Concord is a pedestrian-friendly town in the heart of Cabarrus County that offers an array of attractions and activities for the whole family. Located just a short drive from Charlotte, NC, Concord is home to the world of NASCAR racing, where motorheads can watch racing or try their hand at racing cars on exhilarating race car driving experiences. For those wanting something slightly less dangerous, the city has a plethora of art galleries, museums, cultural and historic sites, and family attractions to enjoy, including the Sea Life Aquarium, the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame, and the Mustang Owner’s Museum. Here is a list of fun things to see and do for the whole family in Concord, NC.
1.Buffalo Creek Preserve
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Located along Adams Creek and Dutch Buffalo Creek, just outside of the town of Mount Pleasant in North Carolina’s rural Cabarrus County, the Buffalo Creek Preserve is a 393-acre preserve that boasts spectacular natural scenery and offers an array of outdoor and recreational pursuits such as hiking, mountain biking, jogging, and trail running. The preserve is comprised of dense forests and woodlands, including areas of restored Piedmont oak savanna, as well as working agricultural fields and a plethora of prairie species and ground-nesting birds such as the endangered grasshopper sparrow and northern shrike. Preserved by the Catawba Lands Conservancy, the Buffalo Creek Preserve Trail is open to the public from dawn to dusk.
7850 Malibu Rd, Mt Pleasant, NC 28124, Phone: 704-376-2556
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2. The Concord Museum
© The Concord Museum
The Concord Museum is dedicated to chronicling the history of the region and features several exhibits and collections of artifacts, including memorabilia from world-renowned authors Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson. Established in 1886 and located on Lexington Road in Concord, the museum’s collection dates back to 1850 and includes early Americana artifacts and items from the America Revolution, such as muskets, rifles, cannonballs, and powder horns. Other notable exhibits include a recreation of Emerson’s study, with all the furnishings and books, over 250 articles and objects of Thoreau’s, including his bed and the desk and chair where he worked, and a collection of 17th, 18th, and 19th century decorative arts such as ceramics, clocks, and furniture.
200 Lexington Rd, Concord, MA 01742, Phone: 978-369-9763
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3. The Mustang Owner's Museum
© The Mustang Owner's Museum
The Mustang Owner's Museum is dedicated to the Mustang car and all things related to it. The museum was established to honor the world-renowned US-made vehicle that has been in production for more than 50 years, and to preserve the heritage of the popular and much-loved car. The museum presents a variety of exhibits, including one on Mustang racing and the role the car played in the 1964 New York's World’s Fair, along with beautifully restored maintained Mustang vehicles on display in the center of the facility. The unique Mustang Library boasts a collection of book and magazines relating to Mustangs, including every Mustang magazine cover printed and a variety of videos about the people who helped make the Mustang the vehicle it is today.
21 Carpenter Ct NW, Concord, NC 28027, Phone: 404-664-6660
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4.Bost Grist Mill
© Bost Grist Mill
Built in the early 1800s on the banks of the Rocky River, the Bost Grist Mill was once the primary source of cornmeal and flour for the residents of southern Cabarrus County. Today, the mill has been beautifully restored to its former glory to provide an insight into the history of the region and the role the mill played in the development of the community. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the mill still grinds corn into meal and grits with the same stones and techniques used during the 1800s and serves as the central marketplace for the community. Visitors can enjoy guided tours of the mill and learn more about its history and have the unique opportunity to be a part of the mill's historic past.
4701 NC-200, Concord, NC 28025, Phone: 704-782-1600
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5.C3 Coffee Crepes Creamery
© C3 Coffee Crepes Creamery
C3 Coffee Crepes Creamery is a casual coffee shop and gathering space for the community that serves freshly brewed coffee and espresso and a variety of light bites such as crepes, waffles, pastries, and exclusive made-to-order nitrogen ice cream. Waffles come with decadent toppings such as banana, Nutella, walnuts, whipped cream, and caramel, and diners can enjoy their crepes and waffles with coffee or a selection of easy-drinking wines. C3 Coffee Crepes Creamery also offers a comfortable modern meeting space known as the C3 Commerce Club, where people can meet in a business-like environment and enjoy all the services of the coffee shop. C3 Coffee Crepes Creamery is open for breakfast, lunch, and early dinner 7 days a week and brunch on the weekends.
