1. Twin City Hive
Twin City Hive sits at the top of my list of Winston-Salem coffeehouses and, over the last few weeks, I’ve noticed it’s an almost-guarantee that I’ll run into a friend or acquaintance I actually want to see.

2. Slappy’s Fried Chicken
The joint smells like fried chicken, and that’s all that needs said.

3. Kaleideum North
Formerly known as SciWorks, the children’s science center’s high ceilings are ever echoing the delighted squeals of the younger set and house charming, interactive exhibits that remind me of grade-school field trips to the Ben Franklin Institute in Philadelphia. Seeing entourages of chaperoned students puts a smile on my face every time.

4. Café Gelato
The stretch of small businesses across from Hanes Park on Reynolda Road is undeniably cute. It’s an always-tempting opportunity for a sweet treat but whether I indulge or not, the happy colors and kind owner are their own kind of pick-me-up. I recently discovered espresso is on the menu, too.

5. McKay’s
I love the smell of books almost as much as fried chicken. Almost.

6. Penny Path Café
Again, the smells. Sensing a pattern?

The Southeastern Center for Contemporary Arts — tucked away within a residential neighborhood northwest of downtown — serves as a welcomed respite from traffic lights and concrete, not to mention that this stop comes with a chance to take a quick peak at the newest exhibits.

8. Dry Cleaning Central
Papers aren’t flying off the rack just yet at this newly established stop, but the Oakwood Drive spot is sunny and the employees learn your name. Let’s be real: It’s always nice to be able to integrate a few errands along the route, too.

9. William G. White Jr. Family YMCA
This one surprised me, too. Of all the Ys I’ve visited in the city, though, this one hosts the most gregarious guests and staff who subtly make me feel like a valued member of our community. Almost every time, I’ll run into someone flipping Triad City Beat’s pages and half-way through my day I’m reminded of why I’m doing it all in the first place.

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