50 BEST Things To Do In Winston Salem, NC (2024)

Winston-Salem is the best of both worlds, with the charm of a quaint Southern hamlet and the amenities and activities of a more significant bustling metropolis. It’s one of the best cities in North Carolina to visit, and you could easily spend a few days here seeing all the attractions. From fantastic breweries and restaurants, to Old Salem, there are plenty of fun things to do in Winston Salem for all.

A Brief History of Winston Salem

Before we dig into the best things to do in Winston Salem, let’s run over quick history briefing. A group of German Moravians founded Winston Salem in the mid-18th century. They settled in the area and established the town of Salem. At first, it was just known as “the county town,” but in 1851, the name Winston came to be, in honor of Joseph Winston, a hero of the Revolutionary War.

Winston-Salem as we know it today was established in 1913 by merging the two neighboring towns, which were only a mile apart, to form the cultural hub of Camel City. This nickname stems from its past as an industry titan for textiles and tobacco (yes, Winston Salem is the base for Camel Cigarettes). Overtime, it has progressed into a mecca for arts, nature, cuisines, museums, and more.

Best Things to do in Winston Salem

Old Salem Museums and Gardens 

 Fun Things To Do In Winston Salem, NC

Visiting Old Salem is one of the best things to do in Winston Salem, and one of the first places you should head! Here you can experience the life of a Moravian community in the 1800s with an immersive visit to Old Salem.

There are 20 historic buildings to explore, along with interpreters engaging in the daily life activities of that time.

In the living museum, you can watch cobblers crafting shoes and potters shaping clay. The gardens are gorgeous for a wander around the greenery. Old Salem Bakery is an especially delightful stop with freshly baked loaves of bread being made and sold. 

17 Old Salem Attractions You Shouldn’t Miss!

walk around the West End Historic District

West End Historic District

Thie West End area of town is chock full of architectural gems and visiting here is easily one of the best things to do in Winston Salem. Styles range from Classic Revival to Queen Anne to Colonial Revival to American Craftsman. It dates back to the 19th century. There are about 500 historically significant structures in this one part of Winston-Salem.

The Zevely House is a favorite of architecture aficionados and once belonged to a founder of the city. See if you can spot which one it is. 

North Carolina BBQ Trail

 Fun Things To Do In Winston Salem, NC

It’s a North Carolina fact that one of the best things to do in North Carolina is to eat BBQ. As a state, North Carolina is known for its top-notch cooking of classic Southern barbecue. Smoked in the traditional techniques passed down for hundreds of years, this succulent pork and beef melt in your mouth and melt your heart.

The North Carolina BBQ trail boasts the best of the best, with strict criteria for cooking methods, flavor profiles, and serving styles. Real Q is the stuff of local pit roasting legends.

Other delicious BBQ spots to check out are:

  • Honkey Tonk Smokehouse
  • Camel City BBQ Factory
  • Little Richard’s Bar-B-Que
  • Clark’s Barbecue
  • Country BBQ
30 Best BBQ Joints in North Carolina

Reynolda House

Reynolda House -  Fun Things To Do In Winston Salem, NC

Reynolda House is a unique Museum of American Art. It offers the chance to explore an expansive glamorous estate that reflects the cultural lifestyle of the wealthy in the 1920s. It was initially owned and inhabited by tobacco bigwig R.J Reynolds who helped to found the town. It’s 1,067 acres and boasts the foremost art collection from American eras over 300 years.

Rooms throughout the grandiose home feature dazzling decor featuring a bowling alley, an indoor pool, and a life-sized dollhouse. There are elaborate and ornate gardens, perfectly manicured for an idyllic mosey. 

shop on Trade Street

trade street / winston salem
Photo courtesy of Susan Smith via Flickr

The dream street in Winston-Salem to shop until you drop. Chock full of charming boutiques and specialty storefronts. Several cafes and snack shops are great for a quick refuel, such as Lavender and Honey’s delightful destination.

It’s the downtown heart and soul of the city. After you finish there, pop into The Snob Shop (Burke Street) and Kindred Spirits (Trade Street(=) for artisan and vintage gems.

Historic Bethabara Park

Bethabara Park / things to do in winston salem
The Gemeinhaus, Historic Bethabara Park, Winston-Salem

Bethabara Park is a Moravian settlement that started in 1753 before the community ultimately moved over to Old Salem. It’s 183 acres and is a modern-day wildlife preserve.

