Stories? You’re standing on a gold mine.
From historic sites like the location of America’s first gold discovery to premier motorsports entertainment, Cabarrus County is full of amazing attractions, events and experiences driven by a community full of unique stories. Get inspired with the ideas below, then start planning your visit by contacting Lou Hammond Group at Cabarrus@LouHammond.com.
Celebrate Cabarrus County’s Culinary Scene
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. 2023 marks the celebration’s third year. Read the news release.
Plus, explore all of Cabarrus County’s culinary offerings from a developing food hall at Gibson Mill Market to craft breweries, wineries, a cidery, and an award-winning whiskey distillery located inside a former prison.
What’s New in Cabarrus County’s Downtown Districts
As legendary stock car driver Dale Earnhardt Sr.’s hometown, Kannapolis features motorsports history and so much more. After their home field was voted 2022 Ballpark of the Year and the country’s best Low-A Minor League stadium in 2021 by Ballpark Digest, the Cannon Ballers will kick off their third season on April 18, 2023 at Atrium Health Ballpark. With the restoration and reopening of the Swanee Theatre in October 2022, Downtown Kannapolis is now home to two historic theatres. Stay up to speed with the area’s revitalization here.
New offerings join signature experiences in Historic Downtown Concord, which was recently included in HGTV’s roundup of “The 30 Most Charming Small-Town Downtowns in America.” Here, enhancements like the Downtown Streetscape (which kicked off with a groundbreaking ceremony on June 15) will provide an even more inviting atmosphere for visitors and residents alike. Just around the corner, developing food hall Gibson Mill Market has grown to include 10 vendors with the latest additions opening in March 2023.
Experiences Only Found in Cabarrus County, NC
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.
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, visitors can tour several hundred feet of mine tunnels and can even strike gold for themselves at Reed Gold Mine in Midland.
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. 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. 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.
See here for more one-of-a-kind Cabarrus County experiences.
2023 Marks the 75th Anniversary of NASCAR
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 of Kannapolis to NASCAR team race shops like Hendrick Motorsports where Cup Series championships were built, much of the sports storied history began and continues to grow within our county lines.
Celebrate Your Win in Cabarrus County This Spring
Marking a milestone or celebrating a special occasion? Do it with your very own victory lap throughout Cabarrus County this spring!
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 NASCAR Cup Series Coca Cola 600 (May 28, 2023) and more.
Celebrate Summer in a Big Way
Curious about the best ways to spend summer in Cabarrus County?
Take your crew for a lap around legendary Charlotte Motor Speedway during a Fast Pass Tour, then take in a family-friendly event with the Summer Shootout Series (June-August) and the Circle K Monster Truck Bash (August 19). Weather-proof your weekend getaway with all-electric indoor go karts, indoor skydiving and Great Wolf Lodge indoor water park resort! 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. Visit downtown Kannapolis to see affordable first-run movies at the historic Gem Theatre, and have a blast at Atrium Health Ballpark with a baseball game and interactive splash pad to cool down! Go back-to-school shopping and be entertained at Concord Mills, where SEA LIFE Aquarium just introduced their new interactive Doodle Reef exhibit.
Then, get fired up for fall! Next season is packed with even more racing action and fun for the whole family. Here’s how to spend a perfect fall weekend in Cabarrus County.
Places to Play This Winter
Cabarrus County, North Carolina is the ideal addition to holiday destination round ups! Why?
Along with tree lightings and parades in each community (including Concord’s 95th Annual Christmas Parade!), 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, the country’s largest drive-thru, synchronized light show which features a 3.75-mile drive-thru course with over 4 million LED lights, drive-in movies on a 16,000 sq. ft. HDTV and so much more!
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.
From Horsepower to Holiday Lights
You may know Charlotte Motor Speedway as the 1.5 mile superspeedway where drivers take on NASCAR’s toughest test of man and machine during the season’s longest race, the Coca-Cola 600, and where the championship battle heats up during the Bank of America ROVAL 400.
But have you been to a music festival here? Have you enjoyed fine dining with a bird’s eye view of the track inside The Speedway Club? Have you driven around the track while it’s illuminated by over four million LED lights during the holiday spectacular, Speedway Christmas?
Located in Concord, North Carolina, this superspeedway leads the pack in fan entertainment. No matter the niche, the story ideas are limitless at Charlotte Motor Speedway. What will yours be?