As a Pennsylvania-native who knew almost nothing about North Carolina, I was surprised to find out that I wouldn’t be studying on the beach every day. I did learn, however, that Winston-Salem has a lot to offer. After a year of studying at Wake Forest University and getting to know the city, I came up with a list of places to go and things to do with my good friend from undergrad, my boyfriend, and my family while they visited. I wanted to share this list with anyone who may be visiting or moving to the area.
Visit the Reynolda House, Gardens, and Village
If you are a college student and have your student ID, getting into the Reynolda House Museum is free. You can step back in time as you walk through each room in the restored Reynolds’ house. If you are into art, they also have different American art exhibitions that you can check out while you’re there. I would also recommend checking out the gardens near the house. They are free to the public and are absolutely beautiful around fall and springtime.
In my quest to take pictures of all my favorite places, I totally forgot to take a picture of Reynolda Village, and I could kick myself for it! I have a not-so-secret love for Hallmark movies and Reynolda Village reminded me of a small town that would be in one of them. According to the official website, it was modeled after an English village and now houses stores, restaurants, and offices. I liked to walk through the village just to admire the atmosphere. There is a new cafe and creperie called Penny Path that will be opening in Reynolda Village. I’ve been following their Facebook page for a while, but they still haven’t opened yet. There is another location in High Point, NC and I’ve read nothing but great reviews of the place. That being said, even though I won’t have the chance to go there, I would still recommend going.
Visit Old Salem and Salem College
If you like history then you should visit Old Salem. Salem was a small town, founded by a religious group called the Moravians. Most of the attractions here require a ticket, which you can purchase either online or in person. There are some small shops that you can get into for free though, such as the bakery and bookstore. You’ll also be sure to see people dressed up in clothes from when the Moravians first settled. The town itself is pretty with its older architecture and it’s worth at least walking through.
In addition, the Salem College campus is right within the area. Salem Academy and College is the country’s oldest private institution for women and girls. The campus is pretty to walk through and you never know where you may end up as you let your feet guide you. One of my friends and I walked the campus after going to the weekly Cobblestone Farmers Market and we ended up right at the place pictured above.
Visit Krispy Kreme
Did you know that Krispy Kreme originated in Winston-Salem? You can visit the original location on S. Stratford Rd. and watch the doughnuts being made. Also, if you see the “Hot Now” sign illuminated, be sure to stop in to get warm, fresh doughnuts!
Bonus: According to one of my friends, they were giving out a free doughnut to customers on National Doughnut Day. I have no clue if this is a yearly thing or not, but it’s worth checking out!
Have a shake at Burger Batch
A picture similar to this one caught my attention many months ago when I was looking for things to do in Winston-Salem. I couldn’t believe that there was a place with fancy shakes, like the one pictured above, and no one had told me about them! As soon as I found out about Burger Batch’s existence, I had to go right away. The shakes were pretty loaded and overwhelming, so my friend and I ended up splitting one, which I would recommend. However, I did try another one on my own and regretted it for the rest of the day. Even so, I would recommend going for their shakes. Honestly, I haven’t tried anything else at Burger Batch, but my friends have said that their burgers are good as well.
Get a free cake square at Dewey’s
Some say that the best things in life are free. As a low-budget grad school student, you better believe that I took advantage of all the free food events on our school’s campus. I was even happier to find out that I didn’t need to limit my free food scavenging to campus. It was thanks to my local friends that I found out about Dewey’s, a local bakery. Every Monday, they give out free cake squares; you just have to ask! The best part is that you get to choose which flavor you’d like. I’ve only had pink lemonade and red velvet, but I can tell you that you would probably be happy with any flavor. I would also suggest trying their ice cream. They put pieces of their cake in some of the flavors! It’s delicious!
Walk the Wake Forest University campus
Whether there’s a little bit of snow on the ground or it’s sunny and 80 degrees, you should definitely check out the Wake Forest University Reynolda Campus. The upper quad, pictured above, is especially beautiful when it’s decorated with lights around Christmastime. Sometimes, you may even come across streamers of toilet paper that cover the trees, after a major athletic victory. While in the upper quad, you could grab some pizza and play pool in Zick’s, check out the WFU clothes store, or get some coffee at student-run coffee shop, Campus Grounds. Although Hearn Plaza might draw most of your attention, you should also explore the rest of the campus. You never know what cool things you may come across.
Whether you are vacationing or moving somewhere new, I would suggest doing research before you go, as well as making friends with locals. If it weren’t for them, I wouldn’t have known about some of these places and others. It’s always a good idea to get recommendations from other people because you may end up missing out on something great, if you don’t ask.