When it comes to exploring a new place, you can’t go wrong with an expert leading the way. That’s why these five tours — ranging from history-rich walkabouts to thrilling motorsports adventures — should be at the top of every Cabarrus County itinerary.
For Beverage Aficionados
Calling all whiskey fans! Southern Grace Distilleries offers some of the most popular tours, giving guests a fascinating look behind the curtain of small-batch distilling. The two-hour Private Bourbon Experience is a comprehensive tour of the production facility, stepping you through fermentation, distilling, aging, barreling and bottling, and concludes with a guided tasting. The 45-minute Behind Bars Tour is an abridged version of the Bourbon Experience and also includes a tasting. Fun fact: Southern Grace Distilleries is housed in a 90-year-old prison, and while the distillery tour focuses mainly on the spirits, they also showcase the historic jail, complete with a stop in the solitary confinement cells.
Southern Grace Distilleries is one of 17 stops along Cabarrus County’s craft beverage trail, Explore & Pour. This free mobile passport allows visitors to check in at each location and earn points that can be redeemed for cool prizes. During your visit, be sure to check in and bank your points.
For Animal Lovers
You can get up close and personal with more than 5,000 underwater creatures at Concord’s SEA LIFE Aquarium. See sharks glide through deep waters on a walk through the Ocean Tunnel and feel the scales of sea stars in the interactive touchpool. On the 30-minute Beyond the Surface tour, guests witness how SEA LIFE staff feed and care for the animals. You’ll see food being prepared, learn about how the life support, filtration and water quality systems work, and even visit the research areas. In addition to the tour, the aquarium also offers year-round events; check the calendar before your visit.
For NASCAR Fans
If you’re a NASCAR race fan, visiting the race shops throughout Concord, Kannapolis and beyond is a must-do activity when visiting Cabarrus County. Enjoy a behind-the-scenes look into preparations for race day with Garage Pass Shop Tours.
Venture inside race team shops with an expert tour guide who will provide fun facts and insight into the world of racing. On their Northern Tour, Garage Pass also makes a stop at another exclusive motorsports attraction in Cabarrus County, the Curb Museum for Music and Motorsports. This gem sits alongside the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame and showcases the intersection of harmony and horsepower in our state.
For Motorsports Enthusiasts
Feeling the need for speed? You can choose among several special-access tours at Charlotte Motor Speedway. For example, drive your own vehicle through the sights and sounds of the speedway on the hour-long Fast Pass Tour. The Feel the Thrill Tour takes you on a ride along two infield racetracks including a run down zMAX Dragway, a visit to The Dirt Track and around the Superspeedway, with stops at Pit Road and the NASCAR Cup Series garage. And when a race is in town, don’t miss special tours that grant a once-in-a-lifetime look at all that goes on behind the scenes during race weekend.
For History Buffs
America’s first documented discovery of gold in 1799 happened at Reed Gold Mine in Midland. That’s where a young boy found a small gold nugget, kicking off what became North Carolina’s gold mining industry, which was second only to farming during the state’s peak mining years.
Today, the state historic site offers guided tours and visitors can explore Reed Gold Mine’s history through exhibits, restored underground mine tunnels, the ore-crushing stamp mill, an orientation film and trails to Little Meadow Creek where the first gold nugget was found, plus everyone’s favorite activity — panning for gold (offered April 1 to October 31).
Fun for the Whole Family
Looking for more things to do in Cabarrus County? Explore our complete list of attractions that provide something for everyone in your crew.