We believe that the best way to get a sense of the early origins of Winston-Salem involves a detour to the 175-acre tract known as Historic Bethabara Park, 2147 Bethabara Rd. (tel. 336/924-8191; www.cityofws.com). Positioned 7 1/2 miles north of Old Salem, and the beneficiary of intensive excavation since the mid-1970s, at which time much of it lay in ruins, it was established in 1753 as the site of the first Moravian settlement in North Carolina. Later it played an important role in the local politics surrounding the French and Indian War. Fifteen Moravian men came to this part of North Carolina from Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, the site of an even earlier Moravian settlement, and quickly built a small agrarian community of log houses, a crudely fortified palisade, a meetinghouse and church (the stone-sided Gemeinhaus), and a medicinal garden (the first well-documented garden of its kind in what later became the United States) whose restored version is one of the highlights of the modern-day park. By 1766, the newer town of Salem was established, and Bethabara (which had originally been envisioned only as a temporary community) gradually sank into obscurity. Today, however, in its restored form, Bethabara illuminates much of the early history of this part of North Carolina. Additionally, the mass of written records, journals, inventories, and maps generated by the early Moravian settlers at Bethabara forms one of the most important bodies of research materials for the study of U.S. colonial history.
Highlights of the much-restored settlement include a 15-minute video presentation in the visitor center, a guided walking tour of the compound conducted by well-informed volunteers, and access to walking trails that fan out over the surrounding acreage.
Historic Bethabara's buildings, gardens, and visitor center are open Tuesday to Friday 10:30am to 4:30pm and Saturday and Sunday 1:30 to 4:30pm. Admission is $2 for adults and $1 for children.
Tanglewood Park, U.S. 158 West in Clemmons (tel. 336/778-6370), is a year-round recreational facility set on some 1,100 acres. You can enjoy golf on two of Golf Digest's top-rated courses, or tennis on one of nine tennis courts, both hard and clay. Stop by the horse stables to ask about trail rides and riding lessons or to arrange a leisurely carriage drive around the park. A nature trail also meanders through the acreage. The park has two modern, fully equipped children's playgrounds, plus an Olympic-size pool. It's open daily from 7am to dusk. Admission is $2 per car.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.