11 Must-See Attractions In Old Salem Nc

things to do in old salem nc

Step back in time and immerse yourself in the rich history of North Carolina's Old Salem district, a place where the past merges with the present. With a long and colorful history dating back to the early Moravian settlers in the 18th Century, Old Salem offers a range of attractions that showcase the area's eclectic culture and rich heritage. From quaint historical homes to museums, gardens and iconic landmarks, we've curated a list of the best attractions you don't want to miss on your next trip to Old Salem. Join us as we take a journey through time and explore the 11 must-see attractions that make Old Salem NC a true gem of the south.

Activity Description
Old Salem Museums and Gardens Living history museum showcasing early Southern Moravian settlement
Salem Tavern Museum Restored 1784 tavern that serves as a museum of early American life
St. Philips Moravian Church 1800s Moravian church with guided tours and bell tower climbs
God's Acre Cemetery Final resting place for Salem's Moravian community members
Winkler Bakery Bakery from the 1800s that still serves Moravian baked goods
Single Brothers' House Former residence for single Moravian men with guided tours
Old Salem Visitor Center Information center for visitors to the historic district
Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts Exhibits on Southern decorative arts from 17th to 19th centuries


Old Salem Museum and Gardens

Source: traveladdicts.net

Old Salem is a historic district situated in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, that offers visitors a glimpse into the lives of the 18th and 19th-century Moravian community through its remarkable preservation efforts. Old Salem Museum and Gardens are at the heart of this district, consisting of several beautifully restored buildings and gardens that serve as a living history museum.

The museum boasts a vast collection of more than 35,000 artifacts that historians have meticulously preserved and curated. Among the collections are furniture, textiles, ceramics, metalwork, and other fine and decorative arts. Furthermore, the district has more than 100 buildings, with approximately 90 percent of them documented to be original and structurally unchanged for hundreds of years.

The museum garden, covering about one-half acre of Old Salem’s original site, dates to the founding of the town in the mid-18th century. The four walled gardens contain various herb and horticultural plants, and visitors can see gardeners using historic techniques such as composting and seed saving to maintain the authenticity of the landscape. The quant gardens are also home to garden produce that is fresh and seasonal and offered to visitors.

One of the museum's famous components is the costumed historical interpreters who bring the buildings, gardens, and exhibits to life. They provide an explanation and context about the lives of the Moravian community that shaped Old Salem. They are the fountain of knowledge that tells the tales of goods, foodways, healthcare, and other cultural aspects, which create a spectacular interactive experience for visitors.

In conclusion, the Old Salem Museum and Gardens offers a great opportunity for visitors to immerse themselves in the world of a North Carolina Moravian community from the past. The living history experience is an excellent place for visitors to learn more about the rich culture and heritage of Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The museum is a must-visit destination for those looking to learn more about the history of the United States and the pioneers who helped shape it.


Salem Tavern

Source: commons.wikimedia.org
Characteristic Description
NameThe Tavern In Old Salem
Rating / Review count4.6 / 728
Address736 S Main St, Winston-Salem, NC 27101
Phone(336) 722-1227

Old Salem NC is a fantastic historical destination with several fascinating sites worth exploring. One such site is the Salem Tavern, a colonial-style inn that has served as a place for rest and entertainment since the eighteenth-century.

Located at 831 South Main Street, the Salem Tavern was constructed in 1784 and has undergone several transformations over the years, with the most prominent being the renovation in the 1920s. The renovations were undertaken to restore the tavern to its original state and turn it into a cultural destination for the public.

The Salem Tavern is renowned for its rich history and the luxurious amenities it offers to guests. The moment you step through its doors, you are transported back in time to the 18th century. The Tavern's ambiance is further reinforced with its carefully preserved colonial-style architecture and décor, including period furnishings, antiques, and artifacts.

One of the most appealing aspects of the Salem Tavern is its legendary cuisine, which is rooted in Southern and Moravian traditions. The dishes prepared in Salem Tavern are delicious, and the staff is always friendly and willing to make your dining experience unforgettable. The menu features a wide range of options, such as fresh salads, sandwiches, soups, and entrees like roast beef and grilled chicken.

Apart from dining, the Salem Tavern has something for everyone interested in American history and culture. You can check out the cry room, a space where mothers could take their infants during church services, the 1799 Boys' School, or take a stroll in the gardens and admire the picturesque views of the tavern.

