It’s only natural that the “City of Arts and Innovation” would elect to toast its agricultural underpinnings and celebrate the food and drink of the South as an art and with innovation. Winston-Salem ( www.visitwinstonsalem.com) offers everything culinary travelers dream about and savory restaurants and events you won’t find anywhere else in the country.
The new Moravian Cookie Trail ( http://bit.ly/1eWYK4A) invites you to nibble your way through Winston-Salem for tasting, tours and purchases.
At The Tavern at Old Salem ( www.thetaverninoldsalem.ws) this spring, keep an eye out for fruits and veggies harvested from the Old Salem Museum & Gardens on Chef Jared Keiper’s tables.
Winston-Salem is the gateway to more than 35 wines of the Yadkin Valley ( www.visitwinstonsalem.com/wine). Winston-Salem is the perfect place to base your wine travel, with hotel packages and tour services waiting to whisk you to the vineyards.
Taste Carolina Gourmet Food Tours ( www.tastecarolina.net) takes advantage of the local architecture to stroll, sip and savor in downtown every Saturday.
Tour De Food ( www.tourdefood.net) gourmet food tours explore the city on weekends, sampling everything from frozen custard to barbecue and fancier cuisine. Tours are seasoned with history about Salem’s Moravian settlers, tobacco tycoon R.J. Reynolds and others who shaped the city.
Dishcrawl ( http://bit.ly/1fCbnbx) – new this year – offers a chance to experience progressive dinners, exclusive chef encounters and other food events.
Foothills Brewing ( www.foothillsbrewing.com) is nationally known for its unique beers and their seasonal ales and generous tasting events. Due to popular demand, they’ve now made their beer schools a monthly fixture with classes available the first Saturday of every month at 2:30 pm.
Last fall, Small Batch Beer Co. ( www.smallbatchws.com) arrived on West Fifth Street downtown, serving microbrews made one barrel at a time using ingredients from the local farmers market. They also serve carefully selected wines, craft cocktails and pizzas made to drink with beer.
Hoots Roller Bar & Beer Co. ( www.hootspublic.com), one of Winston-Salem's newest microbreweries, is producing Winston beer. Inspired by the industrialism and innovation of Winston-Salem as well as its Moravian beginnings, Hoots is one of several businesses open in the historic West End neighborhood promising to bring revitalization to what was once a warehouse area.
The 4th Annual Pottery Fair on the Square (May 17; www.oldsalem.org) at Old Salem Museums & Gardens features more than 30 North Carolina potters presenting handmade stoneware, earthenware and folk art in a variety of styles. The event is in Salem Square in the heart of the historic Old Salem district.
Salute! The North Carolina Wine Celebration (May 31; www.salutencwine.com) celebrates North Carolina’s wine heritage with music, wine tastings, educational workshops, food and more. On Thursday and Friday prior to the festival, several downtown restaurants, chefs and winemakers come together for sumptuous Salute Winemaker Dinners. The N.C. Beer Garden is new to this year's festival.
The 10th annual Texas Pete Twin City RibFest (June 5-8; www.twincityribfest.com) fills the air with the scent of smoke and barbecue. The festival hosts a fierce rib cook-off, more than 20 music acts on three stages, and fun for the entire family. Don’t miss the serious karaoke and the popular Songwriters Stage.
The top names in world tennis in hit the courts at the Winston-Salem Open (Aug. 16-23; www.winstonsalemopen.com), an ATP World Tour 250 event with a total purse of $625,000. Held at Wake Forest University, it’s the final men’s event of the Emirates Airline US Open Series. Lynn Seldon