- About Winston-Salem
- What to Do
- Events Calendar
- Special Offers
- Nightlife / Entertainment
- Special Events
- Festival of Lights
- The Nutcracker
- RiverRun International Film Festival
- NC Wine Festival
- Gears & Guitars
- Texas Pete Spirits of Summer
- Winston-Salem Open
- Bookmarks Festival of Books and Authors
- Hispanic League's Fiesta Festival
- Carolina Classic Fair
- Pride Festival and Parade
- Piedmont Craftsmen's Fair
- National Black Theatre Festival
- Order a Visitor Guide
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- Getting Here
A Sizzling Summer Lineup in Winston-Salem
Summer in Winston-Salem is synonymous with a fiery culinary festival, world-class performing arts events, top-notch sports competitions and in true Southern style, a serving of rich history and family-friendly fun. Centrally located in North Carolina, Winston-Salem offers a number of immersive attractions, lush greenery and parks, outdoor adventure, a delectable Southern culinary scene, and a wine region featuring more than 45 wineries -- the perfect setting to watch a Carolina sunset over the Blue Ridge Mountains. Whether you're looking to beat the heat or head outdoors, we've lined up your Winston-Salem summer escape.
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With so much to do this summer in Winston-Salem, you're going to want to stay a while. With 50 hotel options and a variety of seasonal hotel getaway packages, we invite you to unwind and relax this spring in Winston-Salem.
A historic estate nestled less than 10 minutes from downtown, Reynolda Mile offers a look back into Winston-Salem's Roaring 20's era. The 1917 country estate of R.J. and Katharine Reynolds invites visitors to take a behind-the-scenes look at the splendid Reynolda Estate, Winston-Salem’s “grand dame” of American Art. Recently celebrating the home's Centennial anniversary, Reynolda presents an interactive guest experience that journeys you from the historic home, through the formal gardens, and into the adjacent Reynolda Village.
The historic home, now Reynolda House Museum of American Art, houses one of the finest collections of American art in the Southeast featuring the original works of Frederic Church, Gilbert Stuart, Albert Bierstadt, William Harnett, Romare Bearden, and William Merritt Chase among many others.
Take a stroll through Katharine's formal gardens and original 1913 greenhouse before browsing boutique shops, galleries, and eateries in Reynolda Village - comprised of the original support buildings for the estate. Find special hotel getaways at properties including the Historic 1932 Graylyn Estate located across the street frmo Reynolda, and downtown's Southern-sophisticated Kimpton Cardinal Hotel.
Historic Reynolda Grounds and Gardens Walking Tour
Friday, May 31; 2 - 3:30 p.m.
Reynolda Greenhouse; 100 Reynolda Village, Winston-Salem, NC, 27106
Walk the grounds of historic Reynolda Estate with experts as your guide sharing highlights of the hidden sites and stories of one of Winston-Salem's finest landmarks. The tour begins and ends at the original 1913 Reynolda Greenhouse, then takes you through the wetlands, trails, and lawns of Reynolda. Comfortable shoes suggested.
Admission is free, though registration is requested.
Register online here.
Thursday, June 13; 6 - 9 p.m.
Reynolda House Museum of American Art
A backyard summer tradition on Reynolda’s Sunset Hill, Summertime Social offers a laid-back evening with great food and cold brews for purchase. Grab a blanket or lawn chair, bring some friends, and exhale from the stresses of the day. Dance the evening away to high energy sounds of Winston-Salem’s Souljam. A balance of soul and R&B, Souljam brings a diverse repertoire of contemporary and classic pop, rock, and soul to their gigs, and are known for interacting with the crowd.
Advance purchase is recommended. Buy tickets online.
Admission: $15/adult; Free for children under age 5.
(Bar is cash only.)
Cinema Under the Stars at Reynolda
Cinema Under the Stars returns for its 13th summer at Reynolda. Select Fridays in August, the sprawling front lawn at Reynolda House Museum of American Art, historic 1917 home of R.J. and Katharine Reynolds, fills with blankets, picnics, and puppies for a film experience that screams #ReynoldaSummer.
Each event offers craft beer and wine for purchase, and attendees are invited to bring picnic meals. Dogs are welcome, though they must be leashed and well-behaved. In case of rain, films are shown in the Babcock Auditorium inside Reynolda House. Below is a schedule of showings. Admission is free but registration is requested. See registration links with each film below.
Film Schedule (Showtimes are 7 - 10 p.m.):
Friday, Aug. 9: Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961)
Loosely on the novella by Truman Capote, this classic romantic comedy follows the story of Holly Golightly (Audrey Hepburn), a young New York socialite who becomes interested in a young man who has moved into her apartment building, but her past threatens to get in the way.
