Winston-Salem & Greensboro
Winston-Salem, Greensboro and High Point make up the Piedmont Triad cities of North Carolina. This whole region of North Carolina from Asheville to Raleigh has many fine visual arts galleries, sculpure and crafts outlets.
Winston-Salem, a gracious southern city where tabacco was once king, has impressive art museums, a symphony orchestra, the April River Run Film Festival, the internationally respected University of North Carolina School of the Arts, and the world-famous National Black Theatre Festival that takes place each August. Don’t miss Old Salem Museum & Gardens, a living history museum. Founded in 1766 as a backcountry trading center, it’s a fascinating look into colonial life.
Greensboro, which became a textiles as well as tobacco center after the Civil War, has experienced a dramatic increase in downtown nightlife with numerous nightclubs, bars and restaurants. Other attractions include: the Carolina Theater, Triad Stage (Pyrle Gibson Theater), Blandwood Mansion, Center City Park, NewBridge Bank Park, Greensboro Historical Museum, and the Greensboro Cultural Center.
These cities have tight-knit gay communities, and although there are fewer gay clubs (after CO2 closed in Winston-Salem), the bars in Greensboro are lively with a broad mix of locals and plenty of events. More social options can be found in the nearby cities of the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill Triangle, or down in Charlotte, with their larger gay scenes.
As in all of North Carolina, the bars are membership clubs to comply with NC State ABC law. Members can sponsor you as a guest at the door. New memberships take 3 days. Locals are used to this, and will help visitors. Call ahead or check the bar website for the fine print.
You’ll probably fly into Charlotte-Douglas International Airport, or Raleigh-Durham International Airport. Both are just over an hour away.
Greensboro has Amtrak train service with connections to all major East Coast cities.
You’ll most likely want a car of your own to explore the Triad and the beautiful Piedmont areas nearby. For the public transit system see WSTA, or for all city services the City of Winston-Salem website. For Greensboro public transportation see GTA
Media & Resources
Q Notes is the gay publication for all of North Carolina. It’s full of news and cultural commentary. For general news, reviews and events listings see Yes Weekly.
The Pride Winston-Salem Festival and Parade takes place in early October.
The Carolina Bear Lodge website details social events for the bear community across North and South Carolina, and open to anyone outside the area as well.
For film lovers there are: Out at the Movies, the Triad's LGBT film series each second Saturday at UNCSA’s ACE Theatre Complex; and the April River Run International Film Festival and ongoing independent film screenings at at a/ptr cinema.
For map locations and website links to the businesses below, and more, see our gay Winston-Salem-Greensboro listings pages.
Club Snap! (1001 Burke St), new Wednesday-Sunday LGBT nghtclub, drag shows, amateur nights, karaoke, weekend dancing, mixed crowd; October Mr & Miss Pride WS Contest - part of the Pride WS celebrations.
Chemistry Nightclub (2901 Spring Garden St), gay, straight-friendly, 18+ dance club and drag showbar, hot male dancers, guest porn stars; open nightly, Saturdays from 5pm.
Q Lounge (708 West Market St) alternative, unpretentious gay and gay-friendly locals' bar mix, outdoor space, pool table, special events, barbeques, bingo, WiFi, 18+ and open daily.
CLOSED: CO2, (Country Club Rd, Winston Salem), the former Club Odyssey, gay dance club, drag shows, strippers; Warehouse 29, (1011 Arnold, Greensboro), gay/alternative dance parties, go-go boys.
For locations and links to more gay-friendly nightspots, hotels and local restaurants see our map & listings section.