We prefer downtown Greensboro and Durham. Greensboro has a really nice 'main street' (Elm St.) which has several shops, restaurants, and bars. The Marriott Downtown is a nice hotel pick. Our favorite restaurant for dinner is Table 16 (Chef/ Owner Heath is wonderful), and favorite breakfast spot is Smith Street Dinner. All is in walking distance from the Marriott Hotel.
Hard to say one is better than the others--it depends on your preferences. They all have lots to offer downtown. I can't help with Durham as I haven't been there in a few years, but I know the downtown area has surged recently and they have some great restaurants there. Greensboro's Elm Street area is nice--I do like to visit there--but I wouldn't say it's better than Winston-Salem. Winston has a lot to offer in a compact, very walkable area: bars/pubs, hotels, great restaurants, arts (galleries and performances), interesting shops, and Old Salem is icing on the cake. But if you're not into history then Old Salem may not be your thing, but even so it's a great area just to walk around and laze on a sunny afternoon.
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