Friday, Aug. 16: The Devil Wears Prada (2006)
When aspiring journalist Andrea (Anne Hathaway) lands an assistant job at a legendary magazine, she is thrown into the ruthless, high-powered world of fashion and its notorious leading lady, Editor Miranda Priestly (Meryl Streep). As she struggles to prove herself, she finds out that there may be more to fashion than she initially thought.
Friday, Aug. 23: The Great Gatsby (2013)
An adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald's seminal novel, Nick Carraway (Tobey Maguire) is lured into the lavish world of his neighbor, Jay Gatsby (Leonardo DiCaprio). Soon enough, however, Carraway will see through the cracks of Gatsby's nouveau riche existence, where obsession, madness, and tragedy await.
Hands-On Summer in Old Salem
Settled by Moravians in 1766, Old Salem Museums & Gardens encourages visitors to enjoy an authentic approach to early Moravian traditions, customs, and trades. Today, visitors to Old Salem can tour and discover more than 20 historic sites interpreted by costumed interpreters, including one of the country's oldest operating bakeries (Winkler Bakery), and the state's oldest standing African-American church - St. Philips African Moravian Church. Nestled in the backyard of downtown Winston-Salem, Old Salem is home to many Winston-Salem (and national) firsts. This summer, celebrate Independence Day on the site of the first documented public Fourth of July celebration. Make plans to attend on a Saturday for hands-on workshops allowing visitors to work just as Moravians would have in the days of early Salem (summer schedule coming soon). Though on any given day (except Mondays when they're closed), Old Salem's costumed interpreters share the history of the original and reconstructed building and what trades would have been practiced there.
Each season, Old Salem offers daily discoveries inviting visitors to closely interact with the costumed interpreters. Take a preview at some of these Daily Discoveries below:
Wednesdays: Hearth Cooking Day - Sit down and join the Sisters (as Moravian women were referred to) every Wednesday in the Tavern Museum kitchen to see the way Tavern cooks, both enslaved and free, historically cooked for Tavern guests. As dinner was eaten in the middle of the day in the 18th century, most of the cooking was done in the morning and early afternoon. Stop by early to see the cooking in action and later in the day to see the finished meal.
Fridays: 18th Century Baking - Visit the yard of the Miksch House to see the way Sister Henrietta Miksch historically baked her gingerbread to sell to customers. You never know what will be on the menu for the day and you might just be asked to go out in the garden and grab one of the ingredients. Sit down, ask questions and enjoy the atmosphere of the immersive environment of the Miksch House. The reconstructed brick beehive oven is stacked with wood and burned down to hot coals. After the coals are removed, the oven is allowed to cool to the proper temperature before inserting trays of ginger cakes, bread, or other baked goods. It is the heat from the hot bricks that bakes the treats.
Saturdays: Quilting Frolic - At the Vogler House, take a seat, grab a needle and thread and follow in the legacy of Lisetta Maria Vogler Fries and Bethie (a domestic woman who was enslaved at the Vogler House). During the 18th and 19th centuries, "quilting bees" were times of social gathering and family discussions.
- Saturdays: Winkler Bake Day - All day on Saturdays, the bakers in Salem's Winkler Bakery, circa 1800, fire up the beehive bake oven and get to work. Help them by setting up the wood in the oven, learn more about the processes from the baker, and help assist in making the treats of the day. Baking begins around 10 a.m. each Saturday by starting the wood fire in the oven and continues throughout the day until the baking is complete, around 3 p.m. This activity is open to the public and does not require a general admission ticket.
Gear up for the fourth annual Gears and Guitars Fest in downtown Winston-Salem -- the biggest party on two wheels! Hosted in Wake Forest Innovation Quarter May 23-26, 2019, Gears & Guitars is an outdoor concert series held in conjunction with the Winston-Salem Cycling Classic. Music lovers gather at Bailey Park for nightly concerts featuring Grammy-award winning Stone Temple Pilots.
To purchase online click here, or call 336-727-2236.
Click for more information.
See the full concert lineup below:
Thursday, May 23
6 p.m. - Watchtower, a Dave Matthews tribute band, performs at BB&T Ballpark during the Winston-Salem Dash baseball game. The performance takes place in the Left Field Knoll. Free with purchase of a game ticket.
