A Place to Call Home

Winston-Salem is calling with its small-town charm, abundant amenities

There’s never been a better time to live in Winston-Salem, a city known for its inventive spirit, resilience and vibrancy. Once a tobacco and textiles manufacturing powerhouse, Winston-Salem is now home to the one of the fastest-growing innovation districts in the country and a flourishing arts community.

Salem was first settled in 1753 by the Moravians while nearby Winston emerged as an industrial hub. In 1913, Winston-Salem was born when the two towns merged.

Today, Winston-Salem is a breeding ground for innovation and creativity and attracts some of the best and brightest students, artists, entrepreneurs and executives, and it boasts a good mix of locals and transplants, retirees and young professionals.

What makes Winston-Salem really attractive is its affordable lifestyle—90.7 cost of living index—compared to other major metros such as Raleigh (91.8) and Charlotte (97.2). In fact, in a June 2019 report, the Twin City is among the top 25 cities in the country in RealtyHop’s Housing Affordability Index.

With a median home price of $143,600, Winston-Salem is ranked in the top 20 places to live in the South not only because of its affordability, but also because of the excellent quality of life.

Discover why Winston-Salem was named one of the 14 best places to travel in the U.S. in 2019. Here, you’ll find an intimate and walkable downtown with more than 120 restaurants, shops and breweries and bars. Outdoor enthusiasts will find solace in the 79 parks, 25 miles of greenways and nearby state parks.

Winston-Salem is also uniquely positioned in the state and is an optimal launching spot for a variety of quick day trips or getaways from the mountains to the coast. In less than two hours, you can hike part of the Appalachian Trail along the Blue Ridge Parkway, explore the museums of Raleigh or be halfway toward your beach destination and dipping your toes in the Atlantic Ocean.

Here, at the intersection of arts and innovation, you’ll find Winston-Salem—an ideal place to call home.

  • photos of arts district and trade street


  • Photos of downtown Winston-Salem


    Median Rent

A Flourishing Arts Community

The Twin City has cultivated a creative sensibility

When the Arts Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County formed in 1949, it became the first of its kind in the country. It’s no surprise then that Winston-Salem continues to lead the way with its vibrant arts community.

What does that mean for you?

It means you’ll have access to a diverse selection of museums, galleries, exhibitions and theater productions.

Explore masterpieces of American art at Reynolda House Museum of American Art, the exhibitions at Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art or browse unique artisan crafts at the Piedmont Craftsmen Gallery or one of Wherehouse Art Hotel’s pop-up marts.

Take a stroll in the city’s eclectic arts district, nestled between Trade, Fifth and Seventh streets, to browse a diverse assortment of artist studios, galleries, shops and restaurants. You can immerse yourself in this local arts scene at a Gallery Hop, held the first Friday of every month and hosted by the Downtown Arts District Association (DADA).

Appreciate the magic and wonder of The Nutcracker, the annual Stevens Center production from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA), a top-ranked creative performing arts conservatory, or enjoy a quirky theatrical musical from Winston-Salem Theatre Alliance in its more intimate theater. The Twin City is also home to the National Black Theatre Festival, which showcases dynamic performances, theater workshops, films and more.

Take in a foreign or independent film at a/perture cinema, and mark your calendar for the RiverRun International Film Festival, one of the premier film festivals in the Southeastern U.S., held each spring.

Winston-Salem’s thriving music scene is equally diverse, with a variety of live music venues, concerts and festivals such as Gears & Guitars. From the Winston-Salem Symphony to live music at The Ramkat to fringe bands at Monstercade, there’s something for everyone.

Whether you are visiting, thinking of moving here or already live here, you’ll find a flourishing arts scene, ideal for inspiration and creativity.

  • Bridge


  • Old Salem



An Innovative Ecosystem

Winston-Salem’s innovation community shares a common goal—to move ideas and solutions forward.

Winston-Salem has a long history of innovation, from the early Moravian settlers to the manufacturing boom in tobacco and textiles a century ago, and now its reinvention with health care and technology.

Spurred by the growth of Innovation Quarter, Winston-Salem has firmly positioned itself as hub for innovation with a thriving ecosystem of diverse business clusters where both individuals, companies and institutions succeed in health care, technology, education, finance and more.

Led by Wake Forest Baptist Health, the largest employer in Winston-Salem and Forsyth County, local businesses, developers and community members have created the Innovation Quarter through a shared vision—a thriving downtown that could sustain the local community and beyond.

The result? A culture of collaboration and support that extends far beyond the innovation district. We believe the more we work together, the stronger our local and regional economy becomes.

Businesses that relocate to Winston-Salem discover an existing powerful economic engine where collaboration happens spontaneously, and starts-ups find crucial support from resources such as Winston Starts, a start-up incubator, or the ACCESS Center for Equity + Success, which provides support for minority- and women-owned business enterprises; and Venture Café Winston-Salem, which has hosted more than 30,000 hours of programming for entrepreneurs and innovators of all kinds since its start in 2017.

Entrepreneurs will find fertile ground here. In fact, Winston-Salem recently tied Charlotte and Austin, Texas, as the No. 1 place in the country for small business growth.

One of the city’s biggest strengths is also its incredibly diverse colleges and universities—a prestigious medical school, an HBCU, the oldest educational institution for girls and women in the country, a performing arts conservatory, and one of the largest community colleges in North Carolina.

With its abundant resources and commitment to innovation and education, Winston-Salem is poised for continued progress.

  • downtown Winston-Salem


    U.S. City for Small Business Growth
  • Reynolda Hall, Wake Forest University


    Colleges & Universities

Winston-Salem Partners

Here are just a few of the groups that are dedicated to making Winston-Salem great.



As one of the largest cities in North Carolina, Winston-Salem is conveniently located at the crossroads of several major thoroughfares that will get you to major cities across the Eastern Seaboard or to one of the three international airports within a 1.5-hour drive or less.
244,605 Winston-Salem’s Population in 2017
23 Miles to Nearest International Airport
92.8 Winston-Salem’s Cost of Living Index
120 Downtown Restaurants & Shops
25 Miles of Greenway
$42,219 Median Household Income
$132,500 Median Home Value
photos of arts district and trade street photos of arts district and trade street

Named One of the Best Places to Visit in the US by Forbes

Just a few blocks away from the Innovation Quarter, the Winston-Salem’s arts district boasts a diverse collection of studios, galleries,  shops, restaurants and nightlife. This intersection of arts and innovation is one of the many reasons why Winston-Salem topped the Forbes list of top places to travel in the U.S.