Versatile venues, top-notch restaurants and ample team building activities in Winston-Salem set up this hip North Carolina city for meetings success. Here’s how to get the most out of your conference in this historic place.
WHERE TO STAY & MEET
Buildings rich with history and individual personality make up Winston-Salem’s urban center, where meetings are flourishing thanks to a coveted convention center and updated hotels that are equal parts spacious and sophisticated.
Benton Convention Center and Hotel Complex
Includes Benton Convention Center, Marriott Winston-Salem, and Embassy Suites
A part of downtown Winston-Salem, the Benton Convention Center—one of the largest meeting centers in North Carolina—offers locals and out-of-towners alike 105,000 square feet of meeting space, including exhibit halls, breakout rooms, reception areas, three ballrooms and one boardroom. The two-story building recently underwent a $20 million renovation, adding new windows and skylights for a more contemporary feel, as well as large-scale local artwork that pays homage to the city’s roots. The Benton is connected via skywalk to the Marriott Winston-Salem and Embassy Suites.
Thanks to a recent $20 million renovation, downtown’s Winston-Salem Marriott is sporting a fresh lobby and entrance, 14,000 square feet of refreshed meeting space, contemporary updates to its 319 guest rooms and a new on-site restaurant, Butcher & Bull. Of special note from the revamp is the newly opened M Club, a dedicated working space for business travelers complete with food, drink and coffee stations; a wine and beer selection; scanner and copy machines; and more.
Embassy Suites Winston-Salem
The Embassy Suites Winston-Salem is conveniently connected to Benton Convention Center via a climate-controlled walkway, making the 146-room hotel a top spot to stay when in town for business. On-site, guests are privy to 56,000 square feet of flexible meeting space to accommodate both small and large groups, in addition to a business and fitness center.
Graylyn Estate & International Conference Center
Completed in 1932, the gorgeous and grandiose Graylyn Estate & International Conference Center boasts 25 conference and event rooms (including one uniquely situated atop an indoor pool), totaling 25,000 square feet of meeting space, in addition to 85 guest rooms that transport visitors back in time. Meeting packages abound to accommodate any group size or time frame. And as an added philanthropic bonus, proceeds from corporate meetings and events help fund The Graylyn Scholarship for nearby Wake Forest University.
Historic Brookstown Inn
Historically an 1837 textile mill, The Historic Brookstown Inn presents the ambiance of yesteryear perfectly balanced with the modern conveniences for today’s busy meeting planners.
This historic full-service property in downtown Winston-Salem offers 5,000 square feet of meeting space, and overnight guests feel right at home with complimentary milk and homemade cookies at bedtime. The Brookstown Inn also offers a daily hot breakfast and nightly wine and cheese receptions.
Hotel Indigo Winston-Salem Downtown
Having just opened its doors in April 2019, Hotel Indigo Winston-Salem Downtown—a 75-room boutique hotel set in a charming 1928 Art Deco building—offers a hip setting for hosting meetings and group stays. Sharing the space with the hotel lobby, Sir Winston Wine Loft & Restaurant invites diners for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, for farm-to-table plates with European influence. The wine loft fits 75 to 100 guests and overlooks the restaurant. On the lower level (originally a speakeasy), two boardrooms seat 30 conference style. The six-story hotel is within walking distance to the Benton Convention Center.
Kimpton Cardinal Winston-Salem
Convene in style at Kimpton Cardinal Winston-Salem, where the entire 20th floor can be rented out for the ultimate board retreat or upscale reception. The historic building was once the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company headquarters and sparked inspiration for New York City’s Empire State Building. In addition to 6,375 square feet of modernized meeting space and 174 Art Deco-inspired guest rooms, the prized hotel flaunts a one-of-a-kind recreation room with a two-lane bowling alley and basketball court ideal for teambuilding breaks.
WHERE TO PLAY
When it comes time to break from the boardroom, one-of-a-kind experiences exclusive to the Winston-Salem are right within reach.
When baseball season swings back around in April, take your team to BB&T Ballpark, where group ticket options are on offer for 20-plus guests to watch minor league baseball team, The Dash, take the field. Small and large groups (30 to 258 guests) will want to enjoy Winston-Salem’s warmer weather with the Picnic Terrace package that promises tasty ballpark bites before first pitch. Or opt for a suite, which fits 16 to 32 guests and offers indoor/outdoor seating in a private setting, a refrigerator and an HD TV, among other perks.
Old Salem Historic District
Step back in time at Old Salem Museums & Gardens, settled by Moravians in 1766. Begin your visit at the Old Salem Visitor Center for a video introduction and to purchase an all-in-one admission pass for access to the historic buildings where costumed interpreters reenact trades as they would have been practiced in the 18th and 19th centuries. Group tours have the option of exploring the district with a personal guide, booking a hands-on workshop, or adding on a themed tour through the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts (MESDA). Explore history, culinary, gardening, and more all in one immersive location.
Plan a visit to Tanglewood Park, perfect for teambuilding activities or a leisurely way to unwind after the meeting is done. The 1,100 public park offers two renovated championship golf courses featuring new bunks, resurfaced greens with new turf, and more. Located less than 20 minutes from downtown Winston-Salem, Tanglewood Park also offers horseback riding, walking/running trails, tennis, and more.
WHERE TO EAT
Winston-Salem’s restaurant scene offers welcomed diversity to please any palate, from Southern fare to French cuisine and everything in between. You’ll be hard pressed to find a dish that isn’t to-die-for.
Spring House Restaurant, Kitchen & Bar
At Spring House Restaurant, Kitchen & Bar—situated inside a restored 1920s home on Winston-Salem’s former Millionaire’s Row—executive chef and co-owner Timothy Grandinetti takes signature Southern dishes and adds his own flavorful flair. Tip: Make it a working lunch or dinner via the boardroom on the second level that accommodates up to 20 people. Private dining rooms are also upstairs, ideal when a quieter space is needed for client meetings.
The Katharine Brasserie & Bar
Adding to the charm of the Kimpton Cardinal Winston-Salem, The Katharine Brasserie & Bar—named after R.J. Reynold’s wife who helped shape the Winston-Salem community in the early 1900s—is nestled on the main level of the historic hotel and makes for a prime stop to refuel before your next executive meeting or training session. Executive chef Adam Barnett serves delectable French-inspired fare to locals and guests for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Don’t forget to pop back by the bar for an after-five drink.
The Porch Kitchen and Cantina
For a more casual setting that still promises delicious dishes, secure a table at The Porch Kitchen and Cantina, where classic Tex-Mex bites and, of course, margaritas abound. A local favorite, The Porch is nestled in the historic West End Millworks complex neighboring a craft brewery, glassblowing studio, yoga studio, and more. Working off-site but still craving the restaurant’s cuisine? Ask the expert team about catering options or order online for a speedy pick-up process.
Foothills Brewing & Footnote Café
Sample a taste of Winston-Salem at Foothills Brewing where local craft beer pairs perfectly with inspired menu items and daily chef features. The downtown brewpub offers a private dining area on the lower level that seats 30, while the upstairs mezzanine can accommodate groups up to 70 people. Foothills also offers a variety of catering options to help feed your hungry crew.
For larger space, consider Footnote Café. The brewmasters behind the award-winning Foothills craft beer brand also know a thing or two of roasting coffee. Footnote neighbors the downtown brewpub and includes special event space seating up to 250 with full-service catering and bar options, as well as state of the art audio-visual capabilities.