Dream staycations in the Triad
With all the stressful headlines, hectic work schedules, and external pressures, everyone needs a vacation. Even though summer is just around the corner, some may need a break now. Why travel abroad when taking a break locally and visiting some hidden gems in the Triad could be more affordable and convenient? We took the liberty to do some research for those who are overworked and overstressed and have outlined some of the best places for a staycation in the Triad.
2250 Reynolda Rd., Winston-Salem
Adjacent to Wake Forest University, Reynolda has a rich history in Winston-Salem. Built in 1917 as the home of Katharine Smith and tobacco tycoon R.J. Reynolds, the house serves as an American art museum featuring the work of Georgia O’Keeffe, Jackson Pollock, and other renowned artists in the fall and spring. But that isn’t all; it’s also a museum dedicated to the Reynolds family (and the families that worked at Reynolda) that called Reynolda home for several years. Surrounding the estate are gardens, walking trails and Reynolda Village, filled with boutique shops, restaurants and event spaces.
“For more than 100 years, Reynolda has delivered experiences that connect people in a setting that inspires,” wrote director of external relations Sarah Smith. “It is an inviting destination for discovery and escape through art, learning, entertainment, and nature.”
For those living in the Triad and surrounding areas outside of Winston-Salem, one could easily spend the day wandering around the museums, gardens, or shopping and eating in Reynolda Village in less than an hour in traveling time.
“Inside Reynolda’s museum, guests can view works of art from America’s most important artists in a domestic setting – this is a unique experience and creates a feeling that changes the way you see the art. The combination of what you can find here the integration of learning, art, and nature – welcomes explorers and invites the curious,” Smith wrote. “The Reynolda experience includes a free app called Reynolda Revealed; changing exhibitions in the museum; tours of the formal gardens, conservatory and walking trails of Reynolda Gardens; and the perfect spot to rest and reflect over a glass of rosé and a crêpe in the shops and cafés of Reynolda Village. Take your time; there’s a lot to discover at Reynolda.”
Smith wrote that all are welcome at Reynolda, and it is a place for anyone seeking “respite, inspiration, exploration, discovery, and fun.”
For more information, visit the website.
Hyatt Place in Greensboro Downtown
300 N. Eugene St., Greensboro
Greensboro-native and director of hotel operations Madison Carroll said her father Roy started assembling land in downtown Greensboro about 20 years ago.
“He just saw the potential of downtown long before anybody else when he bought the Wachovia building and turned it into Center Pointe, and those early years, everyone thought he was a little crazy,” Carroll said. “He wanted to invest in his hometown, my hometown.”
Carroll said she has always had a passion for hotels, and wanted to come work with her father and move the Carroll Companies into the hospitality industry. The Hyatt Place Greensboro Downtown is the Carrolls’ first hotel, and it just opened on the weekend of March 15.
Carroll said the biggest draw for the Hyatt is the downtown vibe and its walkability to various downtown Greensboro hotspots. (For instance, the hotel is located across the street from The Grasshoppers Stadium.)
“When you stay here you are not too far from anything,” she said. “Especially once Tanger opens, there are just so many options. We are already seeing huge sellout nights anytime there is a major concert at the Coliseum.”
Carroll said the Eric Church concert was the first concert on the opening weekend and the Hyatt Place sold out. The hotel just sold out again last week for the High Point Furniture Market. Carroll said the Hyatt is unique to downtown Greensboro because it is the first new hotel in over 30 years that has opened in downtown. Carroll said that the art in the rooms features some local Greensboro landmarks such as the Lincoln Financial building and the train depot.
“We chose the Hyatt name because it seems like a very urban brand without being inaccessible,” Carroll said about why they chose the Hyatt franchise. “It’s new and modern, but it is not too trendy. It is the perfect blend for business travelers as well as families coming in for a weekend.”
For more information, visit the Hyatt Place’s website.
1000 Club Rd., Greensboro
Grandover Resort opened in February 1999, and its amenities include 36 holes of “world-class golf,” a spa, tennis, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, game room, firepit, art gallery, two restaurants, bars, and more.
“We are proud to have completed our renovations and rebranding in conjunction with our 20thAnniversary,” wrote director of sales and marketing Christina York in an email.
