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Concord is home base for all things racing with the Charlotte Motor Speedway, but the town is also a popular suburb for Charlotte commuters and visitors alike.
Even as Concord grows, it’s retained its charming downtown district with art galleries, antique shops, and a museum.
- Average home price: $169,800
- Median household income: $52,901
- Average rent: $1,104
Here are 14 of our favorite things to do in Concord.
(1) Drive up to a movie on a 16,000-square-foot screen
Cruise on over to the Charlotte Motor Speedway for the “Speedway Drive-In” movie series happening Wednesday nights, all summer long. The 16,000-square-foot high-definition screen is much larger than the ones you’ll find at a classic drive-in theater. Tickets are $30 per car (up to 10 people) and can be purchased in advance through Ticketmaster. Next up is Ferris Bueller’s Day Off on July 29.
(2) Go wine tasting at Dover Vineyards
This family owned vineyard and farm opened about 10 years ago. Dover Vineyards sells fresh fruits, vegetables, and, of course, wine. The small, roadside vineyard also has wine tastings by appointment only (schedule your visit a week in advance).
(3) Try artisan chocolate at Chocolatier Barrucand
Chocolatier Barrucand is a taste of Paris on the streets of Concord. Chef Jean Luc Barrucand and wife, Ann Marie, yearned for the bakeries they had in Paris, so they opened this pastry shop more than 12 years ago. Along with artisan chocolates, the shop also has an assortment of pastries. You can also browse a variety of imported French wines, pate, cheese, and pantry items at the couple’s store-within-a-store, Le Bon Vivant.
(4) Vacation near home at Great Wolf Lodge
Great Wolf Lodge is a family favorite for visitors throughout the region. Attractions include a newly renovated indoor water park, laser tag, 3-D theater, and indoor bowling. The lodge and park is temporarily closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, but it reopens on July 29.
(5) Get an adrenaline rush with indoor skydiving at iFly (temporarily closed)
The “Topgolf of skydiving,” iFly gives people the opportunity to fly without jumping out of an airplane. From check-in to check-out, the whole process lasts about an hour and a half. It costs $70 and up.
[Related Agenda guide: Go inside: iFLY, a modern indoor skydiving facility, now open near Charlotte]
(6) Spend the day shopping and exploring at Concord Mills
With more than 200 stores, Concord Mills has drawn Charlotte shoppers for two decades. The state’s largest outlet mall also has other attractions like go karts at The Speedpark at Concord Mills. Or explore sea life at the mall’s interactive aquarium.
(7) Speed through Charlotte Motor Speedway
The Richard Petty Driving Experience at Charlotte Motor Speedway allows guests to fly around the 1.5 mile track at top speeds in authentic NASCAR race cars. It puts you in the driver’s seat for a series of timed racing sessions. Track times range from 5 to 48 minutes, complete with pit stops.
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(8) Visit Gibson Mill for shopping and brewery hopping
Once a furnishing and textile mill 100 years ago, Gibson Mill has been reimagined with shops, an antique mall, offices, and two breweries.
First, swing by Cabarrus Brewing Company and try one of their seven core craft beers, then stay for live music and food trucks. Then, walk over to High Branch Brewing, a family-run brewery and taproom with 10 beers to choose from.
(9) Order a pie from Aliño Pizzeria
Located in Concord Mills, enjoy a Neapolitan-style pizza, cooked in 90 seconds. The pies are made with fresh ingredients and dough imported from Italy, before being tossed into wood-burning ovens. The menu also includes salads, cannolis, and more. Aliño’s also has a location in Mooresville.
(10) Eat next-level bar food and sip craft beer
The partnership between Hot Box Next Level Kitchen and Southern Strain Brewing Company pairs classic bar food favorites with craft beer in downtown Concord. Try the smoked chicken wings or risotto fritters, or one of the rotating seasonal items like the buffalo burger and catfish sandwich.
(11) Stroll downtown Concord’s greenway loop
Concord’s Greenway Loop has four miles of paved trails and walking paths connecting downtown Concord to McGee Park. The greenway is free to the public with the option of renting picnic spaces for events.
(12) Try one of the Charlotte area’s best donuts at OMG Donuts & Bakery
This family-owned donut shop and bakery has fresh, handmade donuts, including flavors like the Girl Scout cookie-inspired Samoa donut or the popular Maple Bacon donut.
[Related Agenda guide: Top 11 donut spots in Charlotte, and what to order at each]
(13) Learn the state’s musical history at the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame (temporarily closed)
Another must-see in Cabarrus County is the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame, which showcases the history of some of the state’s greatest musicians. The collection of music memorabilia and interactive exhibits features greats like John Coltrane and James Taylor. The museum is temporarily closed due to coronavirus pandemic, but it will reopen once the state moves to phase three. The N.C. Music Hall of Fame is free to the public but donations are welcomed.
(14) Cool down with a customizable soda
Sip Co., a custom soda shop, opens on July 25 in Concord. You start by choosing a base beverage, ranging from classic sodas to energy drinks. Then select from dozens of syrups, fresh fruits, creams, and other toppings to concoct your own flavored soda. And if you really want to mix things up, finish off your drink with toppings — graham crackers, Swedish fish, or even hot sauce (not sure how we feel about that).
Looking for more suburb and day trip guides? Here are all Agenda suburb guides including Matthews, Waxhaw, and Davidson.