Winston-Salem was established in the 1700s by Moravians, Protestants who spoke German, and many tourists are unaware of this fact. It is also known as Salem Institution, established by the Moravians in 1772, and is the country’s first women’s college. As a result, it’s safe to argue that this town is historically and culturally significant.
It is also known for its natural beauty since it is situated between the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Atlantic Ocean.
If you visit this attractive area of the nation, you will be pleasantly surprised by the variety of things to see and do despite its tiny population. The city has expanded its appeal as a hub of art, culture, and cuisine while still paying tribute to its heritage.
Winston-Salem has a lot to offer visitors, especially people under 21, from shopping to parks to living history museums.
Let’s look at some of Winston-Salem’s top attractions ideal for under-21s with this list.
List of Contents
- 1. Old Salem Museums and Gardens
- 2. Quarry at the Grant Park
- 3. Safari Nation
- 4. Winston Cup Museum
- 5. Downtown Winston Salem Strollway
- 6. Winston Square Park
- 7. Black Mountain Chocolate Factory
- 8. Triad ECO Adventures
- 9. Reynolda Village Shops & Restaurants
- 10. Reynolda House Museum of American Art
- 11. Southeastern Center For Contemporary Art
1. Old Salem Museums and Gardens
Local volunteers first renovated the Old Salem Museums and Garden in the 1950s as a community endeavor. Many old buildings and gardens have been preserved not just for under-21s but for all ages to admire.
The museums and gardens are inside the Historic District, where you can visit, dine, and shop while you learn everything about the cultural importance of Winston-Salem. These are also popular for weddings, business celebrations, and other special gatherings.
Depending on the buildings, you can join a guided tour with a pleasant narrator or choose to roam about at your leisure and take in the views on a self-guided walking tour.
The Old Salem Heritage Bridge is a prominent feature of the environment of Old Salem Museums & Gardens that you should not miss. Renowned preservation engineer David A. Fischetti created this massive wood frame bridge to resemble historic 19th-century bridges.
2. Quarry at the Grant Park
Instead of traveling nearly 700 miles, what if you could see some of North Carolina’s unique geology in just an hour? Doesn’t it seem impossible? More is possible when you visit Winston-Quarry Salem’s Park, recently renamed “The Quarry at Grant Park.”
Also, if you plan to be a geologist or scientist, this attraction is an excellent start!
Quarry Park is 228 acres in size and is owned and operated by the City of Winston-Recreation Salem and the Parks Department. It includes approximately 22 acres of open space, 12 acres of support facilities, 16 acres of open water, 178 acres of mature hardwood/pine forest, and 1.6 miles of bike/walking trails.
You can all see igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary rocks with interpretive signage describing each rock type along the trail. A local geologic map for each boulder illustrates the donor site’s area geology and QR Codes linking to more STEM educational materials.
Furthermore, the park is a recognized Wildlife Habitat Site with the National and North Carolina Wildlife Federations and an active participant in Bee City USA, providing essential pollinator habitat for various native species. Don’t miss the Quarry at the Grant Park on your trip to Winston-Salem if you also love wildlife!
3. Safari Nation
Safari Nation is a family entertainment facility, most often referred to as a Children’s Fitness Center. This attraction quickly gained widespread popularity due to its clean, safe, and secure atmosphere. It allows people under 21 to burn off some energy regardless of the weather.
It has play spaces that pleasantly promote physical activity. Under-21s can play retro video games in a safe, lively setting or rest in the Coconut Cabana.
With a jungle gym, zipline, bumper cars, and inflatables, you are more encouraged to keep healthy and active while having fun.
The Safari Nation Ballocity Fun Zone, the most famous play area, is a one-of-a-kind play area you should not skip. You can climb and play on multi-level platforms equipped with blasters, vacuum cannons, and buckets capable of propelling, throwing, raising, vacuuming, and dumping thousands of soft foam balls.
4. Winston Cup Museum
The Winston Cup Museum is an excellent place for NASCAR fans to hang out and learn more about the sport. The museum was established in 2005 by NASCAR racing and motorsports fan Will Spencer.
If you belong to people under 21 who want to be a racer, this site is a must-visit! It shows you several racing automobiles and artifacts linked to racing, and you can stroll through the history of racing in this region of the globe.
Numerous hands-on activities, such as driving a virtual racing car on one of the facility’s many simulators, are available for an unforgettable experience.
5. Downtown Winston Salem Strollway
The Downtown Strollway connects Fourth Street to the Old Salem Visitors Center and Salem Avenue in Winston-Salem. The route is constantly evolving in response to new downtown road improvements and currently includes additional pedestrian bridges and increased connectivity.
If you want to stroll downtown, the Winston-Salem Strollway is an ideal site for you. You’ll travel through a historic location, take in the city’s stunning skyline, and stroll down a crushed-stone walkway evocative of renowned parks across the globe.
The Strollway connects Winston-contemporary Salem’s central business district to historic Old Salem. The first portion takes you under I-40, while the second half-mile takes you to the Old Salem Visitor Center. The Strollway terminates a half-mile beyond the visitor center at West Salem Avenue, linking to the nicely paved and lengthy Salem Creek Greenway.
