Blake Walsh

22 Best Things to Do in Kannapolis, NC

  • Published 2023/03/17

Located in the metro Charlotte area, Kannapolis, NC, is a small city known for its rich history, music, and motorsports.

Kannapolis features many sites and attractions that draw music lovers and NASCAR enthusiasts to this part of North Carolina.

Even if you’re not a big fan of music or car racing, Kannapolis still has plenty of things to see and do.

From boutique shopping to grabbing a bite at a local eatery, there’s something for everyone in this vibrant city.

If you’re planning to visit the Tar Heel State, spend a day or two in Kannapolis.

The impressive selection of attractions and experiences will make it a worthwhile visit.

Here are the best things to do in Kannapolis, NC:

Check Out the Dale Trail

Dale Earnhardt Tribute Plaza along the Dale Trail

Malachi Jacobs /

Every motorsports fan knows that Kannapolis is home to driving legend Dale Earnhardt.

If you’re a fan of Dale Earnhardt or want to learn more about his life and career, check out the Dale Trail.

The Dale Trail is a self-guided tour that features 15+ locations that commemorate the hometown hero’s life, his legendary NASCAR career, and where he trained to become an all-time great.

Statue at Dale Earnhardt Tribute Plaza along the Dale Trail

Malachi Jacobs /

Notable stops along the Dale Trail include the ‘Dale Earnhardt Tribute Plaza,’ ‘Punchy’s Diner,’ and ‘Hendrick Motorsports.

These are all crucial landmarks in Dale Earnhardt’s life and career.

Meet the Stewart-Haas Racing Team

Stewart-Haas Racing is an award-winning American professional stock racing team that competes in the NASCAR Cup Series and Formula 1.

Their base is in Kannapolis, so if you’re a huge car racing fan, this is a must-visit spot.

You can learn about the history of this world-famous stock racing team.

Meet some team members such as Kevin Harvick, Danica Patrick, Kurt Bus, Clint Bowyer, and Cole Cluster.

You can tour the facility and, if you’re lucky, you might even catch a glimpse of one of the races.

Then, at the end of your tour, visit the gift shop to find souvenirs and NASCAR memorabilia.

Spend a Day at the Village Park

There’s no better way to spend a beautiful day than at the park.

In Kannapolis, it’s no different, as the Village Park is one of the best places to relax and have some quality time with friends or family.

Located in the heart of Kannapolis, NC, the Village Park is famous for its splash pad, carousel, playgrounds, and walking trails.

It’s the perfect place to take a break from shopping and sightseeing.

Several spots are perfect for an afternoon picnic with your family.

If you’re planning a special event, there’s also the VIllage Park building, which is available to rent for weddings, parties, and other events.

The Village Park is open 24/7, so you can come and enjoy the park any time you want.

However, the best time to visit the park is during the summer as it hosts a variety of family activities and entertainment.

Watch a Cannon Ballers Game at Atrium Health Ballpark

Exterior of the Atrium Health Ballpark

Nolichuckyjake /

For baseball fans, Kannapolis is home to the Cannon Ballers, a Minor League baseball team that plays in the South Atlantic League.

The team plays its home games at the Atrium Health Ballpark.

Aerial view of Atrium Health Ballpark's field

Grindstone Media Group /

If you’re in town during baseball season, catch a Cannon Ballers game.

It’s a great way to spend an afternoon or evening, especially if you’re with family or friends.

The Atrium Health Ballpark is a state-of-the-art baseball stadium that opened its doors in 2019.

It’s located in downtown Kannapolis, and it’s definitely worth a visit, even if you’re not a big baseball fan.

It also acts as a public park on non-game days.

Play Bowling at Foxfire Lanes

Foxfire Lanes is a family-owned and operated bowling center in downtown Kannapolis.

It features 24 lanes, a full-service bar, and a grill.

Whether you’re a seasoned bowler or have never played before, Foxfire Lanes is the perfect place to have fun.

They also offer leagues and tournaments for those who want to take their game to the next level.

If you’re looking for something to do on a rainy day, head to Foxfire Lanes.

Enjoy a game or two with your friends, family, or even the friendly locals.

Visit the Curb Records and Motorsports Museum

The Curb Records and Motorsports Museum is another must-visit spot for racing and music lovers.

This museum is dedicated to promoting and preserving the history of Curb Records and the motorsports industry.

Located on Dale Earnhardt Boulevard, the museum features artifacts, memorabilia, and exhibits that chronicle the history of the record label and the racing industry.

