|Our district encompasses the northwest part of North Carolina from the foothills of the Piedmont to the southern highlands of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Eleven counties make up the 5th Congressional District, including Alexander, Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Catawba, Forsyth, Stokes, Surry, Watauga, Wilkes, and Yadkin.
Long known as one of the primary hubs for manufacturing and transportation in the southeastern U.S., the Piedmont Triad region of North Carolina is also a leading agricultural, educational, recreational, and cultural mecca.
Old Salem, located in Forsyth County, is a living history museum that operates within the restored Moravian community of Salem. Settled originally in 1766 by Moravians as a trading town, Salem was one of several Moravian settlements located in the Wachovia Tract. Salem merged with the nearby town of Winston in 1913.
Winston-Salem has since grown to be the fifth largest city in North Carolina, a bustling city home to the corporate headquarters of the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Corporation, Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, Inc., and Branch Banking and Trust Company (BB&T). Nicknamed the City of Arts and Innovation, Winston-Salem hosts six colleges and universities including Salem College, the longest continuously running women’s college in the U.S., as well as Wake Forest University and Winston-Salem State University.
Cutting through the eastern portion of our district, the Yadkin River is one of the largest rivers in North Carolina. This area is now known as the Yadkin Valley wine region and covers about 1.4 million acres in the Yadkin River Valley within the piedmont and foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, and is recognized as the first American Viticultural Area in North Carolina. The nearly 40 vineyards and wineries in Yadkin Valley contribute to more than 500,000 gallons of wine produced in the state annually, making North Carolina one of the top ten largest wine producers in the country.
For decades, the area was a key tobacco-growing region. However, as tobacco farming and cigarette manufacturing in the area decline, some entrepreneurs, including tobacco farmers, are turning to winemaking.
The historically rich farmland and mild climate contribute to the success and wide variety of grapes grown across the state. The native grapes are the muscadine and the scuppernong, and winemakers also use grape varieties such as European types. A number of varieties of wines are made in the region, including merlot, cabernet sauvignon, and chardonnay.
North Carolina's High Country and its Blue Ridge Mountains, one of the major chains of the Appalachian Mountains, are areas best known for the characteristic haze giving them a distinctive "blue" color. In the highlands you will find Grandfather Mountain standing at 5,964 feet, one of the tallest peaks in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Grandfather is best known for its mile-high swinging bridge. The Blue Ridge Parkway passes by the south side of the mountain. This national parkway, designated as an "All-American Road," is noted for its scenic beauty stretching 469 miles. It is the longest, narrowest national park in the world.
Tucked in the northwestern corner of North Carolina is 426-square-mile Ashe County. This small county is packed with things to do year-round. Whether it's the Christmas in July Festival in West Jefferson or the Festival of the Frescoes in the fall there's always something to do. Ashe County is also home to Mount Jefferson State Park, the north-flowing New River and the famous Ashe County Cheese Factory in West Jefferson.
Wilkes County is one of the birthplaces of modern stock-car racing.
The North Wilkesboro Speedway opened in 1947 after three Wilkes County residents purchased farmland to develop what came to be one of the first NASCAR (National Association of Stock Car Auto Racing) tracks. Driver Robert “Red” Byron won the final race of the 1949 race season at North Wilkesboro Speedway, becoming the first NASCAR champion. The final NASCAR race at the speedway was on September 29, 1996, when Jeff Gordon won the final Winston Cup race held there.
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Visit the Counties of the 5th District
Alexander County as of 2010, the population is 36,853. Its county seat is Taylorsville.
Alleghany County as of 2010, the population is 10,927. Its county seat is Sparta.
Ashe County as of 2010, the population is 27,097. Its county seat is Jefferson.
Avery County as of 2010, the population is 17,797. Its county seat is Newland.
Catawba County as of 2010, the population is 154,339. Its county seat is Newton.
Forsyth County as of 2010, the population is 358,137. Its county seat is Winston-Salem.
Stokes County as of 2010, the population is 47,401. Its county seat is Danbury.
Surry County as of 2010, the population is 73,673. Its county seat is Dobson.
Watauga County as of 2010, the population is 51,871. Its county seat is Boone.
Wilkes County as of 2010, the population is 69,306. Its county seat is Wilkesboro.
Yadkin County as of 2010, the population is 38,084. Its county seat is Yadkinville.