5011 Weddington Rd NW #60, Concord, NC 28027, Phone: 704-782-0283
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6.Cabarrus Brewing Company
© Cabarrus Brewing Company
The Cabarrus Brewing Company is a friendly brewhouse and taproom that produces small-batch craft beers and brews throughout the year. Boasting long communal tables where visitors can taste the brewery’s tipple, the facility has a mezzanine event space for special functions with cozy areas for mingling and excellent views of the brewhouse and taproom spaces below. The mezzanine level is fully equipped with state-of-the-art audiovisual capabilities, two large flat-screen televisions, and a surround sound system. The Cabarrus Brewing Company produces a range of craft beers, including Boll Weevil Brown, Cabarrus Cotton Blonde Ale, Mule Spinner Stout, Red Hill Amber Ale, and Reed’s Gold Ale, among others. The Cabarrus Brewing Company taproom is open for drinks and dinner every evening during the week and brunch, lunch, and dinner on the weekends.
329 McGill Ave NW, Concord, NC 28027, Phone: 704-490-4487
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7.Charlotte Motor Speedway
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The Charlotte Motor Speedway, formerly known as the Lowe's Motor Speedway, is a motorsports complex just 13 miles from Charlotte in North Carolina. The 2,000-acre complex hosts NASCAR racing on a 1.5-mile quad-oval track, including big races such as the NASCAR All-Star Race, the Bank of America 500, and the prestigious Coca-Cola 600, which is held annually on Memorial Day. The speedway also boasts a state-of-the-art, quarter mile, all-concrete, four-lane drag-racing strip known as the zMAX Dragway, which hosts NHRA events. There is also a state-of-the-art, 1,300-foot, clay oval known as Dirt Track at Charlotte, which is a stadium-style facility with 14,000 seats that hosts various dirt races, including the World of Outlaws World Finals.
5555 Concord Pkwy S, Concord, NC 28027, Phone: 704-455-3205
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8.Frank Liske Park
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The Frank Liske Park is a community park and public space that offers an array of recreational activities and pursuits to enjoy, from boating and fishing to picnicking and mini-golf. Located in the heart of Cabarrus County, this beautiful 238-acre park was once a working farm for the Stonewall Jackson Training School and still features some of the buildings, such as the dairy barn and silo, which have been renovated for the public to enjoy. The barn can be rented for special events and functions, and other amenities at the park include a 10-acre lake for paddle-boating and fishing, picnic sites with covered areas, children’s playgrounds, horseshoe pits, lighted tennis courts, and volleyball courts. Other recreational amenities include a soccer and softball complex with lighted fields, a nature trail, various walking and hiking trails, and an 18-hole mini-golf course.
4001 Stough Rd, Concord, NC 28027, Phone: 704-920-2701
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9.Garage Pass Shop Tours
© Garage Pass Shop Tours
Experience a behind-the-scenes tour of the Charlotte Motor Speedway, the NASCAR race shops, and the race museums on a one-of-a-kind Garage Pass Shop Tour. Adrenaline-lovers and NASCAR aficionados alike will love this tour, which explores the goings-on at the races and offers a unique opportunity for visitors to see the teams behind the cars at work. Located in the heart of NASCAR country, tours are led by expert guides with career backgrounds in NASCAR racing, who will share their knowledge, expertise, and passion for the sport. Visitors will be guided through the nerve centers of the NASCAR racing world to experience this fast-paced world and receive an array of exclusive tour guest discounts at many race shop retail gift shops and museums.
15522 Sagefield Dr, Huntersville, NC 28078, Phone: 704-455-2819
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10. Hendrick Motorsports Museum and Team Shop
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The Hendrick Motorsports Museum and Team Shop is a museum dedicated to stock car racing and all aspects of the sport. Located at the Hendrick Motorsports Complex, which is a mile away from the Charlotte Motor Speedway, the Hendrick Motorsports Museum features displays and exhibits that highlight the history of Hendrick Motorsports, including the Chevy Lumina used in the film Days of Thunder and the Darlington car that Jimmie Johnson won Hendrick Motorsports' 200th Cup victory with. The team shop offers visitors the chance to see the Hendrick team for all four NASCAR Sprint Cup Cars in action, and the museum has a store that sells Hendrick Motorsports merchandise, including racing apparel and team T-shirts.
