Mooresville, NC (Race City USA) –
There are at least a dozen NASCAR garages within a 30-mile radius along with a couple related museums. Some have view windows to the garage area and gift shops. Make the Visitor’s Center your first stop. The North Carolina Auto Racing Hall of Fame is in the same building and is well worth your time.
Two museums that are a must see:
North Carolina Auto Racing Hall of Fame. This museum contains a great representation of racing history, culture, nostalgia and memorabilia. There is a charge. (www.ncarhof.com)
Photo Op with a Blond!
Lots on Display
Memory Lane. This place was huge. If it’s related to racing, it’s in this museum – cars (wrecked and in tact), toys, clothes, and memorabilia. There is also a great gift shop that carries interesting and unique “junk” for the racing nut. Check out this H-D gas pump that houses a TV.
If you are a race fan and plan to tour any of the garages, our recommendation would be to visit these three and then work through the rest as time permits:
· Hendrick Motorsports (Terry Labonte, Jeff Gordon, Brian Vickers, Jimmie Johnson and Kyle Busch) – phenomenal museum; view window to shop as well as access to paint and chassis shops; 67 acre racing complex; historic race cars; 1.5 miles from Lowe’s Motor Speedway—Charlotte; Team Store (www.hendrickmotorsports.com) (NOTE: This is about a 35 minute drive south east of Mooresville but well worth the trip.)
The deck behind this display is a series of view windows into the “live” workshop.
Hendrick Race Shop
· Gibbs Racing– great view window to shop; gift shop
Gibb’s Race Shop
· Earnhardt – great museum; view window to car displays and shop; gift shop (NOTE: 10 minute drive just South of Mooresville.)
All of these cars (and quite a few more) are displayed throughout the museum (check out the Corvette!)
FYI. . .None of the garages in Statesville or Mooresville charge admission.
As a side note, we stopped to look at new homes to get an idea of styles and prices. What culture shock. . .the average homes in this central NC area are priced in the $175-200K range for a three bedroom, 2-1/2 bath open floor plan, single story.
Want or need furniture – visit Hickory, NC to pick it out. The furniture mart has four floors and acres of furniture for every décor imaginable. We compared prices and found local stores in New England to be comparable – especially considering the shipping costs.
The countryside is beautiful in the fall -- lots of color. Temperatures in the 70s and 80s are convincing us that we are headed in the right direction.
NOTE: Many businesses close at 5:00 pm during the week and are closed on Sunday in this “heartland” of North Carolina. Even the Visitor’s Center was closed on Saturday. The Harley Dealer in Statesville was one of the biggest and best-stocked that we’ve been in – and you know we’re stopping at just about everyone we see!
NEXT STOP: CHARLESTON, SC