Concord is a small town neatly nestled outside bustling Charlotte. But don’t be fooled. Concord has a lot of character. From speedways, to water parks, to wineries and breweries, you’re going to find a lovely blend of history and excitement here. Let’s get right to the planning of your afternoon picnics, your lazy river retreats, and your welcomed brewpub experiences!
1. Memorial Garden
Memorial Garden was purchased in 1804 by First Presbyterian Church for the construction of its sanctuary. Members of the congregation who passed away were also buried here. Over the years, their congregation grew and, with that, a larger church was constructed downtown. Through the years, this plot of land has seen some peaks and pits but, today, it remains impeccably maintained.
With gently sloping hillsides, ancient oaks, winding paths, waterfalls, butterflies, sculpted hollies, and intricately carved white Italian marble markers, this is a gorgeous retreat to tuck into one afternoon. You’ll find peace and solitude amidst these gardens and walk away feeling just a little more refreshed.
Address: 36 Spring Street SW, Concord, NC 28025
Hours of Operation: Mar 1 - Oct 31: Tue - Sat, from 9 am - 5 pm; Sun, from 12 pm - 5 pm; Nov 1 - end of Feb: Tue - Sat, from 9 am - 4 pm; Sun, from 12 pm - 4 pm
Website: Memorial Garden
2. Thrifty Adventures
Thrifty Adventures is a wilderness guide service based in western North Carolina that sweeps you away in a variety of outdoor activities. All kinds of adventures await, including rock and ice climbing, kayaking and tubing, mountaineering, rappelling, and canyoneering. Imagine, after your walk through Memorial Gardens, just floating on down a lazy river? Or, if you like to push yourself to new heights, how about rappelling through a waterfall?
So many exciting activities are offered here that we might never embark upon otherwise. So, take advantage! The staff here is incredibly friendly and professional. You’ll feel relaxed and at ease, even as you canyoneer your way through a Monday afternoon.
Address: 12255 NC-226, Spruce Pine, NC 28777
Hours of Operation: Daily, from 9:30 am - 5 pm
Website: Thrifty Adventures
3. Richard Petty Driving Experience
Turn your NASCAR dreams into reality. At Richard Petty, you can get behind the wheel of your very own NASCAR race car. These cars have been driven by the likes of Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson. Following a Driver’s Meeting with a Crew Chief, training, and instruction, you’re actually going to drive your very own NASCAR race car for a five-minute racing session. There’s no lead car for you to follow. It’s all you out there! You’ll also be able to talk over a two-way radio with a personal racing instructor as you fly through those straightaways.
If you’re not looking to drive, but want to feel the rush of those high levels of speed, then hop in for a 3 lap NASCAR Ride Along with a professional racing instructor whipping you around one of the nation’s premier speedways. Either way, there are some memories just waiting to be made here, and not many others will be able to compete.
Richard Petty Driving Experience
Address: 6022 Victory Ln SW, Concord, NC 28027
Hours of Operation: Mon - Sat, from 8 am - 10 pm; Sun, from 8 am - 5 pm
Website: Richard Petty Driving Experience
4. Great Wolf Lodge Water Park
From racing down speedways to racing down waterslides, who doesn’t love a good thrill seek? This one is filled with adventurous activity for the whole family. In the Howlin’ Tornado, you will, literally, howl with delight through a water-filled funnel of fun. Shoot into the tunnel, flying high with delight.
With names like Totem Towers, Racoon Lagoon, and Whooping Hollow, you can get ready to expect action-packed adventure and laughter-filled activity all day long. Make sure you rent a cabana while you’re there, too. Everyone needs a home base as they conquer sweeping water slides and flowing wave pools.
Great Wolf Lodge Water Park
Address: 10175 Weddington Rd, Concord, NC 28027
Website: Great Wolf Lodge Water Park
5. Frank Liske Park
Almost as tranquil as where we began, in Memorial Garden, Frank Liske Park is a 238-acre quiet retreat into nature’s splendor. With picnic pavilions, a fishing and boating lake, athletic fields, mini golf, and more, this is a token delight of fresh air fun.
Frank Liske Park
Address: 4001 Stough Rd, Concord, NC 28027
Hours of Operation: Daily, from 8 am - 9 pm
Website: Frank Liske Park
6. Cougar Run Winery
Once you’ve washed the remnants of nature away, it’s time to sip on a crisp, cool glass of serenity. With a tagline that reads, “From a dream of a less hectic way of life,” you can plan to enjoy this winery’s handcrafted delights. That’s the goal, isn’t it?
