Cabarrus County, "Where Racing Lives" is home to an unequaled concentration of motorsports attractions from Charlotte Motor Speedway and zMAX Dragway to Hendrick Motorsports and Kannapolis, the hometown of racing legend Dale Earnhardt Sr. But Cabarrus County is about more than just motorsports.
Springtime in Cabarrus County means Carolina blue skies, warm weather and outdoor activities including our favorite pastime—racing!
Festivities like Movies on the Campus, Jiggy with the Piggy, and the Zucchini 600 got the month off to an exciting start. Now, get ready to celebrate the end of the school year with these high-speed family-friendly events. After all, there’s no better place for an action-packed getaway than “Where Racing Lives!”
Mark you calendar for these upcoming race week events:
May 16: More than 30 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series haulers will roll through Historic Downtown Concord during Haulers on Union Parade & Fan Fest! Cheer on hauler drivers as they make their way down Union Street en route to Charlotte Motor Speedway, plus enjoy live music, Q&A with driver, Joey Logano, cars on display, activities for kids and more at this free event.
May 17: See the stars of the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series take on Charlotte Motor Speedway under the lights during the North Carolina Education Lottery 200! Cup Series drivers will also take the track to set the field for the Monster Energy NASCAR All-Star Race with no-speed-limit qualifying. Kids 13 and under get in for free.
May 18: The Monster Energy NASCAR All-Star Race is the biggest All-Star event in sports! Experience the action firsthand as Cup Series drivers battle under the lights! The race is set to start at 8pm, but you’ll want to show up early for the AJR pre-race concert and the Monster Energy Open last-chance qualifier. Then, stick around for a post-race performance from Hairball! Concerts are free with your race ticket.
May 21: Before the main events over Memorial Day weekend, drivers will warm up during the Little 600! Catch some of NASCAR’s biggest drivers battle for bragging rights in a 15-lap go-kart race and see the NASCAR spotters race at the GoPro Motorplex in Mooresville. This free event starts at 5pm.
May 23: See which drivers will make it to the Coca-Cola 600 with qualifying during Spectrum Pole Night, and cap the evening with the ARCA Racing Series General Tire 150! Circle K Speed Street also kicks off on the 23rd and continues through May 25th with live entertainment, access to racing’s brightest stars, giveaways and interactive displays each day in Uptown Charlotte.
May 24-25: New this year, the Patriot Nationals is a two-day event at The Dirt Track featuring the stars from the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Sprint Cars. This event is the richest sprint car event in the Southeast, so gear up for some of the most exhilarating competition in the history of The Dirt Track!
May 25: This NASCAR Xfinity Series race brings the action in the afternoon! The ALSCO 300 will start at 1pm and is a great opportunity to bring the entire family to the track. Tickets start at $25 and kids 13 and under get in free. Go to CharlotteMotorSpeedway.com to learn about all the ticket options.
May 26: Celebrate Memorial Day weekend at the historic 60th running of the Coca-Cola 600! Arrive early to take in pre-race entertainment including a spectacular salute to military heroes and free concert featuring Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees, Cheap Trick. Then, fasten your seatbelt for 600 miles of high-speed action at America’s Home for Racing!
There’s a ton of fun to be had in between racing action on the track with activities and events like visiting NASCAR Race Shops and minor league baseball games at Intimidators Stadium in Kannapolis, the hometown of Dale Earnhardt Sr.
Explore the Events Calendar now for a full list of what’s happening in May and beyond.
With more than 300 across the state, North Carolina is home to the largest number of breweries and brew pubs in the American South! Every April brings a month-long celebration of our state’s thriving craft beer culture, and Race to Taste is your guide to experiencing NC beer right here.
Take part in this self-guided tasting tour of Cabarrus County by stopping in the Visitor Center to pick up a free coaster set packed with details on the area’s craft beverage stops. Then, use the information inside to plan, navigate and share your visit!
Breweries in Cabarrus County all have their own special stories and scenery. From meeting the head brewer and discovering the local landmark behind a beer’s name, to taking part in taproom events, every glass holds an opportunity to learn more about the area’s history and character.
Pick up local beer swag at the Cabarrus County Visitor Center.
Get to know some of Cabarrus County’s craft beverage experts right now by pairing the free Visit Cabarrus app with the 2018-19 Cabarrus County Destination & Motorsports Guide. Just open the app, hover over the faces of each Taste Maker pictured on the front and inside cover and follow the prompts for exclusive videos.
Even more independent spots to sip craft beer in Cabarrus County include Lil’ Robert’s Place, The Basement Arcade Bar, and Vortex Bottle Shop. Along with flavorful drink menus, these local watering holes offer a variety of special events. Be sure to visit each of them online and on Facebook to find the latest happenings.
Concord Mills is the largest shopping and entertainment destination in the Carolinas!
From designer deals for fashionistas to exciting educational activities for little ones, Concord Mills offers hours of entertainment suited to everyone in the family. For extra savings and swag, take advantage of the Concord Mills Shop & Stay package at select hotels in Cabarrus County and get inspired by this two-day itinerary.
Day 1: Shop ‘til You Drop
When it’s time to refresh your wardrobe, there’s no better place than Concord Mills. With recent renovations, the center itself has a fresh look and brand new additions to over 200 stores.
Along with favorites like Bass Pro shops and brand-name outlets like Coach and Nike Factory Outlet, the latest additions to an impressive lineup of places to shop at Concord Mills include H&M, Kate Spade New York and Lionel. Once you’re ready to drop, fall into a recliner seat inside AMC Concord Mills 24 and catch a must-see movie including experiences in IMAX. Then, it’s off to dinner! From on-the-go options at the Dining Pavilion to casual dining or a full-service experience, there are plenty of places to refuel before heading back to the hotel to rest up for another action-packed day.
Now that you’ve got plenty of souvenirs in your suitcase, make some memories to take home with you! Right alongside all your favorite stores, Concord Mills offers the perfect places to play.
Be surrounded by sting rays, fish and sharks and get up close and personal with jellyfish, sea horses and more inside SEA LIFE Aquarium! Catch a Talk & Feeding Presentation and sign up for the Behind-the-Scenes tour to learn how the animal care team looks after all the fintastic creatures. Then, burn off extra energy at The Speedpark! Located outside of SEA LIFE, enjoy go-karts, mini golf, a 110-foot fun slide and ice skating in the winter. Cap the day with dinner and even more time to play at Dave & Buster’s! Play in the arcade, go bowling, and watch the big game. Plus, rack up rewards and cash in on prizes!
With all the fun under one roof, this is one getaway you can plan no matter the season. Whether its April showers, summer heat or winter’s chill that’s got you inside, make Concord Mills part of your plans and get your Shop & Stay adventure on the calendar today!
Get the lay of the land with this interactive map and do your homework on all the current deals before beginning your adventure. Events? Concord Mills has those too! From photo ops to special promotions, find them all here.
Looking for some Spring Break inspiration that will get your family fired up for a road trip?
Cabarrus County is the perfect place to connect, learn and let loose! Here, motorsports pairs with history, thrilling events, affordable accommodations, local shopping and dining, and more for an extraordinary getaway.
Get your motor running with these three itinerary ideas!
Adrenaline & Zen
Take relaxing to the limit by surrounding yourself in serenity after a thrilling spike of adrenaline! Known as “Where Racing Lives,” Cabarrus County offers plenty of heart-pounding adventures to pair with experiences that will help you unwind.
You and your crew can go for the ride of your lives in a real NASCAR race car and try indoor skydiving at iFLY (opening Spring 2019). Follow that with a massage or facial at Spa Botanica for spring break bliss. Even little ones can get in on the fun with NASCAR Racing Experience’s Junior Ride Along and mini treatments from Scooops Kid Spa at Great Wolf Lodge.
To really get your fix of fun, catch the fastest accelerating machines on the planet at the NGK Spark Plugs NHRA Four-Wide Nationals at zMAX Dragway. New additions to the 2019 event include East10Drift exhibition drift shows and ride-alongs and racing from the Mountain Motor Pro Stock division. Plus, every ticket is a pit pass! After the races, chill out during a leisurely paddle down the Rocky River or a relaxing, educational stroll through SEA LIFE Aquarium.
History buffs and music lovers alike will find gold when exploring Cabarrus County. From motorsports heritage to our state’s most accomplished musicians, learn about the area at a harmonic combination of places to explore our past and make plenty of new memories along the way.
Go underground at Reed Gold Mine, the site of America’s first discovery of gold. Explore the grounds where a 12-year-old boy came across a gold nugget weighing in at a whopping 17 pounds, make your way through restored underground tunnels and pan for gold. You can even keep what you find!
Cabarrus County includes the hometown of NASCAR racing legend Dale Earnhardt. A nine-foot, 900-pound statue of Dale stands in Downtown Kannapolis and is part of The Dale Trail self-guided tour where you can explore the racer’s life and legacy.
Music is also part of the rich history in Cabarrus County. The North Carolina Music Hall of Fame offers a curated collection of artifacts that tell the story of the state’s musical heritage, including Cabarrus County’s own Seth and Scott Avett of The Avett Brothers. Here, you’ll also discover how racing and music intersect. The Hall of Fame sits alongside the Curb Museum for Music & Motorsports.
Walkable and scenic, Historic Downtown Concord is full of locally-owned spots to eat, drink and be inspired by a talented roster of local makers and artists. The self-guided Historic Walking Tour is powered by Bluetooth and will lead you to local landmarks. No matter how you choose to explore, a springtime stroll down Union Street is not to be missed.
Stroll through The Galleries on the ground-level of the Cabarrus Arts Council, which feature rotating exhibitions, or catch a live performance upstairs at Davis Theatre. Tap into your inner artist and get creative by hand painting home décor at Hip Hip HooWray or making your own jewelry creation at The Bead Lady.
Hungry for a culinary adventure? Downtown Concord has the largest concentration of independent restaurants in Cabarrus County. Savor authentic Italian, classic Cuban dishes, food trucks at local breweries, southern favorites, regional flavors and more. Then, sugary shops are sure to lure you in for dessert.
As the community’s “pioneer of craft beer,” Burrage offers an awesome selection of homegrown brews, wine and eclectic art. Open for almost a decade, Lil’ Rob’s is a local favorite for grabbing a cold one and kicking back to some great live music.
For beer lovers and history buffs, Padgett and two other Cabarrus natives created a place that offers a story with each sip. Every beer tells a tale, and the brewery’s name is a nod to Concord’s origin story as the city was founded on 26 acres in 1796.
When visionaries including Leanne Powell decided to headquarter the distillery in a former prison, they fully embraced the idea to create one of the most interesting attractions in Cabarrus County. Visit for a tour, tasting and one memorable experience!
Murray and his partners Marty Jackson and Jonathan Woodward set out to become much more than a place to drink. This neighborhood brewery is all about fellowship, connection and conversation. Stop in, share your backstory and become a part of theirs!
High Branch is the original! The Creighton’s opened Concord’s very first brewery at the end of 2015, and their passion for producing excellent beer was clear from the start. Here, you can count on interesting brews, seasonal flavors and great service.
Upstairs in downtown, Red Hill is a small-batch only operation. One barrel at a time, Chris and his team brew and serve up fresh beer from the classic Murph IPA to seasonal creations. Remember, the entry is through the backdoor, speakeasy style!
Deb’s philosophy on life? It’s too short to drink wine you don’t like! Have a seat inside this pet-friendly winery for a tasting, find your favorite and fill your glass. They also make cider at Cougar Run Winery and offer indoor and outdoor event space.
Steve and the crew at Cabarrus Brewing have built a true gathering place for the community. On any given day, you’ll find everything from philanthropic events to pop-up markets, workshops and fitness classes at this social hub (plus great beer)!
NC Beer Month is just around the corner in April 2019! Start planning your trip today and be sure to pick up a free Race to Taste coaster set in the Visitor Center to explore all the local spots to sample craft beverages in Cabarrus County.
Looking for activities to fill your craft-urday afternoon? These creative destinations in Cabarrus County offer DIY arts classes and hands-on workshops that are perfect for an inspired day or a fun night out with friends.
With an array of home décor workshops to choose from, this boutique DIY studio offers the ideal environment to get crafty. From personalized wood plank signs to spirited holiday-specific décor, AR Workshop is sure to have an option you’ll be interested in. Browse and book online here.
Art Box Studio
Art Box Studio offers a variety of classes from fine art lessons to just-for-fun paint classes. Artists of all ages can hone their craft in acrylics, watercolors, pastels, pen and ink, and mixed media. Art Box Studio also offers Arty Party birthday parties, team building, family reunion fun and more.
Hip Hip HooWray
Host a paint party or drop by Hip Hip WooRay during open studio hours. Choose a blank wall or door hanger design, then select colors from the sample wall and get creative. Not a natural artist? Opt for the personalization package for an artist’s touch-up and the addition of a name, monogram or phrase.
This sweet stationery and gift shop may be filled with treasures to bring home, but you can also sign up for a class to create your own unique gift. They offer classes on calligraphy, basket weaving, floral watercolor, personalized wood trays, and more! See the event page for the latest updates.
The Bead Lady
Love everything that glitters? Head to The Bead Lady in Historic Downtown Concord. This 3,100-square-foot studio offers thousands of beads, begging to be strung. Call for dates of upcoming jewelry classes where you can learn the basics, such as types of beads, and advanced techniques like wire wrapping.
In addition to inspiring street art in Downtown Concord, Cabarrus County is home to galleries and studios where you can admire, interpret and even take home a masterpiece.
