- About Winston-Salem
- What to Do
- Events Calendar
- Special Offers
- Nightlife / Entertainment
- Special Events
- Order a Visitor Guide
- Where to Stay
- Getting Here
A Picture-Perfect Fall in Winston-Salem
Fall in Winston-Salem beckons with the sights, sounds and flavors of the autumn season. From fall foliage tours and harvest festivals, to performing arts and downtown dining. Explore art and history at storied homes along the historic maple-lined Reynolda Mile. Shop one-of-a-kind handcrafted works at the 56th annual Piedmont Craftsmen's Fair, or pick the perfect foliage backdrop in historic Old Salem. In the nearby Yadkin Valley, sip, swirl and savor the harvest of more than 45 wineries. This Fall is dotted with culinary festivals galore and enriching hands-on experiences. Check out our autumn lineup and start planning your fall getaway trip to Winston-Salem.
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
With so much to do this Fall in Winston-Salem, you're going to want to stay a while. So shake off the hot hustle and busy bustle of summer, and exhale in Winston-Salem. With more than 50 hotels and a variety of seasonal hotel getaway packages, you're just a few clicks away from "falling in love" with Winston-Salem.
Click Here to Learn More and Book Now!
Dark in the Park at Historic Bethabara Park (October 17)
Get in the Halloween spirit with Historic Bethabara's "Dark in the Park" event Thursday, Oct. 17. The evening includes hay wagon rides, face painting, trick-or-treating, Halloween crafts, and a guided, lantern-lit spooky tour of God's Acre cemetery. Attendees are encouraged to wear their favorite costumes.
More about Historic Bethabara: In 1753, Moravians, an early protestant religion from eastern Germany, settled on what they called, the Wachovia Tract. This 100,000-acre tract of land is what makes up much of Forsyth County today. With them, they brought original gardening techniques, native culinary practices and even their own style of music. The park today is nestled in a picturesque 183-acre wildlife preserve with more than 100 bird species and wooded trails. Tour the oldest standing church with attached residence in North America, historic archaeological sites, a reconstructed colonial village, French and Indian War palisade fort, and a community and medicinal garden.
Learn more here.
Apple Festival at Historic Bethabara Park (October 26)
Winston-Salem celebrates its Moravian roots and Fall's favorite fruit during the annual Apple Festival in Historic Bethabara Park, the first Moravian settlement in North Carolina. Celebrate the agricultural past of this 1753 Moravian community and enjoy family-friendly activities including racing pigs, live musical performances, bundles of orchard fresh apples, craft demonstrators, cloggers, jugglers, and a performance in the 1788 Gemeinhaus (church) museum.
Rain date is Sunday, Oct. 27.
Learn more here.
Founder's Day at Historic Bethabara Park (November 16)
Head to North Carolina's first Moravian settlement and celebrate the arrival of the first settlers who arrived on November 17, 1753 with a colonial encampment. Just 10 minutes outside of downtown Winston-Salem, Historic Bethabara Park features original, restored 18th-century buildings including the 1788 Gemeinhaus Church, the last 18th century German church with attached living quarters remaining in the United States, as well as the Potter's House (1782) and the Brewer's House (1803).
All of the historical buildings are open with costumed interpreters during this inaugural Founder's Day event.
Learn more here.
Piedmont Craftsmen's Fair (Nov. 22 - 24)
Since 1963 Piedmont Craftsmen, Inc. has hosted the annual Piedmont Craftsmen Fair shining a spotlight on quality craftsmanship and excellent design seen in the handwork of more than 100 fine artisans from across the southeast. Just before the holiday shopping bonanza begins, the 56th annual Fair invites shoppers into a relaxing setting with opportunities to meet the artists, learn their muses and inspirations, and view demonstrations of craft techniques. Exhibiting members include craft artists who work in clay, wood, glass, fibers, leather, metal, photography, printmaking, and mixed media creating one-of-a-kind works that are both functional and beautiful.
Book Your Piedmont Craftsmen Fair Hotel Getaway here.
