A Look into Downtown Winston-Salem: The Present

Downtown Winston-Salem is a busy, bustling destination for people of all ages. There are multiple shops, restaurants, parks, and entertainment venues and it keeps growing. In addition, the area has become a favorite place to live, especially for the millennials. Last month, I looked at the past of the Camel City and how downtown Winston-Salem was built. Now, let’s look at what the City of Arts and Innovation currently offers for Winston-Salem residents and families.

Downtown Winston-Salem is home to many districts, including the Arts District, Theater District, Twin City Quarter, the Wake Forest Innovation Quarter, Courthouse Square, the Holly Avenue Historic Neighborhood, the Goler Heights Neighborhood, and Burke Street, Brookstown Avenue, and the BB&T Ballpark area. All of these areas are known for their distinctive features.

  • The Arts District gives a true display of the many talented artists that reside in the area. It is located between Trade and Liberty Streets, between 5th and 7th People can visit studios, galleries, and shops, while viewing colorful murals painted on the outside of the buildings.
  • The Theater District is known for its year-round theatrical and live performances on the City of Arts and Innovation’s multiple stages. Downtown Winston-Salem is home to over six theatres, including the HanesBrands Theatre, the Milton Rhodes Center for the Arts, the Stevens Center, A/perture Cinema, the Community Arts Café, and Winston Square Park.
  • The Twin City Quarter can be seen mostly on Cherry Street and is composed of the newly renovated Benton Convention Center, Embassy Suites, the Marriott, and the Winston-Salem Journal. Also, there are many shops and restaurants in the district, as well.
  • The Wake Forest Innovation Quarter is the medical side to downtown Winston-Salem. It is located in the eastern part and is a major contributor to the city’s health care and technology research, as well as providing employment.
  • Courthouse Square includes the historic Pepper Building, the original R.J. Reynolds headquarters (today known as the upscale Kimpton Cardinal Hotel and The Katharine Brasserie restaurant), and the County Courthouse. Also, Civic Plaza has become a popular place in the past few years for its many events, music and dance performances, and cultural festivals.
  • Located on the southwestern edge of downtown Winston-Salem, the Holly Avenue Historic Neighborhood is on the National Register of Historic Districts. Buildings in the neighborhood date back to between 1885 and 1952. The Henry Case House, James Jessup House, Calvary Moravian Church, and the T.R. Brann’s store are notable places in the area.
  • The Goler Heights Neighborhood is located along Patterson Avenue and East Sixth Street. This district is used to connect the Arts District and the Wake Forest Innovation Quarter. In 1998, the Goler AME Church decided to bring the area back to life and renovate the former Brown and Williamson tobacco plant (which is now the Gallery Loft apartments), and the Goler Manor and Goler Enrichment Center, along with other changes, including construction of new homes.
  • Burke Street, Brookstown Avenue, and the BB&T Ballpark connects downtown Winston-Salem to Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center and the uptown part of the city. Within this area, there are retail, office, and residential buildings, and of course, a ballpark. The BB&T Ballpark is home to the Winston-Salem Dash baseball team. In addition, Burke Street, Brookstown Avenue, and the BB&T Ballpark are close to Business I-40 and Peters Creek Parkway.

One could spend all day downtown, shopping, eating, and taking in the local sites and entertainment. Numerous shops and restaurants are all over the area and there is a taste for every person. Also, there are multiple parks, including Bailey Park, Washington Park, and the Art Park. Take a step back in time and visit historic Old Salem and Salem College on Church Street. Last, but not least, end your day by taking in a local show or a Gallery Hop. Throughout the year, downtown Winston-Salem hosts cultural festivals, music festivals, 5k races for charities, the Bookmarks festival, and much more. In the past few years, the area has become a great place for singles and families to live and explore.


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