Originally settled in the 1700s by the Moravian Church, Winston-Salem brought together two separate cities. It developed throughout the 1800s and 1900s with the rise of the tobacco industry as companies like R.J. Reynolds.
It became one of the largest cities in the region throughout the 1920s and is a part of the area known as the Triad, which also includes Greensboro and High Point. Companies like Wachovia and Krispy Kreme also started in the area.
What to Do in Winston-Salem
Old Salem Museums & Gardens– Before there was Winston-Salem, there was Salem. The historic buildings have been restored to serve as a living history museum, completed with interactive exhibits and costumed docents. 900 Old Salem Road
Kaleideum– Younger visitors will appreciate the interactive exhibits at the science museum, which has a planetarium, animal habitat, walking trails, and butterfly gardens. 400 West Hanes Mill Road
Reynolda House Museum of American Art– Set in the home of R.J. and Katharine Reynolds of tobacco fame, this museum features some of America’s most notable artists, from Mary Cassatt to Georgia O’Keefe. There’s also an adjacent botanical garden. 2250 Reynolda Road
Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art– Visit this museum, which features a large collection of work of all mediums, primarily from Southern artists. 750 Marguerite Drive
Taste Carolina Food Tours– Experience the best of the city’s restaurants as well as history through a food tour. The Sunday walking tours go to eight eateries. Book your Winston Salem Food Tour here. Leaves from Foothills Brewing
Where to Eat in Winston-Salem
Bobby Boy Bakeshop– Fans line up early to get a taste of these delicious pastries including eclairs, baguettes, and daily sandwich specials. 1100 Reynolda Road, (336) 955-3284
Camino Bakery– With three downtown locations, this is where you go for your carb fix. Their menu features pastries and desserts, healthy sandwiches, and quiches for a quick lunch. 310B W Fourth Street, (336) 721-9990
Crafted, The Art of the Taco– This popular restaurant serves modern takes on tacos, including with Korean short rib, Cuban pork, and fried chicken. They also have burgers and craft cocktails. 527 North Liberty Street, (336) 955-2458
Dom’s– The city’s first plant-based restaurant has a little bit of everything, including vegan burgers, pasta, veggie bowls, and pizza. 134 North Spruce Street, (336) 999-7211
Hops Burger– On the other end of the spectrum is this humble burger joint with funky toppings like fried onion rings and mango salsa. You can also build your own burger or choose the weekly selection, best paired with a North Carolina beer. 901 Reynolda Road, (336) 842-5771
The Katharine Brasserie– Located in the Cardinal hotel, this chic restaurant is named for the matriarch of the Reynolds family. The French-inspired eatery serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner as well as cocktails and brunch. 401 North Main Street, (336) 761-0203
Krankies Coffee– This large coffee shop is recognized by the giant disco ball outside. Inside you can enjoy coffee and beer, along with sandwiches and salads. 211 East 3rd Street, (336) 722-3016
May Way Dumplings– For a quick bite after visiting Reynolda, visit this Chinese restaurant for its pork buns, dumplings, and sesame noodles. 113 Reynolda Village, (336) 782-8773
Milner’s American Southern Restaurant– This family-owned restaurant serves the best of Southern cuisine with modern techniques. Pair your meal with a glass of wine and enjoy live jazz music on weekends. 630 South Stratford Road, (336) 768-2221
Porch Kitchen and Cantina– The lively Tex-Mex restaurant is set in a former mill building, serving burgers, “puffy” tacos, and delicious margaritas. 840 Mill Works Street, (336) 893-8361
Village Juice Company– When you need something healthy, seek out this storefront and juice truck for smoothies, acai bowls, salads, and other light bites. 205 South Stratford Road, (336) 986-9402
Where to Stay in Winston-Salem
Augustus T. Zevely Inn– This bed and breakfast inside the Old Salem Historic District has antique furnishings in the cozy rooms and daily breakfast. It’s within walking distance of local attractions. 803 South Main Street
Graylyn– The former residence of Mr. and Mrs. Bowman Gray is now a hotel and conference center run by Wake Forest University. It has 85 guest rooms in the 1930 estate or its adjoining cottages. 1900 Reynolda Road
The Historic Brookstown Inn– This historic inn set in a Moravian mill has comfy bedding and large living spaces. Forty guest rooms that include free WiFi, flat-screen televisions, and coffee-makers. Read our review here. 200 Brookstown Avenue
Hotel Indigo Winston-Salem– Located in the historic Pepper building, the property takes on an Art Deco-style inspiration. It has an in-house restaurant and wine bar and pet-friendly rooms. 104 West 4th Street
The Kimpton Cardinal Hotel– Opened in the former R.J. Reynolds building, this stylish hotel offers hip furnishings and common areas. It has its own restaurant and “rec room” with bowling and foosball. Read our review here. 401 North Main Street
Camping- Nearby Hanging Rock State Park offers the closest campgrounds to Winston-Salem. The facility also has RV and tent sites.
Rentals- Airbnb allows you to rent an apartment or house during your stay for a more local experience. It’s perfect for groups or if you just want some extra privacy.