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11 Iconic Landmarks To See In Kannapolis, North Carolina


by Deanna Shull


Kannapolis, North Carolina, is a city steeped in history and brimming with iconic landmarks that showcase its rich heritage. From historic sites to modern attractions, Kannapolis offers a diverse array of must-see destinations for visitors and locals alike. Whether you're a history enthusiast, nature lover, or simply seeking a memorable adventure, Kannapolis has something for everyone.

In this article, we'll explore 11 iconic landmarks that encapsulate the essence of Kannapolis, providing a glimpse into its past, present, and future. From the historic Cannon Mills to the vibrant Village Park, each landmark offers a unique perspective on the city's evolution and cultural significance. So, grab your camera, lace up your walking shoes, and get ready to embark on a journey through Kannapolis's most captivating landmarks.

The North Carolina Research Campus

Located in the heart of Kannapolis, the North Carolina Research Campus is a state-of-the-art scientific endeavor that brings together researchers from various fields to collaborate on groundbreaking studies. This innovative facility focuses on health, nutrition, and agriculture, making it a vital hub for cutting-edge research in these areas. The campus is home to the David H. Murdock Research Institute, where scientists delve into diverse fields such as genomics, personalized nutrition, and exercise science, contributing to the advancement of human health and well-being.

The Gem Theatre

The Gem Theatre stands as a historic landmark in downtown Kannapolis, captivating visitors with its timeless allure and rich cultural significance. This iconic venue has been an integral part of the community since its establishment in 1936, offering a unique blend of classic architecture and modern entertainment. Renowned for its vibrant marquee and vintage charm, the Gem Theatre continues to host a diverse array of live performances, film screenings, and community events, preserving its legacy as a cherished gathering place for locals and tourists alike.

The Dale Earnhardt Plaza

Dedicated to the memory of racing legend Dale Earnhardt, the Dale Earnhardt Plaza pays homage to the enduring legacy of this iconic figure in Kannapolis history. The plaza features a striking nine-foot bronze statue of Dale Earnhardt, affectionately known as the "Intimidator," capturing his indomitable spirit and unparalleled contributions to the world of motorsports. Visitors can explore the captivating exhibits and displays that celebrate Earnhardt's remarkable career, providing an immersive experience that honors his enduring impact on the racing community and beyond.

The Kannapolis History Associates' Museum

Nestled within the heart of Kannapolis, the Kannapolis History Associates' Museum offers a captivating journey through the city's rich heritage and evolution. This esteemed institution showcases an extensive collection of artifacts, photographs, and interactive exhibits that chronicle the vibrant history of Kannapolis, from its humble beginnings to its remarkable growth and transformation. Visitors can immerse themselves in the compelling narratives and visual displays that illuminate the city's past, gaining a deeper appreciation for the enduring spirit and resilience that define Kannapolis.

The Veterans Park

A poignant tribute to the brave individuals who have served in the armed forces, the Veterans Park stands as a hallowed sanctuary of remembrance and gratitude in Kannapolis. This serene and contemplative setting features striking monuments and memorials that honor the sacrifices and valor of veterans from all branches of the military. The park provides a tranquil space for reflection and reverence, inviting visitors to pay homage to the profound contributions of servicemen and women throughout history, fostering a profound sense of appreciation and respect for their unwavering dedication.

The Kannapolis Train Station

Steeped in nostalgia and historical significance, the Kannapolis Train Station serves as a beloved landmark that harkens back to the golden age of rail travel. This iconic structure, with its distinctive red brick facade and timeless architectural elegance, stands as a testament to Kannapolis' enduring connection to the railway industry. The station's rich heritage is celebrated through captivating exhibits and artifacts that offer a glimpse into the city's past, inviting visitors to embark on a captivating journey through time as they explore the storied legacy of railroading in Kannapolis.

The Village Park

Nestled amidst the scenic beauty of Kannapolis, the Village Park is a beloved recreational haven that beckons visitors with its picturesque landscapes and vibrant array of amenities. This expansive park offers a host of engaging activities, including walking trails, playgrounds, and picnic areas, providing an idyllic setting for leisure and relaxation. The centerpiece of the park is the stunning Rotary Express Train, a beloved attraction that delights visitors of all ages with its charming rides through the verdant surroundings, creating cherished memories for families and individuals alike.

The Cannon Ballers Stadium

Home to the Kannapolis Cannon Ballers, the Cannon Ballers Stadium stands as a premier sports venue that embodies the city's passion for baseball and community camaraderie. This state-of-the-art stadium offers an immersive and electrifying experience for sports enthusiasts, featuring modern amenities and a vibrant atmosphere that amplifies the excitement of game days. Whether cheering on the home team from the stands or savoring the thrill of live baseball action, visitors to the Cannon Ballers Stadium are immersed in the infectious energy and timeless allure of America's favorite pastime.

The Curb Motorsports Museum

A treasure trove of racing history and automotive marvels, the Curb Motorsports Museum invites enthusiasts and curious visitors alike to embark on an exhilarating journey through the captivating world of motorsports. This engrossing museum showcases an impressive collection of vintage cars, memorabilia, and interactive exhibits that celebrate the adrenaline-fueled legacy of racing in Kannapolis and beyond. From legendary race cars to immersive displays that chronicle the evolution of motorsports, the museum offers a riveting exploration of speed, innovation, and the indomitable spirit of competition that defines the racing culture.

The Bakers Creek Park

Nestled along the tranquil shores of Lake Fisher, Bakers Creek Park is a scenic oasis that beckons nature enthusiasts and outdoor adventurers with its breathtaking beauty and diverse recreational offerings. This expansive park encompasses lush woodlands, serene walking trails, and picturesque waterfront vistas, providing an enchanting escape into the wonders of the natural world. Whether indulging in leisurely strolls, fishing along the tranquil shores, or partaking in water-based activities, visitors to Bakers Creek Park are immersed in a harmonious tapestry of relaxation and exploration, forging unforgettable memories amidst the splendor of the great outdoors.

The Kannapolis Fire Department Museum

A testament to the unwavering dedication and heroism of Kannapolis' firefighting legacy, the Kannapolis Fire Department Museum stands as a captivating tribute to the city's firefighting heritage. Housed within a historic fire station, the museum showcases a remarkable collection of vintage firefighting equipment, artifacts, and engaging exhibits that honor the valiant efforts of firefighters throughout the city's history. Visitors can gain a profound appreciation for the courage and sacrifice of these brave individuals as they delve into the captivating narratives and displays that illuminate the evolution of fire service in Kannapolis, fostering a deep sense of admiration and respect for these everyday heroes.


Kannapolis, North Carolina, is a treasure trove of iconic landmarks that showcase the rich history and vibrant culture of the region. From the awe-inspiring Dale Earnhardt Statue to the serene beauty of the North Carolina Research Campus, visitors are treated to a diverse array of attractions that capture the essence of this charming city. Whether exploring the historic Cannon Mills Plant 4, strolling through the picturesque Village Park, or marveling at the majestic Gem Theatre, there's something for everyone in Kannapolis. The city's deep-rooted heritage and modern allure make it a must-visit destination for history enthusiasts, nature lovers, and anyone seeking an unforgettable experience in the heart of North Carolina.


Q: What is the best time to visit Kannapolis, North Carolina?
A: The best time to visit Kannapolis is during the spring and fall seasons when the weather is pleasant, and outdoor activities can be enjoyed to the fullest.

Q: Are there any family-friendly attractions in Kannapolis?
A: Yes, Kannapolis offers numerous family-friendly attractions such as the Kannapolis Intimidators Stadium, Village Park, and the interactive exhibits at the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame.