Nestled close to downtown Winston-Salem is a colonial treasure: The village of Old Salem. Established in 1766 by the Moravians — a Protestant religious group from eastern Europe best known for their cookies and distinctive star motif — the historic town is now a walk-through living history museum. It offers an immersion experience where you can explore the streets and gardens, enter homes and shops, and interact with volunteers in period costume who relay the history of the buildings and the people who lived there.
Old Salem reminds me very much of a mini Williamsburg, Va., and had been on my North Carolina bucket list for a while. It is much larger than I was expecting, and covers 100 acres.
A ticket is not needed to walk the streets, go into shops, or eat in the tavern, but is required for admission to tour the homes and buildings where the historic interpreters are. I highly recommend buying the day ticket so that you can do this. It was fascinating, and my son and I learned a lot.
George Washington slept here — they have a framed handwritten thank you letter to prove it. You’ll get to tour that building and several more.
An expansive outdoor experience like this also provides an excellent opportunity to enjoy a full day of walking. It’s great exercise, and by the end of our time there my son and I were both worn out.
Definitely put Old Salem on your itinerary when you visit this part of North Carolina. The whole family will enjoy it!
Travel tip: Student and AAA discounts are available. Parking at the Visitor’s Center is free.
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