By Avonie Brown-Reaves
Winston-Salem
North Carolina
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Known as the City of Arts and Innovation, Winston-Salem is a southern jewel with a rich historical tradition and an evolving national presence. Ranked the 18th best place in the United States for business and careers in 2009 by Forbes magazine, Winston-Salem also received the distinction of being the least expensive city to live in during the year of 2010. The latter was based on the evaluation of cost of living, lifestyle standards and housing costs conducted by Mercer, a global organization for gathering information on human resources. This mid-size city in Northwestern North Carolina is attracting more attention and visitors because of its culture of inventiveness and transformation.

EscapeWizard.com makes experiencing all that Winston-Salem has to offer extremely easy. With the convenience of the two airports serving the area, traveling to Winston-Salem is readily accessible. Click on the link (www.escapewizard.com/flight.php) to book your flight to Winston-Salem with EscapeWizard.com. The Piedmont Triad International Airport (GSO) is only 20 miles east of downtown Winston-Salem while the smaller Smith Reynolds Airport (INT) is about 3 miles to the northeast serving charters and general aviation. Booking your hotel with EscapeWizard.com makes finding a wide variety of accommodations throughout the city and surrounding area to suit any need easy and affordable. Click on this link (www.escapewizard.com/hotels.php?flag=htl) to book your room with EscapeWizard.com.

Winston-Salem may not rank high nationally as a center of arts of entertainment but that would belie the cultural legacy of the city. “Six Quintet,” by Johann Fredik Peter was the first American classical music written in 1789. Winston-Salem also created the nation's first arts council in 1949. Today Winston-Salem is building on that legacy with a revitalized and thriving city center. EscapeWizard.com invites you to experience the nightlife, new restaurants, bars, galleries, museums, live performances and cultural developments that are reinvigorating The Downtown Arts District of Winston-Salem.

EscapeWizard.com believes a trip to Winston-Salem would not be complete without a stroll through the Reynolda House Museum of American Art. The house was built in 1917 by Katharine Smith Reynolds and her husband Richard Joshua Reynolds, the founder of the R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company. In 1965 the estate was opened to the public and the original family home was dedicated as a venue for arts and education and then converted to an art museum in 1967. The museum houses a collection of American fine art, costumes, furniture and architecture, and masterpieces ranging from the colonial period to the present. The surrounding estate is also a treasure throve of information and educational activity. Reynolda Gardens is a preserve of woodlands, fields, wetlands and formal gardens originally part of the Reynolda estate.

The Old Salem Museums and Gardens, is another venue in Winston-Salem that transports visitors back in time. Encompassing some 100 acres of restored and reclaimed landscapes, The Old Salem Museums and Gardens includes eighty buildings and five retail stores and exquisite and nationally renowned garden.

For a more contemporary artistic experience EscapeWizard.com recommends The Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art (SECCA). This venue is one that regularly features some of the best regional and national contemporary artists. Exhibits have featured the works of Gregory Warmack, Tom Friedman, Gordon Parks, William Wegman and Yoko Ono.

If live music is on your agenda, EscapeWizard.com suggests a night with the Piedmont Opera or Winston-Salem Symphony. Or if your interest is more casual fare check out the thriving independent and eclectic music performances live on the streets of downtown, three nights per week, every week, from May to Labor Day.

The University of North Carolina School of the Arts' (UNCSA) Stevens Center is another venue that showcases a varied mix of performances. Here the future stars in opera, orchestral and chamber music, jazz, ballet and contemporary dance and theater get to shine.  The venue is a restored 1929 movie palace and with the addition of new projection equipment the UNCSA School of Filmmaking and the Winston-Salem Cinema Society have reintroduced first run independent and foreign-language films movies to sell out crowds.

So whether you wish to stroll along historic pathways or explore rich new evolving cultural experiences, EscapeWizard.com guarantees that Winston-Salem will keep you busy, engaged and richly entertained.
Hotels in Winston-Salem
By Keleigh M. Quinn
Hilton Garden Inn Winston-Salem/Hanes Mall
1325 Creekshire Way, Winston-Salem, NC
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The Hilton Garden Inn Winston-Salem/Hanes Mall provides access to all of the history, charm and fun of the Winston-Salem area. This hotel is located just a few minutes from Hanes Mall, the largest mall in the region. Also nearby are several college campuses, including Wake Forest and Winston-Salem State University. Visit Old Salem to learn about American History and visit original buildings, or head to Historic Bethabara Park, which features a church built in 1788. There are several wonderful museums nearby, including the Reynolda House Museum of American Art and the Museum of Anthropology at Wake Forest University. The location is also ideal for travelers planning visits to local companies such as the Krispy Kreme Headquarters or Wells Fargo.

Check-in time for this hotel is 3:00 pm. Upon arrival, you will notice all of the amenities, including a Business Center, offering printing and copying services, and the complimentary wireless internet access available throughout the hotel and in the guest rooms. Take some time to relax in the indoor pool and whirlpool, or work up a sweat in the fitness center. You can also inquire at the front desk about borrowing a Stay Fit Kit®, allowing you to exercise in your room.

The guest rooms are equipped with a refrigerator and a microwave, so you are able to make snacks or quick meals for yourself. You can stick up on supplies at the 24 hour Pavilion Pantry®. Of course, of you prefer a more complete dining experience, you can try the Great American Grill® restaurant for breakfast or dinner. You can then head to the lounge for a drink after dinner. Room service and catering are also available.  

The rooms and suites are spacious and comfortable. You will have a flat-screen television with available on-demand movies and cable channels. There is also a work area with an ergonomic Mirra chair.

Click here (www.escapewizard.com/hotels.php?flag=htl), and EscapeWizard.com will make booking your room a breeze.