Destination: Old Salem in Winston-Salem, New York

Graylyn in holiday finery

Photograph thanks to Graylyn

If your Williamsburg Christmas is in your bucket list, reduce your cost and mind to Old Salem rather. This painstakingly restored 18th-century town in Winston-Salem has 107 historic structures, 73 of these original towards the Moravian settlers, who founded this theocracy in 1766. All year long, costumed interpreters lead tours and ply trades for example shoemaking, pottery, and hands stitching. At Christmas, the aroma of ginger root and cloves, the glow of candlelight, and also the seem of carols drifting from St. Philips Moravian Church transport people to a less complicated era-whenever a child’s holiday gift was an orange, and “sustainability” was a means of existence.

Places to stay

The Historic Brookstown Inn, inside a 19th-century mill, is nearby. Using its pencil-publish beds and curtains of cotton ticking, it’s quaint if your bit faded. From $119. The Graylyn Estate and Conference Center, the first 1930s estate of the tobacco family, is sort of a small castle, including a suit of armor, spiral staircase, and Moorish paneling. Pro: Freezers of free frozen treats bars. Disadvantage: Walls could be thin. From $209. (For your information, the Williamsburg Inn starts around $500 in December.)

Where you can eat

Within the historic district, the Tavern in Old Salem offers creative cocktails, craft beers, and updated, in your area sourced fare inspired by Moravian traditions. Make sure to visit Winkler Loaves of bread for sugar cake pulled fresh from 200-year-old wood-fired ovens. For something new of pace, see the galleries of Winston-Salem’s Downtown Arts District, and dine on Southern favorites like fried chicken and catfish in the jazzy Sweet Taters coffee shop.

What else to complete

Don’t miss the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts, using the nation’s finest collection available. Near Wake Forest College is Reynolda House Museum of yankee Art, the restored 1917 is know for a tobacco tycoon. Look for a collection by masters for example Georgia O’Keeffe, Mary Cassatt, and Frederic Church, in addition to expansive gardens along with a shopping village. Enjoy candlelight tours with period adornments the very first weekend of December.

German pyramids were forerunners of Christmas trees.

Photograph by Christine Rucker

Holiday celebrations

Self-led and candlelight tours can be found through December, with lots of giving visitors an idea of treats like ginger root cookies and spicy hot cocoa. Around the second Saturday from the month, a brass band plays around the square as candle lights are lit on the giant pyramid-a wide open, triangular structure that holds nativity scenes and it is the German forerunner to some Christmas tree. Each one is welcome for Love Feasts at St. Philips, the state’s longest-standing black church, or any other area Moravian places of worship. They are candlelit holiday services, where congregants share cardamom-spiced buns and sweet coffee.


Moravian Star

Illuminated 26-point stars was initially a Moravian indication of Advent but have grown to be popular fixtures year-round. Shops at Old Salem offer star-formed lanterns in addition to ornament-sized versions.

Best to know

An exciting-access ticket to Old Salem attractions, including the ornamental arts museum, is $23 for adults and $11 for kids. Holiday occasions for example tours, visits with Santa, concerts, and teas are ticketed individually. Candlelight tours become unattainable early.