Midland, North Carolina

The small Cabarrus County community is home to Reed Gold Mine. Visit the place where 12-year-old Conrad Reed made the nation’s first gold discovery in 1799. The 17-pound nugget was used as a doorstop for three years before his father sold it for $3.50. Tour the Midland, N.C., Visitors Center, restored underground tunnels, and reconstructed stamp mill. Hike and explore the Talking Rocks Trail. Peruse gold mining exhibits, and try your luck panning for gold (seasonal April–Oct).