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“Back to past.”

Old Salem Museums & Gardens
Certificate of Excellence
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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.
Level Contributor
26 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Back to past.”
Reviewed December 13, 2013 via mobile

Always having a great time visiting this place. Love that old atmosphere and welcome smiles from people who are working there.

1 Thank Maestro Nenad S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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968 reviews from our community

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Winston Salem, North Carolina
Level Contributor
46 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Old Salem”
Reviewed December 10, 2013

Worth a visit, especially at Christmas. Shops, a tavern and residences make this a very friendly place to see. During the summer, there's a fantastic farmer's market with a wide variety of local items. Very family-friendly.

Visited August 2013
1 Thank Betsyjohns1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Winston Salem, North Carolina
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Celebrating the Past while Preserving the Future”
Reviewed December 7, 2013

I LOVE History!! Having Old Salem in my Own Backyard is Awesome!! The Rich History & Culture of the Moravin way of Life is Truly a Journey to explore. It always throws me for a Loop to know that Our Nation's 1st President George Washington came to Salem & stayed for a Visit. My Favorite parts to Old Salem is MESDA & of course Winkler's Bakery. Old Salem is Extra Special during the Holidays. With their Candle Teas and Visits with St. Nicholas it's a Grand Time for the Young & Young in Heart.

Visited December 2013
2 Thank DoveAli
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
145 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
“If you like history, you will like it”
Reviewed November 30, 2013

Old Salem is not about trendy restaurants and Disney-like special attractions. It shows how a group of devout people lived a couple of hundred years ago when they fled oppression. The sidewalks are brick so if you have trouble walking, keep that in mind. The stairs are steep too. The guides at each place are enthusiastic but sometimes fall short on information they should know -- like how a group from here went to Georgia to set up a mission for the Cherokee. The bakery is highly touted but there was not an impressive display of goods for this visit. January and February least busy. There are gift shops in a couple of places but they don't hawk items. The $20 per adult (with AAA card) may seem a tad much for some. There are several categories of tickets.

Visited November 2013
1 Thank happyflyer45
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Monroe, NC
Level Contributor
75 reviews
27 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 78 helpful votes
“Outstanding historic village”
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.

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