You can learn about the origins of Curb Records and see items from famous racing drivers and teams.

Listen to music from some of the most famous artists signed to the label.

The Curb Records and Motorsports Museum is a great place to learn about the history of two industries that have shaped Kannapolis into the city it is today.

See a Movie at the Gem Theatre

Exterior of the Gem Theatre

Nolichuckyjake /

The Gem Theatre is no ordinary movie theatre.

Instead, it’s a single-screen movie theatre operating since the 1940s.

The Gem Theatre is one of the oldest single-screen movie theaters operating today.

You will feel nostalgia and history when you step inside this historic place.

The Gem Theatre has 916 seats and a balcony section perfect for large groups.

It also has a concession stand that sells a variety of snacks and drinks.

If you’re looking for a unique and different movie-watching experience, then head over to the Gem Theatre.

It’s a great place to see a classic film or catch the latest blockbuster.

Have a Cold Beer at the Old Armor Beer Company

If you want an ice-cold pint of beer, head to the Old Armor Beer Company.

It’s a local brewery that produces a variety of craft beers.

The Old Armor Beer Company may seem like your typical brewery.

However, the people who run it are anything but ordinary.

Combat veterans who’ve served overseas own and operate Old Armor Beer company.

This community-based brewery serves locals and visitors with a great selection of 15 unique craft beers.

Twelve of their beers are dedicated to charitable causes so you can drink for a good cause.

Play Golf at the Irish Creek Golf Course

The Irish Creek Golf Course is one of the best places to golf in Kannapolis.

This award-winning golf course features 18 holes of championship golf, a pro shop, a clubhouse, and a restaurant.

The Irish Creek Golf Course has received a rating of 5.0 stars from Golf Digest.

It was also voted the best public golf course in Cabarrus County.

If you’re looking for a challenging and fun game of golf, then head over to the Irish Creek Golf Course.

Go Skating at the Skateland of Kannapolis

The Skateland of Kannapolis is the city’s premier place to go skating.

This family-friendly skating rink offers a variety of activities for everyone, whether you’re a beginner or an experienced skater.

The Skateland of Kannapolis offers public skating sessions, private parties, group rates, and more.

They also have a snack bar that sells a variety of food and drinks.

If you’re looking for a fun and affordable activity, head to the Skateland of Kannapolis and enjoy a few hours of skating.

Sip Fine Wine at the Douglas Vineyards

Douglas Vineyards is the premier destination for wine lovers of all walks of life.

This family-owned and operated vineyard offers a variety of red, white, and blush wines that are perfect for any occasion.

The vineyard also offers a variety of other products, such as wine accessories, gourmet food items, and local art.

If you’re looking for a relaxing and enjoyable experience, head to Douglas Vineyards and sip the finest wines in Kannapolis.

Visit the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame

Exterior of the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame

JoannaSerah, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The North Carolina Hall of Fame is a nonprofit organization that honors the contributions of North Carolina’s most excellent musicians.

This music museum is in downtown Kannapolis and features various interactive exhibits that showcase the state’s musical heritage.

The museum also has a performance stage where local and regional musicians perform regularly.

North Carolina’s finest musicians featured in this museum include the likes of Charlie Daniels, Thelonious Monk, Donna Fargo, and Nina Simone.

Admission to the hall is free, but they appreciate donations to support the museum and its programs.

Visit the Home of the 90’s Museum

Your final stop is the Home of the 90s Museum, dedicated to all things ’90s, and it’s a great place to take a trip down memory lane.

The museum features exhibits that showcase the best of the 90s era.

They also have presentations on popular culture, music, fashion, and more.

So, if you’re a child of the 90s, wrap up your Kannapolis trip with a visit to this museum.

Grab Your Tea and Spice at The Spice & Tea Exchange of Kannapolis

Wonderful and unique spices and loose-leaf teas are the cherries on top at The Spice & Tea Exchange of Kannapolis on South Main Street.

This quaint store already smells divine as soon as you set foot inside.

There are more than 140 spices to choose from, which are all amazing, as well as almost 100 hand-mixed seasoning blends, loose-leaf teas, and more.

What makes it more tempting is that you can customize a gift box for a loved one who’s into culinary, or even get one for yourself!

The Spice & Tea Exchange of Kannapolis also has a nice Tea Bar, where you can sip freshly brewed iced or hot tea.