Visiting the Salem Tavern is an incredible and informative experience that will allow you to learn more about the history of Old Salem and the people who have lived there. It is an excellent destination for history buffs, foodies, and anyone in need of a luxurious getaway. So, if you happen to be in Old Salem, NC, remember to stop by the Salem Tavern and enjoy a true colonial experience.

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Winkler Bakery

Source: www.youtube.com
Characteristic Description
NameWinkler Bakery
WebsiteGo to website
Rating / Review count4.6 / 206
Address521 S Main St, Winston-Salem, NC 27101
Phone(336) 721-7302
HoursSunday - Closed
Monday - Closed
Tuesday - Closed
Wednesday - 10 AM–4 PM
Thursday - 10 AM–4 PM
Friday - 10 AM–4 PM
Saturday - 10 AM–4 PM

Old Salem, North Carolina, is a unique community that strives to preserve its Moravian history and culture. The historic district welcomes visitors from all over the world to experience what life was like in the 18th and early 19th centuries. One of the highlights of Old Salem is Winkler Bakery, where visitors can witness the baking traditions of the past and enjoy fresh, flavorful baked goods.

Today, Winkler Bakery is operated by Old Salem Museums & Gardens and is open to the public. Visitors can tour the bakery and watch bakers dressed in traditional Moravian clothing as they create authentic baked goods using 19th-century techniques. The aroma of fresh-baked bread and pastries fills the air, creating an immersive experience that transports visitors back in time.

In addition to its tasty treats, Winkler Bakery is also a center of education. The bakery offers a variety of classes and workshops, ranging from bread baking to the history of Moravian baking traditions. These programs provide valuable insights into the history and culture of Old Salem and offer participants the chance to learn new skills and create their own baked goods.


Mesda (The Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts)

Source: mesda.org
Characteristic Description
TypeTourist attraction in Winston-Salem, North Carolina
WebsiteGo to website
Rating / Review count4.5 / 44
Address924 S Main St, Winston-Salem, NC 27101
Phone(336) 721-7360
HoursSunday - Closed
Monday - Closed
Tuesday - Closed
Wednesday - 10 AM–4 PM
Thursday - 10 AM–4 PM
Friday - 10 AM–4 PM
Saturday - 10 AM–4 PM

The museum is located in the heart of Old Salem, a historic district in North Carolina that was founded by the Moravian Church in 1753. The Moravians were highly skilled craftsmen and built their community around the principles of simplicity and order. This ethos was evident in the objects they created, which were both functional and beautiful.

Mesda's collection includes over 28,000 objects, ranging from furniture and textiles to ceramics and metals. Each item in the museum has been meticulously researched and cataloged, providing a valuable insight into life in the South during the colonial and early national periods. The collection includes pieces from throughout the Southern region, including Virginia, Maryland, South Carolina, and Georgia.

One of the most impressive aspects of the Mesda collection is the combination of artistry and function. Each object is a testament to the skill of the craftsman who created it, and yet each item was also designed with a specific purpose in mind. For example, many of the pieces of furniture on display were created with storage in mind, featuring hidden compartments and drawers that were used for everything from storing valuables to concealing weapons.

The Mesda collection is also notable for its diversity. The museum includes pieces crafted by African American, Native American, and European American craftsmen, providing a rich and nuanced look at the cultural influences that shaped early Southern society. This diversity is underscored by the fact that many of the objects in the collection were created for both practical and aesthetic purposes, demonstrating the ways in which functionality and beauty were intertwined during this period.

Overall, a visit to Mesda (The Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts) in Old Salem, NC is an unforgettable experience. This museum offers a unique insight into the cultural and artistic history of the Southern United States, and the beautifully crafted objects on display provide a window into a world that is both distant and familiar. Whether you are a history buff, an art lover, or simply looking for a fascinating and educational day out, Mesda is a must-visit destination.


St. Philips Moravian Church

Source: www.moravian.org

Amidst the charming streets and well-preserved buildings of Old Salem, stands the oldest African American church in the Moravian faith – St. Philips Moravian Church. Originally established in 1861, the church is a symbol of religious resilience and cultural significance.

The church is located on South Church Street, and its building is a beautiful example of Gothic Revival architecture. The structure was initially built in 1871 in an effort initiated by a group of African American Moravian communities that requested the establishment of a separate church that they could call their own. It stands as an essential testament to the African American community's role in the Moravian tradition and is a cherished piece of the local heritage.

