Gay Winston-Salem & Greensboro
Emergency measures in the wake of Covid-19:
North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper has limited all bars and restaurants to takeout or delivery services only. Grocery stores, gas stations and convenience stores may remain open, but without sit-down service.
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, First National Bank Field, Greensboro History Museum, and the Greensboro Cultural Center.
These cities have tight-knit gay communities, but there are fewer gay clubs here these days. Greensboro still has a couple of bars, lively with a broad mix of events. Winston-Salem no longer has gay clubs, but PrideWS sponsors events throughout the year, and Out At The Movies sponsors monthly LGBTQ film screenings. For larger gay scenes look to the nearby cities of the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill Triangle, or south to Charlotte.
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. Each is just over an hour away by car. Greyhound provides bus services to Greensboro and Winston-Salem. Piedmont Triad Transportation, based in Greensboro, offers limos, shuttles, party buses and taxis from all North Carolina airports.
Amtrak Carolinian/ Piedmont trains connect Charlotte, Greensboro, Durham and Raleigh in North Carolina; also Richmond, Washington DC, Baltimore, Wilmington, Philadelphia, Trenton and New York. Amtrak Crescent trains connect Charlotte and Greensboro; plus New Orleans, Atlanta, Washington, Baltimore, Philadelphia and New York. Change trains for more destinations across North America.
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
The Pride Winston-Salem Festival and Parade takes place in mid-October each year.
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 Winston-Salem International LGBT Film Festival each October, plus monthly screenings at the ACE Theatre Complex, UNCSA; and the River Run International Film Festival. in April. Ongoing independent film screenings take place at a/ptr cinema.
For map locations and website links to the businesses below, and more, see our gay Winston-Salem-Greensboro listings pages.
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 Bar (708 West Market St), unpretentious 18+ gay locals' bar mix, outdoor space, pool table, special events, BBQs, bingo, WiFi. Reported CLOSED January 2018.
CLOSED: Club Snap! (1001 Burke St, Winston-Salem), LGBT nightclub, drag shows, amateur nights, karaoke, dancing. CO2 (Country Club Rd, Winston-Salem), former Odyssey, gay dance club, drag, strippers; Warehouse 29 (1011 Arnold, Greensboro), gay/alternative dance parties, go-go boys.