Autumn in Historic Old Salem (Through mid-November)
Touted as one of the best fall leaf peeping spots in Central North Carolina, Old Salem Museums & Gardens' picturesque setting inspires leisurely strolls along the cobblestone sidewalks and lifelong learning discoveries in this 1766 Moravian settlement. Old Salem has plenty of ways to experience the splendor of fall in Winston-Salem with beautiful autumn leaves, pumpkin carving, fresh baked apple spice pound cake from the country's oldest continuously operating bakery, Winkler Bakery, and so much more.
This fall in Old Salem, experience Salem Saturdays and discover how the town flourished in the mid 1800's. Visit the Single Brothers House, where unmarried Moravian men worked and lived, to see the joiner working with period tools on items like new cabinetry for the Miksch House, or stools for the newly restored Boys School (among the oldest in the country!). Get hands-on with the potter and practice your needlework with quilting demos in the historic Vogler House.
Inside the Miksch House, learn about 18th century hearth cooking practices as a costumed interpreter shares historic receipts (recipes) sourced from the gardens behind the home -- there another interpreter awaits to teach you how the produce in the garden differs from season to season, and which ingredients you just might find on the menu at the Tavern in Old Salem.
Art enthusiasts and history buffs alike find a treasure trove of some of the South's best craftsmanship at the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts (MESDA). MESDA at Old Salem Museums & Gardens is home to the finest collection of Southern decorative arts in the country. Internationally renowned, MESDA tells the story of life in the early South through an unparalleled collection of early Southern furniture, ceramics, silver, paintings, textiles and other decorative arts. Discover beautiful handiworks in the self-guided galleries or pick a time for a guided tour through the period rooms throughout the museum. Admission to MESDA is included with an All-In-One Old Salem pass.
Spooked Out Halloween Happenings in Historic Salem:
Nightwatchman Halloween Tours:
Dates: October 25, 26, 29, and 30
Tour times: 7 p.m., 7:15 p.m., 7:30 p.m., 7:45 p.m., 8 p.m., 8:15 p.m., 8:30 p.m., 8:45 p.m. and 9 p.m.. Tours leave promptly every 15 minutes. Please arrive 15 minutes before your scheduled tour start time. Tours last approximately 1 hour.
Tour Location: Tours leave from the Boys School (corner of Main and Academy Streets). GPS Suggestion: 600 South Main Street, Winston-Salem, NC 27101
Grab a lantern and let the Salem Nightwatchman guide you through Salem’s streets. From 1774 to 1852, the town of Salem needed a nightwatchman to keep things safe and quiet. From violent Tavern strangers to devastating fires, medical emergencies, and unexplained death, the nightwatchman journals tell tales of happenings and events that took place late in the night. Join Old Salem and wander the dark streets of the village, lantern in hand, to keep watch over the night with the Salem Nightwatchman. You never know what may rustle behind a bush or draw you into a dark house.
Cost: $40/person (plus tax). Tickets are non-refundable unless cancelled by Old Salem Museums & Gardens.
Pavement can be uneven in places so please wear comfortable walking shoes, and bring a ligh jacket or umbrella in case of showers.
Register online here.
Halloween Trick or Treating in Old Salem
Date: Sunday, Oct. 27; 5 - 7 p.m.
Bring your little ghosts and witches to Old Salem for their wildly-popular annual Trick or Treat event, as featured in Southern Living Magazine. This free community event uses the historic district as a backdrop for an evening of fun and safe trick or treating. Main Street is blocked to automobile traffic so that families can roam the historic sidewalks trick or treating.
Search Hotel Getaway Packages featuring Old Salem here.
Fall Along Historic Reynolda Mile (Through November)
Situated five minutes from downtown Winston-Salem, the historic Reynolda Mile neighborhood was once home to Winston-Salem's most elite families during the Roaring 20s; including tobacco tycoon R.J. Reynolds and wife Katharine; Bowman Gray (son of Wachovia founder and former president of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company) and his wife Nathalie, and industrialist James G. Hanes of Hanes Hosiery (now Hanesbrands). Two of these homes have been reivented into visitor-friendly art museums, the other a boutique hotel and international conference center.
