- About Winston-Salem
- What to Do
- Events Calendar
- Special Offers
- Nightlife / Entertainment
- Special Events
- Piedmont Craftsmen's Fair
- Festival of Lights
- The Nutcracker
- RiverRun International Film Festival
- NC Wine Festival
- Gears & Guitars
- Texas Pete Spirits of Summer
- Twin City Ribfest
- National Black Theatre Festival
- Winston-Salem Open
- Bookmarks Festival of Books and Authors
- Dixie Classic Fair
- Pride Festival and Parade
- 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 Reynolda Mile. Shop one-of-a-kind handcrafted works at the 55th 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 in Winston-Salem is dotted with culinary festivals galore and enriching historical and hands-on experiences you'll cherish. Check out our Fall lineup below to start planning your seasonal 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!
Bookmarks Festival of Books & Authors (Sept. 6 - 9)
Bookmarks Festival of Books and Authors, the largest book and author festival in the Carolinas celebrates 14 years with the 2018 festival in downtown Winston-Salem September 6 - 9. This year, the festival celebrates "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.
This year's opening keynote author is Zinzi Clemmons, author of "What We Lose." Zinzi Clemmons’ debut novel, What We Lose, was a finalist for the Carnegie Medal, the Aspen Words Literary Prize, and the National Book Critics Circle Leonard Prize. Loosely based on Clemmons' own life experience, What We Lose asks complicated questions about belonging, grief, and identity. Meet the author Thursday, Sept. 6 at her event at Salem College at 7:30 p.m.
Find festival hotel packages and event details here.
Apple Festival in Historic Bethabara Park (October 27)
This fall (as we do every year), Winston-Salem celebrates its Moravian roots during the annual Apple Festival in Historic Bethabara Park, the first Moravian settlement in North Carolina. Join us in celebrating 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.
More about Historic Bethabara: More than 250 years ago 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.
Piedmont Craftsmen's Fair (Nov. 17 - 18)
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 55th 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 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. Plan ahead and snag a few heirloom flower bulbs at the garden shop at T. Bagge Merchant to enjoy next spring.
This fall in Old Salem, experience Salem Saturdays at your pace. Without the usual hustle and bustle of weekday school trips, Saturdays in Old Salem reflect much of how the town would've operated in the mid 1800's. Visit the Single Brothers House to see the joiner working with period tools on items like new cabinetry for he Miksch House, or stools for the newly restored Boys School (among the oldest in the country!). Get your hands dirty with the potter, before needlework with hands-on quilting.
Inside the Miksch House, learn about 18th century hearth cooking practices as a costumed interpreter shares historic receipts (recipes) and how they're oftentimes sourced right from the gardens behind the home -- where another interpreter awaits to teach you how the produce in the garden differs from season to season, and which items you just might find on the menu at the Tavern in Old Salem.
For a friendly spook in a historic setting, plan your fall getaway around the Halloween weekend. Although Halloween was not part of the historic town of Salem, Old Salem celebrates each year with a variety of exciting events including trick-or-treating, a pumpkin carving contest, and their popular Legends & Lanterns tours where you’ll hear about some of Salem’s ethereal personalities. Search Old Salem hotel packages here.
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 unparalled collection of early Southern furniture, ceramics, silver, paintings, textiles and other decorative arts. Discover beautiful handiworks in the self-guided galleries (free admission), or pick a time for a guided tour through the period rooms throughout the museum (included with All-In-One Old Salem admission).
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). All three of these homes have been reivented into visitor-frienly art museums, and one luxury boutique hotel.
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.
Coming this fall to Reynolda House Museum of American Art is "Dorothea Lange's America," on display September 14 - December 30. Fresh off celebrating the historic home's Centennial anniversary, Reynolda House enters its second century with this focused exhibition of original lifetime prints by the legendary documentary photographer.
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. Admire the beautiful fall foliage this time of year while on a leisurely stroll from Graylyn, across the street to Reynolda and SECCA museum. Or, request private transportation into downtown Winston-Salem from one of the available butlers.
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.
Sign Up for Your Southern Wake-Up Call 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.