If you want to experience the place where racing lives like a local, this is how to do it.
1. Charlotte Motor Speedway and zMAX Dragway
The legendary track at Charlotte Motor Speedway hosts a variety of racing events year-round and has unique bragging rights as the home track for many of NASCAR’s top teams. Cheer on your favorite driver at NASCAR Sprint Cup events in May and October. See top fuel dragsters race four-wide at the only NHRA-sanctioned four-lane track, zMAX Dragway. Known as “the Bellagio of Drag strips,” zMAX sets a new standard for drag racing facilities around the world.
2. Concord Mills Mall
Bringing in more than 17 million visitors each year, Concord Mills Mall is the largest shopping and entertainment destination in the Carolinas. Mimicking the oval racetrack layout of nearby Charlotte Motor Speedway, The Mills is home to more than 200 stores, including many retailer outlets, anchor stores like Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World and a 24-screen AMC Theater. In 2014, the grand opening of SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord Aquarium made a big splash! Pick up discount tickets at the Cabarrus County Visitor Information Center, and visit SEA LIFE in Neighborhood 7 to explore over 5,000 species of underwater creatures all swimming in 150,000 gallons of water!
3. Great Wolf Lodge
For an unforgettable family experience, enjoy the thrill of North Carolina’s largest indoor waterpark that’s reserved exclusively for guests. Continue your adventure in MagiQuest, Cub Club and one of many family restaurants. Then, retreat to one of 402 Northwoods-themed suites.
4. Kannapolis Intimidators
Our local baseball team, the Kannapolis Intimidators, are a Class “A” affiliate of the Chicago White Sox. Named for Dale Earnhardt, the Intimidators play 70 home games from April-September at CMC Northeast Stadium. Intimidators baseball is affordable fun for the whole family during the warmer months!
5. NASCAR Race Shops
Some of NASCAR’s top teams and drivers are based in Cabarrus County, including Stewart-Haas Racing and 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion Tony Stewart. So is Hendrick Motorsports, the team of five-time champion Jimmie Johnson and fan-favorite Dale Earnhardt, Jr.
6. North Carolina Music Hall of Fame
Housed in the old jailhouse in Kannapolis, the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame perserves the rich musical heritage of North Carolina. James Taylor, John Coltrane, Charlie Daniels, Roberta Flack, Andy Griffith and Randy Travis are just a few of the renowned musicians with North Carolina ties honored here. Ben Folds, a Winston-Salem native, was recently inducted as part of the 2011 Class.
7. Reed Gold Mine
The first documented discovery of gold in the United States happened right here in Cabarrus County when Conrad Reed, at age 12, discovered a 17-pound gold nugget and then used it as a doorstop for three years. Today, the Reed Gold Mine is a historic site and the only underground gold mine in North Carolina open to the public.
8. Sam Bass Gallery
NASCAR’s first officially licensed artist, Sam Bass, has been documenting NASCAR history in images for more than 30 years. The Sam Bass Gallery showcases more than 300 pieces of art including originals, limited edition prints, illustrations, fine art posters and the history of “special” paint schemes in NASCAR.
9. The Dale Trail
Experience the life and embrace the memory of one of NASCAR’s greats, Dale Earnhardt. Follow The Dale Trail through his hometown of Kannapolis to see a community’s memorial to the Intimidator’s legacy.
10. Union Street in Historic Downtown Concord
Historic Downtown Concord has preserved a charming small-town atmosphere loved by visitors and residents alike. Concord means “harmony” and the modern-day downtown is a true reflection of its name. The harmonic combination of specialty shops, restaurants, museums and the arts in a historic downtown setting make Concord worth the stop. Concord’s Historic Courthouse, home to art galleries, a historical museum and a professional theatre, embodies the picturesque downtown atmosphere and emphasis on culture and history.
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