By Katie Moosbrugger

You can live 15 minutes away, 45 minutes away, or within walking distance to downtown and there is always something in Winston-Salem worth visiting time and time again. My family and I are constantly discovering new things to do or to see. I love having friends and family come visit so we can show-off our city. The influence of history, culture and arts, along with its appeal to families with children of any age, makes Winston-Salem a fantastic place for a day trip.

Without a doubt, my favorite stop in Winston-Salem is Old Salem Museums and Gardens. Not many cities can boast a living historical center (plus gardens and museums) just steps from the skyscrapers in downtown. No matter when you go you can be assured you’ll see something interesting. Whether you stroll the shops (and sample treats from Winkler Bakery – yum!), or just pitch a picnic in the center courtyard, you might discover a horse and buggy drive by, or witness workers sowing fields in turn-of-the-century garb, or happen upon one of the many historical events it sponsors year-round.

You can literally start your day trip tour at Old Salem, and then walk up either historical Main Street or beautiful Old Salem Road to Kaleideum Downtown. This children’s museum is a must-stop for all young families in the Triad. In addition to its many weekly events, the museum also hosts traveling exhibits which make your visits new and exciting each time.

You can continue a walk to downtown (although with kids I highly recommend driving from here on out for the rest of your visit). Just within the past few months to a year, a bunch of new restaurants and shops have opened along Fourth Street in downtown Winston-Salem (the main drag). Or go north to where Sixth and Trade Streets meet and stroll Winston-Salem’s arts district – complete with art museums, restaurants and quirky shops.

Go west on Fourth, cross Broad Street, and grab a seat outside at the Old Street Filling Station or across the street at either Mozelles or  West End Cafe (all are excellent lunch and dinner restaurants and are great for the kids too). Next to both restaurants is Grace Court, a perfect park to stroll after you dine!

A little further out from downtown and the West End District is Reynolda House, Museum and Gardens. Not only is this an amazing house to tour (check web site to confirm days and times tours are offered), but the grounds surrounding it are just as impressive. Let your kids run free in the front lawn or fly a kite. Take a walk down the path to the lake and old lake house and look for frogs. Lose yourself (but not literally!) in the breathtaking gardens. Stroll the shops at Reynolda Village and dine at the original Village Tavern restaurant.

There are so many other great attractions that are worthy of their own day trips.  A whole day could be devoted to just Tanglewood Park (visit the public pool, climb the life-sized old-fashioned train, pet and feed the horses, etc), or Salem Lake (where you can feed ducks, walk the 7-mile loop around the lake or rent a canoe or boat).

Winston-Salem is also home to Kaleideum North one of our area’s largest hands-on science museums, and Dixie Classic Fair, the 50th largest fair in North America and the second largest in North Carolina that averages more than 325,000 visitors every fall!

I know I just skimmed the possibilities of Winston-Salem. Tell us what your favorite thing is, and what’s a must-do for families day tripping to Winston-Salem!

Check out other Day Trip ideas here