Going out of town for a few days with your friends offers a chance to reconnect with the busy people in your life – including yourself. Escape to Winston-Salem, and you’ll return feeling rejuvenated in mind, body and spirit thanks to much-deserved glasses of wine, amazing meals, a little pampering and a lot of laughs.
Just imagine: No responsibilities for three days (or longer). Now add visions of grandeur at historic Graylyn Estate and Kimpton Cardinal Hotel. Both luxury accommodations, the Kimpton is newer to the scene, exuding urban flair throughout its ideal downtown location; while Graylyn’s massive, castle-like estate is a craftsman’s masterpiece where you’ll be treated like royalty by its 24-hour butlers.
In our fast-paced world, it can be hard to find time to unwind and reflect. So what better place to dish about your lives than a relaxing winery? Start your tasting adventure at Divine Llama Vineyards – and yes, it’s on an actual llama farm. Sign up for llama treks to explore the 91-acre estate, and be sure to try the Chardonel – it’s one of the few North Carolina wineries to produce this varietal. Or venture on to Childress Vineyards in nearby Lexington, where you can enjoy award-winning wines in its tasting room, and the Bistro offers a scenic terrace where lunch is served daily. With more than 50 wineries in Yadkin Valley wine country, which surrounds Winston-Salem, you can map out your own wine trail tour. (Please drink responsibly; designate a driver.)
Nothing sets the tone for a great day better than brunch, and the big menu at Mozelle’s Fresh Southern Bistro is a crowd pleaser. Southern, Mexican, Asian and classic American dishes can all be found on the menu, but save room to split an order of bourbon pecan bread pudding or flourless chocolate torte too. For a dose of rustic elegance, check out River Birch Lodge, featuring lunch, brunch and dinner with a wide selection of paninis, burgers and salads as well as fish, duck and steak entrées that pair well with the list of signature cocktails. Plus, back at the Kimpton hotel, The Katharine Brasserie and Bar is perfect for an intimate meal, a casual drink or anywhere in between.
A trip to “The Dash” wouldn’t be complete without sampling brews at popular Foothills Brewing. This downtown brewpub frequently hosts live music and has outdoor street seating along with upscale pub grub (order the Dirty South Burger with its pimento cheese, bacon, tomato and fried pickles). Add stops at Small Batch Beer Co., Wise Man Brewing or Fiddlin' Fish Brewing Company if craft beer is your thing. You can make your away around downtown on bikes from the Zagster bike-share program.
Every vacation should include a dose of you time, i.e., a day at the spa. Book services at Glass Door Salon and Spa, choosing à la carte from facials, massages and body treatments. At Graylyn, take advantage of the European Touch Spa Package, which includes an overnight stay, meals and a sizable spa credit. Next, add stand-up paddleboard lesson to your itinerary through the top-rated Triad ECO Adventures and make a memory together you won’t soon forget. For an extra dose of beauty, visit the Old Salem Museums & Gardens or Reynolda House Museum of American Art, each with a rich history that helped lay the foundation for Winston-Salem's Southern charm.