Restored buildings, such as the Bethabara Moravian Church, live up to their former glory and charm. It is also a hotspot for bird watching, so keep your eyes peeled for beautiful native species. The trails that traverse the grounds make for a lovely day of wandering. 

step into the past at Mast General Store

mast general store in winston salem

Get your fill of local flavor at Mast General Store which is one of the best things to do in Winston Salem that doesn’t take too long is to visit this gem. This 19th-century general store is a one-of-a-kind attraction in Camel City.

It maintains its original charm from decades ago and is a must-visit for that good old Southern spirit. As is traditional, they still sell just a little bit of everything, from outdoor gear to local gourmet grits to handcrafted creams and lotions.

It’s famous for its diverse selection of old-time candy choices, sure to bring a childlike joy to your heart and mouth.

relax at Quarry Park

Quarry Park
Photo courtesy of Seth Youngblood via Flickr

A nature-filled respite from the city, this park offers some of the best panoramas overlooking the skyline. The old quarry after its name is now a rocky pool full of sparkling clear blue waters. It was functional from the 1920s to the 1970s.

You can walk out on the pier, extending above it for a spectacular view and serene experience. There are plenty of well-kept paths for a relaxing, scenic walk as well. 

walk the Art Trail

Winston-Salem is home to the most kitschy and fabulous art-based inventions called the Art-o-mat. It uses old cigarette machines and turns them into art vending machines. The art is priced fairly and is always a fun surprise for local talent. There are only 100 machines globally and several to discover around Winston Salem.

Check out Artivity on the Green in the downtown Arts District for fun and modern outdoor sculptural works. There are masterful and whimsical murals adorning many of the walls in the area, creating a bright and vibrant city landscape. Find as many as you can and choose your favorite. 

snap a photo of the Shell Station

shell station in winston salem

It is the last standing Shell Oil Clamshell in the country. It is a quirky relic from the 1930s, and it serves as a monument to its era filled with fun and funky memorabilia. There were seven around town as part of an art deco advertisement attempt.

It’s a phenomenally preserved piece of Camel City culture and the perfect Insta-worthy photo op for your feed. The Shell Oil Clamshell is one of the best secret things to do in Winston-Salem.  

check out The Coffee Pot

The Coffee Pot in winston salem

A beloved landmark in Winston-Salem, no trip is complete without stopping at the Coffee Pot. Built in 1858, it’s one of the oldest sights to see in the city. It’s over seven feet tall, making it hard to miss and very mysterious. It’s become a recognizable symbol of the area.

It was an attention-grabbing campaign for a local tin shop. It can hold up to 740 gallons of heavenly java. It’s been the subject of many local folklore and legends. Ask around to hear all the current cult classic theories. After, make sure to crave your thirst at one of the best Winston Salem coffee shops.

Hit Up the Many Breweries

 Fun Things To Do In Winston Salem, NC

One of the best things to do in Winston Salem is to enjoy a beer a two! There are a plethora of microbreweries in the city. Foothills Brewing is a favorite amongst locals and visitors alike and is considered one of the best breweries in North Carolina. They’ve made a name for themselves in the Carolinas by making high-quality craft beverages fermented and brewed to perfection.

They produce large volumes in their primary facility, including their flagship Hoppyum IPA. Incendiary Brewing is a unique industrial haven set in an old power plant. They have a variety of drafts for every desire, from Vienna Amber Lager to Milkshake New England IPA to Honey Blonde Ale. 

Best Breweries in Winston Salem, NC for a craft beer

Enjoy All the Delicious Restaurants

Things To Do In Winston Salem, NC

Sweet Potatoes is a soul food sanctuary that is a staple of the culinary scene in the city. A stop into this quaint country space is a highly recommended meal. Start with the Fried Green Tomato and Okra Basket and chow down on the Slap Yo Mama Ribs.

Mozelle’s offers a more upscale take on similar Southern comforts. They put up refined plates such as Gourmet Meatloaf and Tomato Pie in a bright and airy setting.

If you’re in the mood for a sweet make sure to check out Bobby Boy Bakeshop, it’s one of the best breakfast and backshops in Winston Salem.

