salem spot called (appropriately) Sweet Potatoes, likes to blend one Southern staple into another. The result is a cornbread laced with a holiday-friendly undercurrent of cinnamon and nutmeg. Ms.Tyson has said that the cornbread just clicks with a side of greens, but we have a feeling it will play well with cranberries and gravy, too.
Settlers from Pennsylvania moved South in 1753; now this North Carolina village shows off colonial life with a German accent.
Museum workers in Old Salem find unknown objects from the South’s history and search for the story behind them.
The pure Lexington-style barbecue served at this laid-back and comfortable restaurant keeps Forsyth County residents coming back for their barbecue fix.
We remember who came before us and what they did and where they lived. We respect our past, and we preserve it. We recognize those who spend their time restoring our heritage. In Old Salem, archaeologists bring respect to 131 lost graves.
When Winston and Salem became Winston-Salem, a rustic town of Germanic origins could have been lost to time and punctuation. But today one thing remains the same as it was in the 18th century: Old Salem.
Although Winston-Salem has a lot to offer from an active arts and culture scene, it’s the downtown district of Old Salem that really earns the city a place on the list. Many of our cities boast historic downtowns, but Old Salem’s is different because of its focus on the town’s former Moravian settlers, and because there is a steadfast effort to keep parts of downtown in a time warp to the 18th century. It’s like a little slice of Old Williamsburg in the center of a mid-sized city. The whole district was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1966, and continues to draw in visitors with its quaint old shops, churches, and costumed reenactors.