Winston Salem, NC truly has my heart.
I grew up in Kernersville, a small town tucked nicely in between Greensboro and Winston. I moved to Winston about 5 years ago and rented a small studio apartment in the ghetto before I bought and now currently own a house in the beautiful historic downtown of Ardmore. Less than 5 minutes to downtown, and a $7 Uber ride, I am perfectly set up with the convenience of living in the “city”.
As you can imagine, I love supporting local things in and around Winston Salem. This can be from restaurants, bars, coffee shops, or just going for a nice stroll along the streets. There’s so much to do here, and I wanted to point out some of the beauty that is sometimes overlooked by the average person. So, let’s take a walk!
Let’s start with the railroad tracks that run straight through 3rd & 4th street. Conveniently in between these two streets is one the BEST coffee spots in town: Krankies Coffee.
Krankies has two locations with another being in an old airstream trailer off Reynolda Road. The one downtown, however, serves food all day so it’s a good spot to hit up if you are in the area! Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/krankiescoffee/.
As you walk up from Krankies onto 4th street, you will come upon Camel City Tattoo Shop on the corner of Patterson and 4th. The owner used to have a shop in Kernersville, ironically. He seems to be doing really well at this new location. But, beside the tattoo shop is what’s really important here. A “secret” so to speak, right here in Winston. I’ve only been once because well, it’s kind of scary. It’s called the BLACK LODGE. It’s very dark inside, lit by candles, skulls everywhere, graffiti, and I’ve heard you can’t get in unless you know someone (I got lucky once). According to the below article, it’s like an old “speakeasy”. With the letters AAOBL written on the side, this will be a spot I’ll definitely try to venture into again someday. And it’s worth sharing, because even though I was terrified, it’s one of the BEST bars in the city, no lie. Read the article: https://triad-city-beat.com/2015/05/barstool-the-black-lodge/.
Keep walking up Patterson and you’ll pass by Bailey Park, a great spot to chill and relax. In the summertime the park offers music, beers, food trucks, and movies on a giant screen. There’s Yoga in the grass some afternoons during the week for FREE, and lots more. Check it out here: http://baileyparkws.com/.
Walking along here you will find the resurrected part of Winston. This used to be a bunch of old factory buildings, now turned into loft apartments/condos, and a wonderful addition of a Biotech building for Wake Forest.
Still under some construction in between Patterson and North Chestnut, these cranes give me hope that the city is growing into bigger and better things. The lower end of downtown here used to be rough, and I wouldn’t normally just go walk around here. Now, it’s completely welcoming and full of life.
Continuing along 5th Street brings us to a building that everyone should know: RJ Reynolds Tobacco Company. They have completely re-worked this building and made it into a hotel, bar, and high end restaurant. Pricey, but luxurious, it’s worth a visit at least once in your life. You have to be a hotel guest to make it to the rooftop, however, but the ride in the elevators is fun too. 🙂 Keeping with the same floors, walls, and gold light fixtures, this is a wonderful walk through time. Website: http://www.thecardinalhotel.com/
As you leave RJR and head right onto 4th street, a quick right on North Liberty, and you have this nice fancy Grocery Store with a bunch of empty buildings that I assume will be put to good use in the near future. A few blocks up is CRAFTED – The Art of the Taco…this place is to die for. Delicious food, hard to get in, but worth the wait. Across the street from there lays a Reboot Arcade Bar, just opened. It’s a happening spot as well, but I haven’t been yet. On the side of the building, however, is a very beautiful tree mural.
Along Liberty Street lays a bunch of murals worth checking out, and then there’s Art Park to top it off. I could go on for days about all the little in’s and out’s of this downtown world. Every time I walk around it, I find something new.
In conclusion, if you ever have some free time or just want a night out on your feet, I suggest doing so in the middle of Winston Salem. It’s old, rustic, and up and coming. Something for everyone.
Until my next photo exploration, take care! <3 <3