Formed from the union of two neighboring towns, Winston-Salem is an eclectic large city situated in the Piedmont Triad region of North Carolina. The city is largely focused on visual and performing arts, research and innovation, and excellent educational options.
Due to the large size of the city, there are a number of housing options in Winston-Salem, from newly developed downtown condominiums to traditional Southern homes in historic neighborhoods. More than 50 new home communities accommodate the increasing population in Winston-Salem. The cost of living, including home prices, in Winston-Salem is less than that of Raleigh and Charlotte, making this an affordable place to live compared to other large cities in the state.
Lifestyle and Attractions
Winston-Salem is a vibrant performing and visual arts city, filled with entertainment options for history buffs, nature lovers and sports fans. With a population of more than 240,000, Winston-Salem is the fourth largest city in the state and the second largest in the Piedmont Triad region. The largest employers in Winston-Salem include Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, Novant Health, Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools, the city and county government, Reynolds American, Inc., Wells Fargo, and more. Medical research is a fast-growing local industry for the city, and a portion of the downtown area has been designated as the Piedmont Triad Research Park for biomedical and information technology research and development.
Winston-Salem is nicknamed the “City of Arts and Innovation” for its commitment to both the arts and technological research. The city is filled with galleries, studios, performance venues, and a number of establishments focused on creativity. The newly revitalized downtown area is the center of activity and entertainment in Winston-Salem, with a myriad of restaurants, bars, art galleries, boutiques, and entertainment spots. Winston-Salem enjoys a pristine central location near other Triad cities, including High Point and Greensboro, which are approximately 20 and 30 miles away, respectively. Additionally, Winston-Salem residents may access the beach in about three hours and the mountains in just two hours.
Winston-Salem is part of the Winston-Salem/Forsyth School System, the fourth-largest system in the state with 80 schools. There are 15 private schools in the county, and Winston-Salem is home to Salem Academy, one of the most highly esteemed girls’ schools in the country. Winston-Salem is also home to a number of institutions for higher learning, including Wake Forest University, the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, Winston-Salem State University, Salem College, Piedmont International University, and Forsyth Technical Community College.
The city of Winston-Salem originated with the merging of two neighboring towns, Winston and Salem, in 1913.
The original town of Salem dates back to January 1753, when the area’s first Moravian settlers arrived. Salem was a typical Moravian settlement, as the public buildings situated around a central square. These buildings included the church, a Single Brothers’ House and a Single Sisters’ House for unmarried members of the church congregation. Salem was officially incorporated in 1856. In the present day, many of the original buildings in Salem have been restored or rebuilt, and are now included in the Old Salem Museums & Gardens.
In 1849, Salem sold land north of town to the newly formed Forsyth County, where it could house its county seat. The name Winston was given to the town in 1851 to honor a local Revolutionary War hero, Joseph Winston. In 1868, two significant events shaped the history of both Winston and Salem — business leaders began connecting the two towns via railroad and the first tobacco warehouse was established. By the 1880s, there were almost 40 tobacco factories in Winston. The largest two, Hanes and Reynolds, were in heated competition for 25 years, until 1900 when Hanes sold out to Reynolds to enter the textile industry. They then founded was is now called Hanes Brands.
During the 1880s, the post office began referring to the towns as Winston-Salem, and after a 1913 referendum, they were officially incorporated as Winston-Salem. Due to the constant importation of paper and tobacco for the cigarette factories, Winston-Salem became the eighth-largest port of entry in the country by the year 1916. And by 1920, the population increased to 48,395, making it the largest city in the state and the largest between Atlanta and Washington, D.C.
Approximate Distance to:
High Point: 20.5 Miles
Greensboro: 30 Miles
Piedmont Triad International Airport: 23.5 Miles
Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center: 2 Miles
Novant Health Medical Park Hospital: 4 Miles
Novant Health Forsyth Medical Center: 5 Miles
US-52: 1 Mile
I-40: 3.5 Miles
I-74: 6 Miles
Map and Points of Interest
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