Grandover is located on the outskirts of the city and could be a great place for a reprieve of the hustle and bustle.
York wrote that live entertainment is offered weekly in the 1808 Bar on Friday and Saturday evenings, and the first and third Thursdays in April and May at the firepit outside of Café Expresso. 19 & Timber Bar is open Thursdays through Sundays and offers various events through the year, with the next one being a Kentucky Derby Party coming up on May 4. She wrote that hotel guests could participate in Wellness Walkers on Thursday mornings and a yoga class on Saturday mornings; there is also a cardio tennis class on Friday and Saturday mornings, and bicycles are available for guests to use during their stay.
“There is a common misconception that Grandover Resort is like a country club where a membership is required,” York wrote. “This is not the case – the amenities at Grandover Resort, including Golf and Spa, are open to hotel guests and the public.”
More information about events and packages can be found on the website.
The Graylyn Estate
1900 Reynolda Rd., Winston-Salem
The Graylyn Estate was once 87 acres of fields owned by the R.J. Reynolds Company and was built by Bowman and Nathalie Lyons Gray. Marketing manager Mallory Forsman described the estate in an email as “the perfect combination of a modern boutique hotel, enchanting historic residence, and International Conference Center.” The estate offers 85 guest rooms, 25,000 square-feet of meeting space, 55 acres of exclusive grounds and various backdrops for weddings and special events.
Forsman wrote that the Gray family had a dedication to education, preservation, and community. The proceeds from the estate benefit local schools, the Children’s Center of Winston-Salem, Wake Forest University’s Graylyn Scholarship, historic preservation, and green initiatives.
“When you host a meeting, hold a special event or stay overnight at Graylyn, you are not only receiving a luxury experience, you are also investing in education, community, and historical preservation, just as the Gray family envisioned almost a century ago,” Forsman wrote.
According to the website, the Graylyn offers various leisure packages such as The Living and Learning Overnight package, the European Touch Spa package, and a Murder Mystery Weekend package.
For more information, visit the website.
704 Green Valley Rd., Greensboro
The Proximity Hotel is a modern and loft-like hotel that opened in 2007 and has 147 rooms and an event space that can host 20 to 200 people, wrote communications collaborative Lexus Lomison in an email. The hotel is a part of the Quaintance-Weaver Restaurants and Hotels family (led by Dennis Quaintance and Nancy King Quaintance) and is surrounded by its sister-restaurants Print Works Bistro, Green Valley Grill and Lucky 32 Southern Kitchen.
Proximity is located in midtown, and can offer the best of both worlds with being close to the excitement in downtown Greensboro as well as being just far enough from it to relax and enjoy a quiet weekend away from it all.
Lomison wrote that guests could borrow complimentary bicycles to ride on the greenway, enjoy the pool, dine at the Creekside Terrace or Bluebell Garden, take advantage of the attraction packages, and enjoy original artwork in every room by Artist-in-Residence, Chip Holton.
Packages include the weekend train getaway package, sustainable romance package, date night package and the International Civil Rights package.
“Proximity Hotel is the first hotel in America to receive the LEED Platinum certification from the U.S. Green Building Council and is known as one of the ‘greenest hotels in America,’” Lomison wrote. “For example, the building uses 39.2% less energy than a conventional hotel/restaurant by using ultra efficient materials and the latest construction technology. The sun’s energy heats hot water with 100 solar panels covering the 4,000 square feet of rooftop (enough hot water for 100 homes).”
Lomison said on Wednesday nights at Print Works there is mussels, wine and live music by AM rOdeO from 7 to 10 p.m., on first Friday there is a Pop-Up Dance Club at Print Works with DJ Jessica Mashburn from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m., on Thursdays and Saturdays there is live jazz at Proximity’s sister-hotel, O. Henry Hotel, afternoon tea at O. Henry, and Lucky 32 Southern Kitchen’s Songs on Tuesday nights from 6 to 9 p.m. Lomison said Proximity also provides complimentary transportation to its sister hotels and restaurants, and there is never a cover charge for weekly events.
More information can be found on the website.
