Fall and Holiday Travel Idea: Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Photo: VisitWinstonSalem

Photo: VisitWinstonSalem

If you are looking for a combination of active things to do and historical sightseeing walking tours, great food and weather, consider a trip to Winston-Salem. Located in the center of the state, also known as the Piedmont Triad of North Carolina, between the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Atlantic Ocean, the weather is in the 60s in November and slightly lower in December.

Winston-Salem is considered the gateway to the 1.4 million acre Yadkin Valley, now home to more than 30 wineries. Some of the best wineries in the state are located here. You can visit several in a day since you will find them in clusters. In addition to wine tasting and tours, there are all kinds of winery events, from wine tasting dinners, concerts, tasting courses, festivals and more to check out.

Farmer’s Markets, Football for Fall Fun

Check out the farmer’s markets, like the Clemmons or Tanglewood Park markets, for seasonal produce, grass-fed meats, eggs, cheeses. Or catch a Wake-Forest football game.

Holiday Season Treats

Tanglewood-Festival-of-LightsTanglewood Park Festival of Lights

Entering its 24th season, the Festival of Lights at Tanglewood Park is open nightly from 6-11 p.m. starting Nov. 22–Jan. 3.

Festival of Lights patrons can listen to festive tunes on our interactive musical displays in which the music is original compositions from the UNC School of the Arts Music Technology students. There will be over 80 displays along the route! Also, to make the show more eco-friendly and brighter, majority of all displays will now feature the low-energy LED Lights.

The Holiday Gift Village, located halfway through the light show route, features locally crafted gifts, concessions, and visits from Santa and Mrs. Claus. Gift available at the barn include holiday crafts, wood workings, and other fine items made by over 70 local vendors. Photo opportunities with Santa and Mrs. Claus are available Sunday–Tuesday, and Thursdays from 6–9:30 p.m. and Fridays and Saturdays from 6 p.m. to close. Visitors have the option of paying for tractor-pulled hayrides and horse-drawn carriage rides. Reservations are required and can be placed by calling Tanglewood Stables at (336) 766-9540.

The cost for the Festival of Lights for a family vehicle is $15 for Monday-Thursday and $15 Friday-Sunday. Commercial vans are $35 and motorcoaches are $100 every day.

Carolina Christmas Spectacular

Celebrate the joy and magic of the holiday season at the Winston-Salem Symphony’s Carolina Christmas Spectacular. With Robert Moody, Music Director, as the conductor and master of ceremonies, these concerts have quickly become a Triad holiday tradition.

Perfect for the whole family, Carolina Christmas Spectacular! is a great way to kick off the holiday season. The concerts include a selection of popular and traditional holiday music. Joining the orchestra and Winston-Salem Symphony Chorale (Dr. Christopher Gilliam, Director) will be members of Cirque de la Symphonie, who return this year to thrill audiences with their daring, dazzling, and beautiful aerial and acrobatic feats all choreographed to music. This the third season for the Winston-Salem Symphony’s Carolina Christmas Spectacular! This year, concerts will take place on Saturday, November 28 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, November 29 at 2 p.m. at Reynolds Auditorium, 301 N. Hawthorne Road in Winston-Salem.

Christmas by Candlelight Tours

The popular Christmas by Candlelight Tours begin Friday, November 13 and occur periodically through December 19 with multiple tour times on tour nights. The Christmas by Candlelight tours give visitors a sense of what the holidays were like throughout Salem’s history during the 18th and 19th centuries.

Attendees will tour Salem by lighted lanterns beginning at the Miksch House, where they will learn about 18th-century Moravian Lovefeast and holiday traditions, and enjoy some American Heritage Chocolate® hot drinking chocolate. Then they will move to the Salem Tavern Museum, where they will hear music and enjoy Tavern games like dominoes and checkers. The final stop is the John Vogler House where they will experience elements of a 19th-century Moravian Christmas. Participants will sing carols, hear a reading of A Visit from St. Nick and enjoy hot cider and a traditional Christmas Cake or cookie made using a recipe from 19th-century Salem. The Vogler House is decorated with a Victorian style Christmas tree and Moravian decorations like the town scene “putz.”

Christmas by Candlelight Tours
November 13, 14, 20, 21, 27 & 28
December 11, 17, 18 & 19 (Tours on Dec. 4 and 5 are sold out)
Tour times: 6:30, 7, 7:30 and 8 p.m.

Tours are available to a limited number of people and are booked on a first-come, first-served basis. December 4 and 5 are already sold out. Pre-registration is required. Call 1-800-441-5305 to reserve a spot.


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