The Best Winston Salem Restaurants

Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art

Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art
Garrett Garms / Best Things to do in Winston Salem

The SECCA gallery features multimedia works from all over the world. They are constantly rotating in the newest and most exciting pieces with no permanent collections for your enjoyment. An immersive surprise always awaits at SECCA.

SECCA features dance, music, visuals, and education for a diverse set of perspectives. They operate as the community’s cultural hub and connect the area with cutting-edge contemporary works. 

hike in Hanging Rock State Park

Hanging Rock

Hanging Rock State Park is one of the best state parks in North Carolina! There are 9,000 acres of natural wonderland near the city full of diverse terrains. It’s one of the most fun things to do in Winston Salem (though it’s a 40-minute drive from the city).

There are 20 miles of trails traversing steep climbs to stunning views, flowing streams and waterfalls, Dan River for paddling, and a sparkling lake for swimming and canoeing. There are opportunities to rock climb or mountain bike within the grounds. It is one of the best things to do in Winston-Salem for outdoor activity enthusiasts. 

7 Best State Parks in North Carolina to Visit

have a drink at Broad Branch Distillery

Broad Branch Distillery in winston salem

Set in a former tobacco warehouse in the Arts District, a visit to Broad Branch is a fun and indulgent experience and one of the best things to do in Winston Salem.

The distillery is grain to glass, focusing on old-world artisanal techniques of the area. You can sneak a peek at their technical and thoughtful process behind the scenes and treat yourself to a tasting as well.

They create a variety of delicious whiskeys and rums using fresh and local ingredients. The Sungazer Tropical Transcendence Rum is a revelation, along with the Smashing Violet NC Infusion Whiskey. 

enjoy a getaway at Graylyn Estate

Graylyn Estate

Graylyn is one of the largest private homes in the whole state. Visitors can enjoy a romantic weekend in North Carolina in this private estate. Mr. and Mrs. Bowman Gray built it in the 1930s. It’s currently an opulent hotel offering the most refined luxury in town. They host many events, including a tour of the estate and tastings of their house wines.

It’s in a Norman Revival style on 85 acres of vast and verdant grounds. Each room is extraordinary, with its unique decor for the ultimate individualized experience. 

drink wine at Yadkin Valley Wineries

Yadkin Valley Wineries
Photos by Brittany Butterworth Photography

This fantastic NC winery just west of Winston-Salem serves many varietals. There are over 40 verdant vineyards within this rich million-acre land area. Yadkin Wineries is an idyllic day trip from the city as they are very close.

The wineries serve everything from the classic Carolina muscadine wines to the traditional European vitis vinifera. There are small batch producers and expansive enterprises with charming country tasting rooms and sweeping views overlooking the fields of vineyards. 

Day Trip to Mount Airy

Mount Airy

Mount Airy has all of the Southern small-town charm and hospitality imaginable. Known as the home of Andy Griffith, it inspired the fictional town of Mayberry on his hit 1960s TV series.

It feels like a step back in time and a step into the show in many ways, celebrating their claim to fame through museums, tours, and storefronts. It’s a kitschy experience that is one-of-a-kind. 

16 Best Things to Do in Mount Airy

Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts

heritage bridge in old salem
Crossing the Heritage Bridge on my way to the Museum

MESDA, known more formally as the Frank L. Horton Museum Center, this space celebrates and educates on the decorative arts of the area. The building was once a grocery store and renovated to house its exciting exhibits and collections.

It’s home to one of the foremost research centers on the subject. It focuses on the preservation and interpretation of materials across cultures within the heritage of the American South, spanning seven states and four centuries. 

Relax on Salem Lake

Salem Lake

Often called the hidden diamond of Winston-Salem, you’d never know this oasis was tucked away right in the heart of the city. Salem Lake Trail circumnavigates the sparkling body of water for a delightful seven-mile hike with a constant view.

It is a fantastic lake in North Carolina to visit. Pier fishing is a popular pastime here; try your hand at angling or watch for the catch of the day. The paths are easy to walk, and there are plenty of boating opportunities out on the water as well. 

Take the kids to Kaleideum

Kaleideum winston salem
Courtesy of Kaleideum

The Kaleideum is a family-friendly place with plenty of fun for everyone. The downtown branch was previously the Children’s Museum of Winston-Salem, and the north branch was previously SciWorks.

