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Winston-salem Travel Guide, North Carolina

   Winston-Salem is a metropolitan area in North Carolina that has a population just under one quarter of a million residents. As the name implies, it is comprised of two small towns.

Salem is a historic town that was first recorded in 1753, and it is laid out in the traditional manner with a town square at the center, and a church, in this case a Moravian church.  The Moravians owned all the property in town and for many years residence was restricted to Moravian church members.

The American Civil War caused a good deal of destruction to Salem but most of the buildings have been lovingly and faithfully restored and now make up the ‘Old Town.    Winston was founded in 1849 and has none of Salem’s religious underpinnings. Winston became the county seat and the county courthouse square was placed just one mile north of Salem square.

The two towns were connected by the US post office in 1889 and have become nearly synonymous with the Reynolds family, namesake of the R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, who played a major role in the history and public life of Winston-Salem when they established the second-largest tobacco firm in the world and headquartered it in Winston-Salem.

The area around the cities has long been a prime tobacco growing area. Other businesses that contribute to the local economy are the Wachovia Bank and Trust, the Bennett Marble and Granite Works and Krispy Kreme doughnuts, which opened its first  shop in Winston-Salem.  The climate is subtropical with hot humid summers and mild winters. Winston-Salem is a prosperous community, yearly noted as the most affluent in North Carolina. This affluence and the gracious Southern lifestyle come together to form a charming and relaxed community.   

Winston-Salem is known as 'City of the Arts,' because of its involvement in the Arts and its several museums, theaters and centers for performing Arts, including the North Carolina School of the Arts, The Little Theatre of Winston-Salem, the Piedmont Opera Theater, the Winston-Salem Symphony, the Stevens Center for the Performing Arts, and the Sawtooth Center for Visual Arts.

There are many galleries and workshops that make up an art district and add an interesting element to the city.  Winston-Salem yearly hosts the National Black Theatre Festival, the Heavy Rebel Weekend music fest and the RiverRun International Film Festival. Carolina Music Ways, a grassroots arts organization is centered in Winston-Salem.


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