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On the surface, Winston-Salem looks much like Raleigh; even its skyline is similar. But once within the city, you’ll discover, its unique historic charm, eclectic shops, up-and-coming restaurants and exciting attractions give it a distinct allure.
Also known as “Camel City,” Winston-Salem played a notable role in the South’s tobacco industry. The R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company was responsible for providing most of the city’s residents with jobs in the 1940s and brought the city national recognition. Now, the Reynolds headquarters building soars high above downtown Winston-Salem while many other businesses, museums, Truist Stadium and the esteemed Wake Forest University radiate out from the heart of the city.
While Winston-Salem has certainly modernized, you can still catch a glimpse of the past on 260-year-old cobblestone streets as well as at its historic sites and art galleries.
Tanglewood Park Festival of Lights
Nov. 13, 2020 – Jan. 1, 2021
Every winter, Tanglewood Park transforms into a winter wonderland complete with millions of sparkling lights with more than 80 cheery displays. Drive through the countryside route or take a horse-drawn carriage ride or tractor-pulled hayride. The 29th annual festival will also feature a performance from UNC School of the Arts students. forsyth.cc/Parks/Tanglewood/fol/#home
Considered the “strangest home in America,” Körner’s Folly is more a maze than a house. The historic architectural wonder was built in 1880 by artist, decorator and designer Jule Gilmer Körner and consists of three stories and 22 rooms. Visitors can wind through the maze of doorways and staircases to discover unique original artwork and furnishings, carved woodwork, antiques and more. kornersfolly.org
Reynolda House Museum of American Art
Restored from the 1917 mansion of R.J. and Katharine Reynolds, Reynolda House now showcases masterpieces of American art from three centuries of painting and sculpture. The house is as much a work of art as the pieces held inside it. Featured artists include Mary Cassatt, Frederic Church, Jacob Lawrence, Georgia O’Keeffe and Grant Wood.
The Katharine Brasserie & Bar
The Katharine delivers a modern, Southern twist on a traditional French brasserie that makes for a divine dining experience. Clean white marble tabletops and tiled columns—complemented by dark wood accents—set the stage for breakfast items such as quiche lorraine and croque monsieur and dinner dishes like steak frites, escargot and the brasserie’s popular oysters, all of which are best enjoyed with a glass of wine. katharinebrasserie.com
Don’t tell your grandma, but chefs Vivián Joiner and Stephanie Tyson dish out some of the best Southern cooking you’ll ever have. They honor true homestyle Southern cooking within their homey restaurant in the heart of Winston-Salem’s downtown Arts District in dishes such as fried chicken and waffles, BBQ shrimp and grits and drunken pork chops. sweetpotatoes.ws
Since it opened in 2014, The Porch has been a go-to for Winston-Salem residents craving delicious Tex-Mex food for brunch, lunch and dinner. The menus include classic Tex-Mex offerings with exciting twists such as a burrito stuffed with tater tots and breakfast nachos. The margaritas, which come in unique flavors like cranberry ginger and strawberry habanero, are a must as well. theporchws.com
Incendiary Brewing Company
Incendiary began with two UNC Greensboro grads competing in home brewing competitions. The brewery opened in 2018 in Winston-Salem’s Bailey Power Plant with an ever-evolving rotation of beers on tap. Favorites include the Honey Blonde, made with 60 pounds of local honey; Vivacious, a habanero pale ale; and the Coffee Milk Stout. incendiarybrewing.com
Moji Coffee + More
When you get a coffee from Moji, you’re not only giving yourself a pick-me-up but you’re helping provide employment opportunities for community members with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Since 2019, the nonprofit cafe has been showcasing the skills of people with I/DD in the form of delightful hot and cold coffee drinks, blended espresso beverages, smoothies and snacks. mojicoffee.org
Vintage Sofa Bar
Kick back and relax with a drink in hand at Vintage Sofa Bar, downtown Winston-Salem’s classy lounge and popular gathering spot. Choose from a selection of beer, daily-rotating wine and unique craft cocktails made with house syrups, fresh juices and top-shelf liquor along with small bites, flatbreads and charcuterie and cheese boards. Drink specials are featured throughout the week. vintagesofabar.com
Kimpton Cardinal Hotel
Located in Winston-Salem’s historic 1929 R.J. Reynolds building, the Kimpton has been re-imagined into a contemporary hotel oozing with elegance. Art Deco decor welcomes guests into the lavish lobby area, while the rooms feature modern furnishings, interesting art pieces and luxurious amenities. The Kimpton’s recreation room features a bowling alley, adult-sized slide and basketball court. thecardinalhotel.com
Live like royalty in this enchanting 1920s estate with 55 acres of private property just 10 minutes outside of the heart of downtown Winston-Salem. There are five beautiful residences to choose from during your stay including the grand Manor House, the French cottage-inspired Mews and the quaint gardener’s cottage. Within each of the rooms you’ll find a mix of historic decor and modern amenities. graylyn.com
Historic Brookstown Inn
Established in 1837, this charming inn is also described as “a living museum of art, history and treasure,” given its original structure complete with wooden beams, grand ceilings and exposed brick. Not to worry, though; amenities are up to par with modern times and include marble showers, luxurious bedding and a complimentary local wine and cheese reception. brookstowninn.com
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