Fondly known as "Race City USA" because of the many prominent NASCAR racing teams that call the area home, Mooresville is an exciting city with plenty of things to see and do. Racing fans shouldn't miss the chance to tour racing facilities and pick up some branded merchandise, and adrenaline junkies can also zip around the track at the Pit Indoor Kart Racing go-kart facility. If you're visiting with kids, you can also go apple picking at Carrigan Farms, join a horse-drawn wagon safari at the Lazy 5 Ranch, and perhaps attend a workshop at the Mooresville Arts Gallery.

1.The Lazy 5 Ranch

The Lazy 5 Ranch
© The Lazy 5 Ranch

Home to more than 750 animals representing 6 of the world's continents, the Lazy 5 Ranch is a privately owned and operated zoo with exotic animals like zebras and giraffes as well as more familiar farm animals. A 3 1/2-mile driving route runs through the park; visitors are welcome to drive their own vehicles, and for an additional fee, you can take a horse-drawn wagon ride. Many of the animals come right up to the vehicles to be fed and pet, and wagon riders are provided with half a bucket of animal feed. Extra buckets are available for purchase.

15100 Mooresville Rd, Mooresville, NC 28115, Phone: 704-663-5100

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2.Penske Racing South Facility

Penske Racing South Facility
© Penske Racing South Facility

Sitting on a 105-acre property, the Penske Racing South Facility is a state-of-the-art facility that all three of the Team Penske racing teams call home. All the teams' NASCAR and IndyCar are kept here, and there's a 330-foot fan walk where visitors can watch as cars are prepared for upcoming races. Tours of the facility can be arranged Monday through Friday between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., and if you want to bring home a souvenir, you can also stop by the 4,986-square-foot gift shop to pick up a piece of Penske Racing merchandise.

200 Penske Way, Mooresville, NC 28115, Phone: 704-664-2300

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3.The Pit Indoor Kart Racing

The Pit Indoor Kart Racing
© Szymon/

Boasting more than 140,000 square feet of indoor entertainment, the Pit Indoor Kart Racing is an excellent place to experience the adrenaline rush of go-karting and other exciting activities. The 70,000-foot track boasts 20 challenging turns and plenty of space for passing, and the karts sit only inches off the ground and can reach speeds of up to 45 mph. A viewing area with TVs overlooks the track for people who would rather watch than ride, and other activities include a black light mini golf course, a laser tag arena, and more than 65 arcade games.

346 E Plaza Dr, Mooresville, NC 28115, Phone: 704-799-3470

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4.Carrigan Farms

Carrigan Farms
© Carrigan Farms

Family owned and operated for five generations, Carrigan Farms grows some of the most delicious fresh produce in all of North Carolina. They typically have fruits and vegetables for sale between the middle of April and the middle of November, and there are several U-Pick options as well, including strawberries and asparagus in the spring and pumpkins and apples in the fall. The property also features a beautiful spring-fed quarry with a sandy beach volleyball court, and during the summer, visitors can attend an open swim, participate in a water aerobics class, or book the space for a private swim party.

1261 Oakridge Farm Hwy, Mooresville, NC 28115, Phone: 704-664-1450

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5.JR Motorsports

JR Motorsports
© EwaStudio/

JR Motorsports is well known in the racing world as the management company for NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr., and they operate a 66,000-square-foot race shop that's a must-visit for any racing fans in Mooresville. The gift shop has a wide range of items for sale, including apparel, autographed items, and used race car tires, and there's a small viewing area where you can see some JR Motorsports cars on display. The gift shop is open Monday through Saturday, and if you call in advance, you might be able to arrange a behind the scenes tour of the shop.

349 Cayuga Dr, Mooresville, NC 28117, Phone: 704-799-4800

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6.Kyle Busch Motorsports

Kyle Busch Motorsports

One of the top NASCAR teams in North Carolina, Kyle Busch Motorsports operates out of a 77,000-square-foot facility with a gift shop and plenty of interesting things for visitors to see. Many of Kyle Busch's trophies are displayed across five separate trophy cases, including the 2015 Sprint Cup Champion Trophy, and there are also some KBM Owners Champion Trophies. A number of winning cars and trucks on display as well, with highlights including Kyle’s First Cup Win car and six Toyota vehicles from the Bristol Sweep, and the gift shop offers a wide range of apparel and other merchandise to choose from.

351 Mazeppa Rd, Mooresville, NC 28115, Phone: 704-662-0000

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7.Memory Lane Museum

Memory Lane Museum
© Memory Lane Museum

Featuring an incredible collection of more than 150 unique vehicles, the Memory Lane Museum is the perfect place to learn about the history of motorsports. Many of the cars are vintage race cars and retired NASCAR cars in pristine condition, but there's also a display of wrecked race cars that shows the evolution of safety features in the sport over the years. Other items on display include antique toys, pedal cars, and a large collection of racing go-karts. The museum is open Monday through Saturday with extended hours during race weeks, and guided tours are available by appointment.

