Experience Winston-Salem

Finding your place in the world begins with understanding yourself—your skills, your interests, your passions—and believing in your abilities and talents.

Wake Forest’s hometown, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, is a culturally rich mid-size city in the Piedmont Triad area of one of the nation’s most progressive states. With a population of 246,000, Winston-Salem has consistently built resources in the arts, medicine, healthcare research, education and commerce.

Winston-Salem ranked as one of the South’s best college towns

— Southern Living (March 2022)

Located about three miles from the main campus, downtown Winston-Salem is a thriving area that includes galleries and shops; indoor and outdoor performance spaces and museums; a greenway that traverses the Old Salem district; hotels, restaurants and sidewalk cafes. You can catch a baseball game with the Winston-Salem Dash, a minor-league affiliate of the Chicago White Sox.

Winston-Salem at a glance

Top 50: Best places to live in the U.S. (U.S. News & World Report, July 2021)
Two hours from ski resorts
Four hours from the Atlantic Ocean

Where campus and community come together

Wake Forest students in the SPARC pre-orientation program lay out and install pre-made wall sections at a Habitat for Humanity build.
Wake Forest students in the SPARC pre-orientation program work on a build site for Habitat for Humanity.

The idea of Pro Humanitate (“for humanity”) is at the center of the Wake Forest experience, and that translates to our surrounding community of Winston-Salem. As the hub of community-based activity at Wake Forest, the Office of Civic & Community Engagement (OCCE) offers multiple pathways to involvement. Whether you are interested in leading philanthropic programs like Wake ‘N Shake and Hit the Bricks; tutoring school children; fighting food insecurity through the Campus Kitchen; or advocating for a cause, the OCCE will help you put our motto into action in Winston-Salem and beyond.

Dining and cuisine

With apologies to Shakespeare, quiet meals make ill digestions. Winston-Salem offers restaurants—ranging from Krankie’s Coffee to Little Richard’s BBQ to The Porch Kitchen & Cantina—where residents can meet, eat, and talk. No matter the eatery, you’ll make memories, while enjoying your meals, in Winston-Salem.

City attractions and activities

Bailey Park

Winston-Salem is a vibrant, diverse community. It has long been a patron of the arts, having the nation’s earliest arts council. Winston-Salem has dance festivals, art festivals, music festivals, food festivals, and film festivals—in other words, if there’s a celebration of the fine arts, we’re all about it.

North Carolina

From the campus, access to the ski areas of North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains is a two-hour drive, and travel to the North Carolina and South Carolina beaches takes about four hours. A number of county and state parks are short distances from campus.

Like to try a microbrew after your hike? North Carolina is the home of beer in the South with nearly 100 breweries and brewpubs—the most of any state south of Pennsylvania and east of Texas.

Raleigh (two hours) and Charlotte (90 minutes) boast world-class museums, award-winning food options, and professional football, hockey and basketball teams.

Bailey Park

Visit Our City

Discover all the food, activities, and experiences Winston-Salem has to offer our students and the Wake Forest community.

Check out the Visit Winston-Salem website for more information on our city.

An aerial view of the Z. Smith Reynolds Library, on the campus of Wake Forest University

Plan Your Visit

It’s a wonderful experience to walk the Magnolia Quad, visit Wait Chapel, and speak with the faculty, staff, and students who make Wake the special community that it is.