One of the true beauties of the Tar Heel State is the diverse tourism offerings of each community. No matter where your games are played, there’s plenty to do for athletes and families outside the lines.

Cabarrus County

If you’re a race fan, you’ve found your dream destination. Experience an event at Charlotte Motor Speedway, zMax Dragway and The Dirt Track, or visit a top NACAR Race Shop, including Hendrick Motorsports and RFK Racing. Visit Kannapolis and take the self-guided tour of racing legend Dale Earnhardt. There’s still plenty to do after you’ve had your fill of horsepower. Check out the site of America’s first discovery of gold, the Reed Gold Mine. North Carolina is home to numerous musical greats. See their stories at the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame.

Hickory Metro

Whether you have a few days or just a few hours, there is plenty to see and do. You might want to begin with a visit to the Hickory Furniture Mart featuring more than 1,000 manufacturers. There’s history to be found in historic homes like Harper House/Lyerly House and Fort Defiance. Catch a Crawdads baseball game, or an evening at Hickory Motor Speedway. Checkout a real covered bridge and a water-powered mill. There are a dozen parks and trails and countless activities along the Catawba River Greenway.

Nash County/Rocky Mount

Nash County has made it easy to plan with their “Family Day Out.” Actually, it’s two days and they even put you in touch with THE breakfast, a gourmet burger spot, a massive mason jar milkshake and an artisan, wood-fired pizza restaurant. You’ll need the energy at Game Day Adventure and Arcade. At Sunset Park you can rattle the disc golf chains, ride the carousel and miniature train, or cool off in the spray ground. Check in at the River and Twine-Tiny House Hotel. Tar River Life Kayaking shuttles you upriver for a two-three-hour journey.

Greenville-Pitt County

Home to East Carolina University, Greenville is a vibrant city rich in the arts, live music, culinary and outdoors. There’s plenty to do with the kids between competitions from an indoor trampoline park and laser dome to escape rooms, movie theaters, miniature golf and a splash pad. Uptown Greenville is home to the NC Museum of Natural Science at Greenville with plenty of interactive exhibits. The Walter L. Stasavich Science & Nature Center is located at 320-acre River Park. You’ll find plenty of hands-on outdoor activities, live fish and native animal exhibits. For even more outdoor activity, add the NC Museum of Natural Science at Contentnea Creek in Grifton .

Alamance County

There’s a wide variety of fun waiting for athletes and families in Alamance County’s small towns and villages. This is North Carolina so you can anticipate racin’ and Ace Speedway doesn’t disappoint. History buffs will enjoy the Alamance Battleground State Historic Site, along with the Alamance County Historical Museum and Alamance County Civil War Trail. Delve into the county’s African-American history at the African-American Cultural Arts & History Center. There are plenty of outdoor activities at Cedarock Park and Guilford Mackintosh Park & Marina.

SECU Memorial Walkway Battleship
Visitors enjoy spectacular views of a battleship along SECU Memorial Walkway in Wilmington. Photo courtesy of Wilmington CVB.


“Race City USA” is home to numerous race teams, activities and auto museums. Memory Lane Museum and the GoPro Motorplex are favorites. More than a dozen racing attractions, many featuring racing’s household names, have their racing shops in Mooresville. Most welcome visitors. Although racing will certainly keep you busy when not in competition, there’s more to explore in Mooresville. Zootastic Park and Lazy 5 Ranch are favorites of animal lovers.

Visit NC Smokies

Explore 46 scenic miles on the Blue Ridge Parkway and just as many photo opportunities. Then there’s Great Smoky National Park with more to do than can be accomplished in one visit. Experience elk watching in the Cataloochee Valley. There ae plenty of outdoor options to peak your interest in the NC Smokies. Hiking, waterfalls, horseback riding, rafting and did we mention bringing your fishing rod and casting a line in the Mountain Heritage Trout Waters? There’s still more to experience in the charming towns of Maggie Valley, Waynesville, Canton and Clyde. Not to be missed is Dale’s Wheels Through Time Museum and its classic motorcycles on display in Maggie Valley. Shelton House History, Heritage & Crafts in Waynesville should be a first stop.


Although deeply rooted in history, Winston-Salem provides a wonderful blend of art, outdoors, science and the strange. Old Salem Museum & Gardens is a historic district of Winston-Salem. Settled as a Moravian community in 1766, today this living history museum interprets that community. Make sure you sample the cookies and take some home. Reynolda House Museum of American Art features colonial to contemporary exhibits. Tanglewood Park has something for families every season of the year, but the Tanglewood Festival of Lights during the holidays are well worth a return visit. Kaleideum North is a hands-on science center, nature park and planetarium perfect for kids of all ages.


With world-class attractions and plenty of kid-friendly activities, Greensboro has a mix of things to do that appeal to all ages. Greensboro Science Center is a one-of-a-kind facility and the only one in North Carolina that features an accredited aquarium, museum and zoo in one destination. Downtown Greensboro in a building that formerly housed the Woolworth’s is the International Civil Rights Center & Museum. February 1, 1960, four students from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University started the sit-in at the “whites only” lunch counter. Traveling way back in time, the Battle of Guilford Court House fought March 1781 is commemorated at Guilford Courthouse National Military Park. The battle opened the campaign that led to the British surrender at Yorktown seven months later.


There are a wide variety of attractions in the Wilmington area that appeal to all ages and interests. The Carolina Beach Boardwalk offers amusement rides, carnival games and the Carolina Beach Arcade with the beach as your background. Voted North Carolina’s favorite beach destination there are plenty of watersports activities, including SUP, kayak, SCUBA and scenic cruises at Wrightsville Beach. Fishing off the Johnnie Mercers Pier is a favorite. Bored the Battleship NORTH CAROLINA and experience life during WWII. For an earlier history experience visit Fort Fisher State Historical Site where the largest sea-land battle of the Civil War was fought. Seven museums from the Wilmington Railroad Museum to the Cameron Art Museum are each reason to leave the hotel room on a rainy day.

The International Civil Rights Center & Museum of Greensboro. Photo courtesy of Greensboro CVB.