Concord is in the heart of NASCAR country and home to fast-paced action at the racetrack and beyond. You’ll find everything from motorsports attractions to museums and more. Fuel up the tank and explore these 11 awesome activities in Concord!
1. Charlotte Motor Speedway and zMAX Dragway
Catch a NASCAR race, take a behind-the-scenes tour of the superspeedway or book a driving experience! See if you’ve got what it takes to be a racecar driver by trying the NASCAR Racing Experience or opt for an open-wheel, Indy-style race car with the Mario Andretti Racing Experience. No matter how you choose to explore Charlotte Motor Speedway, you’ll discover why the 1.5-mile quad oval track with 24-degree banking turns earned the nickname “America’s Home For Racing.”
Across the street from Charlotte Motor Speedway, the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) hosts races at zMAX Dragway, the first four-lane, all-concrete drag strip in the world. Hailed as the “Bellagio of Drag Strips,” it’s known for its fast-paced, side-by-side racing action in the fall and four-wide fun in the spring. Each thrilling event features action from the Top Fuel and Funny Car classes, the pro-stock motorcycle division and more.
2. iFLY Indoor Skydiving
Ever wanted to feel the thrill of free falling without the potential danger that comes along with jumping out of an airplane? Then iFLY Indoor Skydiving is a must-visit attraction in Concord. The indoor skydiving facility provides a wild adrenaline rush without a plane or parachute. If you want some extra excitement, add a virtual reality component to your experience. iFLY offers nine experiences that allow you to feel like you’re soaring over the world.
3. Great Wolf Lodge
Ride the waterslides, play in the wave pool, explore the water fort treehouse and play water basketball in the indoor waterpark at Great Wolf Lodge. When you’re ready to take a break from splashing in the 84-degree water, head to the Build-A-Bear Workshop, play a game of laser tag, watch a 3D movie in the Howly Wood XD Theater, go on a shadow quest, navigate the ropes course or challenge the family to a game of mini golf. Then spend the night in one of the themed suites and rest up for another day of wet-and-wild adventure.
4. K1 Speed
Feel the need for speed? Race around the track at K1 Speed, where the indoor track accommodates drivers of all experience levels. The all-electric go karts were designed to hug the curves on the turns and accelerate down the straightaways.
5. Craft Breweries
Quench your thirst with a visit to one of Concord’s six craft breweries. Buzzed Viking Brewing Company is a veteran- and minority-owned brewery, meadery and restaurant — and it’s the first meadery ever created in Concord.
At Cabarrus Brewing Company, the area’s rich history and unique character is on full display. If you want a true local experience, make sure to check it out.
High Branch Brewing Co. is a lighthearted, laidback brewery, and this family-owned establishment doesn’t sacrifice quality for good vibes — its beer selection is always top notch. It’s also basically next door to Cabarrus Brewing Company, making it a perfect next stop during an afternoon of brewery hopping.
If you’re looking to do some brewery hopping in the downtown area, Southern Strain Brewing Company is a 9-minute walk from Red Hill. Dubbed “Concord’s Cultivators of Craft,” Southern Strain specializes in small-batch lagers and hopped-up IPAs.
Twenty-Six Acres Brewing Company is named after the original 26-acre plot of land the city of Concord was founded on in 1796. The brewery is steeped in local history and often has food trucks on-site, making it the perfect spot for a family outing.
In addition to a wide selection of delicious beers at each spot, most of Concord’s breweries host festivals, pop-up shops, trivia and more. Check each one’s website to see what fun events are on tap.
6. Mustang Owner’s Museum
Make a stop at the Mustang Owner’s Museum to see Ford Mustangs ranging from new models and restored classics to race cars. The cars might be the main attraction but the museum — which opened in 2019 to coincide with honoring 55 years of the Mustang — also showcases Mustang memorabilia and hosts regular special events, from “Fords on Sunday” to car shows.
7. SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord Aquarium
Step into this undersea world that’s home to over 5,000 sea creatures like turtles, sharks, stingrays and clownfish. SEA LIFE, the 150,000-gallon aquarium located in Concord Mills, offers lots of opportunities to learn about — and interact with — sea life. Walk through the 180-degree underwater tunnel where you can get up close with marine life, feel sea stars and pencil sea urchins in the interactive touch pools, meet a rescued sea turtle and attend keeper talks and feedings.
8. Concord Mills
With 200 stores, including Coach, kate spade new york, Michael Kors, LEGO and Under Armour, Concord Mills is billed as the largest outlet and value retail shopping center in North Carolina. After shopping in the newly renovated mall, experience the entertainment options: Concord Mills boasts a carousel, 24-screen movie theater, Dave & Busters, SEA LIFE Aquarium and The Speedpark, as well as several dining options.
9. Opt Outside
Spend a day getting some fresh air with one of Concord’s many outdoor adventures. Frank Liske Park is home to a lake for fishing and paddle boating, picnic shelters, horseshoe pits, an 18-hole disc golf course, 18-hole mini golf course and more. If you’d rather play a round of traditional golf, check out Rocky River Golf Club, which also offers rentals on golf clubs and shoes. For an adrenaline rush on two wheels, head to Brown Mill Mountain Bike Trail, which boasts a slew of features, from berms to jumps to switchbacks. The trail is also open to hikers and runners for those who’d prefer to stay on two feet.
10. The Depot at Gibson Mill
For an antique shopping experience like none other, The Depot at Gibson Mill is a must-visit. Known for having the “Best Crap in the South,” The Depot is the largest antique mall in the south and features more than 750 unique booths that span over 88,000 square feet. Beyond The Depot, Gibson Mill is home to two craft breweries (Cabarrus Brewing and High Branch), an escape room, a board game café and more. You can spend an entire day (or two!) at Gibson Mill with plenty to do.
11. Historic Downtown District
The entire downtown district is worth a visit thanks to its many museums, galleries, public art, boutiques, specialty shops and restaurants. Snap a photo the Avett Brothers Mural, order a scoop of ice cream at Cabarrus Creamery, stroll through Memorial Garden or catch a performance at the Davis Theatre.
If you’d like your downtown visit with a side of history, check out the self-guided walking tour of the historic district, created by Historic Cabarrus Association. Learn how the original town, a 26-acre parcel settled in 1796, got its name (which means “harmony”) and travel along North and South Union Street to see the homes of a former state senator, local textile icons and the founder of the Concord Telephone Company. The John Osborne Wallace House, a brick Italianate home located at 154 South Union Street, dates back to the 1830s, making it the oldest home in the neighborhood. Walking tour maps are available at the Concord Museum.