Today I’m sharing our latest weekend away in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, a charming and tasty getaway!
Winston-Salem may not currently be at the top of your list of vacations spots, but maybe it should be…
At the very least it should be on your short-list of places to take a break on your next road trip.
We recently took a two hour drive east of Asheville to the eclectic town of Winston-Salem.
Honestly, I’d been through Winston-Salem several times heading somewhere else, but had never stopped to look around.
Founded by the Moravians in the mid 1700s, Old Salem has a long-standing history of conviction, a love for music and art, and a pioneering spirit.
Over the years Winston-Salem, two cities merging to benefit both, has been the home of many historic go-getters.
The city carries its rich history forward mingled with a vibrant food and arts scene.
We spent a weekend in Winston-Salem with the kids, tasting the local flavors, exploring the city, taking in the history, and experiencing fabulous foodie fun!
The Highlights of Our Weekend Away in Winston-Salem:
Ava and I loved exploring historic Old Salem, preserved for its historic Moravian heritage. Buy tickets at the Old Salem Visitors Center so you can enter original Moravian homes and buildings, to learn about their way of life from hosts dressed in traditional costumes.
Christmas by Candlelight – This time of year you can get tickets to take a guided Christmas candlelight tour through Old Salem. It’s a marvelous way to kick off the holiday season, in a fun and educational way. Sing carols, eat Moravian cookies, and be transported back in time for the evening! This may be a new annual holiday tradition for us!
Lt. Dan’s Favorite – Touring Broad Branch Distillery. We took a tour through Winston-Salem’s small-batch whiskey distillery, learning how whiskey is made… and the grownups tasting a little. Big fun for daddy!
Carson’s Favorite – Behind the Scenes Tour of Black Mountain Chocolate. Carson felt like Charlie (and the Chocolate Factory) learning how cacao beans are roasted, churned into liquid chocolate, then made into bars. The tasting portion of the tour was a delicious bonus for all of us.
We ate at some pretty amazing restaurants in Winston-Salem. Coming from a foodie town, I was very pleasantly surprised! These were our favorites…
The Tavern in Old Salem. The Night of our Christmas by Candlelight Tour, we enjoyed an early dinner at the Tavern, a local-favorite restaurant owned by the Keiper family. Dad operates the restaurant, mom does the baking, and their sons Jared and Jordan Keiper are the chef and mixologist.
Both sons have won awards for their culinary endeavors, including artful craft cocktails, and cozy Moravian-inspired southern cuisine. We were awestruck at just how good this meal was! Make a reservation, and be sure to try the famed Chicken Pie. The menu changes seasonally, but the Chicken Pie is a permanent fixture.
Mozelle’s Fresh Southern Bistro. Another Winston-Salem eatery that totally blew us away. Mozelle’s is a charming sidewalk cafe serving decadent southern favorites. We tried the bacon wrapped meatloaf, fried chicken with peach chutney, biscuits and gravy, and the tomato pie. Everything we ordered was thoughtfully prepared and tasty.
However, the tomato pie guys… I’ve never tasted anything like it! In fact, I’d say it was the best tomato pie I’ve ever tried. The cheese grits and collards were also mind-blowing. I’m trying to convince Dan we need to drive to Winston-Salem for Mozelle’s Sunday brunch every single weekend.
Mary’s Gourmet Diner. A quirky casual diner with dazzling southern breakfasts. We loved the grits bowls and french toast. Plus, Ava ordered the largest pancake I have ever seen. So that’s never a bad thing!
Where To Stay
There are many great hotels and B&Bs in Winston-Salem. We stayed at the Graylyn Estate, an Inn and Conference Center once owned by the Gray Family, now owned by Wake Forest University. Original owner Bowman Gray started Wachovia Bank, and later became Chairman of the Board of Reynolds Tobacco Company. He and his wife built the house in the late 1920’s as their country home. The estate is now run as an Inn with beautiful rooms and grounds.
Bonus, you can take a historic butler tour of the manor house and visit the ice cream room!
More Funs Things To Do in Winston-Salem
Cobblestone Farmers Market – Winston-Salem has a marvelous outdoor farmers market in Old Salem for fresh food lovers! One morning we explored the farmers market, and tasted some fabulous locally-made foods. If you’ve got time, it’s worth a visit.
Explore Downtown – Downtown Winston-Salem is an super hip arts district with galleries, working art studios, boutiques, and restaurants. Spend a day poking around to take in the mix of southern culture and youthful spirit.
Visit a Historic Home – Among the many historical homes in Winston-Salem are the Reynolda House Museum of American Art, built by tobacco baron R.J. Reynolds, and Korner’s Folly, built as an interior design show-piece by Jules Gilmer Korner.
Both are stunning and worth a visit!
Visit a Winery – Winston-Salem is smack-dab in the middle of North Carolina’s wine country. There are dozens of wineries within a short drive of the city.
We can’t wait for our next weekend away in the big WS! If you happen to find yourself somewhere in the middle of North Carolina, stop for a while in Winston-Salem. You’ll be glad you did.
Disclosure: We were hosted by Visit Winston-Salem. All opinions are my own.