Summer Vacation

Where to Cool Off in Cabarrus County

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It’s no secret that Southern summers can be scorching. Play it cool this season and check out these indoor and outdoor options for beating the heat in Cabarrus County, North Carolina.

July 25, 2023

Make a Splash

Splash pads are a summer staple in Cabarrus County. Across the area, you’ll find fun features ranging from floor spouts and slides to water buckets designed to get you drenched. When you’re ready to dry off, nearby greenways and walking trails at the parks are ideal if you feel like stretching your legs.

There’s plenty of room to play at Harrisburg Park’s 10,000-square-foot splash pad complete with interactive amenities and a slide. In Kannapolis, visit self-operated Boomer’s Splash Pad for free inside Atrium Health Ballpark or stop by Village Park where tickets are just $1.50 per person and kids can splash around in the water cannons, geysers and jets.

During the summer, local farmers, artisans, and families all gather at Rotary Square in Downtown Concord where the farmers market and splash pad combine two of the season’s best experiences– fresh produce and a fun place to cool off.

Plan a Paddle

Pack a picnic lunch (along with plenty of water and sunscreen) and spend the afternoon on the river.

The Rocky River Blueway, part of the Carolina Thread Trail, connects the Rocky River to the Yadkin Pee Dee River Basin. It’s a popular long-distance flatwater paddling spot and offers a picturesque place to canoe, kayak or cool off on the river.

Gain access from Pharr Family Preserve Trail in Midland and paddle or float down the river that serves as the boundary between Cabarrus, Stanly, Union and Anson counties. Midland’s Riverbend Farm Trail also offers a launch for easy access to the blueway.

Stay and Play

When the forecast calls for a heatwave, Great Wolf Lodge is the place to be. Not only does the Concord resort offer onsite attractions like laser tag, an arcade, 4D theater and mini golf — all under one climate-controlled roof — it’s also home to an 80,000-square-foot indoor water park!

Plan your weatherproof visit and spend a few days unwinding with the family. Ride the waterslides, play a game of basketball in the water playground or see who can navigate the wet and wild obstacle course.

Feast on Frozen Treats

Summer is the season to indulge in cool confections, from frozen yogurt and custard to gelato and, of course, ice cream.

Sample one (or more) of the 24 flavors served at Frozen Kups in Harrisburg. Order a double scoop or an ice cream float from Cabarrus Creamery in Historic Downtown Concord. In Kannapolis, try the ice cream and fudge offerings at My Sister’s Place or grab an iced refreshment from B&K Tea Café and enjoy it while taking in the breeze from a shady seat along West Avenue.

Planning an adult outing? Stop at Rocky River Vineyards for a midweek treat during Wine Slushy Wednesday. Add Tipsy Hare Ciderworks to your list for a delicious cider slushies or try a spiked slushy from Cabarrus Brewing Company.

Seek Refuge From the Sun

When temperatures are high, head underground. Reed Gold Mine is a state historic site that offers guided tours that include exploring portions of the underground tunnels where miners once searched for gold.

In the 1800s, North Carolina led the nation in gold production, and Reed Gold Mine remains the only underground gold mine in the state that’s open to the public. You’ll be surprised at how cool it is underground — and how cool it is to learn the history of the mine and how it helped shape Cabarrus County and the surrounding region.

There are even opportunities to pan for gold from April to October.

Book Your Summer Stay

You might not be able to turn down the outdoor temperatures this summer, but you can definitely find fun ways to beat the heat.

Start planning your visit to Cabarrus County by checking out these places to stay.

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