4400 Papa Joe Hendrick Blvd, Concord, NC 28262, Phone: 704-455-3400
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11.Legacy Biplane Rides
© Legacy Biplane Rides
Legacy Biplane LLC offers a unique experience to see Charlotte from the air in a vintage 1943 open-cockpit Boeing Stearman plane. Guests can experience the thrill and romance of flying as it was in the golden age of flying and soak up the sights and sounds of the Charlotte area in this iconic aviation time machine. Based at the Concord Regional Airport, about 15 minutes northeast of Charlotte's central business district, Legacy Biplane LLC provides guided flights for one person with an experienced pilot, who is equipped with an intercom and headphones for full communications throughout the flight. There is no age limit on the trips, however, younger children need to be of a certain size due to safety regulations.
9000 Aviation Blvd., Concord, NC 28027, Phone: 704-277-2596
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12.NASCAR Racing Experience
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Book a NASCAR Racing Experience and try your hand at becoming a NASCAR racing driver. Located at the Charlotte Motor Speedway, NASCAR Racing Experience offers a variety of different packages for various level of drivers, ranging from Rookie, Ride Along, and Practice packages to more advanced options such as King’s Experience, Victory Lap, Checkered Flag, and World Champion packages. The World Champion experience provides six 8-minute single racing sessions with pit stops in between and one-on-one feedback from a spotter. Guests have full in-car communications with a pit team throughout the ride and can also arrange lessons with a professional driver if required.
Charlotte Motor Speedway, 5555 Concord Pkwy S, Concord, NC 28027, Phone: 706-886-2400
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13. North Carolina Music Hall of Fame
© North Carolina Music Hall of Fame
The North Carolina Music Hall of Fame is an organization and museum that honors artists, composers, and musicians from North Carolina or with ties to the state. Located within the Museum for Music and Motorsports on Earnhardt Boulevard in Kannapolis, the museum features an array of displays and exhibits of artifacts, items, and memorabilia relating to the significant impact that musicians from North Carolina made in the music industry and serves as a clearinghouse for North Carolina musicians from all time periods. The North Carolina Music Hall of Fame hosts a variety of educational programs and events throughout the year.
600 Dale Earnhardt Blvd, Kannapolis, NC 28081, Phone: 704-934-2320
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14. Sea Life Charlotte-Concord
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Sea Life Charlotte-Concord is an aquarium and marine sanctuary that is home to thousands of aquatic creatures, including fish and marine mammals. Located at the Concord Mills mall in Concord, the interactive marine park features a 360° ocean tunnel where visitors can experience a one-of-a-kind “under the sea” adventure, ten interactive touch-tank pools, and exhibits such as harbor, shoaling, shipwreck, jellies, and conservation displays. Visitors can enjoy a wide range of educational programs, workshops, classes, and experiences at the aquarium, including animal interactions, feeding programs, conservation workshops, and more. Sea Life Charlotte-Concord is also involved in several conservation and preservation programs, such as Breed, Rescue and Protect, and Watershed Clean-Ups.
8111 Concord Mills Boulevard, Concord, NC 28027, Phone: 855-450-0512
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15.The Smoke Pit
© The Smoke Pit
The Smoke Pit is an award-winning restaurant with several locations around the state that serves mouth-watering barbecue, including brisket, ribs, smoked chicken, pulled pork, and other meaty delights off the grill. Located on Concord Parkway in the heart of Concord, the family-friendly eatery serves a menu of traditional barbecue favorites, such as thick cut ribs, chicken wings, pulled pork sandwiches, brisket, and fresh salads and sides along with a variety of beverages. The Smoke Pit also offers a full catering menu for special events and functions and is open for lunch and dinner Monday through Saturday and is closed on Sundays.
