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6 Reasons Winston-Salem, NC is a Great Place to Live

From great food to great schools, it's tough to narrow down just why Winston-Salem is a great place to live. Here are six reasons to make your move.

By Livability on January 3, 2023

Winston-Salem Skyline at Sunset
Courtesy of Visit Winston-Salem

Winston-Salem in 2023 is a midsize city looking to grow, and U.S. News & World Report has ranked it among the top 50 Best Places to Live. The population has increased by about 2,000 residents every year since 2010.

Here are some reasons why more and more people are moving to Winston-Salem.

1. Enviable Quality of Life

With a cost of living below the national average, it costs less than half as much to live here versus the nation’s largest metros. In addition, newcomers can benefit from a real estate market with a median home price of around $163,000, which is 40% to 60% less than other North Carolina metros, reports the U.S. Census Bureau.

Winston Salem NC
Winston-Salem / Photo Courtesy of Visit Winston-Salem

2. Destination: Downtown

Downtown Winston-Salem, the city’s central business district, is bustling with things to do. With more than 75 restaurants and 30 bars & breweries to enjoy in Winston-Salem’s walkable downtown, there’s always something new to discover. More than 14,000 residents live downtown, and that number is expected to grow with new apartment projects recently completed and under construction.

3. Epic Education

Named one of the South’s Best College Towns by Southern Living (2022), scholars of all kinds can access an epic education at one of Winston-Salem’s six institutions of higher learning: Carolina University, Forsyth Tech, Salem College, University of North Carolina School of the Arts, Wake Forest University, and Winston-Salem State University.

Winston-Salem, NC, Innovation Quarter, Power Plant patio with Cugino Forno Pizzeria and Incendiary Brewing sharing the seating.
Eric Waters

4. Innovation Epicenter

In the heart of Downtown Winston-Salem, the Innovation Quarter is renowned for research and is quickly becoming a national epicenter for regenerative medicine. The innovation district currently has 2.1 million square feet of office, lab, educational and community spaces, while Phase II plans call for another 2.7 million square feet.

5. Startup City

Repeatedly ranked as one of the best places in the nation to start and grow a business, Winston-Salem is a startup city. A vast entrepreneurial ecosystem nurtures early-stage companies and accelerates their success. Downtown’s 500 West 5th building operates as a vertical innovation district, complementing the Innovation Quarter located a few blocks to the east and incubating scores of startups and entrepreneurs.

Salem Park, Winston Salem NC, W-S State University Outdoor Rec Class 130L kayaking, Professor Kiboum Kim instructs from the shore.
Eric Waters

6. Outdoors Galore

Winston-Salem is a breath of fresh air for residents who enjoy the outdoors. Exercising is easy and encouraged throughout the city, with more than 3,500 acres of parks and 25 miles of greenways and trails. For those who like the water, a top recreation destination is Salem Lake in southeastern Winston-Salem. Along the lake, a 7-mile trail is great for hiking, walking or biking.

If you’d like to learn more about the Winston-Salem, NC, area, check out the latest edition of Livability: Greater Winston-Salem

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