They both host many interactive STEM-based exhibits perfect for science enthusiasts and explorers of any age. Head here to enjoy the planetarium or the famous Krispy Kreme Doughnut Factory, which children absolutely love, as you can imagine!

explore Korner’s Folly

Korner’s Folly
Korners Folly

Korner’s Folly is an impressive 22-room brick mansion open to the public for tours. The inside is vastly more exciting than the outside. An interior designer built it to showcase home decor options to his clients.

The result is a kooky and unexpected array of features such as 15 different fireplaces, eight kinds of brick, trap doors, decorative murals, and ceiling heights which vary considerably. They also host events such as scavenger hunts around the home. 

pick up a book at Bookmarks

Winston Salem

This literary art nonprofit is a unique community purveyor more than just a bookstore. Bookmarks believe in books with a purpose, actively engaging patrons in reading to educate, challenge, and inspire.

Find any book you can think of here, and feel great about supporting a worthy cause. Bookmark holds many events that spotlight authors in different formats, such as Moveable Feast or Parapalooza. They also host the most significant annual book fair in the Carolinas. 

Reynolda Gardens – Wake Forest University

Reynolda Gardens
Image courtesy of Reynolda Gardens / Things to Do in Winston-Salem
  • Address: 100 Reynolda Vlg Wy, Winston-Salem (GPS)
  • Hours: Tuesday- Friday: 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
  • Cost of Admission: Free

The Reynolda Gardens and grounds were once part of the original footprint for the famous Reynolda Estate. Today, the century-old gardens are part of Wake Forest University and are open to the public year-round from sunrise to sunset. The beautiful garden landscape features many succulent and tropical plants, scenic walking trails, and even a waterfall. 

Here you can connect with nature as you admire the extensive orchid collection and other botanical wonders in a tranquil and scenic setting. Whether you are fascinated by botany or are simply looking for a spot for a romantic stroll, pay a visit to Reynolda Gardens!

Bailey Park

Bailey Park
Flow Honda in Winston-Salem @ Bailey Park
  • Address: 445 Patterson Ave, Winston-Salem (GPS)
  • Hours: Monday – Sunday: 7:00 am – 8:00 pm

Located in the downtown region of Winston-Salem, Bailey Park is a small but beautiful modern public park that offers 1.6 acres of terraced grass banks. 

Surrounded by what used to be old factories (now turned housing districts) and popular restaurants, Bailey Park is a great spot for an evening picnic or when looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life. 

The park also has an area with a stage and a screen for outdoor movie nights, concerts, and community events. There are also picnic tables and plenty of open green space to lounge around and relax.

Moravian Church

Home Moravian Church of Winston Salem
Image courtesy of Home Moravian Church of Winston Salem
  • Address: 529 S Church St, Winston-Salem (GPS)

Those of you who love old churches or buildings of historic significance will love paying a visit to the Home Moravian Church of Winston Salem. Founded in 1771, by early Moravian settlers, who were German protestants, the church has both religious and historic significance. 

There is always something going on at the Church, whether it is Bible discussions, scripture encores, or community events. You can also partake in fascinating history tours of the building itself while exploring Moravian culture and religious beliefs. 

Shop At Hanes Mall

Hanes Mall
Image courtesy of Hanes Mall / Things to Do in Winston-Salem
  • Address: 3320 Silas Creek Pkwy, Winston-Salem (GPS)
  • Hours: Monday – Saturday: 11:00 am -8:00 pm, Sunday: 12:00 pm – 6:00 pm

Perhaps the most hip and happening place in Winston Salem, especially when it comes to teens and youngsters, is Hanes Mall, located just off the I-40 on Silas Creek Parkway. The mall was once North Carolina’s largest enclosed shopping mall until its title was dethroned in 2004. 

Whether you are looking for a place to hang out with friends or indulge in window shopping, Hanes Mall is the place to head. The mall features plenty of branded stores, a food court, and plenty of fun activities for kids. 

Watch A Football Game At The Allegacy Federal Credit Union Stadium

The Allegacy Federal Credit Union Stadium
Image courtesy of The Allegacy Federal Credit Union
  • Address: 475 Deacon Blvd, Winston-Salem (GPS)
  • Cost of Admission: For ticket information, click here.

