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The 20 Best Things to Do in Winston Salem

Stroll at Old Salem Museums and Gardens

German-speaking Moravians created Winston Salem, which was founded in the 1700s. Winston Salem is home to Salem Institution, the nation's oldest women's college, founded in 1772. The City's population is about 400,000, but it is nonetheless filled with parks, breweries, cafes, and art galleries.

For history aficionados, Winston Salem is an ideal tourist destination as it is rich in history and legacy. In addition, as one of the most beautiful cities in North Carolina, Winston Salem is surrounded by the magnificent Blue Ridge Mountains, which are worth seeing at least once in your life. Planning to visit Winston Salem? Here are the 20 best things to do.

20. Pose at the Shell Station

As an artwork purposely preserved by the City as a tourist attraction, the distinctive seashell gas station is a place to make a stop and pose for some photos. The station is located at the intersection of Peachtree Streets and Sprague and is the last of its kind in Winston-Salem. The clamshell is a funky antique tracing back to the 1930s. It acts as a memorial to its era and is loaded with eccentric memorabilia much appreciated by locals and tourists. Get souvenirs to bring home by getting as many photos as possible while you gas up your car.

Giant Coffee Pot

19. Check Out the Giant Coffee Pot

When visiting Winston, you shouldn't skip visiting its well-known sight, the giant coffee pot, a distinctive landmark built in 1858, thus the title of the oldest tourist landmark. According to Virginia Travel Tips, the coffee pot is popularly regarded as Mickey's Coffee Pot in honor of the tinsmiths who constructed it.

In the 150 years it has been in history, the coffee pot has been relocated severally and is currently situated on a grassy island between Main Street and Old Salem Road. It would be sad for you to vacation in Winston Salem without visiting this well-known icon which has been the focus of numerous local legends and folktales. Even though this coffee pot is seven feet tall, its existence still perplexes people.

Art trail

18. Walk the Art Trail

Art is life, and Winston Salem has captured the vibrancy of art and is seen from the colors within the City. As a city with renowned artists, you are in for a good art ride through the Salem art trail, where there are the Art-o-mat, one of the most ridiculous and amazing art-related inventions, was created in Winston-Salem. It transforms obsolete cigarette vending machines into reliable art machines. For a better experience, you can opt to get a ticket and carry on with a guided art tour which is more educational, and you should consider purchasing some art to bring home. The art is sold at reasonable prices, and you even get to be at liberty to speak with the local artists, which is invigorating.


17. Visit the Breweries in the City

Are you a beer person? Then you are in the right City as Winston Salem has a plethora of breweries with quality beers. Foothills brewing which is situated at Kimwell Drive is one of the top breweries in North Carolina and a favorite for tourists and residents. The beer flavors they produce are impeccable, which is why they possess a solid reputation. In addition, this brewing company produces superior craft alcoholic beverages that have gone through the correct brewing process. After a day of outdoor activities in Winston Salem, there is no better way to relax than downing a beer or two as you enjoy your quiet evening.

Visit Village tavern, meridian, Mozelle, and Ryan Traditional Eating Points

16. Visit Village tavern, meridian, Mozelle, and Ryan Traditional Eating Points

Sweet potatoes are a cornerstone of the City's culinary culture and a haven for soul food. It's highly advised to stop by this charming country establishment for dinner. The restaurants are a perfect way for you to learn about the different foods in Winston-Salem and try them out. You can decide to visit one of Salem's top breakfast and bakeries, Bobby Boy Bakeshop, if you are in the mood for something sweet. Do not leave Winston-Salem without trying the sweet potatoes must-have snacks. Different restaurants in the City are known for other foods they are good at preparing, so take your time selecting them. Village tavern, meridian, Mozelle, and Ryan restaurants are among the outstanding ones in the City.