Throughout its history, St. Phillips Moravian Church has been an integral part of the local community. The church has committed itself to serving the spiritual needs of the people of Old Salem without running facilities that were common to other predominantly white Moravian churches. Despite its small size, the church was a vibrant hub of communal activity where members of the congregation gathered for worship, fellowship, and education. Many African American schools and organizations, such as the Colored Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA), used the church's facilities to carry out their work, and it played an essential role in promoting social justice and civil rights issues.

For over a century, the congregation of St. Phillips Moravian Church has faced many challenges, including segregation, Jim Crow laws, and racial injustice. Despite all these struggles, the church remained steadfast in its commitment to provide spiritual guidance and support to its members throughout the years.

Today, the St. Philips Moravian Church stands as a testament to the enduring spirit of African American heritage in Old Salem, NC. Its contributions to the community's history and culture are significant and inspire a sense of pride and reverence for the region's diverse past.

In conclusion, the St. Philips Moravian Church is a historic landmark in Old Salem, NC, worth visiting. Its role in the African American community's religious and cultural history represents an essential part of the local heritage and should be cherished by all. Whether you are a spiritual seeker or a history enthusiast, a visit to St. Philips Moravian Church is a must-do on your Old Salem itinerary.

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God's Acre

Source: www.tripadvisor.com
Characteristic Description
NameSalem Moravian God's Acre
TypeCemetery in Winston-Salem, North Carolina
WebsiteGo to website
Rating / Review count5 / 6
AddressCovers 12 acre area, boundaries not shown, Cedar Ave, Winston-Salem, NC 27101
Phone(336) 722-6504
HoursSunday - 7 AM–8 PM
Monday - 7 AM–8 PM
Tuesday - 7 AM–8 PM
Wednesday - 7 AM–8 PM
Thursday - 7 AM–8 PM
Friday - 7 AM–8 PM
Saturday - 7 AM–8 PM

Old Salem, located in Winston Salem, North Carolina, is a living museum that takes you back to the 18th and 19th centuries. One of the unique and historical sites within Old Salem is God's Acre, a Moravian burial ground.

The Moravians brought their traditions to the colonies, and their community in Old Salem was self-sufficient, industrious, and deeply religious. They reserved God's Acre as a burial ground for their members, believing that the land was consecrated and would provide a peaceful resting place for their loved ones.

Today, God's Acre is part of the Old Salem Historic District and is still used by the Moravian church for its members. It is a picturesque site that is often visited by tourists and locals.

The cemetery has around 6,500 graves, some of which are elaborate and ornate with towering headstones and intricate designs. Most of the graves, however, are simple markers with only names and dates. The Moravians believed that each person was equal in death, and so there are no class distinctions in God's Acre.

Visitors can take a peaceful stroll through the cemetery and see the graves of prominent Moravians such as Johann Friedrich Peter and Salem founder Christian Gottlieb Schultze. Events such as the Easter Sunrise Service, Burning of the Palms, and Candle Tea, which commemorates the traditional Moravian Christmas Eve, take place in God's Acre.


Salem College

Source: lostinthecarolinas.com
Characteristic Description
NameSalem College
TypeLiberal arts college in Winston-Salem, North Carolina
WebsiteGo to website
Address601 S Church St, Winston-Salem, NC 27101
Phone(336) 721-2600

The campus of Salem College is a beautiful blend of historic architecture and modern facilities. The campus is situated on a hill overlooking the charming streets of Old Salem. The college has retained its historic buildings, including the Main Hall, which was built in 1805 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

In addition to its academic programs, Salem College is renowned for its study abroad opportunities. The college offers semester-long programs in several countries, including France, Spain, England, and Italy. These programs are designed to give students a unique opportunity to immerse themselves in a different culture and gain a global perspective.

In conclusion, Salem College is an integral part of the historic Old Salem community. Its commitment to providing women with an outstanding education has made it a leader in women's higher education. Its beautiful campus, rigorous academic programs, and commitment to diversity and inclusivity make it a standout institution.


Single Brothers' House

Source: en.wikipedia.org
Characteristic Description
NameSingle Brothers House
TypeMuseum in Winston-Salem, North Carolina
WebsiteGo to website
Rating / Review count5 / 1
Address600 S Main St, Winston-Salem, NC 27101
HoursSunday - Closed
Monday - 10 AM–4 PM
Tuesday - 10 AM–4 PM
Wednesday - 10 AM–4 PM
Thursday - 10 AM–4 PM
Friday - 10 AM–4 PM
Saturday - 10 AM–4 PM

The Single Brothers House is one of the oldest and most significant buildings in the Old Salem historic district, located in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. This impressive structure was built in 1769 to house the unmarried men of the Moravian Church.