The Allegacy Federal Credit Union Stadium, home of the Wake Forest football team is a modern state-of-the-art stadium that seats up to 31,500 fans and is considered by many to be one of the most beautiful stadiums in the nation for its size. 

Built in 1968, the stadium has gone through many renovations and upgrades, from the installation of a next-generation turf that allows the stadium to be open all year round, to the addition of a state-of-the-art video board and press box. 

So, if you are a fan of football, don’t miss out on a chance to witness a live game in this beautiful stadium.

The Winston Cup Museum & Special Event Center

The Winston Cup Museum & Special Event Center
Image courtesy of Winston Cup Museum / Things to Do in Winston-Salem
  • Address: 1355 N Martin Luther King Jr Dr, Winston-Salem (GPS)
  • Hours: Thursday – Saturday: 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
  • Cost of Admission: Adults: $12 for adult, children: $8 for children ages 6-12. Admission is free for anyone with a military ID and children ages five and under.

Fans of Nascar can enjoy a multi-sensory experience reliving the Winston Cup era of Nascar racing. The Winston Cup Museum & Special Event Center contains 33 years of Winston Cup memorabilia including racing artifacts, championship memorabilia, actual race cars of the era, and racing arcade games that pay homage to the legendary Winston Cup Series. 

The indoor and outdoor areas of the museum can also be booked to host special events such as birthday parties and weddings with the facility offering event packages for just about any occasion. 

Watch A Baseball Game At Truist Stadium

Baseball game at Truist Stadium
A baseball game at Truist Stadium / Image courtesy of mlbazfallleague
  • Address: 951 Ballpark Wy, Winston-Salem (GPS)

Watching a live game of baseball in the Truist Stadium at Winston Salem should be on the cards for all you baseball fans out there. Home field of the Atlanta Braves, this 40,000-plus capacity stadium is a state-of-the-art facility that combines southern hospitality with cutting-edge technologies and entertainment. 

The stadium is the only one of its kind that features a rooftop patio, a zip line, and a climbing tower to keep fans entertained in more ways than one!

Enjoy North Carolina’s Famous Traditional BBQ

Little Richard's Bar-N-Que
Image courtesy of Little Richard’s Bar-N-Que
  • Address: Little Richard’s Bar-N-Que- 109 S Stratford Rd, Winston-Salem (GPS)
  • Hours: Monday – Sunday: 11:0 am- 9:00 pm

A trip to Winston-Salem wouldn’t be complete without sampling some of its famous local BBQs. North Carolina has always had a reputation for its delicious BBQ and the locals at Winston-Salem don’t disappoint. 

For over a century, the locals here have BBQ’d pork the same way – slowly and on low heat over a wood or coal fire to get that perfect BBQ flavor. Best BBQ restaurants in town include the aptly named Honky Tonk Smokehouse and Little Richard’s Bar-N-Que.

Take A Stroll Along The Art Trail

ARTivity on the Green
ARTivity on the Green / Image courtesy of The Enrichment Center WS
  • Address: 630 N Liberty St, Winston-Salem (GPS)
  • Hours: Monday – Sunday: 11:00am – 8: 00 pm

The downtown area of Winston Salem is home to fantastic artwork and murals pretty much everywhere you look. In fact, because there is so much street art the city has a self-guided art trail that takes visitors on a stroll that allows them to see all these amazing murals and art installations at their leisure. 

The trail also leads through the ARTivity on the Green public park where you can sit down on benches or the grass for a quick break as you gaze upon the park’s incredible artwork.

Hike At Pilot Mountain State Park

  • Address: 1721 Pilot Knob Park Rd, Pinnacle (GPS)
  • Admission Fee: For booking and reservations, click here.
  • Hours: Monday – Sunday: 7:00 am – 7:00 pm

Those of you seeking outdoor adventures near Winston Salem should head down to Pilot Mountain State Park, which is about half an hour’s drive from downtown. Upon arriving at the park, you will be greeted with over six miles of hiking and bridle trails that allow you to explore the surrounding landscape and take pictures of the spectacular scenery and wildlife. 

There is also a campground at the park with over 40 campsites if what you crave is a weekend getaway! Other recreational activities at the park include rock climbing, rappelling, and canoeing.

