Stories? You’re standing on a gold mine.
From historic sites like the location of America’s first documented discovery of gold to the premier motorsports experiences that make this area “Where Racing Lives,” Cabarrus County is full of amazing stories to share. Get inspired by the ideas below, then start planning your visit by contacting Lou Hammond Group at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cabarrus County is the ideal addition to holiday destination round ups and places to play this winter season!
Along with tree lightings and parades in each community, find festive fun at Great Wolf Lodge where the 80,000-sq. ft. water park is kept 84° and flurries fall in the lobby during Snowland! Then, drive on legendary Charlotte Motor Speedway during Speedway Christmas (Nov 19-Jan 16), a 3.75-mile drive-thru light show featuring over 4 million LED lights and drive-in movies on a 16,000 sq. ft. HDTV!
Wrap up holiday shopping, visit the only Lionel retail store, and experience Sea of Lights at SEA LIFE Aquarium inside Concord Mills, the state’s largest outlet and value retail shopping center. Plus, celebrate the season with an afternoon candle lit tour through the underground mine tunnels at the site of America’s first discovery of gold during “A Golden Christmas” at Reed Gold Mine (Dec 4)!
Explore what’s new as revitalization continues in the downtown districts of Concord and Kannapolis!
After a successful inaugural season, the Kannapolis Cannon Ballers kick off 2022 at Atrium Health Ballpark on April 8. From veteran-owned brewery Old Armor Beer Company to new lodging at The Mill Inn, learn about recent additions here including local restaurants, boutiques and beyond. Plus, new offerings join signature experiences in Historic Downtown Concord where enhancements like the Union Streetscape will provide an even more inviting atmosphere for visitors and residents alike.
Take part in the area’s annual savory celebration to support our eateries—Cabarrus Burger Madness! Throughout the month of March, local restaurants in Cabarrus County debut brand new burger creations. After diners devour, deliberate, and vote for their favorite, the winner is awarded bragging rights.
Plus, explore all of Cabarrus County’s culinary offerings from a developing food hall at Gibson Mill Market to 10 craft breweries, an award-winning whiskey distillery located inside a former prison, scenic vineyard alongside the site of America’s first gold discovery, and brand new cidery.
Mark your milestone and celebrate your win with a Victory Lap in Cabarrus County!
Spring is the perfect time to experience the destination’s premier motorsports entertainment, adrenaline-fueled activities, and outdoor adventures. Thrill seekers can enjoy an action-packed itinerary filled with race car ride-alongs, indoor skydiving, mountain bike trails, and awe-inspiring motorsports events including the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals (April 29-May 1), NASCAR Cup Series Coca Cola 600 (May 29) and more.
Say goodbye to summer in a big way!
Take in a family-friendly event at Charlotte Motor Speedway during Charlotte AutoFair (Sep. 9-11) and the thrilling Dewalt NHRA Carolina Nationals (Sep. 17-19). Your crew can even drive on the legendary track in your own vehicle during a Fast Pass speedway tour!
Weather-proof your weekend getaway with all-electric indoor go karting, indoor skydiving, and a stay at Great Wolf Lodge indoor water park resort! Back-to-School shop and be entertained at North Carolina’s largest outlet and value retail shopping center, Concord Mills.
Stay cool at Reed Gold Mine (site of America’s first gold discovery!) by panning for gold and touring underground mine tunnels which stay 62-degrees year-round. Have a blast at brand new Atrium Health Ballpark, home of minor league baseball team, the Kannapolis Cannon Ballers. Snack on classic ballpark fare and stop by the splash pad to cool down! See a first-run movie at an affordable price across the street at the historic Gem Theatre, one of the oldest single-screen theatres still in operation today, and top it all off by taking home treats from local businesses along West Ave including specialty stores like candy and puzzle combo shop, James Sweet Spot.
Then, get fired up for a fall! Next season is packed with even more racing action and fun for the whole family.
Known as the “Bellagio of Drag Strips,” zMAX Dragway is the first four-lane, all-concrete drag strip in the world. At the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals in April each year, the thunderous roar of 40,000 horsepower causes the grandstands to rumble and fans from around the world to travel to Concord, North Carolina. Each year, the greatest spectacle in drag racing brings stories of success for drivers, memories for fans, advancements on the track and much more.
The first documented discovery of gold in the continental United States happened in Cabarrus County in 1799 when 12-year-old Conrad Reed found a 17-pound golden nugget on the family’s property—that they used as a doorstop! Today, Reed Gold Mine is the only underground mine in North Carolina open to the public. Visitors can follow Conrad Reed’s journey through several hundred feet of mine tunnels and can even strike gold for themselves! Stake you claim with just $3, and keep what you find.
Kannapolis is the hometown of NASCAR Hall of Famer and racing legend Dale Earnhardt, Sr. The city is also a cornerstone of The Dale Trail, a self-guided tour that features points of interest from Dale’s childhood and racing legacy. While on The Dale Trail, fans can pay tribute to the Intimidator and get a glimpse into his life as a man, not just a race car driver. The Dale Earnhardt Tribute Plaza is one of the tour’s most significant locations featuring a nine-foot, 900-pound bronze statue of Dale as his friends and family remember him—in Justin boots and Wrangler jeans. Look closely and you’ll find features that relate to Earnhardt numerology all throughout the Plaza.
Also in Kannapolis, the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame showcases our state’s rich musical history covering nearly every musical genre. The legacies of musicians with North Carolina ties are preserved and honored here including James Taylor, John Coltrane, Charlie Daniels, Roberta Flack, Andy Griffith, Randy Travis and more.
You may know Charlotte Motor Speedway as the 1.5 mile superspeedway where drivers have taken home millions from the NASCAR All-Star Race, where the championship battle heats up with the Bank of America ROVAL 400, and where drivers take on NASCAR’s toughest test of man and machine during the season’s longest race, the Coca-Cola 600.
But have you enjoyed a drive-in concert or cozied up to a movie on the massive 16,000-square-foot Speedway TV? Have you enjoyed a delicious meal with a bird’s eye view of the track inside The Speedway Club? Have you been ice skating at the legendary track before taking in four million LED lights during the holiday spectacular, Speedway Christmas?
No matter the niche, the story ideas are limitless at Charlotte Motor Speedway. What will yours be?
The roots of NASCAR racing go back to the Prohibition Era during the national ban on the sale, manufacture, and transportation of alcohol in the United States. Those who made and delivered illegal whiskey did so by the light of the moon and became known as “moonshine runners.”
With supped up cars and reputations for outsmarting and outdriving the law, these drivers began racing each other. By the end of the 1940s, those contests evolved into a spectator sport after Bill France Sr. organized owners, drivers, mechanics and promoters who worked together to draft race rules and regulations. The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing or NASCAR was born.
Today, Cabarrus County is home to an unequaled concentration of motorsports attractions. From racing legend Dale Earnhardt Sr.’s hometown to the shop where each of Jimmie Johnson’s seven NASCAR Cup Series championships were built, much of the sports storied history began and continues to grow within our county lines.
Midnight Moon’s 1940 Ford Photo credit: Piedmont Distillers and Midnight Moon