Kannapolis may be a small town, but there are still fun things you can do while you're here. Here are 7 things to do in Kannapolis, North Carolina.
This North Carolina city is near other large towns like Concord and Charlotte. It's in the metro Charlotte area and is an excellent destination for racing fans. Although it isn't the home of NASCAR, it's still got pretty interesting sites to see. The city is known for being the hometown of Dale Earnhardt and the headquarters of Haas Racing.
Its strength lies in music and motorsports, but if that's not your thing, there are still experiences here for you.
If you're driving, take I-85, exits 54 to 63. The city of Concord is 20 minutes and 7 miles away. In contrast, Charlotte is 27 miles away and 24 minutes by train, and 35 minutes by car. The nearest airports are Concord Regional Airport (20 minutes and 13 miles), Rowan County Airport (20 minutes and 13 miles), and Charlotte Douglas International Airport (40 minutes and 31 miles).
The downtown area has been renovated in the past year, and now there are a lot of spaces for al fresco dining and great airy spaces. Downtown is also conveniently walkable, and you can freely hop to different tourist spots.
The Irish Creek Golf Course is one of the best things to do in the city if you have some time on your hands. The golf course has consistently been a part of the state's top 50 golf courses, which is impressive because North Carolina has a ton of great courses.
The 18-hole course includes a 400-acre lake inside and was renovated by Davis Love III. From 16 out of the 18 holes, you'll have a great view of the lake, with the surrounding forest adding to the ambiance. The course has been the home of many tournaments like the PGA Q Qualifying Stage and the Collegiate Championship.
The course is 8 minutes from the city center and has an on-site restaurant called Grille Tavern.
Location: Lat|Lon 35.52949475903766 | -80.63765581189438
If you're going to make the most out of your trip, that should include some quality accommodations. You'll find that in Hampton Inn Concord/Kannapolis. There aren't many hotel options within Kannapolis, but this hotel is close enough to both Concord and Kannapolis. It's 10 minutes from Kannapolis city center and 15 minutes from Concord Regional Airport. If you're a NASCAR fan and plan to tour all the motorsports attractions, this hotel is near enough.
Their amenities include free WIFI and parking, and complimentary breakfast. You'll also have use of their fitness centers, an outdoor pool, their business center, and meeting rooms. Room options include a room with 1 king bed, 1 king bed and a sofa bed, and a room with 2 queen beds.
Website: Hampton Inn Concord/Kannapolis
Location: Lat|Lon 35.4618482215617 | -80.58683122954662
Aside from motorsports, Kannapolis is also a tourist destination for music lovers. Here downtown, you'll find the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame. Plus, if you're a fan of both music and motorsports, the Music Hall of Fame shares a wall with the Curb Museum for Motorsports.
The museum looks at the history of North Carolina music, from notable artists to the stars that top the music charts today. Learn more about the state's music history and heritage here. Their exhibits are interactive, where you can listen to music and watch videos on the displays. They regularly have inductees to their hall of fame to add to their growing collection.
Their hours are from 10 am to 12 pm and 1 to 4 pm on weekdays. Entrance is free, but donations are appreciated.
Website: North Carolina Music Hall of Fame
Location: Lat|Lon 35.49262227473198 | -80.6318344142013
One of the many NASCAR attractions here is the Curb Museum for Motorsports and Music. It shares a space with the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame, so you can head here after the Hall of Fame. The museum is open from Monday to Friday from 10 am to 4 pm.
The mix of racing and music is a familiar combination to museum owner Mike Curb. He also owns the record label Curb Records, where artists Tim McGraw, Wynonna Judd, and many others are a part of. This museum is just a testament to Curb's love for these two things.
In here, you'll find unique pieces like the #2 car Dale Earnhardt used for a Winston Cup Championship and the #43 car from Richard Petty's win at the 199th Winston Cup. Music records are scattered across the building with artifacts like gold record awards and signed posters.
Explore all these and more at the museum.
Website: Curb Museum for Motorsports and Music
Location: Lat|Lon 35.49253433352627 | -80.63193661234845
The Kannapolis Performing Arts Center is located inside A.L. Brown High School near Gem Theater and Dale Earnhardt Plaza. It has a 1,900-seat capacity with great sound systems. The center is the venue for plays, musicals, and concerts. They mainly do local shows here from the community themselves, with many recitals from children and students. There are also traditional holiday shows like The Nutcracker. If you're looking for something to cap off your night, this can be the thing for you.
Location: Lat|Lon 35.49608233451388 | -80.61861518721797
Another downtown destination is Gem Theater. It's near Dale Earnhardt Plaza, Atrium Health Ballpark, and the Kannapolis Train Station. The theater is a historic movie house that locals frequent and a hidden gem in Kannapolis. It was even voted one of the best places to take kids around the Charlotte area, so this could be a family outing for you.
The Gem Theater is also one of the few cinemas left to have balcony seating and one of the oldest single-screen movie theaters. Their tickets are affordable, and it's such a landmark in the city. It wouldn't be too bad to catch a movie here.
Website: Gem Theater
Location: Lat|Lon 35.49829048687365 | -80.62466034303728