Enjoy Festivities At Tanglewood Park

Tanglewood Park
Image courtesy of Tanglewood Festival of Lights
  • Address: 4061 Clemmons Rd, Clemmons (GPS)

During the winter holiday season, Tanglewood Park transforms into one of Winston Salem’s most popular attractions. The five-mile route through the park is adorned by all types of holiday-themed displays and incredible lighting, making it one of the coolest and biggest light shows in this neck of the woods. 

Along with the amazing displays, the park also hosts a Gift Village where visitors can shop for holiday decorations, gifts, and even meet Santa! 

Gorge On Delectable Desserts At Black Mountain Chocolate Bar

Salted Caramel Tart
  • Address: 450 N Patterson Ave Suite 110, Winston-Salem (GPS)

Do you have a sweet tooth that needs attention? Head on over to the Black Mountain Chocolate Bar which is by far the best spot in town for delectable desserts and drinks. 

Bring your friends along, come solo or with a date and enjoy a range of fantastic chocolate delights that range from chocolate treats such as brownies and tarts to classic chocolate-themed cocktails.

Also, if you get the chance don’t miss out on the Makery Counter and wine pairing events that they often have going on. 

Enjoy A Round of Golf At Winston Lake Golf Course

  • Address: 3535 Winston Lake Rd, Winston-Salem (GPS)
  • Hours: Monday – Sunday: 7:30 am – 7:30 pm
  • Cost of Admission: For rates and fees, click here.

Fancy a round of casual golf on a nice sunny day? Head on over to the recently upgraded 9-hole Winston Lake Golf Course. This beautiful golf course spans over 480 acres of rolling woodlands that have been carved out to form a scenic course that is undoubtedly a hidden gem that all golfers would enjoy. 

Other amenities at the course include a comfort station by the name of Papa Lee’s Grill, a driving range, and a pro shop. 

Defy Gravity At Rockin’ Jump Trampoline Park

  • Address: 7840 North Point Blvd, Winston-Salem (GPS)
  • Cost of Admission: For ticket prices, click here.

Do you have energy to burn? Children and even adults can have a great time at the indoor Rockin’ Jump Trampoline Park while getting plenty of exercise! The amusement center features plenty of indoor attractions from the obvious trampolines to rock walls. 

An airball court, and even an arcade. You could spend hours here burning energy and having a ball as you partake in over 10+ attractions. Rockin’ Jump is open all week but its timings do vary, especially on weekends. If you plan on visiting make sure you check the timings first!

Spend The Night At The Haunted Brookstown Inn

Brookstown Inn
Image courtesy of The Historic Brookstown Inn / Things to Do in Winston-Salem
  • Address: 200 Brookstown Ave, Winston-Salem (GPS)
  • Hours: Check-in time: 3:00 pm- check-out time: 12:00 pm

Do you have a fascination for the paranormal or the unexplained? If so, you are going to love Winston-Salem! Many sites in Winston Salem are believed to be haunted and that isn’t surprising as these lands have quite the history and many historical buildings that are over a century old. 

The Historic Brookstown Inn is one such building that was built in 1837 and still exists today. Once a cotton mill that exploited slave labor, the building is said to have had many tragic deaths within its walls. 

Today, the building has been renovated into a hotel that is widely considered by many to be one of the most haunted locations in America supposedly haunted by a spirit known as “Sally”.

Enjoy A Romantic Lunch At Elkin Creek Vineyard

  • Address: 318 Elkin Creek Mill Rd, Elkin (GPS)
  • Hours: Thursday- Sunday : 2:00 pm -5:00 pm

There are many vineyards in North Carolina and around Winston Salem where you can enjoy handcrafted wines and gourmet meals, but few are as magical as the Elkin Creek Vineyard

Although it is a relatively small production vineyard, its gourmet restaurant was featured in The New York Times which is no small feat. Enjoy a gourmet meal and fine handcrafted wine while sitting next to the gurgling waters of Elkin Creek. 

This one-of-a-kind vineyard is about a 45-minute drive from Winston-Salem but is worth the trip any day of the week!

Buy Unique Artwork At The Gateway Gallery

Artwork at The Enrichment Center Winston Salem
Artwork at The Enrichment Center Winston Salem / Image courtesy of The Enrichment Center WS
  • Address: 1006 Marshall St SW, Winston-Salem (GPS)

The Gateway Gallery is part of the Enrichment Center, an organization whose mission is to “empower and enrich adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities”. 