Visit the Graylyn Estate

15. Visit the Graylyn Estate

One of the most prominent private residences in the entire state is Graylyn. If you are in Winston Salem with your spouse or partner, this private estate is ideal for a romantic getaway to rekindle your love or create new memories in your love journey. According to Trip Advisor, this elegant estate was built in the 1930s by Mr. and Mrs. Bowman but now serves as a hotel with the most polished elegance in the City. Those who cannot stay overnight should try attending the Tour Pour du Jour events that are meant for wine tastings and a tour of the magnificent property. Due to the popularity of these events, they sell out fast.

Stroll Through Parks

14. Stroll Through Parks

In Winston Salem, you can visit parks like Bethabara, Tanglewood, or Hanging Rock State Park, which are significantly praised for having different attractions. The historic Bethabara park travels back in time; thus, discovering the area's rich legacy makes it a must-see for history enthusiasts. Tanglewood park is among the top tourist destinations offering beautiful snowflakes, bright wreaths, and winter landscapes that line paths through the park. The park is spectacularly lit, with over a million lights scattered throughout the five-mile course in different displays you see as you drive by. Enjoy taking strolls in these parks for a fresh and serene atmosphere.


13. Take your Kids to Kaleideum

When visiting Winston-Salem with your kids, you must find an ideal location to tour in favor of them, as they also deserve unforgettable fun on vacation. Kaleideum is particularly suitable for families as it features a wealth of outdoor activities you can all participate in. Your kids get the chance to stargaze in the planetarium, learn about science and nature, wander the numerous nature paths, and experience watching living creatures. Taking your kids to Kaleideum is an opportunity for them to socialize with other kids their age, which is much more fun.

Winston Cup Museum and Special Event Center

12. Stroll in the Winston Cup Museum and Special Event Center

Racing cars are thrilling, and the Winston Cup Museum and Special Events Center, which Will Spencer opened in 2005 to showcase his enormous collection of race cars, is the ideal place to experience cars. According to Vacation Ideas, the museum is home to championship gear achieved in the NASCAR era of the Winston Cup Series. Take a stroll in the museum to admire the various race cars.

Tour Korners Folly

11. Tour Korners Folly

Korners Folly is a brick palace consisting of 22 guest rooms for visitors, and the interior of the place is remarkable, with the interior of the castle being the center of all attention. With 15 fireplaces in varying styles, trap doors, eight varieties of bricks, ceiling heights, and beautiful murals, the grand mansion has a lot to offer to its visitors. Korner's folly organizes events like the home-based scavenger hunts, which are fun to participate in. Tours of the house are available all year round with events like the thematic celebrations.

North Carolina BBQ Trail

10. Treat yourself To the North Carolina BBQ Trail

Barbecue in North Carolina is salient hence why Winston Salem is a city with numerous barbecue joints at your disposal. When visiting this City, you may take up the North Carolina BBQ trail to get a different taste of the barbecue prepared in various methods. Real Q, Clark's Barbecue, Honey Tonk Smokehouse, and Grady's Barbecue are among the must-stop restaurants on your way that will allow you to appreciate the fashion in which barbecue is prepared.

Yadkin Valley Wineries

9. Tour the Yadkin Valley Wineries

Getting a chance to visit a winery is excellent as you are at a point where you can try out different wines that are at your conveyance. It is an incredible experience to enjoy sweet wine in a well-situated vineyard that has appealing grounds. According to The Crazy Tourist, the Yadkin Valley Wineries are situated in a million-acre land region with approximately 45 exquisite vineyards and wineries. The beauty of enjoying wine from a bistro as you want the spectacular view of the vineyards is unprecedented. If you are looking for some quiet time, visit these wineries and have an abundance of this.

Hiking the Salem Trail

8. Hiking the Salem Trail

If you are a hiker, you can embark on a journey across Salem Lake Park, which is the best know for relaxation while traveling the lake trail. In the fall, this admired location offers you the chance to go for an incredible run and take in the picturesque lake vistas. This 365-acre park is excellent for one who seeks adventure, bikers, walkers, and runners. Although bank fishing on the lake is prohibited, boat fishing is terrific. It is refreshing being around nature, and this is what you get from taking up the Salem lake trail.

