Winston-Salem is an up-and-coming city with deep historical roots. Founded by Moravians in 1753, Salem is one of the oldest towns in North Carolina. Neighboring Winston was formed in the Nineteenth Century as the county town. A few decades later, in 1913, the towns joined, and The Dash was born.
We opened our Bailey Power Plant cafe in 2021, but we have had our eye on the city for a long time. Whether you are visiting Winston-Salem, recently moved here, or rediscovering your hometown, we have recommendations for how to spend a day or weekend in the area.
There is more to do in this guide than you can experience in twenty-four hours or a single weekend. To help, we’re breaking it down into categories:
Here are twenty things to do in Winston-Salem for individuals and families:
As one of the most historic cities in North Carolina, there are several sights in town that allow you to step back in time:
1) Old Salem
“Old Salem Museums & Gardens is a historic site telling the stories of people, including Moravian, Black, and Indigenous peoples, in the American South.” - Old Salem Museums & Gardens
Old Salem allows visitors to be immersed in American history. The experience is akin to stepping into a time machine. You and your kids will be having so much fun you might even realize how much you’re learning about history.
2) Bethabara Park
“Founded in 1753 by German-speaking Moravians, Bethabara was the first European settlement in the North Carolina Piedmont. A National Historic Landmark and Local Historic District, historic Bethabara Park encompasses 183 acres of preserved wildlife, historic buildings and grounds, walking and birding trails, and protected wetlands.” - Historic Bethabara Park
Entry to the park is free of charge, but guided tours are only four dollars. There are several walking and biking trails on the property, in addition to the historical sights.
3) Reynolda House and Village
“Reynolda’s 170-acre historic estate comprises Reynolda House Museum of American Art, Reynolda Gardens, and Reynolda Village Shops and Restaurants.” - The Reynolda House
Originally home to Katherine Smith and R.J. Reynolds (the founder of the tobacco company bearing his name), the Reynolda House and gardens now house over 250 historic pieces of art, beautifully kept grounds, and plenty of interesting architectural features.
In addition to arts and history, you’ll find several quality shops and restaurants in and around Reynolda House and Reynolda Village. Stop by Dough Joe’s for great doughnuts and Anchor Coffee in a cozy environment.
1) Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art
With an emphasis on local working artists, this proud affiliate of the North Carolina Museum of Art gives visitors a front-row view of contemporary art through exhibitions, events, and educational activities.
SECCA, established in 1956, provides distinctive large-scale indoor and outdoor venues for examining the intersections of contemporary art and culture. It is situated on the picturesque James G. Hanes estate in Winston-Salem.
2) ARTivity on the Green
“ARTivity On The Green expands the Art District and connects it to Innovation Quarter. It brings energy back to a section of downtown that had been forgotten, with features intended to inspire visitors visually and physically.”
The ARTivity on the Green Park is on 7th Street between Liberty and Trade streets. It is free of charge and is open from 8:00 AM to 11:00 PM.
“Bookmarks is a literary arts nonprofit organization and independent bookstore in downtown Winston-Salem, North Carolina that works to ignite the love of reading.” - Bookmarks
The Bookmarks bookstore is an independent bookstore that features a range of bestselling international and local authors.
4) Music Venues
There are numerous entertainment venues for music in Winston-Salem. A few of our favorites include:
- Bailey Park - across the street from our Bailey Power Plant location
- The Ramkat
- Doves Wing Music
- The Underground Theatre
5) Concerts and Festivals
A few of the annual concerts and festivals in Winston-Salem:
- National Black Theatre Festival
- Gears & Guitars
- Hispanic League FIESTA
- Festival of Lights at Tanglewood Park
- RiverRun International Film Festival
- Juneteenth Festival
For families living in or visiting Winston-Salem, there is plenty to do to keep the kids so entertained they may not realize they’re also learning!
1) Adventure Landing
For a few hours of pure fun, families enjoy playing at Adventure Landing. From mini golf to arcade games, Adventure Landing has all you need to have a great time rain or shine.