As such, one of the best ways you can support the artistic community of Winston Salem is to buy one-of-a-kind pieces of artwork at the gallery as the proceeds go into funding enrichment center programs as well as paying out commissions to the artists themselves. 

Exhibits include original paintings, traditional and abstract art, multi-media artwork, and digital photographs. The Gateway Gallery is open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. from Tuesday through to Friday. 

Embark On A Historical Ghost Tour

Carolina History & Haunts Winston-Salem Ghost Tour
Image courtesy of Carolina History & Haunts Winston-Salem Ghost Tour
  • Address: Carolina History & Haunts Winston-Salem Ghost Tour-Tours meet at, 848 W 5th St, Winston-Salem (GPS)
  • Hours: 24 hours

As we mentioned earlier, Winston-Salem is a place with a lot of haunted history, ghost stories, and eerie legends. The best way to experience the city’s hauntings is to embark on a historical ghost tour that takes you through the most haunted places in the city at night! 

The ghost tours are more informative and interesting than scary. The tour guides share with you the history of the original settlers and the horrors of the Revolutionary War that may cause a chill or two to run down your spine. 

They also show you all the supposedly haunted and spooky locations in the city and the stories behind their hauntings! 

Buy Fresh Produce At The Fairgrounds Farmers Market

Winston-Salem Fairgrounds Farmers' Market
Image courtesy of Winston Salem Fairgrounds Farmers Market / Things to Do in Winston-Salem
  • Address: 2532 Farmers Market Way, Winston-Salem (GPS)
  • Hours: Saturday: 6:00 am – 12:00 pm

Visiting the farmers market of any town or city is always fascinating and entertaining. The Winston-Salem Fairgrounds Farmers Market has been around for 40+ years and is still growing! 

If you are in the mood for some fresh produce or just feel like mingling with the locals, take a trip to the farmers market located at 421 W. 27th Street on Saturdays between 6:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. 

Here you will find an array of locally-grown farm-fresh vegetables and seasonal fruits as well as breakfast and baked goods that will make your mouth water. 

Plan A Day Trip To The North Carolina Zoo

North Carolina Zoo
Image courtesy of North Carolina Zoo
  • Address: 4401 Zoo Pkwy, Asheboro, NC (GPS)
  • Hours: Monday- Sunday: 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
  • Cost of Admission: Adult (ages 13-61): $15, Child (ages 2-12): $11, Senior
    (ages: 62+): $13, Under 2: Free

Spanning over 2,600 acres, the North Carolina Zoo is one of the world’s largest natural habitat zoological parks and a must-visit destination if you find yourself in and around Winston-Salem. 

Situated in Asheboro, an hour’s ride from Winston Salem, the NC Zoo is the perfect day trip destination for the entire family. The zoo is home to over 1,800 animals and 250 species of wildlife predominantly from Africa and North America. 

Apart from the animals, the zoo also has plenty of other attractions including nature trails, gardens, a viewing deck, a gift shop, and much more!

Visit The Furniture Capital Of The World

High Point- Furniture Capital Of The World
Image courtesy of Kamoteus via flickr
  • Address: North Carolina (GPS)

If you have a passion for woodwork or even antique furniture, you should plan a visit to High Point, which lies just half an hour away from Winston-Salem. Upon reaching High Point, you will be greeted by the biggest chest of drawers you have ever seen which has a plate at the bottom that reads “Furniture Capital of the World, High Point, NC”. 

You see, in the 1950s, this region was producing 60% of all the bedroom and living room furniture in America and even today it is home to many renowned US and international furniture manufacturers.

Enjoy Burgers & Beer At Foothills Brewery

Foothills Brewing
Image courtesy of Foothills Brewing
  • Address: 638 W 4th St, Winston-Salem (GPS)
  • Hours: Monday – Sunday: 11:00 am – 12:00 am

Having opened its doors in 2004, the Foothills Brewery has quickly grown to become one of the most popular craft brewing companies in the Southeast. With two locations in Winston-Salem, one being a pub and the other a tasting and taproom, there is no better place to stop for a pint of beer and gigantic super juicy burgers! 

The pub also offers live music, trivia nights, delicious craft beer, and signature entrees and appetizers to keep you thoroughly fed and entertained!

