Winston-Salem : North carolina


What It Is Like to Retire in Winston-Salem

Winston-Salem, North Carolina is an intriguing name for a city. It was named to a list of the “Top 10 Value Towns for Retirees in 2007”. Two of the world’s top-selling cigarettes are eponymous with this popular retirement community. RJ Reynolds started his tobacco business here in 1874. Salem was founded first - it was settled to be a Moravian (German) religious settlement in 1753. Old Salem has a historic center with many restored buildings. Nearby Winston was founded in 1849. The cities were joined later to become one community in Forsyth County. Located near the center of North Carolina’s northern border, the population is now 218,000. The metro area has over 450,000 people.

Winston-Salem is often referred to as the Twin City.  Active adults 55+ in retirement here will find plenty to do. The Hanes Mall is the largest shopping mall in North Carolina. The cultural scene is rich with many theaters and museums. According to the Visitors Center there is live music, vintage films, avant-garde dance, classic plays, museum visits, and wine tours. The wineries are in the nearby Yadkin Valley. Golf Digest named the Triad the best big city for golf in America in a survey of 330 cities. There is a plethora of public golf courses – two of the most distinguished are Tanglewood Park and Salem Glen – both are home to big tournaments. There are also many parks in the city. Find profiles on  Topretirement towns and communities. Photo of Only surviving novelty Shell service station, one of several built by Quality Oil Company courtesy of Wikipedia and National Park Service (public domain).


Where to Retire in Winston-Salem and Home Prices

The area has a range of communities for active adults 55+ (see link at left). Retirees will find every kind of housing choice – from dedicated retirement communities to all types of housing in the city’s neighborhoods. From apartments to condos to houses, the area offers a wide variety of choices and affordable prices.  The National Association of Realtors reported the median sale price of a single-family home to be $261,200 during the 1st quarter of 2022.


What Is Special about Winston-Salem

Old Salem (colonial site), Historic Bethabara Park, Wachovia Center (Skyscraper), The Home Moravian Church - the largest Moravian parish in the country, Moravian graveyard, "God's Acre" ,  Bell and Sons cafeteria,  Reynolda Gardens,  Reynolda House Museum of American Art


What Is Not Special about Winston-Salem

Development is proceeding very quickly with attendant traffic. Some young professionals say there is not enough to do in the Twin Cities. There is crime in W-S

Who Will Like Retirement in Winston-Salem

Active adults 55+ live here who like being in a vibrant city with an active downtown. The area is a golfer’s paradise. Use this link for an explanation of the types of retirement communities.

Local Economy Is Driven by

Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center is the largest employer in Winston-Salem. RJR is headquartered in the city. Dell Computer has a manufacturing plant here. 


Climate and Physical Environment

Winston-Salem is near North Carolina’s northern border towards its western edge. The city is large, about 110 square miles. The  area  has  a  temperate climate compared to the northeast - average high in July is 89 and January average low is 29. Rainiest month is March.View Google Map for Winston-Salem For information on retire in NC

Restaurants & Cultural Scene

The Old Salem district and Historic Bethabara site provide historical attractions. Other sites include Reynolda Village (Reynolda Gardens and the Reynolda House Museum of American Art), the Horne Creek Historic Farm, and the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art. Universities located in Winston-Salem include: Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem State University, North Carolina School of the Arts, and Salem College. Winston-Salem is often called the "City of the Arts," it had the first arts council in the United States. The North Carolina School of the Arts and the Piedmont Opera Theatre.


The crime rate is about twice the national average.

Medical Facilities

Forsyth Memorial Hospital, Medical Park Hospital, North Carolina Baptist Hospital


Greensboro's Piedmont Triad International Airport is 23 miles away

Valuable Links

Visit Winston-Salem


What people are saying about Winston-Salem

Living Here
I am a young professional owning a small business here and we are moving out as fast as we can. This city is one of the most boring places I have lived. I would give it 1 star living here. It is just NOT a place for young people. I am part of the Chamber of Commerce and this is a BIG issue for them, trying to keep young people here. But regardless of what others "think" younger people are moving out because there is really nothing to do here, everything that is a claim to fame is very old and very boring to see, ie- Old Salem. Its a good place to get medical attention and that is really about it. The REAL ESTATE developers are out of control, building more small shops, grocery stores, gas stations, and retirement complexes. They just slash and burn, and can't sell what they build. It is a place without a lot of sense and it shows. If you are thinking about living here and are younger with a lot of interests, don't live here. Trust a young person on this, not a good place to live and raise a family. Its just too old and too hot.
Posted by blickem1 on August 19, 2007
Downtown is getting better
I read some posts last week from people complaining about the state of Winston-Salem's downtown. My reaction is that the situation is getting better and better, and that we should celebrate the positive. The arts district has been largely reclaimed from the undesirable elements and more and more people are interested in livingin or coming downtown. The economic and urban development folks have done a good job! Also, i don't agree with the sentiment that being known as a good town for retirement hurts in the effort to attract young professionals. They are interested in many of the same things. Just today the NY Times commented about NY City as a retirement destination - lots of retiring people are looking for a vital urban experience. W-S isn't exactly Manhattan yet, but it has lots of good things.
Posted by jfb48 on August 18, 2007

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