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Start your engines! Concord's history with racing is legendary, and if you are moving to the Concord/Kannapolis area, you may be spending some time at the track. The Charlotte Motor Speedway is a major NASCAR racing venue, hosting such races as the Coca-Cola 600, the Bank of America 500, and the Sprint All-Star Race. The first car race was held here in 1960, and the engines haven't quieted since.
Of course, there's more to Concord than racing. Concord is the county seat of Cabarrus County and is one of Charlotte's fastest-growing suburbs. Downtown Charlotte is a short 24 miles away, but there are plenty of job opportunities in Concord and neighboring Kannapolis. Top employers include Cabarrus County Government, Carolina Medical Center, and Sysco. Concord's income level is higher than the state average at $55,551.
Concord offers a strong school system and a variety of parks. With the University of North Carolina at Charlotte just a few miles away and the North Carolina Research Campus next door in Kannapolis, this North Carolina region provides a variety of options.
As of August 2017, the average apartment rent in Concord, NC is $1,064 for a studio, $843 for one bedroom, $1,008 for two bedrooms, and $1,299 for three bedrooms. Apartment rent in Concord has increased by 2.7% in the past year.
Downtown Concord is beautiful, historic, and filled with fantastic shops and boutiques. Be sure to stop at Trashed to shop locally-crafted, eco-friendly goods. (If you move to your Concord apartment only to discover you've brought too much with you, don't throw it out – you might be able to donate it to Trashed!) Get inspired at The Galleries, an art gallery located in the historic Cabarrus courthouse. After viewing the exhibitions, take something home from the gallery shop.
Downtown Kannapolis offers even more shopping. The stores you'll discover here include Virginia's Inc., a women's clothing boutique that has been operating here since 1942. If there is a wedding in your future, be sure to visit Hope's Bridal Boutique. Take a break from shopping and see a movie at the Gem Theatre, one of the oldest single-screen movie theaters in the country.
The Concord Mills shopping mall attracts visitors from all over the area. This mall has roughly 1.4 million square feet of shopping space, along with an AMC movie theater, a LEGO Store, Bass Pro Shops, and the Disney Store Outlet.
The Carolina Mall is located on the border of Concord and Kannapolis, near I-85. Anchor stores include Belk, Sears, JC Penney, and Staples. This mall has 550,000 square feet of retail space containing popular stores such as American Eagle, Hot Topic, and the Children's Place.
The Piedmont Farmers Market is located on Winecoff School Road in Concord. This market is open every Saturday year-round. This is the oldest farmers market in Cabarrus County. It offers fresh local produce, meats, cheeses, baked goods, and handcrafted items.
Between Concord and Kannapolis, your dining options are wide and varied. Of course, living in North Carolina, barbeque dominates. The locals will send you to Jim 'N Nick's Bar-B-Q, which has been named one of America's best barbecue chains and the place with the best pork sandwich.
If you happen to be in historic Downtown Concord, especially on Union Street, then you'll have to visit Carm's Cafe. This is the place to go when you want an amazing cup of coffee -- stay for lunch and try the Tuscan Chicken sandwich or the Venice Veggie wrap. If you prefer Pad Thai or Pho, head to E Noodles Asian Bistro.
You may not know it by looking at it, but Sweet Pickle Bakery and Deli is one of Kannapolis' true gems. Do yourself a favor -- after moving to your Concord apartment, try the French toast (made with challah bread) for brunch. Then take some donuts or strudel home with you to snack on while you unpack.
There are some best-kept secrets in Concord, such as Gianni's Trattoria. The main level is a beautiful Italian restaurant, but if you don't feel like dressing up, the Pizza Loft upstairs is ideal for a quick slice in a casual atmosphere. When you want to sit back and watch the game at a good, old-fashioned sports bar, Carolina Ale House has an impressive 50 televisions showing everything from football to bowling. As you watch the game, sample some of the pub food, which ranges from beer-battered cheese curds to grilled salmon.