2) Make New Discoveries at Kaleidium
Kaleideum Downtown offers a wide range of engaging educational activities, with exhibits designed to help kids improve their literacy, motor skills, and social skills. Children will find lots of space to run, explore, and play, and several of the museum's attractions incorporate activities like painting, reading, drawing, and creating.
The museum offers a special membership that offers advantages like free entrance, invitations to activities just for members, and discounts at specific stores. The museum includes areas where parties and other special events can be held.
3) Go to a Dash Game
Are you kids singing, “Take me out to the ballgame?” Your family will enjoy an evening at Truist Stadium, watching The Dash, eating concessions, and bonding over America’s pastime.
“From new additions to yearly favorites like Lowes Foods SausageWorks and Domino's Pizza, Truist Stadium has something for fans of all taste buds.” - The Dash
4) Escape Rooms and Trampoline Parks
Whether your family likes to jump together, solve puzzles, or both, you can do it in Winston-Salem.
- Total Escape - Escape Room
- The Escape Room
- Rockin' Jump Winston-Salem
- Urban Adventure Trampoline Park
- Mall Jump At Hanes Mall
- Surge Adventure Park
Located on the edge of the foothills, nature and outdoor adventure surround Winston-Salem.
If you like to walk, ride a bike, skateboard, or roller blades, you can make your way around many portions of Winston-Salem without dealing with vehicle traffic.
“Winston-Salem has 25 miles of greenways, incorporating paved and unpaved trails, boardwalks, and bridges. Some greenways connect to each other, enabling longer excursions.” - City of Winston-Salem
There are seven gravel miles available around beautiful Salem Lake. From there, you can travel all the way to Winston-Salem State University and Washington Park on paved trails.
The Sauratown Mountains are a small, isolated mountain chain located near the Triad and Winston-Salem. There are two state parks in the Sauratowns that provide hikers with many miles to explore:
Pilot Mountain State Park
You can see Pilot Mountain’s unique dome from parts of Winston-Salem and many areas throughout the piedmont and foothills. There are over twelve miles of hiking trails that provide views of Pilot Mountain, The Blue Ridge Mountains, the city, waterfalls, and more.
Hanging Rock is yet another prominent and uniquely shaped mountain known for rock climbing and hiking. There are over twenty miles of hiking trails at Hanging Rock. There are waterfalls, woodlands, and big views throughout the park.
3) Mountain Biking
Winston-Salem is hillier than you might think. There is some fun, fast, flowy mountain biking in and near the city:
Hobby Park: Home to five miles of trails, there are actually a couple of black trails and a great jump line at Hobby Park.
Tanglewood: There are ten miles of blue and green trails at Tanglewood Park in Clemmons. You’ll find berms, wood features, and jumps interspersed throughout these speedy trails.
Moore’s Springs Trails: This trail system is the jewel of piedmont mountain biking. Located in Hanging Rock State Park, you’ll find fifteen miles of trails that feel like Pisgah and Warrior Creek merged together. From flowy berms to intense rock gardens and gutsy shoots, the MST system is worth a visit, even for those who typically ride in western North Carolina.
With Salem Lake and the nearby Yadkin River, those who love to spend time in the water can get their boating and fishing fixes in Winston-Salem.
The city maintains several pristine parks, including:
- Salem Lake
- Washington Park
- Bailey Park
- Reynolds Park
- Shaffner Park
Winston-Salem Food Scene
Winston-Salem’s food scene might surprise you. We have really stepped up our game in the last few years and it’s only getting better.
1) Best Food
- Sweet Potatoes
- Mozelles Southern Bistro
- West End Poke
- Hops Burger Bar
- The Porch/Alma Mexicano
2) Beer and Drinks
- Sixth and Vine
- Theodores (upcoming)
- Incendiary Brewing
- Anchor Coffee(duh
- Campus Gas
- Joymongers Barrel Hall
- Anchor Coffee Co.
- Dough Joes
- ByGood Coffee
Like we mentioned before, Winston Salem is a wonderful city full of great things to do. We have absolutely fell in love with the local culture and creative spirit that drives Winston-Salem to be a city of innovation. Our location is at the center of town, and makes for a great starting point for your next adventure. Bonus Tip: If you need more recommendations, feel free to ask one of our barista’s!