Sunday, June 21, 2015 12:00 PM


If Raleigh seems too fast-paced and citified these days, Greensboro beckons, just down the road.

An hour and a half out Interstate 40 West, the relaxed Gate City offers history, multiple centers of higher education and a thriving arts, nightlife and entertainment scene. And there’s some great, reasonably priced food.

In the past decade or so, a downtown rebirth centered on South Elm Street has filled many storefronts and drawn locals and visitors from as far away as Winston-Salem – and beyond. Just ask a downtown businessperson or artist.

“There’s a lot of development that’s happening downtown, so it’s exciting to work alongside, and sometimes ahead, of development,” said Valerie Wiseman, communications curator for a creative center called Elsewhere, the “living museum.”

The curators, interns and a rotating crew of national and international residents at Elsewhere make use of a crazily crowded space where the late businesswoman Sylvia Gray ran a succession of enterprises between 1939 and 1997. More sedate, but also dedicated to local arts, food and beer, is Scuppernong Books, which serves as a third place for Greensboro writers and musicians.

Down South Elm Street, in a revitalizing neighborhood “south of the tracks,” stands a historical marker that recalls a grittier Greensboro, one ...

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