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.
Named an All-American City in 2004, picturesque Concord is the best of both worlds – close enough to the metropolitan city of Charlotte, yet still retaining its small-town feel. With origins as a mill town, today Concord has embraced its racing legacy and offers visitors an alternative to Charlotte’s traffic, pricey attractions, and expensive hotels.
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 offer 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. No trip to Concord Mills is complete without a stop at Build-A-Bear. (Concord Mills Mall is located off of I-85 at exit 49. 8111 Concord Mills Blvd., Concord, NC 28027; 704-979-3000)
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. Purchase tickets online or by calling 800-455-3267. (Charlotte Motor Speedway is located off of I-85 at exit 49. 5555 Concord Pkwy. South, Concord, NC 28027)
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 in the Southeast as well. Located just 30 minutes north of Concord. (15100 Mooresville Rd., Mooresville, NC 28115; 704-663-5100)
Whether in Piedmont 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.