A Year-Round Guide to Franklin and Nantahala

You don’t have to head to the mountains or the coast for a fun day trip: In the Triad, you’ll find a trifecta of cities to explore. From craft brews

Rosemary and Goat Cheese Strata

You don’t have to head to the mountains or the coast for a fun day trip: In the Triad, you’ll find a trifecta of cities to explore. From craft brews

From Pints to Pickleball in the Triad

You don’t have to head to the mountains or the coast for a fun day trip: In the Triad, you’ll find a trifecta of cities to explore. From craft brews and farm-fresh food at a charming cobblestone market to serene nature trails and manicured golf courses, Greensboro, High Point, and Winston-Salem are full of options for a mini adventure close to home. Here are six to consider the next time you hop in the car.


Score Fresh Finds at Winston-Salem’s Cobblestone Market

Amid the bustle of downtown Winston-Salem, the quiet charm of historic Old Salem offers a glimpse of the city’s Moravian heritage. And on Saturday mornings and Wednesday afternoons, the colonial neighborhood’s cobblestone streets serve as a venue for the Cobblestone Farmers Market. With a mission to provide sustainably produced food to all, the market boasts an assemblage of local producers and artisans, offering everything from fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables to meats, cheese, and bread. Fill your basket with tasty treats and then stroll along the charming streets. The market also offers a pre-order option with drive-through pickup for those who want to avoid crowds.


Take a Taste of Italy at Greensboro’s Cugino Forno

Within the time-worn brick-and-mortar confines of former textile factory Revolution Mill sit three ovens with their own earthen history. Made of sand and stone from Mt. Vesuvius in Naples, Italy, the wood-fired ovens (forno) reach volcanic temperatures of nearly 1,000 degrees — hot enough to cook a pizza in 90 seconds flat. That speed and heat aren’t the only things that set Cugino Forna pizzeria apart. The owners — three cousins, or cugino — import ingredients such as buffalo mozzarella, flour, and San Marzano tomato sauce directly from Italy. And true to the spirit of traditional Neopolitan-style pizza, the pies here keep it simple — vibrant tomato sauce, creamy cheese, and toppings like fresh basil and spicy Italian sausage atop a crust that’s crisp and pleasantly charred around the edges.

A fresh pizza being pulled from Cugino Forno’s wood-fired oven photograph by Cugino Forno


Explore the Nature Trails at Piedmont Environmental Center in High Point

With 376 acres of hardwood and pine forests, as well as lakeside habitats, the Piedmont Environmental Center nature preserve in High Point offers an escape from the city. More than six miles of natural surface trails crisscross the preserve, and hikers also can access the 6.5-mile Bicentennial Greenway and the 4.5-mile High Point Greenway from the center’s walkways. Elsewhere at the park, explore the North Carolina Mapscape exhibit — a 70-by-30-foot topographical relief map of the southeastern U.S. with North Carolina at the center. The map highlights landmarks such as mountains, bodies of water, cities, historical sites, and more.

Enjoy nature at the Piedmont Environmental Center photograph by Piedmont Environmental Center


Hit the Green in Greensboro

While Greensboro hosts the PGA Wyndham Tournament each year, you needn’t be a pro to enjoy the city’s courses. A variety of public courses from Bryan Park to Greensboro National make finding a tee time a breeze. And a PGA-style experience awaits at Grandover Resort, which boasts two 18-hole courses designed by world-renowned course architects David Graham and Gary Panks. While the Grandover regularly hosts tournaments like the UNC-Greensboro/Grandover Division I Collegiate Tournament, the courses are open to newbies as well, with golf lessons and a practice area available. And River Landing at Sandy Ridge is the only senior living community in the Triad with its own golf facility, a nine-hole course set amid a scenic landscape of hardwoods, pines, and rolling hills. Bermuda fairways, bent-grass greens, and multiple tees offer golfers of all abilities a fun and challenging experience.


Take a Mini Brewery Tour in Winston-Salem

Winston-Salem is known as the City of Arts and Innovation, but with an abundance of local breweries it also could call itself the city of beer. And a trio of small breweries located in downtown — Fiddlin’ Fish Brewing Company, Incendiary Brewing Company, and Wise Man Brewing — give beer lovers an easy-to-navigate tour of the city’s flavor. Named for the Appalachian pursuits of bluegrass and fishing, Fiddlin’ Fish draws inspiration from the mountains for beers like Cool as the Appalachians Lager and Black Mountain Chocolate Stout — a rich brew flavored with freshly roasted cocoa nibs. At Incendiary, housed in the Bailey Power Plant that was constructed in 1947 to power R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, you’ll find creative concoctions like the Dulce Muerte with Coconut, an imperial stout with habanero pepper, cinnamon, Madagascar vanilla, and coconut. Finally, rounding out your tour, head to Wise Man. Owned by a chemist who got his start with a home-brewing kit, Wise Man serves a host of IPAs, sours, stouts, lagers, and more in the urban-chic confines of the renovated 100-plus-year-old Angelo Brothers warehouse. All three taprooms offer tastings, beer flights, and rotating seasonal selections.

Fiddlin’ Fish Brewing Company in downtown Winston-Salem photograph by Fiddlin' Fish Brewing Company


Play Pickleball in High Point

Combining elements of tennis, badminton, and ping-pong, pickleball has become one of the most popular recreational sports in the country. And in High Point, pickleballers of all skill levels have ample opportunity to hit the court at the city’s parks and recreation facilities. The leafy canopy of Armstrong Park keeps the facility’s four outdoor courts cool on even the hottest days, with play available without reservations from sunrise to sunset. And when weather doesn’t permit outdoor play, both Morehead Recreation Center and Oakview Recreation Center offer three indoor courts each, available by reservation. At both indoor locations, pickleball newbies can also sign up for clinics to hone their skills.

This story was published on Sep 14, 2020

Jennifer Bringle

Jennifer Bringle is a Greensboro-based writer. Her work has appeared in Glamour, Good Housekeeping, The Washington Post, and Southern Living, among other outlets.