Visit ROAR Family Entertainment Center

ROAR Family Entertainment Center
Image courtesy of ROAR / Things to Do in Winston-Salem
  • Address: 633 N Liberty St, Winston-Salem (GPS)
  • Hours: Monday – Sunday: 11:30 am – 11:00 pm

Staying with the theme of beer and grub, ROAR is another excellent place to visit for a round of drinks and plenty of entertainment. This four-story entertainment center is located in the heart of the Arts District of Winston-Salem and is packed full of fun activities, games, and other attractions such as the mammoth, one-of-a-kind, 90-tap three-story high beer & wine wall! 

Play a round of mini putt, take a few swings on the golf simulator, or indulge in a game of boutique bowling – you are guaranteed fun on every floor! 

Outdoor Recreation At C.G. Hill Memorial Park

C.G. Hill Memorial Park
Image courtesy of forsyth.cc
  • Address: 5600 Balsom Rd, Pfafftown (GPS)
  • Hours: Monday – Sunday: 7:00 am – 9:00 pm

You don’t have to leave the city to enjoy nature thanks to the nearby C.G. Hill Memorial Park. This 185-acre public park is a beautiful spot for various outdoor activities including hiking, fishing, biking, and picnicking. 

The highlight of the park is the 2.5-acre fishing lake at its center which has a nearby gazebo and courtyard with picnic tables, making it the ideal place for a spot of relaxing fishing or picnicking with the family. 

The park also features a 500+-year-old poplar tree that is said to have sprouted well before Columbus took sail in search of the New World and is associated with plenty of stories and legends!

Picnic At Winston Lake Park

Winston Lake Park
Image courtesy of cityofwinstonsalem
  • Address:1344 Winston Park Dr, Winston-Salem (GPS)
  • Hours: Monday – Sunday: 6:00 am – 10:30 pm

Winston Lake Park just recently reopened in June 2022, after being extensively refurbished. The park now has brand-new picnic tables, restrooms, playground equipment, as well as a new fishing pier and pavilion. 

This free public park also has a 2.4-mile-long walking trail that loops around the lake shoreline making it a great place to visit for a morning walk or an evening stroll. The lake waters have also been dredged to improve the habitat for fish which can be caught in the lake waters as long as you have a permit!

Best Things to Do in Winston Salem Map

Where to Stay in Winston Salem?

20 Best Hotels in Winston-Salem

Best Restaurants in Winston Salem

best restaurants in winston salem
  • Ryan’s Restaurant: For fine dining and fantastic meat cuts and seafood.
  • Cugino Forno: Wood-fired pizza that is hard to beat!
  • The Porch Kitchen and Cantina: Tex Mex Restaurant that is perfect for lunch!
16 BEST Winston Salem Restaurants to Try 

Plan For Your Trip to the South!

  • Get Around: We suggest renting a car for traveling the Carolinas. Check Prices on RentalCars.com
  • Our Favorite Travel Shoes: Our answer to this question is always Allbirds.


We hope this guide of the best things to do in Winston Salem helped you find the perfect place to stay. For more of our travel guides around North Carolina check out the articles below.

About Natasha

Natasha moved to North Carolina for college years ago (but she's not trying to age herself here). Her days were spent reading a book on the beach and enjoying a cold glass of sweet tea in between classes at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. Upon graduation, she met her partner, Cameron, and they traveled the world together crossing 85 countries and seven continents. After, many years of international travel they settled down a bit and launched Lost in the Carolinas to share their experiences about and travel tips on South Carolina and North Carolina.

9 thoughts on “50 BEST Things To Do In Winston Salem, NC (2024)”

  1. Kudos to you. These are all great. Also…The coolest new place is Incendiary Brewery
    near downtown and part of Innovation Quarter. Lived in WS almost 30 years and it’s the one place you will not think you are in WS. WS is much cooler now. Weekend fun.

  2. What a wonderful, informative article about all the culture, history and joys to experience in and around Winston-Salem. Thank you for so perfectly describing it all!

  3. How about the Creek Festival? Usually considered Forsyth Counties number attraction year after year and it donates a huge percentage to charities.

  4. Just an FYI – The Black Mountain Chocolate Bar has closed. I thought it sounded like a great place to visit but their website is now thanking people for their support, but there apparently weren’t enough people supporting them!


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