Concord is the home to some of North Carolina’s top tourist destinations!
Watch a NASCAR race, shop at Concord Mills, or even share your car with a zebra, all from a home base in Concord, North Carolina.
Things to Do in Concord NC
Vacationers choosing to stay in more moderately-priced Concord will find it convenient to travel to Charlotte via Interstates 85 and 77. For those travelers who would rather not drive far for entertainment, Concord and its surrounding area offers several attractions.
Shop at Concord Mills
Since opening in 2007, Concord Mills has become the state’s most popular visitor attraction. With over 200 stores, Concord Mills is comprised of more than 1,334,000 square feet of retail stores and restaurants.
Shop for bargains at Books-A-Million, Burlington Coat Factory, and Off 5th Saks Fifth Avenue; or enjoy the interactive features of the Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World and NASCAR Speedpark.
And of course, no trip to Concord Mills is complete without a stop at Build-A-Bear.
Watch a Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway
Built in 1959 by North Carolina native Bruton Smith, Charlotte Motor Speedway is home to two races on NASCAR’s Sprint Cup Series. In May the speedway hosts the Coca-Cola 600, while October is the month of the Bank of America 500. Any weekend at the raceway or its adjacent drag strip offers visitors a chance to see racing, though.
The track schedule includes races for all three of NASCAR’s series as well as Legends cars, motorbikes and NHRA’s drag racing series.
While at the track, visitors can register for a tour of the speedway, area race shops, or even the new NASCAR Hall of Fame. Concord is also home to Windshear, Inc., a firm that owns a state-of-the-art wind tunnel facility used to test the aerodynamics of vehicles (mostly motorsports vehicles).
Feed the Animals at Lazy 5 Ranch
Drive through the Lazy 5 Ranch and experience over 750 animals up close. The privately owned exotic animal drive thru park offers visitors a 3.5 mile trail where animals such as zebras, lemurs and camels. Call ahead for reservations on a horse-drawn wagon. The ranch also has a petting zoo, picnic area and working blacksmith shop.
Visitors will not want to leave their cameras at home as this is a unique experience not only in North Carolina, but the Southeast as well. Located just 30 minutes north of Concord.
Whether in the Concord arera on business or leisure, visitors will want to find time in their schedule to experience a NASCAR race, shop at Concord Mills, and experience exotic animals up close.
The small-town feel of Concord belies its modern entertainment offerings. The Concord area also has several hotel options close to all attractions.
National Register of Historic Places in Concord
In addition to the Cabarrus County Courthouse, the Barber-Scotia College, Boger-Hartsell Farm, McCurdy Log House, Mill Hill, North Union Street Historic District, Odell-Locke-Randolph Cotton Mill, Reed Gold Mine, South Union Street Courthouse and Commercial Historic District, South Union Street Historic District, Spears House, Stonewall Jackson Training School Historic District, and Union Street North-Cabarrus Avenue Commercial Historic District are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Cabarrus County Courthouse was completed in 1876. A 16-foot (4.9 m) marble Civil War monument, dedicated in 1892, is located on the front lawn. The courthouse was recognized for its significance and listed in 1974 on the National Register of Historic Places. The historic courthouse now is the home of the Cabarrus Arts Council, the Davis Theater and Historic Cabarrus.
Carolina Renaissance Festival
The Carolina Renaissance Festival is a 25 acre renaissance themed amusement park and one of the largest Renaissance fairs in America. The Festival is set in a fictional storybook village of “Fairhaven” and nestled within 375 acres of autumn woodlands. The open air village and artisan marketplace is complete with cottages and bungalows of 16th century European architecture. Inside the village gates are over 140 merchants, crafters, and artisans working to create, demonstrate, and sell quality handmade wares of all types and mediums.
Hundreds of costumed villagers and fantasy characters roam the lanes offering additional interactive entertainment. The Festival’s premier attraction features knights on horseback jousting three times daily inside the Queen’s tournament arena. Attendees can choose to shop, play, sit back and enjoy the shows, or partake in n array of country fair games, unique people-powered rides, and feasting fit for Royal appetites.
The Festival is held annually on Saturdays and Sundays in October and November.
Stage shows feature live music, dance, comedy shows, and performers with circus variety skills such as juggling, aerial silks, acrobatics, and sideshow antics. Musicians perform with traditional instruments such as the harp, bagpipes, or other, more obscure, “period” instruments. Roaming the “lanes” of the festival are a variety of nationally traveling professional street performers who engage visitors to help create an interactive performance experience. In addition to 14 stages of non-stop entertainments, there are three premier attractions:
1) Jousting Knights on Horseback: Thrice daily stunt riders on horseback charge at each other with lances in full tilt. The jousts are performed by Aventail Productions and the competition is scored with historically accuracy with points and victory awarded to the true winners of each competition. The last joust of the day ends with a conflict settled by a ground fight to the “death”.
2) The Ancient Art of Falconry is presented four times daily at the Edgewood Theatre. Watch as a variety of birds-of-prey display the unique skills that enraptured nobles long ago and made falconry the sport of kings. Children and adults alike are amazed by these beautiful creatures in flight.
3) The “Sea Fairies” Mermaid exhibit feature mermaid models swimming in a 3,000 gallon aquarium tank. Accompanying the tank is always a Mermaid sitting on a throne taking photos with children.
The Carolina Renaissance Festival also operates an in-house performance company featuring over 100 costumed characters who also interact directly with visitors at the fair, in an attempt to create a more authentic feel of a renaissance-era town and to help bring the “village” to life. Individuals in the company develop characters such as “The Village Baker,” “Tavern Keeper,” etc. A “Singing Milkmaid” trio, a Town Mayor, and the fictional Royal Family that has come to visit the shire are other examples.
Where to Stay
When traveling with the family to this area, what better spot for family fun than the Great Wolf Lodge!
No matter what the weather outside is doing, at Great Wolf Lodge the indoor water park has the fun flowing 365 days per year. Splash, swim, and slide with the whole family, then dry off and head into the adventure park to delight in dry-land attractions such as a ropes course, arcade games, mini golf, MagiQuest adventure game, and more. Kids will love the assortment of entertainment included in your stay—from yoga and arts & crafts projects to a dance party and story time that wrap up the day.