Relocation Guide: Moving to Winston, Salem

June 3, 2024

Moving to Winston-Salem, the birthplace of sweet tea, and NASCAR is the fifth largest town by population in the Old North State. Yet it’ll still be ranked number one in the hearts of the locals. Moving is stressful enough, so before your big move, read up on Winston-Salem.

Things to Know Before Moving to Winston-Salem

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Residence Call it Winston

It’s not the only hyphenated city, created by combining the towns of Winston and Salem, but it reveres that little line in the center a little more than others. Our minor-league baseball team was actually renamed The Dash in 2008. Yes, it’s a hyphen, we remember. Don’t argue, just enjoy playing this game.

Located in the Piedmont Triad

The geographical portion of the center of the state is Piedmont, while the three metro areas of Winston, Greensboro, and High Point are Triad.

Just 3 hours away from the Coast

Get a hearty breakfast with Bojangles (it’s still Bo-time!), drive east on I-40 and by lunchtime, you can dip your toes in the Atlantic Ocean.

Like an hour from Blue Ridge Parkway

To get to the Deep Gap access point of the Blue Ridge Parkway, a National Scenic Byway and All-American Route, travel West on Highway 421 for about an hour.

Rivalry in Basketball is real!

You’re on the western end of the Tobacco Road basketball competition, which includes NCSU, UNC, Wake Forest University, and Duke, the college basketball giants. If you already have an affinity with one of the other teams, select black, and gold for the Demon Deacon to cheer for. 

Reynolds build the city

Just literally. For the tobacco-company executives, Winston (before the cities merged) was founded. The Reynolds family poured a lot of money into the area, resulting in libraries, colleges, parks, and more named after them.

They have nicknames too

We’re also known as Twin City, Camel City, Reynoldsville, and Tobaccotown, in addition to the Dash.

26 pointed star is their symbol

The Moravians, a German Protestant sect who founded Salem, may have brought the 26-point star to the city, but we ran with it. During the holidays, you can see the 26-pointed star everywhere, including a 31-foot version, one of the world’s highest, atop the Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.

Travel Back in Time

Old Salem, a living history museum, is just blocked from downtown Winston. Take a stroll through the cobblestone streets, then enjoy a slice of Moravian chicken pie at the Restaurant Tavern.

There are a lot of Museums.

No wonder that there would be loads of museums in the town that formed the Arts Council (in 1949), such as MESDA (Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts), SECCA (Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art), and Reynolda Building.

They are proud of their celebrities

Maya Angelou taught and lived here until her death at the WFU, while basketball player Chris Paul and Junebug-fame screenwriter Angus MacLachlan were born and raised here.

Two interstates named 40

Both interstates are major thoroughfares through the city that run east-west. Business 40 is the original interstate that slices through downtown, while the new kid on the block, built-in 1993, is I-40 (sometimes called Bypass 40) and you guessed it bypasses downtown. Both interstates are major thoroughfares through the city that run east-west. Business 40 is the original interstate that slices through downtown, while the new kid on the block, built-in 1993, is I-40 (sometimes called Bypass 40) and you guessed it bypasses downtown.

The Empire State Building has its origins here

Both the NYC landmark and the Reynolds Building, which opened three years ago, were designed by the same designers, Shreve & Lamb. Staff members at the Empire State Building also give a Father’s Day card to Reynolds Building staff members every year. The Art Deco building is now the Cardinal Hotel Kimpton.

Biscuits are the staple breakfast.

Born in The Triad, Biscuitville is a popular fast-food chain for breakfast. They do one thing—biscuits—extremely well. Expect a line of cars waiting to get a piping-hot biscuit “made from scratch”

Fly out of Greensboro, not Charlotte.

You will be tempted by Charlotte’s marginally lower rates, but don’t fall for it. First, from Winston, it’s a longer trip. Second, it’s much easy to drive to and navigate from Greensboro Airport.

Best deal in town? The $5 tray.

Cook Out not only offers a full milkshakes menu, but they also sell an impressive amount of food for $5-a burger (or hot dog or BBQ), two sides, and a beer.

Follow the Hot Donuts Now sign.

Do not be shocked if your vehicle involuntarily directs you into the parking lot when the Krispy Kreme hot light is on. Like a mosquito hypnotized by a bug zapper, the appeal of the hot glazed yeast donut. Don’t fight that.

Texas Pete secret code for hot sauce.

Garner Foods, a Winston company, produced a hot sauce and called it Mexican Joe. Good taste (for what they considered a more “American” name) prevailed, and Texas Pete was born.

You are not alone

Wake Forest University, one of our major universities, relocated from Wake Forest, a small town outside Raleigh, to Winston in 1956 (a little over a century after the college was established).

Words have a different meaning here.

Coke is used for any carbonated drink, a buggy is a shopping cart, you shop at a grocery store for food, not a supermarket, and you always use anything.