In last week’s issue, Eric Ginsburg reminded us of the haughty attitude #SoGSO people have toward Winston-Salem. If you’re still using the 30-minute drive as an excuse not to visit, you’re obligated to know what you’re missing.

1. RiverRun International Film Festival
After my first RiverRun film a few years ago, I was hooked. The festival alone is why Winston-Salem is Greensboro’s more cultured neighbor. I like the animated and late-night shorts, both for the humor and the stoner UNCSA students. (Okay, it was only that one year.) Read more on page 13 to find out about this year’s festival.

2. Awesome vegetarian food
Thick-crusted tomato pie at Mozelle’s. Mac and cheese the way your grandma made it at Irie Rhythms. Grilled tempeh with the awesome sauce at Mooney’s. Living in Winston-Salem is probably the reason I spend my entire disposable income on things I consume.

3. Forsyth County Central Library
I practically lived in the UNCG stacks, but I have to brag about our recently renovated public library. It’s a completely different beast from before: classy, spacious, full of natural light. Check out the used books just inside the entrance, sold on the honor system, or the Gutenberg Bible replica on the second floor.

4. Parks and zen
Dude, have you been to Salem Lake? The seven-mile walking/running/biking trail loops around the lake and will make you zen af. The walking trails in Bethania are even more spiritual, maybe because they’re close to God’s Acre Moravian cemetery. But my favorite is the two-mile loop that passes by Reynolda Gardens at Wake Forest. Plunk your nose into a rose and your toes into turf after meandering through the nearby forest.

5. Bowman Gray Racing
Have you seen two cars chained together? What about when the front one has the engine and the back one has the brakes? I’d heard about the Madhouse’s reputation for a rip-roarin’ good time just people watching. But sit on the dirt-flecked bleachers for an hour and you’ll start cheering for the underdogs despite yourself.

6. Cozy nighttime nooks and nightcaps
Snag the couches and an unfamiliar whiskey at the Trophy Room. Grab a fancy cocktail at Tate’s and head up to the loft lounge, narrowly escaping the bros at the bar. Wander the streets to find more places to disappear into along Burke Street. Better yet: Stay to the wee hours on the lone leather loveseat at Corks, Caps & Taps.

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