Begin your self-guided tour of Reynolda Mile at Reynolda Estate, home to Reynolda House Museum of American Art, Reynolda Gardens, and Reynolda Village. The brainchild of Katharine Reynolds, Reynolda Estate was designed with the intention of self-sufficiency, community enjoyment, and an overall healthier way of living. Stroll the gardens this fall and shop seasonal finds at local boutiques, galleries, and eateries in Reynolda Village.
On the heels of celebrating the home's Centennial Anniversary, Reynolda House Museum of American Art hosts "Leyendecker and the Golden Age of American Illustration," on display now through December 31. One of the most prolific and sought-after artists of the golden age of American illustration, Joseph Christian Leyendecker captivated the public with striking images and fashionable depictions of men and women.
Then, explore the ever-changing world of contemporary art at the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art (SECCA), historic home of James G. Hanes. With rotating art exhibits, walkable grounds with gardens and lake, and history at every turn, SECCA is favorite autumn tour among visitors and locals alike. Occasionally, guided home tours and pet-friendly dog walks are offered. Be sure to check our calendar of events and see what SECCA has planned next.
It's easy to spend an entire day exploring Reynolda Mile, and having the convenience of Graylyn Estate in walking distance makes your getaway that much easier. The 1932 historic home of Bowman Gray, Graylyn was the second-largest private home in North Carolina. Today the hotel hosts guests from all over the world inside their Norman Revival-style mansion, and nearby Mews and cottages. The 85-room property is nestled on 55 pristine acres complete with walking/running trails, gardens, and plenty of areas to enjoy a picnic on the grounds, perfect for a leisurely fall foliage stroll.
Unexpected Fall Foliage Tours
Located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Winston-Salem has the nice perk of enjoying a longer fall season with autumn hues lasting well into November. Head outdoors and enjoy crisp autumn breezes while strolling the greenway into a vibrant downtown, trekking with llamas at a local vineyard, gliding on a Segway around Salem Lake, or at various outdoor yoga sessions around the city.
Check out our blog post and start planning your "tour de leaves" throughout Winston-Salem. Click here.
Gateway to the nearby Yadkin Valley wine region, Winston-Salem is nestled amidst more than 45 wineries within an hour's drive. A prime spot for fall leaf peeping, the Yadkin Valley encourages unexpected outdoor exploration with hot air balloon rides, trekking with llamas, and hikes with the winemaker. Savor the new release of a winemaker vintage or create a perfect pairing during a Fall Harvest winemaker dinner in Winston-Salem.
Click here to learn more and plan your Fall Wine Harvest Getaway.
ICYMI (In Case You Missed It)
Bookmarks Festival of Books & Authors
(Check back for September 2020 Dates)
Bookmarks Festival of Books and Authors, the largest book and author festival in the Carolinas celebrated 15 years with the 2019 festival in downtown Winston-Salem September 5 - 8. This year, the festival celebrated "the power of story," encouraging reader and attendees to "travel all over the world" exploring a wealth of subjects and issues with more than 50 award-winning and bestselling authors. The four-day festival takes place primarily along Spruce Street and inside the contemporary Milton Rhodes Center for the Arts. Special events are also hosted in Bookmarks Bookstore downtown on Fourth Street. Each year, more than 15,000 festival goers enjoy enriching panel discussions with national best-selling authors, Eat & Greet events and exciting family activities that engage young readers.
Among many other special events held over the course of this four-day festival, Bookmarks' free Saturday day-long street festival features 65 exhibitors and food trucks in the heart of downtown. Author panels and other author interactions are also held inside the Milton Rhodes Center for the Arts, the Hanesbrands Theatre, Calvary Moravian Church, Bookmarks Bookstore, and Footnote.
Sign Up for Our Look Forward, Travel Back Seasonal E-Newsletter!
Receive our seasonal newsletter for an insider look at Winston-Salem's cultural happenings, seasoned culinary events and up-and-coming local businesses.