5 Reasons To Visit Downtown Concord, NC

Concord, NC, is a unique little city with small-town vibes, but it is still part of the Charlotte metropolitan area. Despite its quaint main street, it is also the 10th most populous city in North Carolina. Of course, it is also very spread out, and the edge of Concord touches Charlotte. Downtown Concord, NC, has preserved its small-town vibes in part because it is about 20 miles from Uptown Charlotte.

5 Reasons To Visit Downtown Concord, NC

Concord, NC, is known for NASCAR and Concord Mills (a shopping mall), but the downtown area is revitalized and thriving. My family lives near the edge of Concord and Charlotte, and we enjoy visiting downtown Concord. There are restaurants, shops, a nice library and more. It’s also a great downtown place to stroll on a relaxing outing or date.

1. Restaurants, Bakeries & Coffee Shops in Downtown Concord, NC

Restaurants, food, bakeries, coffee shops, and more fill the streets of downtown Concord, NC.

Most small downtown areas will have hidden diamonds where you can grab good food. Downtown Concord, NC, is no different. You can easily take a long evening to spend downtown, starting with dinner and followed by coffee and dessert.

Downtown Concord is notable for its walkable charm, making it a great place for a family outing, meeting friends, some quiet personal time, or a date.

Next to the library, you will find a massive mural honoring Concord as the home of the Avett Brothers. As you continue strolling down Union St, the old buildings showcase their architecture and bristle with activity in a way that is captivating.

Along the way, you will also pass locally famous restaurants like 2 Gals Kitchen and Gianni’s Trattoria. These are two of our favorite places to eat in downtown Concord, NC. Gianni’s Trattoria serves specialty pizzas and fantastic Italian dishes, while 2 Gals Kitchen serves classic Italian food.

Dessert is where downtown Concord really starts to get delicious. Cabarrus Creamery, The Sweet Life, and Chocolatier Barrucand are all located within a short walk of each other. Let’s be honest; ice cream, cupcakes, and chocolate is a pretty sweet combination of options from which to choose.

Once you are done with dessert and ready for coffee, make your way over to Press & Porter. It’s as popular as a place to hang out as it is for its coffee and pours.

Needless to say, it’s worth spending some time downtown, and your taste buds will enjoy the exploration.

2. Bookstores & Shops in Downtown Concord, NC

Downtown Concord is full of small businesses that add life to the streets. Many of these businesses are the types of places that are great to stroll through and explore. Take Mullis Music, for instance. It’s a great place to buy a new guitar or find guitar lessons. It is also a great place to admire the craftsmanship of the guitars and other instruments.

Mullis Music is right next door to Ellis Jewelers, which is a downtown mainstay. After all, if you take a romantic stroll downtown with that special someone, this is a great place to window shop after a nice dinner. Ellis Jewelers is known for its small-town customer service that is personable and attentive.

We also recommend that you check out Goldberry Books, which is an indie bookstore. For those of you that like coffee and reading, Goldberry Books is conveniently located on the same block as Press & Porter.

Mullis Music, Ellis Jewelers, and Goldberry Books are examples of the local small businesses that open their doors daily in downtown Concord.

3. The Library and Public Services

Since Concord is the county seat for Cabarrus County, downtown Concord features an impressive library, a courthouse, and other government services. While that might not sound exciting, my wife always takes my kids to the library.

The library hosts daily events like Baby Story Time and Toddler Story Time. You will also find events like Pokemon Club, Mindful Movement Time, and a Conversational English Group.

The library offers a great destination for educational activities, but its downtown location makes it even better. Go to the library, and then grab some coffee or baked goods down the street.

Downtown Concord is very different than any of the best Charlotte neighborhoods, but it some people will find the quaint downtown perfect for their preferred speed of life.

4. Historic Buildings and Nearby Houses

Downtown Concord has aged gracefully. Some small city downtown areas become depressing as they get older and small businesses close down. Fortunately, downtown Concord, NC, has avoided this fate.

The older buildings offer interesting architecture, plus a homey and comfortable feel. The only downside is that the sidewalks are fairly narrow, but part of downtown’s charm is that the buildings are right along the road.

And it’s not just the beautiful old buildings that are directly downtown. Several of the neighborhoods surrounding downtown are filled with beautiful old houses that have been kept up well for decades.

Gibson Mill is also located nearby to downtown Concord. The mill ceased operating in the mid-2000s but now breathes new life. Gibson Mill is home to a food hall, an antique mall, classic car storage, breweries, small businesses, and more.

5. Churches in Downtown Concord, NC

Lastly, there are several old churches in downtown Concord, NC, that serve as a glue for the surrounding community. The most recognizable church might be the Central United Methodist Church, located directly across from the library. That means it is also across the street from the Avett Brothers’ Tribute Mural.

You will find several other churches, too, including Impact Church International. Each of these churches is active in the community, and on any given Saturday, you may see an event taking place at the churches as you stroll through downtown.

With the recent addition of apartments, downtown Concord is nearly a fully live, work, play community. The only thing that is really missing is a walkable grocery store, but all of the other elements are there to live in a walkable community.

Small Town Charm, Near The Big City

Union-Market Passageway in downtown Concord, North Carolina.

Concord is a great place to live or visit, partly because it is near Charlotte. It’s one of those rare places where you can enjoy the small-town feel while still having access to the many things to do in Charlotte.

It is also part of the Piedmont region of North Carolina, so you are a short drive from the mountains.

Parking in Downtown Concord, NC

It is very easy to park in downtown Concord, NC. There is a public parking deck located behind the library and across from the police station. Some of the spaces are reserved during business hours, but free parking is almost always available after 5:00 and on the weekends.

Apartments and Development

One other thing that is striking about downtown Concord, NC, is that it has construction booming everywhere. This is somewhat unique for a small town, but the development is a further testament to how neat Concord really is.

Three different sets of modern apartment buildings fill the downtown streets, and few historical buildings have been converted to apartments or condos. The added downtown population creates vibrancy on the streets.

Avett Brothers From Concord

We mentioned that there is an Avett Brothers Tribute Mural next to the library. Yes, it’s true that the Avett Brothers are an American folk rock band from Concord, North Carolina. Scott and Seth Avett are central to the band, and they are joined by several others.

The brothers attended Mount Pleasant High School, just north of downtown. The band is known for its one-of-a-kind mixture of bluegrass, country, folk, and indie rock.

Gibson Mill & Nearby Attractions

Gibson Mill Concord NC

There are a couple of old mills that are within a few miles of downtown Concord, NC. The most prominent mill is probably Gibson Mill, which was an operating mill until the mid-2000s. When the mill folded, local investors bought it and got to work transforming the mill into the destination it is today.

Gibson Mill in Concord, NC, now has a food hall, an antique mall, classic car storage, and tons of space for other small businesses to operate. If you plan to visit downtown Concord, you should plan to incorporate Gibson Mill into that visit.

Plan a Visit To Downtown Concord Soon

There are plenty of things to do in Concord, NC, and it is a cool little town. It features a mixture of old buildings and mills recently complemented with shiny new apartment buildings.

Concord offers a small-town feel, even though it is only 20 minutes from Uptown Charlotte. Downtown Concord, North Carolina, is just one of the many reasons you should plan a visit soon.

Jeremiah moved to the Charlotte area with his wife, Erin, back in 2013. The family has grown over the years, and they now call the Carolinas home. They enjoy hiking and adventures, road trips, backyard fire pits, and pizza night. Jeremiah loves to explore, and looks forward to sharing tips, tricks, and resources for your next trip.