Cabarrus County, North Carolina is known for its racing, but there’s more to do in this vibrant community than just watch cars go fast. Here are 9 off the beaten raceway path ideas for things to do in Cabarrus County, NC, that don’t involve racing.
9 Fun Things to Do in Cabarrus County NC Beyond the Race Track
Cabarrus County, North Carolina is most commonly known for its racing scene, with Charlotte Motor Speedway, zMAX Dragway, and The Dirt Track attracting visitors from all over the world. But beyond the racetrack, Cabarrus County, NC, has much more to offer.
One of the main attractions in Cabarrus County (for reference, it’s 30 minutes northeast of Charlotte) is the historic downtown Concord area. This charming spot is home to unique shops, delicious restaurants, and a variety of events throughout the year. From the annual Christmas tree lighting to the weekly farmers market, there is always something happening in downtown Concord. Plus, the area boasts a rich history, with several buildings dating back to the early 1900s still standing and in use today.
Another highlight of Cabarrus County is the abundance of outdoor activities available. The county is home to several parks and greenways, including Frank Liske Park, which features a lake for fishing and paddle boating, as well as a playground and picnic areas.
Add in the fact that the county is just a short drive away from the Uwharrie National Forest (in Troy, NC), it offers even more opportunities for outdoor adventure.
A Quick History of Cabarrus County
Cabarrus County is a region steeped in history, with a heritage dating back to 1792. It was named after Stephen Cabarrus of Chowan County, speaker of the North Carolina House of Commons. The City of Concord was founded four years later and became the county seat.
Cabarrus County was settled in the mid-18th century by Germans in the east and Scotch-Irish in the west. Two principal north-south creeks are Dutch Buffalo and Rocky River. The county was formed in 1792 from northeastern Mecklenburg Co. and named for Stephen Cabarrus of Edenton, Speaker of the House of Commons.
Visit the Reed Gold Mine State Historic Site
Reed Gold Mine State Historic Site is a North Carolina state park located in Midland, Cabarrus County, North Carolina. The mine is the site of the first documented discovery of gold in the United States. In 1799, 12-year-old Conrad Reed found a 17-pound gold nugget in Little Meadow Creek. This discovery sparked a gold rush in North Carolina, and the state became a major producer of gold for many years.
The mine is now a museum and historic site. Visitors can tour the underground tunnels, learn about the history of gold mining in North Carolina, and try their hand at panning for gold. The mine is open year-round, and admission is free.
Reed Gold Mine State Historic Site is a great place to learn about North Carolina’s history and natural resources. It is also a fun place to visit for families with children. The mine is located just a short drive from Charlotte, and it is a great day trip destination.
Here are some things to do at Reed Gold Mine State Historic Site:
- Take a self-guided tour of the underground tunnels.
- Learn about the history of gold mining in North Carolina.
- Try your hand at panning for gold. Each pan is $3 and it’s not guaranteed that you’ll find any, but we did find a small pice.
- Visit the visitor center to see exhibits on gold mining and North Carolina history.
- Hike the trails through the historic mining area.
- Have a picnic lunch in the picnic area.
Catch a Kannapolis Cannon Ballers Baseball Game
The Kannapolis Cannon Ballers are a minor league baseball team based in Kannapolis, North Carolina. They are a Class A affiliate of the Chicago White Sox. The Cannon Ballers play their home games at Atrium Health Ballpark, which opened in 2014. And if you’re a fan of baseball, but not a fan of major league ticket prices, a Cannon Ballers game will be right up your street.
The Kannapolis Cannon Ballers are formerly known as the Kannapolis Intimidators, but the team’s identity changed when the ballpark was relocated downtown. The final game as “The Intimidators” was played in the former stadium in 2019.
The Cannon Ballers have had a successful start to their history. In their inaugural season of 2014, they won the Carolina League championship. They have also made the playoffs in each of the following three seasons.
Explore the Cabarrus Arts Council
The Cabarrus Arts Council is a nonprofit organization that serves as the epicenter for the community’s artists and patrons. Founded in 1980, the CAC is dedicated to promoting and supporting the arts in Cabarrus County, North Carolina.
The CAC offers a variety of programs and services to artists and the community, including:
- Exhibition space: The CAC’s two galleries, The Galleries and The Arts Center Gallery, feature rotating exhibitions of work by local, regional, and national artists.
- Performances: The CAC’s Davis Theatre presents a variety of performances throughout the year, including music, dance, theater, and spoken word.
- Education: The CAC offers a variety of arts education programs for all ages, including classes, workshops, and camps.
- Grants: The CAC awards grants to local arts organizations and artists through its Grassroots Grants program.
- Community outreach: The CAC partners with other organizations in the community to promote the arts, including schools, libraries, and businesses.
The CAC is a vital part of the arts community in Cabarrus County. Through its programs and services, the CAC helps to enrich the lives of residents and visitors alike.