796 Concord Pkwy N., Concord, NC 28027, Phone: 704-795-7573
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Based in the Blue Ridge Mountains in Western North Carolina, Thrifty Adventures is an adventure company that offers a wide range of guided activities and nature-based recreational pursuits such as rock climbing trips, abseiling and rappelling, whitewater rafting adventures, river tubing, and yoga hikes. The company also offers lessons and classes for all ages and levels in a range of sports, including beginner to advanced rock climbing and abseiling as well as botany classes, wilderness photography, and nature walks. All tours and excursions are led by highly qualified, professional guides who are experts in their fields, and safety is a priority, with all safety equipment such as life jackets and helmets being provided.
12255 HWY 226A, Spruce Pine NC 28777, Phone: 828-260-4505
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© zMAX Dragway
Located on the grounds of the Charlotte Motor Speedway, the zMAX Dragway is the world's only four-lane, all-concrete drag strip. Constructed in 2008, the concrete drag strip has been hailed as the “Bellagio” of raceways and hosts a variety of NHRA events, including the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals, the O'Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Nationals, street racing nights, and various other family-friendly activities. The state-of-the-art facility features a vast 34,000-square-foot starting tower, race control areas, a press box, and 16 luxury VIP suites as well as two massive grandstands on either side of the track that can seat up to 30,000 spectators and which are connected by two tunnels running beneath the raceway.
6570 Bruton Smith Blvd, Concord, NC 28027, Phone: 704-455-4445
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© Cabarrus Creamery
Cabarrus Creamery is a traditional 1950s themed ice cream shop that offers mouthwatering homemade ice cream, sweet treats, and a taste of nostalgia in a warm and welcoming environment. The store offers 25 flavors of homemade ice cream, including sliced lemon, roasted pecan, coconut, and peanut butter cup as well as the shop’s signature flavor, Moon Pie, which is inspired by a combination of marshmallow snack cake and the classic Southern chocolate-covered graham cracker. Cabarrus Creamery features retro-style tables and chairs and an inviting ambiance and is open from mid-morning to early evening 7 days a week.
21 Union St S, Concord, NC 28025, Phone: 704-784-1923
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19.Cougar Run Winery
© Cougar Run Winery
The Cougar Rub Winery is an intimate wine estate and vineyard that produces handcrafted, small-batch wines in the heart of Concord. The winery produces white, red, rosé, and sweet dessert wines as well as a range of ciders, including apple, pear, peach, cherry, and apricot, and features a contemporary tasting room where visitors can relax over a tasting of the vineyard’s best wines as well as enjoy gourmet wine and ice cream pairing. The winery also offers sharing platters of charcuterie and cheeses, olives and crackers, and is open to the public from Tuesday through Sunday and can be hired out for special events.
363 Church St N, Concord, NC 28025, Phone: 704-788-2746
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19 Best Things to Do in Concord, NC
- Buffalo Creek Preserve, Photo: Courtesy of oleksandr - Fotolia.com
- The Concord Museum, Photo: The Concord Museum
- The Mustang Owner's Museum, Photo: The Mustang Owner's Museum
- Bost Grist Mill, Photo: Bost Grist Mill
- C3 Coffee Crepes Creamery, Photo: C3 Coffee Crepes Creamery
- Cabarrus Brewing Company, Photo: Cabarrus Brewing Company
- Charlotte Motor Speedway, Photo: Courtesy of Irina Volkova - Fotolia.com
- Frank Liske Park, Photo: Courtesy of paulvelgos - Fotolia.com
- Garage Pass Shop Tours, Photo: Garage Pass Shop Tours
- Hendrick Motorsports Museum and Team Shop, Photo: Courtesy of Cla78 - Fotolia.com
- Legacy Biplane Rides, Photo: Legacy Biplane Rides
- NASCAR Racing Experience, Photo: Courtesy of Syda Productions - Fotolia.com
- North Carolina Music Hall of Fame, Photo: North Carolina Music Hall of Fame
- Sea Life Charlotte-Concord, Photo: Courtesy of TechAgent - Fotolia.com
- The Smoke Pit, Photo: The Smoke Pit
- Thrifty Adventures, Photo: Courtesy of mooshny - Fotolia.com
- zMAX Dragway, Photo: zMAX Dragway
- Cabarrus Creamery, Photo: Cabarrus Creamery
- Cougar Run Winery, Photo: Cougar Run Winery
- Cover Photo: Courtesy of Jill Lang - Fotolia.com