769 River Hwy, Mooresville, NC 28117, Phone: 704-662-3673

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8.Welcome Home Veterans Living Military Museum

Welcome Home Veterans Living Military Museum
© tanarch/

A unique combination of living museum and coffee shop, the Welcome Home Veterans Living Military Museum was created in honor of Vietnam War veteran Richard Warren, who operated a local cafe that was a gathering place for the community's veterans. The museum houses a cafe in Richard's memory, and it also has plenty of war memorabilia on display and a gift shop where you can purchase military merchandise. Breakfast, lunch, and coffee are served Monday through Saturday, and veterans receive free coffee every Thursday. A particularly good time to visit is on Saturday morning, when musicians gather to play music.

165 N Main St, Mooresville, NC 28115, Phone: 704-663-0488

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9.Lake Norman Antique Mall

Lake Norman Antique Mall
© Lake Norman Antique Mall

Housed inside a historic textile mill, the Lake Norman Antique Mall is one of the best shopping destinations in town, particularly if you're looking for home furnishings and decor. Visitors can browse the stalls of more than 200 vendors selling an eclectic array of antiques and collectibles, and if you get hungry while you're shopping, the building is also home to a pizzeria and a burger joint. The mall is open every day except for Christmas and Thanksgiving, and if you can't make it during opening hours, some products can be purchased from their online store.

467 E Plaza Dr, Mooresville, NC 28115, Phone: 704-799-8767

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10.Mooresville Arts Gallery

Mooresville Arts Gallery
© Mooresville Arts Gallery

Located right downtown, the Mooresville Arts Gallery is a non-profit organization that has been the heart of the city's arts community for decades. There are three gallery spaces that host rotating exhibitions of art by local, regional, and international artists, and artist receptions are held once a month, usually on a Friday evening. Admission to the galleries and the receptions is free of charge, and visitors are always encouraged to attend. If you'd rather try your hand at creating your own masterpiece, you can also attend one of the many arts and crafts workshops that are held here.

103 W Center Ave, Mooresville, NC 28115, Phone: 704-663-6661

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11.Epic Chophouse

Epic Chophouse
© Epic Chophouse

Established in 2010, the Epic Chophouse is a fine dining restaurant that offers one of the most outstanding dining experiences in the Lake Norman region. The menu focuses on steak and seafood dishes, with highlights including the petite lobster tails and the aged long-bone tomahawk ribeye, and surf and turf options are available for anyone who wants an extra-special meal. The restaurant also features a comfortable lounge with a creative cocktail menu, and between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m., there's a special happy hour food menu available to customers who order a cocktail. Complimentary valet parking is available.

104 S Main St, Mooresville, NC 28115, Phone: 704-230-1720

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12.Pomodoro's Italian American

Pomodoro's Italian American
© Pomodoro's Italian American

Formerly known as La Pizza, Pomodoro's Italian American is a sleek, family friendly restaurant that specializes in hearty, delicious comfort food. The menu offers a wide variety of salads, calzones, and pasta dishes with your choice of noodle, and when it comes to pizza, you can choose between three types of crusts and dozens of specialty toppings. Plenty of vegetarian options are available as well, and if you're not feeling too hungry, there's also an entire section of the menu dedicated to smaller dishes served with salad. Private dining rooms are available for groups of up to 40 people.

168 Norman Station Blvd, Mooresville, NC 28117, Phone: 704-663-6686

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13.Big Daddy's of Lake Norman

Big Daddy's of Lake Norman
© Big Daddy's of Lake Norman

Big Daddy's of Lake Norman started out as a small, family-run hot dog restaurant on the beach many years ago, and although it's still family owned and operated, it's now a sprawling 500-seat seafood restaurant with an oyster bar. The menu offers almost every kind of seafood imaginable, but the most popular dishes are the seafood platters, which come with a delicious assortment of the day's freshest catches. If you're not a seafood fan, you can also order a steak, a pasta dish, or a hamburger, and all customers have the option to enjoy the restaurant's famous all-you-can-eat salad bar.

1162 River Hwy, Mooresville, NC 28117, Phone: 704-663-4242

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14.Prickly Pear

Prickly Pear
© Minerva Studio/

Named after a unique little fruit that grows on the end of cactus leaves, the Prickly Pear serves up a creative menu of modern Mexican cuisine. You can start your meal off with guacamole prepared tableside before diving into a hearty plate of fajitas, enchiladas, or seafood, and the drink menu offers a good selection of red, white, and sparkling wine as well as flavorful margaritas and cocktails. Live music performances take place on Thursday and Sunday evenings, and a happy hour food menu is available every day between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. and from 9 p.m. until closing time.

637 Williamson Rd, Mooresville, NC 28117, Phone: 704-799-0875

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15.Johnny Brusco's New York Style Pizza

Johnny Brusco's New York Style Pizza
© Johnny Brusco's New York Style Pizza

Originally a New York pizza joint operated by a pair of entrepreneurial brothers, Johnny Brusco's New York Style Pizza is a casual pizza chain with locations all over the southeastern United States. They're best known for their specialty pizzas, which are always made fresh to order, and cauliflower and gluten-free pizza crusts are available for anyone who doesn't want a traditional crust. Other menu items include toasted subs, calzones and stromboli, and Italian-style dinner plates served with salad and garlic bread. Both dine-in and take-out options are available, and if you're in a rush, you can order online.

108 Argus Ln Suite C & D, Mooresville, NC 28117, Phone: 704-799-9261

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15 Best Things to Do in Mooresville, NC