The Wherehouse Art Hotel
211 .E 3rd St., Winston-Salem
Formerly an artist collective, the Wherehouse Art Hotel now serves as an art gallery and hotel operating through Airbnb. The Wherehouse is located in downtown Winston-Salem in the same building as Krankies and is right in the middle of the Innovation Quarter. Assistant and art mart curator Tessa Everton said a unique feature of the Wherehouse would be its art gallery room, which is a room that is periodically redecorated into an art gallery displaying local artists’ works.
“Anytime anybody books that room, the artist gets a part of that commission,” she said. “You are directly contributing to supporting the artist, and it is cool that you get to stay in an actual art gallery room.”
Everton said the art hotel also has the option to rent the entire hotel out or just the lobby area for parties and events.
“I think one of the cool things about the hotel is that not only do you get to stay in an artfully lodged [room] but most everything around you is for sale also, even some of the pieces of furniture and lamps,” she said. “It is also cool to be in the middle of downtown in walking distance to everything– above a coffee shop, around the corner from the Tin Can bodega, and Fair Witness craft cocktail bar–it is a one-stop shop. Incendiary Brewing is right down the block as well.”
There are four rooms that are available to be rented, and there is a fifth room being renovated, which should be completed within the next month, Everton said.
“It has two great murals from different artists that are incredible, and it will be called the Theatre Room,” she said. “It is lined with velvet curtains that are going to double as a backdrop for actual theatre stage. The theatre room will be somewhere you can see theatre events.”
Everton said folks should book months in advance, especially for weekends, because the rooms go quickly. Everton and Wherehouse owner Haydee Thompson recommends booking a room for June 8, which is their bi-annual art mart.
“[The art mart] will be held in the Industry Hill neighborhood,” she said. “We are going to participate in [their] block party that weekend, and we will be selling there.”
Everton said the Wherehouse Art Hotel is pet-friendly and one of the most affordable places to stay downtown.
“It is more fun and eclectic, and it definitely represents the spirit of arts and innovation,” she said.
For more information, visit the website.
Greensboro Downtown Parks, Inc.
Center City Park and LeBauer Park
Rob Overman, executive director of GDPI, said it all began in 2012 when Carolyn LeBauer reached out to the Community Foundation with her desire to give $10 million for the creation of a park in downtown Greensboro. Out of that, GDPI was organized to handle the maintenance and programming for both LeBauer Park and Center City Park.
“You can spend the whole day here,” Overman said. “That was intentional in the design and planning stage of the park. We wanted it to be a spot where families could come and spend the entire day downtown.”
Overman said the food kiosks (PorterHouse Burger Co. and Ghassan’s) located in LeBauer Park are designed to give people a quick place to eat without disrupting their day at the park. He said that LeBauer is the only park in Greensboro that sells beer and wine.
“Our programming is diversified so that we are offering something for everyone, whether if that is a fitness class in the morning or a movie in the afternoon,” he said. “There is a splash pad, that is another very popular destination.”
Overman said there is more programming on the weekends versus the weekdays, and the frequency of events depends on when kids are in school. He said that GDPI does about 400 free programs each year, which is (on average) one event per day.
“We also wanted the park to supplement things that already exist in downtown,” he said. “I think the most unique thing about our model is we have two distinctly different parks right across the street from one another. It is really the best of both worlds.”
He said that Center City Park is a traditional park that is focused on horticulture and is an urban oasis, while LeBauer is a more modern park with the food kiosks, stage, dog park, children’s garden and splash pad.
Overman said the focus of the parks is on equity and access. For instance, he said that there is a sensory wall inside the children’s garden tailored for children with developmental difficulties, closed captioning on all movies screened, sensory-friendly movie night, and the majority of all the programs are free and accessible to the public.
One of the most memorable programs and events for Overman that happened at LeBauer and Center City Parks was the March For Our Lives rally and the International Day of Dance.
“We like to have fun down here, that is our number one goal: for everyone to have fun and be entertained, but it is also a community gathering spot for people to come together and to dissect some of those tougher issues as a community,” he said.
He said the International Day of Dance is special to him because it is a day folks can come together and learn about each other without having to talk.
“The language barrier is not an issue for Dance Day because dance is the language,” he said. “This is a park for all people; we want everyone to feel welcome.”
Katie Murawski is the editor of YES! Weekly. She is from Mooresville, North Carolina and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in journalism with a minor in film studies from Appalachian State University in 2017.