Photo courtesy of WFU News
Photo courtesy of WFU News
©WFU/Ken Bennett

Family Fun in the Twin City

Show off Winston-Salem to your parents this weekend.

We’re one month into school, and by this point, all Wake Forest students have been sick, stressed out, feeling overwhelmed, frustrated with their roommates but most likely are just plain homesick. It is a given that we all get annoyed with our parents, but for one short weekend they come to campus to see how we are adjusting to life away from home. For those who haven’t yet had the chance to explore all that Winston-Salem has to offer, here are some suggestions to make your parents feel welcome.

If you want to take advantage of off-campus dining…

The Porch: A local favorite, The Porch is arguably the best Tex-Mex around. Located in a remodeled warehouse, the grunge setting combined with a modern take on Mexican food merits its position as one of the most popular restaurants among students. The Porch is known for offering regular menu items but also offers seasonal options featuring locally harvested items.

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Mozelles: An upscale Southern-classic, Mozelles offers many options such as traditional fried chicken, shrimp and grits or spaghetti squash. As expected, they are completely booked on reservations but will be accepting walk-ins first-come-first-serve for outdoor and bar seating.

Café Gelato: For those with a strong sweet tooth, Café Gelato is the unexpected dessert choice in Winston-Salem. Yes, there are plenty of frozen yogurt bars and ice cream shops around, but at this specific venue, a European chef who recently moved to Winston-Salem eagerly shares her recipes with hungry customers in a casual setting.

Camel City BBQ: It is only natural to expect fantastic barbeque when going to school in North Carolina. Some of the best and cheapest around can be found at Camel City. Beyond the delicious food, customers are also invited to play a variety of classic arcade games while waiting for a table.  Camel City is definitely a must before attending the football game against Syracuse.

If you want to enjoy the warm weather before it disappears for the winter…

Salem Lake: Referred to as the “hidden diamond of Winston-Salem,” students often enjoy exploring the nearly  seven-mile trail around Salem Lake. Without going too far off campus, a day can easily be spent taking in sights only enjoyed in North Carolina.

Pilot Mountain:  Less than an hour from campus, Pilot Mountain is perfect for a day hike with friends. On clear days, the peak of the mountain can be seen from many points on campus, just waiting to be explored.

Hanging Rock State Park: Although a little further, this well-known state park is fantastic for a quick hike with your family. It is uphill at the beginning, but after a few short miles, explorers experience wide-open views of the countryside from breathtaking heights.

If getting downtown hasn’t been a priority yet…

Winston-Salem is the fourth largest city in North Carolina. It may not be big or bustling, but it has unique aspects to offer those who are willing to explore. Concerts in the park, a historic downtown  that is hundreds of years old and an up and coming art district make Winston-Salem a worthwhile destination for the weekend.

Bailey Blues and Bluegrass at Bailey Park: Hosted in Innovation Quarter in the historic R.J. Reynolds district downtown, a bluegrass music festival will make its Fall 2016 debut this weekend. The headliner, Mike Farris, will bring his Soul of America tour to the outdoor venue free of cost. Items from food trucks and cocktails will be available for purchase.

Old Salem: Perhaps the most underrated part of Winston Salem is Old Salem, a living history town dating back to the 1700s. Home to Salem College, a museum, gardens, shopping and restaurants, taking a day discovering Old Salem is a must for students and their parents.

Dixie Classic Fair: A Winston-Salem tradition for over 100 years, the fair ending this weekend features rides, games, live music and classic fried fair foods. Some of the most unique foods include fried shark and fried Oreos, along with classics such as funnel cakes and corndogs.

Although trips to Target and Costco are fully necessary, getting out into the community with your parents will help create a more unique, memorable weekend.

Instead of spending more pit swipes and staying on campus with your parents, get downtown to enjoy a delicious meal, the quickly fleeting warm weather, or a fair only to be found in the South.

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