One of the best parts about visiting Winston-Salem in the summer is having plenty of opportunities to escape the heat with indoor attractions. In addition to classic must-sees like Reynolda House Museum of American Art and Old Salem Museums & Gardens, here are some off-the-beaten-path experiences that are super cool…literally. (Listed in no particular order.)
A collaborative effort between the Sutton Initiative for Design Education (S.I.D.E.) and Salem College, the Chair Library houses 45 chairs considered iconic by designers and furniture historians alike. The word “library” here is intentional…visitors can touch, sit, sketch, photograph, study, and be inspired by the collection.
One criteria that must be met of the collection is that all of the chairs on display have to still be in production. While many run upwards of thousands of dollars, it’s not impossible to have one of these beauties in your own home.
Tucked away in Salem’s Elberson Fine Arts Center, the Chair Library is open to the public by appointment only, but the Library’s curator, Dr. Rosa Ortero is often there throughout the day, so sometimes drop-in visitors get lucky enough to pop in for a quick tour.
Bonus Stop: Check out the College’s Single Sisters Museum, one of the most significant buildings in the history of women’s education in the United States.
On the campus of Wake Forest University, the Museum of Anthropology is North Carolina’s only museum dedicated to the study of global cultures. Artifacts from the Americas, Africa, Asia, and Oceania illustrate the story of humanity past and present through everyday objects, ceremonial artifacts, and visual arts.
This summer, you can check out the exhibition “Stoneware on the Silk Roads: Ceramics from the Changsha Kilns.” The exhibit focuses on a single style of Chinese stoneware: Changsha Ware produced at the Tongguan Kilns in modern-day Hunan Province. Learn about the creation of stoneware at the kilns, the transportation routes that carried the pottery throughout the world, and the global consumers who bought and used it through vignettes illustrating each of these topics.
Located in East Winston-Salem, Delta Art Center is an art gallery and cultural center dedicated to showcasing work from black artists across North Carolina. Open to the public and free of admission, the center features rotating exhibits, including this summer’s “Pulse,” which highlights the significance of music and performing arts through paintings and photographs.
Summer is a great time to see blockbuster hits in theater, but our own a/perture Cinema offers a more unique, avant garde movie-going experience thanks to its selection of informative, educational, thought-provoking, and inspiring films. The intimately-sized screening rooms give the theater a nostalgic vibe while locally made wines and craft beers add to the experience. Check out the schedule for currently playing and upcoming flicks that you won’t likely catch anywhere else.
Afterward (or even beforehand), enjoy dinner downtown on Fourth Street with dozens of locally owned restaurants to choose from.
Did you know that Winston-Salem’s Bowman Gray Stadium is NASCAR’s first weekly track? The famed quarter-mile track has been drawing raging fans and roaring engines since 1949. In fact, it was here that Richard Petty won his 100th race.
The Winston Cup Museum explores 33 years of Winston Cup Series stock car racing history. Admire championship memorabilia, more than 20 race cars, cool arcade games, and more that tell the story of Winston-Salem’s place in racing history.
Don’t let the summer heat keep you from enjoying an incredible getaway. Explore the great indoors with these and more one-of-a-kind attractions in Winston-Salem.
Check out VisitWinstonSalem.com/Summer to discover more ways to savor summer in Winston-Salem.