Friday, May 24
5 p.m. - Gates open at Bailey Park (445 Patterson Ave, Winston-Salem, NC 27101)
6:45 p.m. - Songs From The Road Band
8 p.m. - The Infamous Stringdusters
9:15 p.m. - Trampled by Turtles
Saturday, May 25
5 p.m. - Gates open
6:45 p.m. - Devon Gilfillian
8 p.m. - North Mississippi Allstars
9:15 p.m. - Drive-by Truckers
Sunday, May 26
5 p.m. - Gates open
6:45 p.m. - Hannah Wicklund & The Steppin Stones
8 p.m. - Dishwalla
9:15 p.m. - Stone Temple Pilots
Summer's hottest new festival kicks off its second year Saturday, June 1, 2019. Texas Pete Spirits of Summer Festival invites you to savor the tastes of North Carolina wine harvests, find a favorite local craft brew, and wake up your taste buds in downtown Winston-Salem, N.C.! The fiery festival puts the spotlight on local chefs, Yadkin Valley winemakers, craft brewmasters, and national recording acts for one sizzling summertime festival. Official festival hours are from noon to 6 p.m., and brewery and wine tastings end at 5 p.m.
National Black Theatre Festival: July 29 - August 3
The 16th biennial National Black Theatre Festival (NBTF), Winston-Salem's largest festival, rolls out the purple carpet July 29 - August 3 in Winston-Salem, transforming North Carolina's city of arts and innovation into a mega-performing arts center with more 100 performances in a variety of the city’s venues. Theatre workshops, films, seminars, a teen poetry slam and a star-studded celebrity gala all help make the National Black Theatre Festivals one of the best theater festivals in the country. The history of celebrity appearances and performances at the National Black Theatre Festival is not only impressive, but also extensive. Visitors can expect to see a number of familiar faces as well as up-and-coming amateurs to the big stage. Each phenomenal festival saturates our city with thousands of theatergoers and theatre professionals from all around the globe into our heavily art-inspired city. Learn More.
Each year two celebrities are appointed co-chairs for the festival events. The co-chairs for the 2019 festival are actress Margaret 'Shug' Avery (The Color Purple) and Broadway sensation Chester Gregory.
Book Your Festival Hotel Rate.
Winston-Salem Open Tennis Tournament: August 17 - 24
Summer’s hottest serve is center court August 17 - 24 for the Winston-Salem Open (WSO). The WSO is the last ATP World Tour 250 event prior to the U.S. Open. Each year more than 40 of the world's top 80 players compete for a chance to be named champion. Past athletes include Daniil Medvedev (2018 winner), Sam Querry, Steve Johnson, Pablo Carreno Busta, and John Isner, a North Carolina native who has won the WSO title twice.
Purchase tickets and book your hotel getaway online here.
Bookmarks Festival of Books and Authors: September 5 – 8
The largest annual book festival in the Carolinas, Bookmarks Festival of Books and Authors celebrates its 15th annual festival September 5 – 8 in downtown Winston-Salem. The four-day festival features more than 45 authors including many other New York Times bestsellers. Ticketed events include exclusive author meet and greets, luncheons, panel discussions a more. The free family-friendly Saturday Festival hosts readings, author panels, book signings, exhibitors, and local food trucks. Sunday, join Bookmarks for their Parapalooza Brunch closing event.
Learn more about the 2019 festival and all participating authors here.
Sip & Savor the Yadkin Valley Wine Region
Summer in the Yadkin Valley offers tucked away vineyard escapes, many within 30 minutes of downtown. Pick from more than 45 wineries hosting weekly events including live outdoor music, hikes with winemakers, yoga in the vineyards, and so much more. Taste your way through award-winning wineries pouring crisp whites and bold reds. Find more about North Carolina’s largest wine region here.
Discover Winston-Salem's Craft Draft Crawl
The birthplace of North Carolina craft beer, Winston-Salem has been celebrating the art of hops and suds since the early days of our Moravian settlers in the mid-1700s. Today, we’re home to eight breweries, five of which are located downtown within walking distance of each other…creating the perfect Craft Draft Crawl experience.
Start your Craft Draft Crawl on Fourth Street, the hub of downtown, at Foothills Brewing Pub, Winston-Salem’s oldest brewery and the second largest producer in the state. Enjoy lunch or dinner here before heading one block over to Small Batch Beer Co. for beers brewed with ingredients sourced from local farmers. Afterward, make your way into the Downtown Arts District for Fiddlin’ Fish Brewery and Wise Man Brewing. Newly opened breweries in Winston-Salem include Joymongers Barrel Hall, near downtown in the historic West End neighborhood, and Incendiary Brewing which opened in Wake Forest Innovation Quarter at the foot of a former smokestack. Be on the lookout for Radar Brewing to open later this year, as well as a second Hoots Brewing location to open in the heart of the Downtown Arts District.
Take your time between each because there’s plenty of public art and galleries to admire along the way.
Learn more about each of Winston-Salem's seven downtown breweries here.
All summer long, bask under the Carolina at city-wide festivals, savor local bites at area farmers markets, celebrate local craft beer, and uncork the richness of the Yadkin Valley wine region.
Click here for a complete Calendar of Events.