Tour an Actual Prison Turned Distillery
Are you looking for a unique distillery experience? Look no further than Southern Grace Distilleries, located in Mount Pleasant, North Carolina. What sets Southern Grace Distilleries apart from other distilleries is its location – it is the first distillery in the United States to be located in a former prison.
Southern Grace Distilleries offers tours that include whiskey tastings, and are available Wednesday through Sunday. You’ll have the opportunity to learn about the history of the prison and how it was transformed into a distillery, as well as the distilling process itself. The tours are approximately 1-2 hours long, making it the perfect activity for a weekend afternoon.
Southern Grace Distilleries offers a variety of whiskey options, including their award-winning Conviction Small Batch Bourbon. This bourbon is made from a mash bill of corn, wheat, and malted barley, and aged in charred oak barrels for a minimum of two years. It has a smooth and complex flavor profile that is perfect for sipping neat or mixing into a classic cocktail.
Take a Walk or Bike Ride on the Carolina Thread Trail
The Carolina Thread Trail is a fan’s favorite trail that runs through the heart of Cabarrus County, North Carolina. It’s a popular destination for walkers, runners, cyclists, and nature lovers alike and not only passes through the county, it weaves through 14 others and 2 states!
It’s s an ideal place to get some exercise, enjoy the outdoors, and explore the beauty of Cabarrus County. All 12 trails and greenways are open to the public from dawn to dusk and is free to use.
Here are some of the things you can do on the Carolina Thread Trail:
- Walk or run: The trail is a great place to get some exercise. The paved surface portions are smooth and easy to walk or run on.
- Bike: A popular destination for cyclists, the trail is well-maintained and there are few hills
- Birdwatch: The trail is a great place to birdwatch. There are a variety of birds that can be seen along the trail, including herons, ducks, and hawks.
- Picnic: There are several picnic areas along the greenway. These areas are perfect for a leisurely lunch or snack.
- Play: There are several playgrounds (and even a splash pad on the Bakers Creek Greenway) along the greenway. These playgrounds are perfect for kids of all ages.
- Explore: The trail is a great place to explore the beauty of Cabarrus County. The trail passes through a variety of landscapes, including forests, wetlands, and urban areas.
Visit the Piedmont Farmers Market
If you’re looking for a great place to find fresh, local produce and other farm-fresh goods, then you need to check out the Piedmont Farmers Market. With three locations throughout the county, there’s sure to be a market near you.
The Piedmont Farmers Market is open on Saturdays from April through October from 9am to noon, so you can shop for fresh produce that’s right at the peak of season. In the spring and summer, you’ll find a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, including tomatoes, cucumbers, corn, and watermelon. In the fall, you can stock up on apples, pumpkins, and squash. And in the winter, you can find root vegetables like carrots, potatoes, and beets.
In addition to produce, the market also has a variety of other vendors selling farm-fresh goods. You can find honey, jams, jellies, baked goods, meats, cheeses, and more. There’s even a vendor that sells fresh flowers..
Catch a Show at the Cabarrus Arena & Events Center
The Cabarrus Arena & Events Center is a great place to see a show. Located in Concord, North Carolina, the arena is home to a variety of events, including concerts, sporting events, and trade shows. With a seating capacity of 5,500, the arena can accommodate a wide range of events.
The Cabarrus Arena & Events Center has a state-of-the-art sound system and lighting system, which makes for an unforgettable show experience. The arena also has a variety of amenities, including concessions, restrooms, and a merchandise store.
In addition to its great amenities, the Cabarrus Arena & Events Center is also located in a convenient location. The arena is just off Interstate 85, making it easy to get to from all over the region.
Hunt For Antiques at The Depot at Gibson Mill
If you’re looking for a unique shopping experience, The Depot at Gibson Mill is a must-visit destination. Located in Concord, North Carolina, The Depot is the largest antique mall in the South, boasting over 750 unique booths and covering 88,000 square feet. With its historic setting and wide variety of vendors, The Depot offers something for everyone.
As you explore the endless aisles of The Depot, you’ll find a diverse selection of antique and vintage items, from furniture and home decor to collectibles and clothing. The mall’s vendors are carefully curated to offer a mix of high-quality, one-of-a-kind pieces and affordable treasures. Whether you’re a serious collector or just looking for a unique gift, you’re sure to find something that catches your eye at The Depot.
Visit the Carolina Raptor Center
The Carolina Raptor Center is a non-profit organization that is dedicated to the conservation of birds of prey. Just 15 miles east of Concord, the center offers a variety of educational programs and events, including shows that feature live raptors. These shows are a great way to learn about these amazing creatures and their importance to the environment.
The shows at the Carolina Raptor Center are presented by experienced staff members who are passionate about birds of prey. The staff members are knowledgeable about the raptors’ natural history, behavior, and conservation needs. They use this knowledge to create informative and engaging shows that are suitable for all ages.
During the shows, visitors will have the opportunity to see a variety of raptors up close. They will learn about the different species of raptors, their diet, and their habitat. They will also learn about the threats that raptors face and how they can help to conserve these important birds.