Get Pampered at Massage Studio of China Grove

Touring around Kannapolis can be tiresome too, but that also means you can relax and get pampered at Massage Studio of China Grove.

Loosen your tightened knots and enjoy up to 90 minutes of therapeutic and relaxing massage from one of the licensed and experienced massage therapists at the spa.

Choose from any of its high-quality massage techniques, including Swedish, Prenatal Massage, and more.

If you’re up for a facial or waxing, Massage Studio of China Grove is your ultimate spa escape!

You can find it off North Cannon Boulevard.

Go Mexican at Casa Grande Mexican Restaurant

Delicious Mexican food has been a staple of Kannapolis, and Casa Grande Mexican Restaurant doesn’t disappoint.

The restaurant is popular for its fajitas in different varieties, as well as delicious nachos, tacos, enchiladas, quesadillas, and many other Mexican favorites.

Also, many customers are raving about its Margaritas, which you can’t miss while here.

It’s a nice Mexican spot that anyone would go to at first glance!

Casa Grande Mexican Restaurant is located at Roxie Street Northeast.

Bring a Picnic at Baker’s Creek Park

If you’re a traveling family or a group of friends, the best place to share a picnic is Baker’s Creek Park on West A Street.

The 40-acre park features picnic shelters with tables and grills to use for snacks or lunch while enjoying a cookout with the whole family.

The little ones can also enjoy playing and interacting with others at the large playground while adults can enjoy throwing some balls at the sports fields.

Baker’s Creek Park also has access to the greenway, which is great if you seek more connection with nature.

You can also explore the walking trails, or simply enjoy the park’s natural beauty.

Get Your Coffee Fix at French Express

Whether you’re starting your morning, or you’re simply filling your system with your usual cup, French Express got you!

The coffeehouse works closely with its roaster partners to ensure the quality and freshness of every cup they serve.

Its cappuccino, espresso, lattes, smoothies, and teas are all a must-try.

And of course, the coffeehouse’s signature The French Express; an iced coffee is to be had!

Also, don’t miss out on trying its delicious blueberry muffins.

French Express is located off Dale Earnhardt Boulevard.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Have a Great Time at Frankie’s Fun Park

Building sign of Frankie's Fun Park

Venkat Parkunan /

Frankie’s Fun Park is one of the best amusement parks in the area.

It’s in Huntersville, North Carolina, 25 minutes from Kannapolis.

There are many things to do and see here, so you’re sure to have a great time.

The park features a variety of rides and facilities, such as go-karts, bumper cars, and miniature golf.

They also have an arcade where you can play a variety of games.

If you’re looking for a fun-filled day, head to Frankie’s Fun Park and enjoy the rides and games this amusement park offers.

It’s an excellent place for friends and family, so check it out!

Visit Tiger World

Located on Cook Road in Rockwell, North Carolina—a 21-minute drive from downtown Kannapolis—Tiger World is a nonprofit organization dedicated to conserving exotic animals such as tigers.

Their zoo is home to more than 80 tigers, lions, bears, and other animals.

The zoo offers a variety of educational programs that teach visitors about the importance of animal conservation.

They also have a gift shop where you can purchase souvenirs and gifts for your loved ones.

Get Nostalgic at the Basement Arcade Bar

If you loved playing arcade games back in the day, go to the Basement Arcade Bar and relive your childhood memories.

This arcade bar is located in Concord, North Carolina—a 13-minute drive from downtown Kannapolis—and features a variety of classic arcade games that you can play.

They also have a bar serving craft beers, cider, wine, and non-alcoholic beverages.

So, if you’re looking for a fun and nostalgic night out, head to the Basement Arcade Bar and enjoy some good old-fashioned arcade fun.

Let Out Your Stress at the Tonic Rage Room

The Tonic Rage Room is a unique way to relieve some stress.

It’s where you can let out all your anger and frustrations by smashing things.

This place is still in Concord—a 17-minute drive from downtown Kannapolis—and this isn’t your typical Stress Management 101 class.

In this rage room, you’re given a baseball bat or a crowbar, and you’re let loose in a room full of plates, glasses, and other breakable objects.

It’s a great way to blow off steam and a lot of fun.

So go ahead and break stuff at the Tonic Rage Room.

Final Thoughts

There’s much to do, from museums and zoos to amusement parks and rage rooms in Kannapolis, North Carolina.

With all the things you can see and do, this small town has no shortage of fun.

These are some of the best things to do in Kannapolis.

Start planning your trip today!

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