If you really want to "be there," try dining at the Speedway Club, where you can enjoy great food overlooking the race track at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Enjoy a dinner of Gnocchi, Tropical Chicken, or Blackened Scallops as you watch your favorite driver circle the track.
Concord's history is a tale of two villages. In the 1700s, the newly-formed Cabarrus County needed a county seat. Two local villages, one of German settlers and one of Scots-Irish settlers, began to fight over the location of the new county seat. It took quite a long time, but eventually they compromised and a new city was laid out in 1796. The name "Concord" was chosen because it means "harmony" -- in recognition of the two villages finally agreeing.
Concord is rich with historic locations. The North Union Street Historic District dates back to 1870 and includes Victorian and Greek Revival architecture. The South Union Street Historic District is slightly newer with homes dating back to 1880. The South Union Street Courthouse and Commercial District includes the former Town Hall, built around 1885, and G.W. Patterson Wholesale Grocery, built around 1890. The Cabarrus County Courthouse, also on the National Register of Historic Places, was built in 1875 as the county's fourth courthouse.
If you enjoy museums as much as you do racing, you'll love the Curb Museum for Motorsports and Music in Kannapolis. This museum has 23 racecars on display, including the car Dale Earnhardt drove to win his first Winston Cup. Country music is also celebrated with artists such as Tim McGraw, Lyle Lovett, LeAnn Rimes, and Wynonna Judd.
The Earnhardts – Ralph Earnhardt, the late Dale Earnhardt, and Dale Earnhardt, Jr. -- are from Kannapolis. Concord's famous residents include musicians the Avett Brothers, reality star Rachel Reilly, and movie director Jody Hill.
The Concord/Kannapolis area is fast-growing and very popular -- which means you'll pay a little more to rent an apartment here. The average rent for a one-bedroom apartment is about $820. The average home price is about $170,000, which is higher than the state average of $154,000.
The North Carolina Research Campus in Kannapolis provides a variety of jobs in food, nutrition, agriculture, and health. The campus employs more than 600, and about half of the employees are hired locally. The campus partners with several nearby universities, including NC State, UNC-Chapel Hill, UNC-Charlotte, NC Central, Appalachian State, UNC-Greensboro, and North Carolina A&T University.
If you're in Downtown Kannapolis, there are two parks you must visit. Dale Earnhardt Plaza features beautiful gardens and walkways around a nine-foot-tall, bronze statue of the hometown hero. Village Park has an amphitheater, a splash pad, a playground, a walking trail, and the Rotary Express Train.
If you enjoy hiking, biking, walking, jogging, and paddling-boating, then head to the Rocky River Blueway! This 4.5-mile trail travels along the Rocky River, just south of Concord. The Bakers Creek Greenway and 8th Street Greenway in Kannapolis has a 1.5-mile trail system that's ideal for bicycling, running, and walking.
Residents of Concord and Kannapolis love their cars! This is NASCAR country, after all. While the downtown areas are pedestrian-friendly, mass transit options are somewhat limited. Kannapolis has an Amtrak station with two lines: the Carolinian and the Piedmont. The Carolinian takes passengers to Charlotte and New York City, while the Piedmont operates between Raleigh and Charlotte. If you want to take the train regularly, find an apartment in Downtown Kannapolis, where the station is located.
The Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS) is Charlotte's bus and light rail system. There is an express bus that serves Concord. This system has parking and a bus stop near the Home Depot in Kannapolis. The Concord Kannapolis Area Transit (the Rider) is terrific for local trips; this service has stops around Concord and Kannapolis with the farthest point being the Concord Mills Mall.
I-85 separates Kannapolis from Concord and leads to Charlotte and the Charlotte Douglass International Airport. Concord Parkway (Highway 29) will take you directly into Downtown Charlotte.
Apartments for Rent Under $1,500 in Concord, NC
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