• Photo: Katherine Welles/Shutterstock


With its aging brick buildings and outer ring of small-city sprawl, Greensboro might not seem all that romantic at first. But let it grow on you. There’s an energy here, an excitement, a feeling of possibility created by a constant influx of new residents, which include college students, businesspeople, and immigrants from around the world. This mixture of new folks and natives makes this unassuming city diverse in pretty much every aspect of daily life. For a night out, choose between an edgy play, live music, or a second-run movie at the super-cheap theater outside of town. You can also have your pick of fried chicken, foie gras, or pho. Though Greensboro is best known for its textile industry, now mostly gone, and its role in the fight for civil rights (the famous lunch counter sit-ins of the mid-‘60s started here, after all), this place is creating a brand-new face. To watch this funky work in progress, take an early-evening stroll along South Elm Street, which has housed the city's creative mojo for years. You’ll find everything from vintage stores to bubble tea. Things are always evolving in this section of town. With any luck, that represents the future of the city as a whole.


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