Kannapolis, North Carolina
Kannapolis lies in the heart of the dynamic Charlotte metro region and offers a host of activities and resources for both business and leisure travelers. Downtown Kannapolis includes the historic Gem Theatre, Swanee Theater, Village Park, Veterans Park and attractions like the NC Music Hall of Fame and the Dale Earnhardt Tribute, as well as shopping and dining opportunities.
The city has a rich history of motorsports and music.
The hometown of Dale Earnhardt, Sr., the City continues to be a destination for racing fans traveling to nearby Charlotte Motor Speedway. Guided tours take visitors back to a time when the Intimidator was growing up and driving the streets of Kannapolis. No race experience is complete without a visit to our Dale Earnhardt Plaza; a tribute to #3 that was conceived after Dale’s tragic death in 2001. In recent years, Stewart-Haas Racing headquarters has located in Kannapolis and is within an hour’s drive of 90 percent of the NASCAR team headquarters located in the region.
Kannapolis is the birthplace of George Clinton and funk! Located on Dale Earnhardt Boulevard, the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame honors legendary North Carolinian performers like George Clinton, James Taylor, Earl Scruggs, John Coltrane, Kate Smith, Donna Fargo and more. Since opening in 2009, more than 20 performers have been inducted at the museum’s annual gala event. Group tours are available and museum staff partners with local schools for arts education programs.
In downtown Kannapolis motorsports and music are intertwined at the Curb Museum for Music and Motorsports. At the museum songwriter, producer, and record company owner Mike Curb showcases his vast collection of music and racing memorabilia.
The Club at Irish Creek
Consistently named one of the Top 50 Golf Courses in North Carolina, the Club at Irish Creek was renovated by Davis Love III in 2007. The course hosts numerous tournaments and events each year including the PGA Tour Q School First Qualifying Stage and the Collegiate Championship.
The Curb Museum for Motorsports
The Curb Museum for Motorsports and Music includes the #2 car driven by Dale Earnhardt during his championship season in 1980 and the #43 car driven by Richard Petty for his 199th win.
Dale Earnhardt Tribute
The Dale Earnhardt Tribute honors the racing legend who was born and raised in Kannapolis. Follow the Dale Trail, a self-guided tour of locations around Kannapolis that showcases the racing history of Dale Earnhardt, his family and the City. This tribute site is located at the corner of South Main and B streets.
The Gem Theatre opened in December of 1936. A fire nearly destroyed it in 1942 but it was rebuilt and reopened in 1948. It is one of the oldest single screen movie theatres with balcony seating in the United States. Its historic marquee and art deco architecture made it a unique place to see a movie. The theatre has seen a variety of performances over the years including Roy Rogers, Jimmy Pickens and the Grand Ole Opry, and the Avett Brothers. Admission and concession prices are reminiscent of the past and remain affordable allowing families to enjoy first run movies annually. It was recently added to the National Register of Historic Places. Visit gem-theatre.com to learn more.
Kannapolis Cannon Ballers
Kannapolis Cannon Ballers, Triple A affiliate of the Chicago White Sox, showcases future major league players throughout the spring, summer and early fall. The Cannon Ballers offer a great family-friendly atmosphere, wonderful foods, including healthy options, unique promotions and fireworks after select games throughout the season.
Learn more here.
Kannapolis Farmers Market
The Kannapolis Farmers Market is open Thursdays 4-7pm from May through September. The market is located at the corner of Vance Ave and Dale Earnhardt Blvd, in the Oak Avenue Mall parking lot behind the Pizza Hut.
Learn more here.
The North Carolina Music Hall of Fame
The North Carolina Music Hall of Fame celebrates the past, present and future of North Carolina’s music history. The museum pays tribute to those who have dedicated their lives to creating music for the rest of us and includes exhibits of the Charlie Daniels Band, Nina Simone, Chairman of the Board, Clyde McPhatter, Donna Fargo, Thelonius Monk, Victoria Livengood and many more.
The North Carolina Research Campus
The North Carolina Research Campus is a 350-acre research center located just north of Charlotte, NC. Corporations, universities and healthcare organizations have forged a public-private partnership that is transforming science at the intersection of human health, nutrition and agriculture. Partners on the campus include: Appalachian State, David H. Murdock Research Institute,Dole Nutrition Research Laboratory, Duke University MURDOCK Study, General Mills, JC Med LLC Monsanto, NC A&T University, NC Central University, NC State University, UNC Chapel Hill, UNC Charlotte, and UNC Greensboro.
Start your visit at the North Carolina Research Campus - Nutrition Research Institute, where the self-guided exhibit From Cotton to Chromosomes outlines the City’s transformation from mill village to internationally-recognized human health, nutrition and agriculture research center. Events like Appetite for Life and Frontiers in Science seminars and special film screenings translate groundbreaking research into knowledge for healthy living.
The Murdock Study is coordinated thru the campus. Ultimately, this study will identify linkages across major diseases and disorders in order to defeat some of today’s leading causes of illness and death. The MURDOCK Study has enlisted the participation of more than 11,500 residents in the Cabarrus County/Kannapolis region, with a final enrollment goal of 50,000 community members.
Map of the Campus
Stewart-Haas Racing and Haas F1
Three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Tony Stewart’s Stewart-Haas Racing headquarters is located in Kannapolis. The race shop and souvenir store are open Monday through Friday. The race shop features the careers of Kevin Harwick, Danica Patrick and Kurt Busch - www.stewarthaasracing.com
In 2014 Gene Hass, Haas F1, became the first U.S.-based Formula One team since Parnelli Jones Racing in 1974-76.
Other Charlotte Attractions
In addition to sports, there are several major arts facilities located a short distance away in Charlotte including the Mint Museum of Art, the Blumenthal Performing Arts Center and the Levine Museum of the New South to name a few.
For more information about things to do in and around Kannapolis and the Charlotte region, please visit the following: