On a recent trip to Cabarrus County, North Carolina, I found out all sorts of really neat and cool things to do in the area. I’m embarrassed to say I was surprised. Why? Because I live a mere 3 hours away by car, and I had no idea! I think that we often take for granted some of what is nearby while we plan trips to far and remote spots. It’s also a great place to visit that won’t put a huge strain on your purse.
Where Racing Lives
Anyone looking to explore North Carolina should definitely think about visiting Cabarrus County! Cabarrus County is located about 20 minutes north of Charlotte and is made up of Kannapolis, Midland, Mount Pleasant, Concord and Harrisburg. The area motto, Where Racing Lives, came about because Cabarrus County is the birthplace of NASCAR and home to 90 percent of race team shops, as well as home to Charlotte Motor Speedway. Many may think the area is all about racing, but there really is so much more! Downtown Concord is definitely a “not to miss” spot!
Concord is a vibrant district of museums, art galleries, restaurants and specialty shops. By United States standards, Concord is considered an “old” town. Incorporated in 1806, Concord is one of those historical little towns that offers something for everyone who lives there or who stops by for a visit. I could have spent hours roaming up and down Union Street (the main thoroughfare) – heading in and out of shops owned by locals that are full of unique and interesting finds. I know I’ll be heading back again since my time was limited and I wasn’t able to visit each shop.
A full afternoon can be spent at the Cabarrus Arts Council – The Galleries and Davis Theatre. Anyone visiting the gallery will be greeted with open arms. Small gallery rooms and exhibits allow you to really see and experience each piece. Art in education is a large and important part of the council and it is evident throughout the facility.
The Cabarrus Arts Council is located in the 1876 “old” courthouse in downtown Concord. The building has been beautifully restored and is itself, a work of art. The Davis Theatre occupies the former courtroom on the second floor. With 227 seats, the theatre provides a small and intimate environment that brings audience members close to the performers. The Listening Room, which gives local artists the opportunity to perform on stage also has a “pay what you can” admission.
There are so many places to choose from, you can have your pick depending on your own requirements and style. You will have your pick from over 30 hotels (offering more than 2,700 rooms) motels, bed & breakfasts, campgrounds, RV parks, and even some rental homes.
Embassy Suites Resort & Spa (Concord) overlooks the Rocky River Golf Course, which is a perfect spot for a weekend getaway. An all suite facility makes it perfect for relaxing over cocktails in one room, even while someone is napping in the bedroom. Each room offers a small refrigerator, microwave, sink and coffee pot so is ideal for creating quick snacks and more if you’re on a budget. The location offers easy, quick and convenient access to the Charlotte Motor Speedway, SEA LIFE Aquarium, NASCAR Speedpark and the Roush Fenway Racing Museum. A full service spa, Spa Botanica, right on property, can make your stay even more relaxing. If shopping is your thing, you can spend a day browsing the outlet shops at Concord Mills Mall, only a half mile from the hotel.
Minutes away is Great Wolf Lodge for a great family adventure. Anyone familiar with the Great Wolf Lodge brand knows you can never go wrong when visiting one of their lodges. The hardest part will be wanting to stay there and not get out to see all that the area has to offer!
I ate (and enjoyed) several meals right at the Embassy Suites and let me tell you – delicious! Great food in a great atmosphere. Breakfast is served daily and you can enjoy a made to order omelet or choose from a long list of other options such as scrambled eggs, breakfast potatoes, bacon, sausage, fruit, oatmeal and pastries. Each evening there is a complimentary reception from 5:30 to 7:30 where you can choose from a variety of drinks and snacks. Caffeina’s Marketplace Cafe offers Starbucks coffee all day, snacks and gifts.
For lunch, dinner and room service, the Rocky River Grille offers casual dining with a large menu and allows dinner delivered right to your suite. The Rocky River Lounge offers a full bar, a bar menu with both indoor and outdoor seating and is truly a welcoming and fun spot to relax after a long day. Directly outside the hotel area, there are several brand and fast food chains that offer many of your familiar meals and snacks.
I enjoyed lunch in Downtown Concord (a short few minutes drive from the Embassy) one day at Gianni’s Trattoria. OH EM GEE! Let me tell you – I love Italian food and this was some of the best I have ever had!
The owners, Gianni and Heather, relocated to Concord from New York and wanted to open a neighborhood Italian restaurant. Buying local makes for a fresh and changing menu. All I can say was that my lunch was amazing (prices are great too!). Everything is made in-house by Chef Heather.
The Cabarrus Creamery, located in downtown Concord, is a retro-style ice cream parlor that has been a favorite gathering spot for generations! Made from scratch and fresh ice cream with daily or seasonal special flavors is a highlight – and they will give you little samples to try! If peach is available, don’t pass on it. It’s made with real peaches. You can see and taste nice sized peachy pieces and it’s delicious!
I can’t wait to go back to Cabarrus County! I feel like I didn’t have enough time to really explore all there is to see and do. While there, I did have other great experiences that I’ll be writing about too – don’t miss reading all about my visit to WHISKEY PRISON and the CHARLOTTE MOTOR SPEEDWAY!
I was provided an all expense paid trip by Travel Media Showcase. All opinions are my own. #Hosted #Sponsored #Travel #FamilyTravel