Affordable Adventures

Five unique experiences in Cabarrus County that won’t break the bank

Did you know that the first documented discovery of gold in the continental United States happened in Cabarrus County? And that you can tour the mine? Race fans will also find plenty of activities to get their motors running. Dedicate the whole weekend to visiting race shops and The Dale Trail, or pick and choose to cover them all in one action-packed day. Cabarrus County’s heritage doesn’t stop at motorsports. Explore the arts scene, including the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame and the Cabarrus Arts Council.

NASCAR Race Shops

Cabarrus County is an ultimate motorsports destination giving fans the opportunity to step into top NASCAR shops, team store and museums. Many shops welcome fans at no charge. With 90% of the teams located in Cabarrus County and the surrounding area, visitors can explore motorsports heritage right in the heart of racing country. For a complete list, flip to the “RACE” section of the Destination & Motorsports Guide or check out these suggestions on where to start!

BONUS: At nearby Charlotte Motor Speedway, the “Feel the Thrill” tour is packed with action, history and fun for just $12 per person ($10 per person for seniors (55 and older), military personnel, EMS/Fire/Police personnel and children ages 13 and younger). For even more value, stop by the Cabarrus County Visitor Center and pick up a $2 off coupon!

Dale Earnhardt Tribute Plaza

Kannapolis is the hometown of NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Earnhardt Sr. Here, the Dale Earnhardt Tribute Plaza features a nine-foot, 900-pound bronze statue of Dale as the centerpiece of a lush courtyard in the heart of downtown. Look closely and you’ll find features that play on Earnhardt numerology all throughout the plaza.

BONUS: There are several other stops where 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 Trail is a self-guided tour that features points of interest from Dale’s childhood and racing legacy. Pick up a free map in the Visitor Center or in the lobby of your Cabarrus County hotel.

North Carolina Music Hall of Fame

The North Carolina Music Hall of Fame is a curated collection of artifacts assembled to preserve our state’s musical heritage. Explore exhibits that showcase legacies of artists like John Coltrane, Charlie Daniels, Roberta Flack, The Avett Brothers and other musicians, singers, songwriters and producers from all genres of music with roots in the state. Relocated alongside the Curb Museum for Music and Motorsport in 2015, the location in Kannapolis offers a two-in-one experience.

BONUS: Throughout the year, Kannapolis hosts a variety of events and entertainment including classic car cruise-ins, concerts, arts festivals and minor league baseball games. Check our Event Calendar to see what’s happening now.

The Galleries

The Cabarrus Arts Council curates four galleries on the first floor of the historic 1876 Cabarrus County Courthouse. The Galleries display works by regional and national artists in a variety of media through exhibitions that change about every eight weeks. For one-of-a-kind treasures, stop in the Gallery Shop — the perfect place for beautifully handcrafted gifts and original works of art. Admission to The Galleries is free.

BONUS: In addition to local restaurants and must-stop dessert shops, Historic Downtown Concord also hosts plenty of special events along Union Street. Keep an eye on the Events Calendar to for free parades, festivals, outdoor movies and more.

Reed Gold Mine

In 1799, 12-year-old Conrad Reed found a 17-pound golden nugget on the family’s property. Today, Reed Gold Mine is the only underground mine in North Carolina open to the public. Visitors can tour the museum of mining exhibits, walk through several hundred feet of mine tunnels and see the restored ore-crushing stamp mill. Admission is free.

BONUS: From April to October, visitors can pan for gold for just $3! Stake your claim and dip down into the rich Carolina dirt. Find a fleck? Congratulations! It’s yours to keep.