This winery began with a love of wine that turned into a beloved hobby and blossomed into one of the most gorgeous wineries the east coast has to offer. You can even learn how to embark upon your own wine-making journey here; they’ll set you up with everything you need! North Carolina certainly boasts some of the most fertile lands for vineyards, and Cougar Run should definitely be on your map for exploration.
Cougar Run Winery
Address: 363 Church St N, Concord, NC 28025
Hours of Operation: Tue, from 12 pm - 6 pm; Wed - Sat, from 10 am - 6 pm; Sun, from 1 pm - 5 pm
Website: Courgar Run Winery
7. Charlotte Motor Speedway
This is the kind of place where, on a typical race weekend, fans consume more than 34,000 slices of pizza, 9,500 gallons (35961.41 litres) of soda and water, 13,500 feet (4114 meters) of hot dogs, and 309,000 pounds (137.9 tons) of ice. Check the website when you’re in town and see if you can dive into some of that fanfare.
For more than 50 years, Charlotte Motor Speedway has been setting the standard for motorsports entertainment, boasting the title, “The Greatest Place to See the Race.” The speedway hosts three premier NASCAR events each year as well as more than a dozen other events for automotive and motorsport enthusiasts. Make sure you visit the team shops and NASCAR Hall of Fame while you’re making your way through!
Charlotte Motor Speedway
Address: 5555 Concord Pkwy S, Concord, NC 28027
Hours of Operation: Mon - Fri, from 9 am - 5 pm
Website: Charlotte Motor Speedway
8. Cabarrus Brewing Company
Cabarrus really practices what they preach. They believe beer drinking should be a social activity. With that, they craft some of the finest pints, meant to be savored slowly as you get to know your new pal sitting on the barstool beside you.
Their friendly and welcoming atmosphere is only the tip of the iceberg, as their draughts are amazingly crisp and cool. With names like Boll Weevil Brown Ale and Rocky River India, you’ll quickly discover that there’s something here for everyone.
Cabarrus Brewing Company
Address: 329 McGill Ave NW, Concord, NC 28027
Hours of Operation: Mon - Thu, from 4 pm - 10 pm; Fri, from 4 pm - 11 pm; Sat, from 12 pm - 11 pm; Sun, from 1 pm - 7 pm
Website: Cabarrus Brewing Company
9. Sea Life Charlotte-Concord
From turtle shelters to touch pools, it’s hard not to grin your way through Sea Life. When’s the last time you giggled at a seahorse or watched hundreds of fish swim around you?
An octopus hideout might creep you out a little, but the shipwreck exhibit will have everyone ooh-ing and ahh-ing. With such tender touches of detail and care, you can tell a whole lot of sea love was poured into these tanks. Get ready to embrace education and excitement at its finest.
Sea Life Charlotte-Concord
Address: 8111 Concord Mills Boulevard, Concord, NC 28027
Hours of Operation: Mon - Sat, from 10 am - 6 pm; Sun, from 12 pm - 6 pm
Website: Sea Life Charlotte-Concord
10. The Concord Museum
Now that memories of Concord are painted on your heart, you’re going to love closing out your time with a visit to The Concord Museum. This is a lovely little treasure. They’ve tucked the museum into the first floor of the old county courthouse.
With rich history dating back to the Civil War, you just know you’re going to soak in some wonderful treasures here. The displays change every four to six months but, like any fine dining establishment that changes their menu every season, you can trust you’ll be walking into some truly inspiring displays.
The Concord Museum
Address: 65 Union Street South, Concord, NC 28025
Hours of Operation: Tue - Fri, from 10 am - 4 pm
Website: The Concord Museum
Concord is full of natural wonder and downtown delights
North Carolina really is a special state. She literally has everything, from mountains to sandy shores. The Concord area is a special retreat with its natural wonder and downtown delights. Take your family, take your best friend, take yourself! Enjoy stepping into a different time and place, and accepting the warm southern welcome that awaits you here in lovely Concord.
Get Trip101 in your inbox
You can buy and claim online, even after you've left home. Travel insurance from WorldNomads.com is available to people from 140 countries. It’s designed for adventurous travellers with cover for overseas medical, evacuation, baggage and a range of adventure sports and activities.
*5% off when you book with our promo code: TRIP101
*For our Canadian and US travellers, unfortunately due to financial services laws, we cannot provide a discount. This promotional code cannot be used with any other discount offer, including World Nomads Members’ discount for travel insurance policy holders.