Even in the heart of downtown, there's something not entirely modern about Winston-Salem. And that's a good thing. The second-largest city in the Triad blends the past and the present nicely, creating a pleasant and low-key place for both history-minded tourists and nose-to-the-grindstone businesspeople.
Two historical areas—Old Salem and Bethabara—celebrate the hardworking members of the Moravian Church, a Protestant sect that arose in what's now the Czech Republic in the 15th century. For nearly a hundred years, starting in the mid–18th century, the Winston-Salem region was almost entirely populated by Moravian settlers. With its Colonial Williamsburg–like period reconstruction (and tasty, tasty cookies), Old Salem in particular shouldn't be missed, even if you have only an afternoon to spend here.
For a taste of present-day Winston-Salem, check out the Downtown Arts District, centered around the intersection of 6th and Trade streets. Once known for its bustling tobacco market, this area is now a sea of happening galleries.
With two impressive art museums, a symphony orchestra, a film festival, and the internationally respected North Carolina School of the Arts, there's plenty to do within the city limits.
Winston-Salem at a Glance
- Bob Timberlake Gallery
- Historic Bethabara Park
- Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts
- Old Salem Museum & Gardens