Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Old & Lovely



Sunny Days: 216
44100 Affordability
85100 Schools
53100 Diversity
42100 Safety

North Carolina was where you could have Thanksgiving and feel like it was Thanksgiving.
David H. Murdock

The Best Thing About Winston-Salem?

City Life / Country Vibe

You get city perks, while also feeling like you’re in the country amid historic mansions and estates. You’re just a few short hours from the beach and as well as the Smoky Mountains. This is the kind of place that has local stuff to do but still a quiet, laid back pace.

Winston has some treasures. One is Salem Lake, a large lake with a seven mile trail around it, surrounded by lots of woods. Another is Reynolda Gardens, the former home of RJ and Katharine Reynolds. There's a large green lawn out front (great for a picnic) and lots of walking trails. The house itself is a home to a museum of American art. The downtown transformation has been amazing, including repurposing of old tobacco factories.

Here's a local on the pros of living in Winston-Salem:
It is truly welcoming to all types. As someone said, the city itself leans to the left politically, but the suburbs and surrounding rural areas are very conservative. IMO, the political idealogy diversity a good thing. Nobody seems to shove their politics down your throat here. There are some nice places to eat, and a few good breweries. Not really a "nightclub" scene here, but for me that doesn't matter.

We are a short drive to the Blue Ridge Parkway and an hour or so to Boone for great hiking and other outdoor activities. We also have Hanging Rock State Park and Pilot Mountain just up the highway for an even closer day trip. The city itself is also quite charming. It feels like a really big town more than a small/mid sized city.

For more reviews of what living in Winston-Salem is like from locals check out: The Buzz

The Worst Thing About Winston-Salem?


Pollen and humidity can be wicked.

Here's a local on the pollen / allergy issues:
It’s absolutely awful. I’ve had constant respiratory congestion, a cough, I even thought I might have covid but have no fever/loss of taste… just a really, really shitty allergy season.

Lifestyle of Winston-Salem

W-S is the kind of town that married people who are starting families like. An easy but fun lifestyle, quiet but things to do, food-centric with craft brews and pressed juice and overall, above par schools.

Buena Vista is the hot-spot. Homes there can be much larger than they look on tree-lined streets. Also, stately homes dating to the 1920’s and before with very large square footage and very large, meticulously landscaped lawns.
Nearby is an equally stately but somewhat less lofty area called West Highlands. The fringe areas of this neighborhood border on busy highways and retail establishments so some streets are more desirable than others. This neighborhood is quite hilly which adds to the character but might be daunting for those who like to walk.
Ardmore is one of the few walkable neighborhoods, a charming vintage neighborhood filled with mostly cottages that are well designed and well detailed but more modest than those found in Buena Vista. Several nice small parks, very close proximity to medical facilities.
There are funkier, artsier, eclectic Victorian, gentrified areas that are desirable including West End, West Salem, parts of Washington Park. These areas feature wood-sided Victorian and Craftsman style homes.
The best burbs tend toward the river to the west. Lewisville, Advance and Clemmons offer lower taxes and more house on more land for your money. Good schools, too.

To see what locals do for fun check out the calendar of events:

Why You Should Move Here Now?

Fun with the Chaos

Avoiding big city life/traffic and having enough to do without having everything possible at your fingertips. And Raleigh and Charlotte a short hop away.

Neighborhoods in Winston-Salem

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Young Professionals

Downtown Winston-Salem has gone through a huge transformation. Tobacco warehouses and knitting mills have been converted into beautiful urban lofts, art galleries and businesses. Downtown holds the Arts District, many of the music theaters, and plenty of cool restaurants and bars, which make the day and nightlife jumping around here. Cool loft living within walking distance of all of this fun makes this the starting point for most young professionals.

  • Downtown
  • Holly Avenue

Holly Avenue


Holly Avenue is a cool option for those who want to live within shouting distance of Downtown but get a bit of a break. Just southeast, this neighborhood has seriously fun, colorful bungalows and rejuvenated duplexes for anyone who wants walking access to a social scene but wants it at arm’s-length.

  • Holly Avenue

Sherwood Forest


Sherwood Forrest is a great starting point for a search for families. Classic brick homes fill tree-lined streets with huge lots, great walkable public schools and plenty of parks and sports fields for the little ones to recreate. It also has a great neighborhood pool that acts as a bit of a community center in warmer months. South Fork/Country Club is a posher spot for families, although the housing mix includes everything from massive to ranch-style and condos. Of course it houses a great Country Club but also includes great public schools, a Community Center and a beautiful public park.

  • Sherwood Forest
  • South Fork/Country Club
  • Washington Park

Homestead Hills


Winston-Salem is rated one of the nation’s best places to retire by US News. Some of this is mild weather, some is its low cost of living relative to the more popular cities in North Carolina, and some is due to the quality of healthcare, high safety-ranking, and active foodie and cultural scene. In addition to great neighborhoods, both suburban and city-centric, Winston-Salem has plenty of popular 55+ communities including: Homestead Hills, Arbor Ridge and a Bermuda Village, located just outside the city limits.

  • Homestead Hills
  • Arbor Ridge
  • Bermuda Village