Greensboro, North Carolina, is situated in the scenic Piedmont Golden Triangle between the Blue Ridge and Great Smoky mountain ranges and the Atlantic Ocean. The temperate climate and gently rolling hills entice tourists, particularly golfers in search of world-class courses.
The heart of Greensboro, the state’s third largest city, is its revitalized downtown. After a decades-long decline that began in the 1950s, the area gained new life in the ’90s. Downtown has since experienced a resurgence of commerce, living, entertainment and dining. This rebirth aided in the preservation and redevelopment of the Old Greensboro and Elm Street areas.
The Blandwood Mansion on West Washington Street is the nation’s oldest existing example of Italianate architecture. Guided tours of the house and grounds are offered Tuesday through Sunday.
Two other historical landmarks are the Southern Railway Train Station and the Carolina Theatre. When the station opened in 1927, it was the state’s largest. Today it lives on as the J. Douglas Galyon Depot transportation center. The Carolina Theatre also has endured since 1927. The theater opened as a vaudeville showplace, and its stunning Greek architecture and original ambiance remain.
Downtown Greensboro attractions are rich with historical and cultural significance. In 1960, four black Greensboro college students sat at the “whites only” lunch counter at Woolworth’s department store, an action that would help launch the nation’s civil rights movement. The International Civil Rights Center and Museum, housed in the former Woolworth's store, documents the movement through photography, artifacts, video presentations and interactive galleries.
Visitors can learn more about North Carolina’s past at the Greensboro Historical Museum, set in a Romanesque church that dates back to 1892. For devotees of visual and performing arts, the Greensboro Cultural Center at Festival Park is a top attraction. The center is home to 12 arts organizations and four galleries.
A 15-minute drive from downtown Greensboro is the family-friendly Castle McCulloch. Originally a gold refinery, the castle was built in 1832 and restored in the mid-1980s. Today, this Greensboro attraction invites exploration of the castle, drawbridge, moat and 70-foot tower, all set on 60 wooded acres. Guided tours are offered most days of the week; call ahead to secure your spot. From Mother’s Day through Labor Day, tourists can pan for gold and gems. At other times, panning is available by appointment.
Bryan Park Golf & Conference Center is a top site for spectacular scenery and fantastic golfing. Its two public courses earned the prestigious 4-star ranking in Golf Digest’s “Best Places to Play” guide.
Beyond the greens, Greensboro visitors can explore Bryan Park’s picnic areas, horseshoe pits and tennis and volleyball courts. The park is located on Lake Townsend, where tourists and locals come to sail and fish.
Greensboro’s dining options are just as varied. The Barn Dinner Theatre, known as America’s oldest continually operating dinner theater, is popular for its quality performances and bountiful buffet. Restaurants both trendy and traditional line rejuvenated South Elm Street.