Make sure to experience the Salem Creek Greenway for added sightseeing enjoyment. It stretches beside Salem Creek from Marketplace Mall to Salem Lake Park, passing via Washington Park, Broad Street, Main Street, Happy Hill, and Reynolds parks. You’ll see bikers, runners, skaters, and more along this path.
6. Winston Square Park
At 310 Marshall St., Winston Square Park is near the Sawtooth School, the Milton Rhodes Center for the Arts, and the YMCA condominiums. It acts as an ideal gateway between Marshall and Spruce Streets and attracts visitors of all ages seeking a moment of tranquillity in an urban park.
The city created the park in 1982, with the assistance of preservationist Arthur Cotton Moore of Washington, DC, to convert a parking lot next to Sawtooth School for Visual Arts into a public performance venue. Winston Square Park is a fantastic place for the whole family.
The park’s foundation comprises a giant Japanese waterfall garden, a meandering catwalk, a stage, and a theater.
People under 21 can ride skateboards, play chess, or come to stretch their legs on a bright day.
The unusual architecture of Winston Square Park’s amphitheater makes it a popular venue for concerts and other events. So, if you love music, keep yourself updated, and don’t forget to visit the facility!
7. Black Mountain Chocolate Factory
If you love chocolates and have ever wanted to see a genuine chocolate factory, the Black Mountain Chocolate Factory, conveniently situated in Winston-downtown Salem’s district, is the place to go.
People of all ages are welcome to visit the factory, which offers self-guided tours and guided tours led by professional guides who will explain how the facility came to be and bring you through the chocolate-making process.
The most incredible thing to do here is to purchase a variety of the factory’s goods on-site, ideal for anybody with a sweet taste.
8. Triad ECO Adventures
If you want to explore Winston-Salem in style, then there is no better way to do it than with a fun and thrilling Segway tour around the city.
Triad ECO Adventures is best known for its Segway trips. Before touring the city of Winston-Salem for 2 hours on a Segway, the staff will present you with complete safety instruction, which includes a specific obstacle course. You can also try one of Triad ECO’s stand-up paddleboard (SUP) excursions since SUP courses are also offered via Triad ECO.
Furthermore, Triad ECO also sells e-Bikes and e-Skateboards, two more green leisure equipment. If you want to experience those, don’t forget to include this site in your Winston-Salem trip.
9. Reynolda Village Shops & Restaurants
Reynolda Village is made of lovely antique structures that initially supported the R.J. Reynolds family’s 1,067-acre estate.
The structures, designed like an English village, comprised dairy barns, a cowshed, a school, a post office, a smokehouse, a blacksmith shop, and a carriage house. Download the Reynolda Revealed app for a free self-guided tour of ancient Reynolda Village.
These ancient structures currently house a diverse collection of stores, restaurants, shops, and services. Relax at your favorite restaurant, explore shops for the perfect outfit or accessory, eat a hot made-to-order doughnut, join a DIY class with friends, have your hair or nails done, attend a fitness class, or wander the grounds and take in the gorgeous landscape.
Visit the Museum Store at Reynolda House to maximize your trip here. You’ll discover books, catalogs, jewelry, arts and crafts activities, and home décor, among other things. Merchandise is inspired by Reynolda’s internationally famous collection of American art, special exhibits, the grounds and gardens, and the estate’s rich history and occupants.
10. Reynolda House Museum of American Art
The Reynolda House Museum of American Art gives a beautiful peek into the lives of a family that helped determine the city’s history. On a sprawling 1067-acre estate, the house formerly belonged to tobacco tycoon R.J. Reynolds and his first wife, Katherine.
Developed in 1917, the Reynolda House is a memorial to how the upper class lived, boasting huge facilities for greeting visitors, a stunning indoor pool, a bowling alley, and a life-sized dollhouse. The house includes a great collection of American art spanning 300 years, including work by painters such as Mary Cassatt and Georgia O’Keefe.
Don’t miss the gardens, which cover four acres, are filled with beautiful roses, exotic flowers, shrubs, and even vegetables, all in keeping with the original intentions for the Reynolds family’s gardens from a hundred years ago.
11. Southeastern Center For Contemporary Art
This center contains practically everything you need to make a good impression if you like art at your age.
Also known as SECCA, the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art is the ideal location to visit to taste the burgeoning art scene in Winston-Salem.
The center shows the work of a range of local artists as there are changing exhibitions throughout the year. There are also presentations by national and international artists.
Film nights are presented here as part of the Film At SECCA program. Also, the center regularly hooks up with the Metropolitan Opera to provide musical evenings throughout the year.
Winston-Salem, North Carolina, has something for everyone, as we discovered when researching the best things to do in the city. Whether you’re a foodie, an outdoors enthusiast, or a history buff, there’s enough to fill your vacation trip in Winston-Salem.
The city is ideal for a short weekend trip, a more extended vacation, or a long-term relocation. Winston-Salem is an excellent base from which to explore the best of North Carolina.
Have you ever visited Winston-Salem? Do you have anything else you’d want to add? Leave a comment below to tell us what you found fascinating about this city.