Enjoy Shopping at Trade Street

7. Enjoy Shopping at Trade Street

Do you sometimes feel down, and once you shop, your spirits rise? This is because shopping is therapeutic, and you should consider shopping when taking a trip to Winston-Salem. The trade street is available for you who want to shop for different things simultaneously. The road has art galleries, boutiques, and specialized shops that assist you in unwinding for some hours. If your stomach growls when shopping, you do not have to go across town for food as the street has numerous cafes at your conveyance. Enjoy buying different things connected to Winston-Salem to carry home as souvenirs.

New Winston Museum

6. Enjoy Visiting the New Winston Museum

Museums present people with the history of a place, and Winston-Salem is not left behind in providing a way for visitors to learn more about the history of the land. This museum is dedicated to educating people about the City's origin and its evolution to the way it is today. According to NC Tripping, there are historical images and materials like letters that help in the explanation of the narrative of how the City became a success from being a little village. It is incredible to understand what the whole process was like and the reason why it is mandatory that you visit this museum.

Southern Center For Contemporary Art

5. Take a Tour of the Southern Center For Contemporary Art

Art is valuable, and here in Winston-Salem, there are art galleries showcasing different skills from artists. The Southern Center for Contemporary art gallery features art in music, dance, and visuals to suit all people. The gallery has a reputation for showing the newest exhibits without having any particular permanent collections, which is thrilling. The works you get to see is worldwide art to satisfy your desire to experience new things.

Black Mountain Chocolate Factory

4. Enjoy a Tour of the Black Mountain Chocolate Factory

If you are a sweet tooth, visit a chocolate factory when in Winston. Once you visit the factory, you may opt for a guided tour or explore the place at your own pace. In most cases, the guided tour is better as it gives you the chance to learn. The history of the business and all the steps involved in creating amazing chocolates is cool. There is an option of purchasing the factory's chocolate. This means you can enjoy some chocolate as you go and continue your tour of the factory.

Reynolda House Museum

3. Tour the Reynolda House Museum

In the development of Winston-Salem, a family played a vast role; the R.J. Reynolds family. The museum exists to learn more about the Reynolda House. According to Lost in the Carolinas, the house has ample space for receiving visitors, a bowling alley, and a magnificent indoor pool. The art in the place spans back to 300 years with works from Mary Cassatt, an outstanding artist. The house is a sight to behold with gorgeous shrubs, vegetables, and exotic flowers.

West End Historic District

2. Visit West End Historic District

In Winston Salem, it is customary to be curious about its history. However, the best way to learn about it is by visiting the West End Historic District. This is a remnant of the urban area from the 19th and early 20th centuries. It is clear that Winston has managed to maintain the original appeal of the area, which is fascinating. There are more than five hundred standing structures tracing back to the years 1897 to 1930. When there, don't forget to stop by some of the district's most famous structures, like the H.D. The Zevely House and the Poindexter House.

Stroll at Old Salem Museums and Gardens

1. Enjoy a Stroll at Old Salem Museums and Gardens

Take a stroll at the Old Salem gardens and Museums. Historic structures are available for tourists to see whenever they visit. They also get a glimpse into the practices, events, and pursuits of this town. The Old Salem bakery is a favorite for many. One gets the chance to make a stop and eat delicacies that receive high praises in Winston.

Liz Flynn

Written by Liz Flynn

Liz Flynn has worked as a full-time writer since 2010 after leaving a career in education. She finds almost all topics she writes about interesting, but her favorite subjects are travel and food. Liz loves the process of researching information, learning new things, and putting into words what others who share her interests might like to read. Although she spends most of her time writing, she also enjoys spending time with her husband and four children, watching films, cooking, dining out, reading, motorsports, gaming, and walking along the beach next to her house with her dog.

Read more posts by Liz Flynn

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