Cabarrus Art Guild The Cabarrus Art Guild was created for art lovers, from the curious to the accomplished artist. Peruse its three galleries throughout Concord. The Gallery & Gift Shop on Union Street, The Depot Brick Wall Gallery, and The Gallery at The Old Courthouse Theatre all showcase work of local artists. Or, try your hand at painting with oil, watercolor, pastels, or acrylics at one of CAG’s classes.
ClearWater Artist Studio Originally home to the City Water Works in the 1920s, ClearWater Artist Studio is a space for working artists to build their practice and community, and for the community to visit. During “2nd Saturdays” monthly art open house events, meet the artists, see their latest creations, ask questions and purchase art for your own home. See the website for a list of upcoming events and exhibits that are currently on display.
The Galleries Explore four galleries in the 1876 Historic Cabarrus County Courthouse. The Cabarrus Arts Council curates five exhibitions each year that feature work by local, regional and national artists in a variety of media. Afterwards, swing by the Gallery Shop where you can pick up a little piece of art to take home with you. You can also visit for special events including Family Days and Art Walks.
Single or taken, Valentine’s Day is the perfect reason to indulge. Whether you’re planning a day of self-care or an entire weekend to unwind, celebrate this sweet holiday with these special spirits, artful desserts and designer deals here in Cabarrus County.
Pair Bourbon and Chocolate in Prison Looking for an alternative to traditional date night ideas? You found it. Celebrate Valentine’s Day behind bars at Southern Grace Distilleries, America’s first distillery located inside a former prison. On February 14th, they’re offering tours that include a special bourbon and chocolate pairing. Learn the history of the facility (built in 1929) and how their award-winning whiskey is crafted.
Have Dessert in Downtown Downtown Concord is an oasis for indulgent desserts. Satisfy even the sweetest tooth at The Sweet Life, and enjoy a hand-dipped delight from Downtown Donuts. They pair perfectly with a scoop of homemade ice cream from Cabarrus Creamery. Then, stop at Chocolatier Barrucand to drool over the display case and take home decedent chocolates, pastries and cakes prepared by husband-and-wife team, Jean Luc & Ann Marie.
Splurge (and Save) at Concord Mills See a movie, have dinner and spend hours browsing at the largest shopping and entertainment destination in the Carolinas. From a new novel or luxe handbag to the perfect pair of shoes or an outfit that makes you feel like a million bucks, you’ll find it at Concord Mills. Did we mention there’s more chocolate here, too?
From rustic barns framed by cotton candy sunsets to the charming elegance of historic buildings downtown, Insta-worthy wedding venues are easy to find in Cabarrus County, North Carolina. But if you’ve already completed your site search, selected Cabarrus County as the destination for your big day and planned a party your guests won’t forget, this is for you.
All the Info at VisitCabarrus.com
Kickstart their planning so you can finish your own by directing them to VisitCabarrus.com. Here, seasonal blogs and itineraries for every travel style outline exactly how to explore Cabarrus County. In addition to enjoying time together, friends and family can shop at specialty and outlet stores, stroll through downtown districts, discover historic sites, get active and eat local. The Cabarrus County Destination & Motorsports Guide also provides a complete list of area restaurants, attractions, events and activities. Put one in their hand on arrival, or for the eco-conscious wedding, add a link to the Digital Destination Guide on your personalized wedding website instead.
Social Media to Inspire
Along with a Save the Date, give them endless ideas for entertainment by suggesting a scroll through Visit Cabarrus social media channels. We’re constantly sharing the most current information on places to fuel up and hang out. Your guests can also get a glimpse of things all things fun in Cabarrus County by opening Social Hub. Just click in the top, left-hand corner of the Visit Cabarrus homepage to see how visitors of all ages are enjoying their time here. From waterslides and go karts to craft beer and art galleries, there’s no shortage of exciting activities. Be sure to also recommend searching #WhereRacingLives to see how they can enjoy the area’s signature experience—motorsports!
Area Experts at the Visitor Center
Put our service to the test! In addition to social media, VisitCabarrus.com, and the Destination Guide, point them to the Visitor Center for real-time advice from locals who know the area. Realizing couples are almost always occupied before and after wedding week, guests won’t want to bother you and will appreciate insider tips offered at the Visitor Center. Friendly Travel Counselors are standing by six days a week to give suggestions on what to do outside of the main event. Dropping in will also allow them to pick up special coupons and a free souvenir. If they can’t stop by, a phone call or online chat will also work during regular hours of operation.
In Cabarrus County, it’s easy to incorporate thoughtful touches for out-of-town guests that will keep them occupied, exploring and making even more amazing memories during your wedding weekend. Show your appreciation for friends and family who are traveling to be a part of your special celebration by providing these resources.
Still at the start line of your wedding planning process? Find information on venues, vendors and more services in Cabarrus County here.