The Northern Foothills Region Of The Piedmont
Art, history, wine tasting, shopping – there’s so much to see and do in the North Carolina northern foothills, it’s hard to know where to start. Anchored by the cities of Greensboro, High Point and Winston-Salem, the area known simply as the Triad, encompasses world renowned furniture shopping, living history and North Carolina’s only federally designated viticulture region, the Yadkin Valley, where you can tour the wineries and sample award winning North Carolina wines.
Arts, entertainment and attractions of all types flourish in the northern foothills. From the magnificent collection of American art at Reynolda House in Winston-Salem, to the Mattye Reed African Heritage Collection at North Carolina A & T State University in Greensboro, to the North Carolina Shakespeare Festival in High Point, both the visual and the performing arts are well represented. Learn about world cultures at the Museum of Anthropology at Wake Forest University or get totally immersed in art, outer space, dinosaurs or the sea at the OmniSphere-Total Immersion Theater of the Triad at the Greensboro Science Center. The center also boasts the Animal Discovery Zoological Park, a great way to kick off a day with the animals when you add the North Carolina Zoo in Asheboro to your trip.
After the zoo, check out the other gazillion things to do in the area, such as the American Classic Motorcycle Company and Museum or the North Carolina Pottery Center in Seagrove. Traveling south on highway 705 to highway 211, you’ll find local potters throwing everything from fine art to everyday pieces.
Catch NASCAR action at the Caraway Speedway then pay a visit to “the King” at the Richard Petty Museum in Randleman. When you’re ready for some playtime, Tanglewood Park in Clemmons, an 1100-acre recreation area offers horseback riding, BMX racing, public gardens, three golf courses, nature trails and a restored Victorian-era bed and breakfast inn. It is also home to the annual winter Festival of Lights
History and hiking go hand in hand in the Northern Foothills. Everywhere you go it seems you’re following in the footsteps of those who came before. Walk the cobbled stone streets of Old Salem and you’ll find interpreters depicting the daily life of the Moravians who settled here in 1766. Guilford Courthouse National Military Park is the site of a fierce Revolutionary War battle and includes 2.5 miles of battlefield walking trails. Pilot Mountain was once used by Native Americans as a guide or “pilot” on the north-south travel route. Pilot Mountain State Park and nearby Hanging Rock State Park both offer miles of trails, rock climbing, picnicking, and spectacular views.
Just north of Pilot Mountain is Mayberry, RFD, or at least the real-life inspiration for the fictional town. As the hometown of actor Andy Griffith, you’ll find many of the television show’s beloved characters in Mount Airy, as well as some quaint downtown shopping.
Speaking of shopping, don’t forget to leave lots of room in your trunk to take home some great furniture bargains from the furniture outlets in High Point and Thomasville. Oh, your trunk is already full of North Carolina wine? That’s okay, they’ll ship. Besides, more furniture shopping is a great excuse to return to the North Carolina northern foothills again and again. But then, who needs an excuse?
For more information, contact the Winston-Salem Visitors Bureau, the Greensboro Convention & Visitors Bureau or the Burlington/Alamance County Convention and Visitors Bureau.
By Pam Watson
By Pam Watson
added: December 31, 2008
updated: March 1, 2013