10 Things You’re Missing If You Haven’t Been to Winston-Salem

Article Published by:

Explore the artsy, entrepreneurial Winston-Salem, the North Carolina burg that gave us the country’s first Arts Council—and Krispy Kreme doughnuts. (You’re welcome.)

This eclectic city in northwestern North Carolina has the Smokies and the Blue Ridge to the west and the Outer Banks to the east. Its famed hyphen comes from the merger of two cities in 1913. Salem was settled in 1766 by serious-minded, Eastern European Moravians known for arts and culture. Upstart Winston, established in 1851, attracted entrepreneurs like tobacco titan R.J. Reynolds. Put the two together, and you have a city with a thriving arts community—it’s home to the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, the National Black Theatre Festival, and much more—and an inventive spirit. Krispy Kreme doughnuts and Texas Pete hot sauce were born here.

1. Swank Historic Hotel
The Kimpton Cardinal just opened downtown in the historic, R.J. Reynolds building, an Art Deco wonder that inspired the Empire State Building.

2. Paris—Southern Style
Led by executive chef Ed Witt, The Katharine Brasserie & Bar (adjacent to The Cardinal hotel) is part French and part Southern, serving a seasonal menu and creative cocktails.

3. The (Art) House That R.J. Built
The former home of tobacco king R.J. Reynolds and his wife, Katharine, is now Reynolda House Museum of American Art with a collection including masterpieces from the likes of Mary Cassatt, Frederic Church, and Georgia O’Keeffe.

4. Dining on “Millionaire’s Row”
Spring House Restaurant, Kitchen & Bar occupies one of the few remaining mansions on what once was Winston-Salem’s “Millionaire’s Row” (downtown’s 5th Street). Executive Chef Tim Grandinetti serves a seasonal menu featuring signature Southern dishes with a twist.

5. Cool Casual Eats
Head to Mozelle’s Fresh Southern Bistro downtown for a Cuban or Mozelle’s Pimento Cheeseburger. Mary’s Gourmet Diner in the historic arts district serves fresh fare with a side of local art.

6. Classic Bakery
Dewey’s Bakery has been a Winston-Salem stalwart since 1930, with multiple locations. Even more Dewey’s spots pop up all over town in November and December.

7. Serious Chocolate
Black Mountain Chocolate on Trade Street uses heirloom, fair-trade cocoa beans to handcraft chocolate for rich drinks, desserts, and bonbons. Take a guided tour or just watch through the “Visible Factory.”

8. Craft Beer
Sip and chill at local breweries that take their cold ones seriously: Foothills Brewing, Hoots Roller Bar & Beer Co., and Small Batch Beer Co.

9. Vineyards & Wineries
Sample wines from North Carolina’s famed Yadkin Valley when you visit Sanders Ridge, Raffaldini Vineyards & Winery, or Childress Vineyards, created by NASCAR team owner Richard Childress—it’s the largest winery in the Yadkin Valley.

10. “DADA”
The Downtown Arts District Association has brought studios, galleries, shops, restaurants, bars, and more to the downtown area between 5th, 7th, and Trade Streets.

About Scott Livengood

Scott Livengood is the owner and CEO of Dewey’s Bakery, Inc., a commercial wholesale bakery with a respected national brand of ultra premium cookies and crackers.

Previously, Scott worked at Krispy Kreme Doughnuts for 27 years, starting as a trainee in 1977. He was appointed President of the company in 1992, then CEO and Chairman of the Board.

Scott has served on numerous boards including the Carter Center, the Calloway School of Business and the Babcock School of Management, Habitat for Humanity of Forsyth County, and the Winston-Salem Chamber of Commerce.

He started a new business, StoryWork International, in 2016 with Richard Stone. The signature achievement to date is LivingStories, a story-based program for improved patient experiences and outcomes in partnership with Novant Health.