Friday, September 8, 2017

RV Wheels Down in North Carolina

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by Janet Groene

If  your RV had a leash that wouldn’t let it leave the state of North Carolina, you’d still be in paradise. The geography of the Tar Heel state stretches from Atlantic beaches to the highest mountains in the East. The state has history, culture, nature and activities ranging from sailing to skiing. 

    The boomtown of Concord is most famous for Concord Mills, a massive mall filled with  attractions and Olympic-quality shopping, and the Charlotte Motor Speedway, scene of some of the greatest infield RV parties in NASCAR-land. 

    You can pay more than $1,000 to camp the infield during races but something is going on at the track almost every day, all year. The Christmas display of lights is a five-star event.  Around the area are affordable campgrounds with plenty to offer even if autosports aren’t on your wish list.  

   Here’s a sample Cabarrus Country and Charlotte area sightseeing menu for before, after or instead of the races. For more information and a list of area campgrounds go to

    THE BEAD LADY, downtown Concord,  Everything needed to make custom jewelry, accessories and beaded clothing is here in one shop. Visit room after room filled with beads, crystals, gems, glass clasps, threads and inspirations. One entire room showcases supplies for making wedding jewelry and. decorations. 

     You can also take a beading class. Or, choose makings for a necklace or other piece that will be made for you. Don’t miss the rest of historic, strollable UNION STREET . Eat, drink, shop and don’t miss the family-owned  Cabarrus Creamery for the best ice cream on the planet.

   NORTH CAROLINA RENAISSANCE FAIRE in Huntersville, north of Charlotte, is worth a special trip every November. Lords and ladies in period costumes joust and jest just like in the days of yore. Eat like the royals, listen to madrigal music, see dancing and artists and falconers.

    WHISKEY PRISON SOUTHERN GRACE DISTILLERIES. Small batch bourbon is produced in this former jail but you don’t have to be a drinker to enjoy touring the facility in Mt. Pleasant northeast of Charlotte. Take the Behind Bars Tour on Food Truck Fridays and bring your leashed dog if you wish.

    Other must-see’s in the area include many auto museums and garages,  panning for gold at the Reed Gold Mine and driving the self-guided Dale Trail devoted to the late driver  Dale Earnhardt. Take a selfie with his larger-than-life statue in his home town of Kannapolis. Also in Kannapolis is the Curb Museum collection of famous autos and  the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame with exhibits devoted to music stars including Randy Travis, Eric Church and Fantasia Barrino.

See Janet Groene's shortcut recipes for camping and RV at


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