We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

“Outstanding historic village” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Old Salem Museums & Gardens

Old Salem Museums & Gardens
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: One of America’s most comprehensive history attractions. The museums, the Historic Town of Salem, and the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts (MESDA), along with award-winning heirloom gardens, engage visitors in an educational and memorable historical experience about those who lived and worked in the early South.
Monroe, NC
Level Contributor
73 reviews
27 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 78 helpful votes
“Outstanding historic village”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 29, 2013

Old Salem is an outstanding educational and historical attraction. Each business/home has a docent or docents that tell you about the building and act as the person that would have worked or lived at the building. We saw a gunsmith, shoemaker, doctor/pharmacist, baker, candlemaker, roof tile potter, etc. We saw an old printing press (close up), very old pump organ was played for us, bread baked, tiles being fired, shoes being repaired, etc. Extremely engaging and educational. Be advised that much of the tour is uphill or downhill and the brick sidewalks are very uneven in places. There are also steps and stairs into and throughout many of the buildings. It would be hard for someone in a wheelchair or with mobility issues to fully enjoy many of these attractions. Another warning is about food. There is very little food/drinks available. This is truly a historic area and is not very commercialized like you are used to seeing. There is a tavern that serves lunch and dinner but there was over an hour wait for lunch so we were not able to eat there. There is a sandwich/ice cream shop upstairs above Winkler's Bakery. Our food was good and reasonably priced at the sandwich shop. I had a very good hot dog "all the way". They also had good soup (the day we visited they had ham/bean and broccoli/cheese. Winkler's Bakery is outstanding albeit busy. They have sugar cakes, pound cakes, thin Moravian cookies in various flavors, breads, fruit cakes, and more. Very tasty and high quality baked goods for sure. They also had some soft drinks and bottled water available. In the visitor's center they have drinks/snacks available too (like popcorn, fudge, and the like).

I have visited many historical areas such as Williamsburg and Mystic. Old Salem is just as beautiful and educational as those areas, but on a much smaller scale.

PS. They have nice bathroom facilities located strategically throughout the village.

Visited November 2013
4 Thank tarheelluv
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

954 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Old Salem”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 26, 2013 via mobile

Sights, old colonial, see the hotel where George Washington stayed in the 1800's. Make candles, moravian cookies, sugat cake.

Visited November 2013
Thank notjudgemental
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tobaccoville, North Carolina
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Learn interesting information at Old Salem Moravian village”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 25, 2013

This historical attraction is very interesting to those interested in historical sites. We have been several times. our last in April 2013. We have bought passes and toured all the buildings once. But it is also nice to just go and stroll the streets, visit the college, have a meal and drink at the tavern, and shop. It is especially lovely at Easter (come to the sunrise service Easter morning) and at Christmas (come to the candle tea the first 2 weekends of December).

Visited April 2013
Thank Joyce M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Winston-Salem, North Carolina, United States
Level Contributor
89 reviews
58 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“Old Salem”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 25, 2013

I live in Winston-Salem so I am accustomed to Old Salem. It is like a small Williamsburg, VA. Nice old (for US) buildings, a few shops. You can get a tour for a price or walk around on your own. Winkler bakery has great sugar cake, an Old Salem tradition. Super thin ginger or sugar cookies are very good too.
Probably a half day.
If you want a whole day in Winston-Salem have lunch along fourth street, it is cute, Foothills is an up and coming craft brewery. If you like American Art, Reynolda House is worth seeing, Tobacco mansion/cottage, nice artwork. 2nd floor master bedroom, they won't tell you unless asked, is where R J Reynolds' son was mysteriously shot dead - by his Hollywood starlet girl friend or suicide - the case was hushed up in the 20s or 30s very quickly.

Visited June 2013
2 Thank Alan C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Winston Salem, North Carolina
Level Contributor
20 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“very nice historic district”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 25, 2013

Nice attention to detail and a wide variety of displays - only a few places to eat but very convenient to a nice downtown if you want to eat elsewhere. Good for children too.

Visited October 2013
2 Thank GenePaylor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Old Salem Museums & Gardens also viewed


Been to Old Salem Museums & Gardens? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing