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9 of the Most Interesting Museums in Winston-Salem for Everyone!

Published by Carl Hedinger. Last Updated on February 13, 2024.

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Looking for the best museums in Winston-Salem, NC?

While exploring North Carolina‘s Camel City, we had a blast visiting the city’s most riveting museums!

And we think you’ll love them too, even if they weren’t originally on your itinerary!

These 9 museums in Winston-Salem rank high among the city’s most fun things to do. That’s because they nicely mix history art, and a few of them are even kid-friendly.

A couple are even free to enter!

We’ll share info about these museums in Winston-Salem, their locations, and admissions inside this guide. We’re ready to start sharing our favorites if you’re ready to start reading and planning your trip!

This post is part of our series on Winston-Salem, more of our favorite places to visit in Central North Carolina, and the best things to do in North Carolina.

9 Best Museums in Winston-Salem

From historical houses to interesting art museums and exciting children’s museums, these are the best museums to visit on your next trip to Winston-Salem, NC.

1. Old Salem Museums & Gardens

600 S Main St

Inside of a covered bridge in Old Salem Museum & Gardens, one of the most popular museums in Winston-Salem, NC

Take a step back in time and learn about Moravian culture at Old Salem Museums and Gardens. Of all the museums in Winston-Salem, this one is probably the most popular for many people, including us!

You can peruse Main Street on your own for free or get tickets for a guided tour and full access to the historic town‘s buildings at Old Salem Visitor Center! Either way, you’ll be met with a cultural dive into the 1800s and dazzling flowers and edible plants at the gardens. 

Old Salem, Winston-Salem Admission Info

  • Admission gives you access to historic buildings and the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts‘ (MESDA) self-guided galleries.
  • Kids under 4 enjoy free admission.
  • Adults pay $30
  • Students and children pay $16.

2. MESDA and the Frank L Horton Museum Center 

Begin your journey to Old Salem by entering the Galleries at the Frank L. Horton Museum Center. Your exploration commences on the upper level, where you’ll find MESDA, also known as the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts.

Old Salem 2023 pottery MESDA

Within MESDA, you’ll discover a meticulously curated selection of decorative artifacts originating from eight Southern states. Notably, this museum boasts the most extensive collection of Southern pottery under one roof in the United States.

Old Salem 2023 Moravian Collection

Once you’ve explored the MESDA’s upstairs galleries, take a stroll downstairs to the basement, where you’ll find the Moravian Collection. This unique assemblage features decorative pieces and artifacts with their roots firmly planted in Salem’s history. While Old Salem excels in narrating the stories of its people, the Moravian Collection at the Frank L. Horton Museum delves deeper into the artistic and craftsmanship traditions that thrived within Salem.

3. Kaleideum (Top Children’s Museum Winston-Salem)

120 West 3rd Street

 boy with a Krispy Kreme hat on at a museum in Winston Salem

When it comes to children’s museums in Winston-Salem, Kaleideum is the place to start. You’ll find a world of hands-on learning for kids of all ages here.

They have exciting, colorful exhibits like By Design, In Motion, Our Nature and much more! Their flagship exhibit is “Try It! Studio” where children will be enthralled by their discoveries!

Kaleideum Admission Info

  • Members: Free
  • Ages 11 Months and Under: Free
  • Adults: $15
  • Youth (Ages 1-19): $12
  • Seniors (62+): $13

5. Reynolda House Museum of American Art

2250 Reynolda Rd

Sculpture next to a small pool with Reynolda House Museum of American Art in the background.

Art lovers and lovers of beautiful homes alike should not miss out on the Reynolda House Museum of American Art! Reynolda boasts masterpieces of living history from the colonial period all the way to the present day.

This is one of the best Winston-Salem art museums and is specifically designed for a self-guided tour, but they show an orientation video to get you started. They offer a variety of changing exhibitions in their 3,000-square-foot gallery!

Reynolda Admission Info

  • Adults: $18
  • Museum members, children 18 and under, students with a valid ID, and military personnel with ID: Free

6. Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art

750 Marguerite Dr

Check out the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art in the Historic Reynolda District for a more modern experience. It’s the first of a few free museums in Winston-Salem that we’ll mention.

SECCA Winston Salem art

While it has no permanent exhibitions, the historic and contemporary architecture and grounds keep you coming back for me. No matter what exhibits are on display, you’re sure to have a fascinating multimedia experience. 

Admission is free for everyone.

7. Museum of Anthropology

Wake Forest University, Wingate Rd

If you’re looking to explore cultures from around the globe, you’ve come to the right place! At the Museum of Anthropology at Wake Forest University, you can find ceremonial artifacts from the Americas, Africa, and Asia.

There are hands-on activities for all ages at each exhibit! This museum has offered intercultural learning since 1963 and still delivers worthwhile education and activities!

Admission is free.

8. Shell Station Museum

1111 E Sprague St, Winston-Salem, NC 27107

A gas station with gas pumps in the shape of a Shell Logo

While the shell-shaped Shell Station seems more like a landmark than a museum, we still include it on the list. The Shell Station was constructed in 1930 and still stands, available for all your selfie needs in Winston-Salem!

Admission is free.

This is the last of our museums in Winston-Salem, as our next and final one sits in a Forsyth County neighboring town.

9. Körner’s Folly 

413 S Main St, Kernersville

Körner's Folly Victorian House in Winston-Salem NC

It’s a short hop, skip, and jump over to Kernersville, where you can see the splendid Körner’s Folly! This historic 22-room Victorian house spans 6,000 square feet and 3.5 stories.

Aptly named, their motto is “American Ingenuity. Eccentric Architecture. Victorian Culture.” Beyond this unique Victorian is Aunt Dealy’s House, which includes a gift shop and tour instruction video.

Körner’s Folly Admission Info

  • Adults: $12 plus tax
  • Children ages 6 to 18: $6 plus tax
  • Under 6: Free

Ready to Explore these Interesting Museums in Winston-Salem (and Nearby)?

Museums in Winston-Salem
Let us know when you find the coffee pot at Old Salem!

We look forward to revisiting these amazing museums in Winston-Salem for years to come. Our personal favorites are constantly changing, though we love taking our little one to Kaleideum as often as possible.

If you’re new to the area, which of these Winston-Salem museums do you look forward to visiting first? Of course, we’d also be interested to know about your favorites if you’re familiar with the city.

Let us know in the comments, and feel free to share in our Facebook Group if you’ve got fun Winston-Salem adventures!

More Things to Do in Winston-Salem

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