At just over an hour drive from Charlotte, Winston-Salem is an easy getaway if you find yourself with an unscheduled weekend ahead of the holiday season. Find seasonal festivals, fall foliage, holiday lights, and a mural-lined greenway. Leave the car at your hotel and explore seven walkable city blocks filled with restaurants, breweries, and shops, or escape to nearby Pilot Mountain or Hanging Rock state parks for an outdoor adventure.
Kick off the day with a coffee and warm pastry at Baked Just So. For a lunch the kids will dig, hit up The Old Fourth Street Filling Station, a cozy eatery with a fireplace and covered outdoor terrace. Grab an easy, casual dinner at Mario’s Pizza, which has pizza, wings, and a kid’s menu with each item under $5. For Mom and Dad, there are nine breweries in the downtown area including Small Batch Beer Co., Wise Man Brewing, and Fiddlin’ Fish Brewing Company. For a sweet treat you can take home, stop by Mrs. Hanes’ Morovian Cookies for a tin of ginger crisps.
Book a room at the Historic Brookstown Inn in downtown Winston-Salem. Parents can enjoy a wine and cheese reception every evening, and kids will love the complimentary milk and homemade cookies at bedtime. Just outside of downtown, the Graylyn Estate is a bit more quiet and secluded on its 55-acre property. The estate has an outdoor pool and fitness center, and it’s pet-friendly.
Also known as the “strangest home in America,” Körner’s Folly is just 15 minutes east of Winston-Salem. Stroll through a winding maze of doorways and staircases that lead you through 22 rooms in this three-story, seven-level historic home. For some interactive fun, visit Kaleideum North where kids can see a planetarium and a park with barnyard animals, a river otter, and white-tailed deer. Burn off some energy at Tanglewood Park, a 1,100-acre public park with two championship golf courses, horse stables, fishing, tennis courts, an aquatic center, a BMX track, and a variety of hiking trails. The park also hosts the Tanglewood Festival of Lights, a drive-through experience with hundreds of large scale light displays. This year’s show starts November 12 and runs through January 1, 2022.
FEELING FESTIVE? CHECK OUT WINTER AT REYNOLDA
Winston-Salem’s famed Reynolda House Museum transforms itself into a magical holiday destination with period Christmas decor. Take a guided, costumed tour of the historic 60-room estate, catch the new art exhibition “The Voyage of Life” through December 12, and stroll the stately gardens adorned in twinkling lights. Then meander through Reynolda Village to take a carriage ride, do some holiday shopping, or have dinner.