The Single Brothers House was designed to accommodate up to 50 men, who were primarily craftsmen and were responsible for working in the various shops and trades in the town. The building was constructed in the traditional Moravian style and features a central hall with rooms on either side.

The first floor of the Single Brothers House was used as a communal dining area and kitchen. The second and third floors were where the bedrooms were located. The rooms were small and sparsely furnished, with a simple bed, a table, and a chair.

In addition to providing living quarters for the men, the Single Brothers House also had its own bakery, brewery, and slaughterhouse. The men were responsible for producing their own food and goods and were also required to attend daily devotions and work in the various trades around the town.

The Single Brothers House played an important role in the development and growth of Old Salem. The building was the center of the Moravian community, and many important decisions were made within its walls. It was also a place where women and children could come to learn new skills and participate in social events.

Today, the Single Brothers House is open to the public and serves as a museum. Visitors can tour the building and learn about the daily life and work of the Moravian brothers who lived there. The museum also features exhibits on the history and culture of the Moravian Church and the town of Salem.

In conclusion, the Single Brothers House is a fascinating piece of North Carolina history and an important part of the Old Salem historic district. Its unique architecture and rich history make it a must-see attraction for anyone visiting the area.

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Moravian Pottery and Crafts Shop

Source: www.oldsalem.org

Old Salem, North Carolina, is home to a rich history dating back to the Moravian settlers who originally founded the town in 1766. Today, visitors to Old Salem can walk the original cobblestone streets and step into the past by visiting the Moravian Pottery and Crafts Shop.

The Moravian Pottery and Crafts Shop has been a staple in Old Salem for over a century. It was established in 1897 by the Moravian Church as a way to provide meaningful employment to women in the community. As the name suggests, the shop originally focused on pottery production, but today it offers a wide range of handcrafted items, including jewelry, textiles, and home decor.

One of the defining features of the Moravian Pottery and Crafts Shop is its dedication to traditional techniques and materials. Each piece is handmade using methods that have been passed down through generations of artisans. This commitment to quality and craftsmanship is evident in every item sold in the shop.

Visitors to the store can browse the impressive selection of handmade goods while learning about the history and legacy of the Moravian people. Knowledgeable staff members are on hand to answer questions and share insights into the production process.

In addition to selling handmade goods, the Moravian Pottery and Crafts Shop is also committed to community outreach. The shop donates a portion of its proceeds to local charities and works with area schools to promote hands-on learning experiences.

So if you find yourself in Old Salem, North Carolina, be sure to visit the Moravian Pottery and Crafts Shop. It’s a living testament to the history and traditions of the Moravian people, as well as a hub of artistic talent and community support.


Paul's Episcopal Cemetery

Source: www.findagrave.com

Old Salem, North Carolina is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in history, architecture, or culture. Located in Winston-Salem, Old Salem is a historic district that dates back to the early days of the United States. This area provides a glimpse into the lives of early settlers in the region and offers visitors an opportunity to learn about the customs, traditions, and daily life of the past.

One of the most intriguing sites in Old Salem is Pauls Episcopal Cemetery. This cemetery is located adjacent to St. Paul's Episcopal Church, which was established in 1776. The cemetery is an essential part of the history and culture of Old Salem.

The cemetery is the final resting place of many of the area's early settlers, including some of the most prominent citizens of their time. While many of the graves are marked with traditional headstones, there are also many unmarked graves. These graves serve as a testament to the hardship and sacrifice that many of the area's early settlers made in the name of progress and prosperity.

Walking through the cemetery, visitors can see the evolution of tombstone styles throughout the centuries. Some of the earliest headstones in the cemetery date back to the 18th century and were created from a single piece of stone. These simplistic headstones often feature intricate carvings and designs, which provide insight into the cultural practices of the time.

Visitors should also take note of some of the more unique headstones in the cemetery. One notable example is the headstone of Samuel Eusebius McCorkle, a Presbyterian minister and educator who played a significant role in the history of the region. His headstone features a winged cherub kneeling beside an open book, symbolizing the victory of life over death.

Visitors seeking a more immersive experience can participate in one of the many guided tours offered in the cemetery. Experienced guides can provide a wealth of information on the history, architecture, and cultural practices of the area. During these tours, visitors can learn about the various burial customs and traditions of the early settlers, as well as the significance of the cemetery's architecture and design.

