July 22, 2018
If you reside in North Carolina, you’re probably familiar with all the wonderful activities our state has to offer. These are just a few of the adventures you’ll find right here in your own backyard, or just a short drive from the mountain and coastal regions.
Families looking for a single pit stop to satisfy everyone’s summer wish list should head to Great Wolf Lodge! The largest indoor water park in the Carolinas is 84 degrees year-round, and the rest of the resort is packed with activities like bowling, a high ropes course, interactive mini golf, arcade, stellar dining options and more. Add an outing to the agenda and visit Reed Gold Mine, site of America’s first gold discovery. Exert some energy while touring underground mine tunnels and panning for gold. If you find gold, it’s yours to keep! Need another nearby indoor activity that kids will go crazy for? Entertain your troupe and wrap up last-minute back-to-school shopping in one visit to Concord Mills—home to over 200 stores, SEA LIFE Aquarium, The Speedpark and more.
Maybe you’ve heard the area is known for motorsports but have never explored Cabarrus County’s racing roots. Add some speed to your summer with a visit to “Where Racing Lives!” Step inside NASCAR Race Shops like Hendrick Motorsports and Roush Fenway Racing, and then strap in to a real race car with a ride along at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The track also offers daily tours, so you can see the speedway any time of year. Anyone in your crew who isn’t ready for the driver’s seat of a stock car can get behind the wheel at the all- electric, indoor karting course, K1 Speed. But don’t downshift yet! Accelerate the adventure in Kannapolis—hometown of NASCAR Hall of Famer and legendary driver, Dale Earnhardt. See Stewart-Haas Racing, then follow self-guided tour, The Dale Trail to locations that tell the story of Dale’s life and legacy.
If sports and rec is more your speed, you’ll find opportunities to practice your putt, hike, bike, paddle and root for the home team in Cabarrus County! First, check in to Embassy Suites Charlotte-Concord Golf Resort & Spa. The resort’s two-room suites will give your group enough space, and Rocky River Golf Club is steps away. A scenic, 30-minute drive will land you on the Carolina Thread Trail. Plan your trip using the interactive map to find the perfect spot to run, ride or kayak. Prefer a guided outing? Capstone Climbing & Adventure offers packages for groups. Then, have a picnic, ride the paddle boats and play a round of disc golf at Frank Liske Park. After exploring outdoors, grab a local beer and watch the Kannapolis Cannon Ballers baseball game! These minor league home games run through the beginning of September and feature tons of fun.
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Plan a getaway full of inspiration! Along with plenty of public art like the Coca-Cola mural, Historic Downtown Concord is packed with opportunities to meet the makers and pick up handcrafted souvenirs. Download the Downtown Concord app and go on a walking tour that showcases gorgeous architecture of historic homes. When you get to the historic courthouse, step inside and browse The Galleries. Then, tap into your own creativity! AR Workshop hosts creative classes and provides everything you need for easy-to-make projects. The Bead Lady offers classes for you and your friends to create your own wearable masterpieces. Visiting in August? Stop by Downtown Kannapolis to explore the Kaleidoscope Cultural Arts Festival. Another Kannapolis attractions that’s key to exploring the arts is the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame—a curated collection of memorabilia that tells the story of our state’s musical heritage.
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If you’re a foodie, set out to sample must-try meals crafted by area chefs including these 10 Local Favorite Places to Eat. Then, swing by the Visitor Center for a free Race to Taste coaster set complete with info for all the local stops along Cabarrus County’s craft beverage scene. Savor it all, from wine slushies and breathtaking views at Rocky River Vineyards to small-batch bourbon distilled at “Whiskey Prison!” Cabarrus County’s culinary side offers everything from an upscale dining to local burger and barbecue joints. Try authentic Italian and Cuban cuisine for international fare or stop by a brewery and walk up to the window of an area-favorite food truck for local flavor. Be sure to save room! There are way too many sweet shops to skip dessert! Looking to keep it local? The Destination Guide also notes which restaurants are independently owned.
There’s still time to squeeze in one more getaway before fall arrives! Ready to jump in the car and make the short drive to Cabarrus County? Find your home-away-from-home and start planning your staycation.