Boasting lush landscapes and rich cultural history, Concord, NC draws NASCAR enthusiasts and wildlife lovers no matter the season. On top of excellent shopping opportunities, well-kept parks, and historical landmarks, this North Carolina city is packed with unique ways to enjoy the great outdoors. Plan a vacation packed with fresh air and beautiful views with these six things to do in Concord, NC.
1. Hike Buffalo Creek Preserve Trail
Excellent for families, beginners, and birders, this easy trail is just over four miles long. Peep the leaves during fall months, spot vibrant wildflowers in the spring, and escape the heat in the lush shade during summertime. A picturesque bridge and plenty of wildlife viewing opportunities make Buffalo Creek Preserve Trail ideal for unwinding and exploring.
2. Visit Racing Landmarks
NASCAR fans, car enthusiasts, and adrenaline junkies all have plenty of thrilling things to do in Concord, NC. Rev the engine with a go-cart race at The Speedpark at Concord Mills, ideal for kids and adults alike. Car history buffs can check out various museums such as the Morrison Motor Car Museum.
The thrill of witnessing a race at the Charlotte Motor Speedway, racing at zMAX Dragway, or driving at the Richard Petty Driving Experience is impossible to replicate. Put the pedal to the metal and with these high-speed things to do in Concord, NC.
3. Bike at Rocky River Trail
Featuring over a thousand feet of elevation gain, Rocky River Trail is considered challenging at over 12 miles long. Pack plenty of water and test your endurance on this well-kept trail. Rolling hills provide high-cardio climbs as well as adrenaline-soaked downhill portions. For a technical challenge against a stunning backdrop, this trail is a can’t-miss for experienced mountain bikers.
4. Sea Life Aquarium
One of the top things to do in Concord, NC, especially for families, is to visit the iconic Sea Life Aquarium. With thoughtfully-designed, 180-degree “underwater” tunnels, this attraction brings guests up close to some of the world’s most beautiful marine life. Sharks, rescued sea turtles, seahorses, and more call this sprawling aquarium home.
Hands-on opportunities abound with 10 interactive touch tanks and a virtual reality experience. Plan your visit around the scheduled animal interactions and feeding programs, or take your time basking in the wonder of aquatic life. This aquarium contributes to conservation efforts for beluga whales, seahorses, sea turtles, and more.
5. Explore Frank Liske Park or Reedy Creek Park
Dream up your ideal park day activities, and these destinations will have them. From paddleboarding to picnicking, pass the time outdoors with endless activities in these beautiful spaces. Frank Liske Park bursts with historical significance and features a lovely lake for fishing and more. Reedy Creek Park is the go-to place for sports of every variety, from basketball to cricket. Both of these local gems serve an integral role for the conservation of various wildlife species, such as the Monarch butterfly.
6. Legacy Biplane Ride
One of the most unique things to do in Concord, NC? Catch an aerial view on a Legacy Biplane Ride! You may reach new heights on a hiking trail, but nothing will beat the altitude of an open-cockpit ride in a fully-restored WWII biplane. Take a flying lesson and learn more about aviation while experiencing the thrill firsthand. This once-in-a-lifetime activity provides the chance to experience various maneuvers taught in WWII Primary Flight Training. Whether you’ve got a passion for planes, a need for speed, or a desire to feel the fresh air against your face, this is an experience worth booking.
Where to Stay
On top of selecting things to do in Concord, NC, it’s also important to choose accommodations that cater to your group’s needs and preferences. These parks and campgrounds offer options ranging from primitive campsites to fully stocked cabins. What’s more, some of these campgrounds overflow with so many amenities, you may not even want to leave!
Flaunting its own lake, aquarium, gem mine, miniature golf course, and more, Dan Nicholas Park provides its own subset of things to do in Concord, NC. Whether you’ve got NASCAR-related bucket list items to check off or you’re simply looking forward to the pleasant climate and lush vegetation of the region, this park is ideal for a “choose your own adventure”-style vacation. Paddle board, fish, hike, or enjoy the splash pad within the park.
Dan Nicholas Park offers pull-through RV sites, five-person cabins, and primitive tent sites. Listen to the sounds of the water and the wind through the trees with a lakeside tent site, or cozy up in your own cabin or RV for ultimate comfort.
Cobble Hill provides the chance to stay in a gorgeous modern cabin for travelers seeking convenient and comfortable accommodations. Alternatively, choose from serene lakeview or premium RV sites, or even pitch your own tent! This spot is ideal for families, complete with amenities ranging from a swimming pool and a fishing hole to a mini golf course and basketball courts. Kick back in the shade of the mighty trees and decompress after a busy day exploring Concord.
Designed with RVs in mind, this sprawling campground can accommodate up to 96 campers. Each site is full hook-up and equipped with a fire ring, a picnic table, WiFi, and more. Leave your stress behind and enjoy the top-rated bathhouse and laundry facilities. With a pool and a playground, this campground will please solo adventurers as well as families with kids.
Regardless of the time of year or your itinerary, Concord, NC promises no shortage of family fun, fresh air, and unforgettable memories. Book your stay today!
Libby Thompson is a freelance writer living in Denver, Colorado. Having grown up in the shadow of the Rocky Mountains, hiking and camping have been cornerstones of her life since childhood. Rain, snow, or shine, you can usually find her outdoors on a paddle board, a hiking trail, or a pair of skis. Libby can be reached via email at email@example.com.
Image credits in order of appearance: Cobble Hill Campground, Dan Nicholas Park, Cobble Hill Campground, Cross Winds Family Campground