In conclusion, Pauls Episcopal Cemetery is one of the most interesting and unique sites in Old Salem, NC. It offers visitors a glimpse into the past and provides an understanding of the cultural practices and traditions of the area's early settlers. A visit to the cemetery is a must-do for anyone interested in the history and culture of North Carolina.


Graylyn International Conference Center

Source: www.graylyn.com
Characteristic Description
NameThe Graylyn Estate
Type4-star hotel
WebsiteGo to website
Rating / Review count4.7 / 432
Address1900 Reynolda Rd, Winston-Salem, NC 27106
Phone(800) 472-9596

Old Salem NC is a historic district in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, with a rich historical background dating back to the early Moravian settlement in the late 1700s. One of the focal points of this district is the Graylyn International Conference Center, which has been a hub for academic and business conferences since its establishment in 1927.

The Graylyn Estate, which houses the conference center, was built by Bowman Gray Sr., a wealthy businessman and philanthropist, as his family residence. The estate is a classic example of Georgian-style architecture, with lush gardens and vintage buildings that envelop the entire estate. The Graylyn Estate was opened to the public as a conference center in 1984, following the Gray family's burning desire to share its history and legacy with the world.

The Graylyn International Conference Center prides itself on a unique combination of historic charm and modern luxury, making it a great venue for conferences, weddings, and other social events. The center features 123 unique guest rooms and suites, all of which have been impeccably decorated to provide a comfortable and memorable stay. The rooms are luxurious, with high ceilings, ornate fireplaces, and period furniture.

Regardless of the event, the conference center boasts dedicated and experienced planners who offer customized Meeting Packages to fit any group size or event and offer state-of-the-art audio-visual equipment and complimentary Wi-Fi services. The conference center also has a full-service fitness center, outdoor pool, and tennis court that guests can use during their stay.

One of the main features of the Graylyn Estate is the unique architecture that features a blend of French and English influences. The landscape itself is also breathtaking, with several gardens, ponds, and fountains that offer scenic views to guests.

In conclusion, the Graylyn International Conference Center at Old Salem NC is a treasure trove of both historical and modern significance. The Gray family has done an excellent job preserving its rich history, offering guests a unique experience by providing first-class luxury services and ample space that will make their stay comfortable and memorable. Visit the Graylyn Estate to experience its breathtaking ambiance and all it has to offer.

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Frequently asked questions

Some of the top attractions in Old Salem include the Old Salem Museums & Gardens, the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts, and Salem Square. Additionally, visitors can tour historic homes and buildings, try traditional Moravian treats, and shop for handcrafted goods.

Yes, Old Salem hosts a variety of events and festivals throughout the year, including the Easter Sunrise Service, Independence Day celebrations, and the popular Salem Christmas Candlelight Tours. There are also regular workshops, talks, and demonstrations that are open to the public.

Yes, visitors can stay overnight in Old Salem at the historic Brookstown Inn or at one of the many charming bed and breakfasts in the area. These accommodations offer a unique experience of staying in a historic Moravian village, with convenient access to local attractions and activities.

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Adrian Anthony

I recently had the chance to spend the day in Old Salem NC, and it was like stepping into a time capsule. The Baker’s House was one of my favorite stops, where I got to see how they made bread and other baked goods using traditional techniques. The smell of freshly baked bread was irresistible! I also loved strolling through the gardens and admiring the beautiful flowers and plants. It was a peaceful and serene escape from the hustle and bustle of modern life. If you’re looking for a relaxing and educational day trip, Old Salem NC is the perfect place to go!

Ava Johnson

I recently visited Old Salem NC and had the most amazing time exploring the historic district! One of my favorite things to do was to take a guided tour of the Moravian settlement and learn about the fascinating history of the area. The costumed interpreters were so knowledgeable and brought the buildings and artifacts to life. I also loved wandering around the beautiful gardens and stopping by the bakery for some delicious Moravian cookies. It truly felt like stepping back in time!

Mollie Sullivan

I had the pleasure of visiting Old Salem NC last weekend and it was such a charming and quaint experience. The cobblestone streets and old-fashioned buildings really transported me to a different era. I highly recommend checking out the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts, where you can see an incredible collection of furniture, ceramics, and textiles from the 18th and 19th centuries. I also enjoyed exploring the shops and boutiques in the area, which offer unique and handmade crafts. Old Salem NC is definitely a must-visit for history and art lovers!

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