Once a rural outpost, Concord has become an extension of the Queen City , causing a surge in population and development. Located just 20 miles and a 30-minute drive from Uptown, the landscape is dominated by tract housing, strip malls, and chain restaurants. There is also a historic downtown and several not-to-be-missed attractions, especially for NASCAR fans.
The Cabarrus County Visitors Center (3003 Dale Earnhardt Blvd., Kannapolis, 704/782-4340, www.visitcabarrus.com ) is a good source of information about the area. The website lists attractions, accommodations, dining, and shopping with a special emphasis on activities for race fans.
The sights in Concord are spread out and can require a considerable amount of driving. Book one of the NASCAR-centric tours and let someone else figure out the directions.
Garage Pass Shop Tours (810 Treva Ann Dr., 704/455-2819, www.garagepassshoptours.com ) runs group and individual tours to major racing sites like Charlotte Motor Speedway , NASCAR race shops, and racing museums.
Race Shop Tours (PO Box 5282, Mooresville, 704/788-8802, www.raceshoptours.com ), as its name suggests, provides guided tours of area race shops. Their slogan, “23 teams in one seven-hour tour,” sums up their offerings.
Concord is part of Cabarrus County. It anchors the north end of Charlotte  and is just 20 miles from Uptown. It’s best reached via I-85 or U.S. Highway 29. The Concord Kannapolis Area Transit RIDER ($1, 704/920-7433, www.ckrider.com ) runs throughout Cabarrus County with connections to the Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS, $0.60–3, 704/336-7433, www.charmeck.org/departments/CATS ).
It can be difficult to get a well-timed connection between Charlotte and points in Cabarrus County and travel times are long (expect to spend upwards of an hour traveling from Uptown Charlotte to Charlotte Motor Speedway , for example). Amtrak (800/872-7245, www.amtrak.com ) arrives in Cabarrus County at Kannapolis Station.