What to see, do and eat in Mooresville, North Carolina

My son is a competitive runner, his running has taken us all over the country. When we found ourselves headed to the Charlotte, NC area, the day after Thanksgiving we knew that we wanted to explore the area more than just seeing the cross country course.

Mooresville is just about 30 minutes from Downtown Charlotte, North Carolina, in fact, lots of people that live in Mooresville commute to Charlotte for work. In a lot of ways, you could consider Mooresville a suburb of Charlotte. Don’t be fooled though, the town has plenty of things to do, see and eat and stands on it’s own very well.

Mooresville is known as Race City USA, and is home to many well known names in NASCAR racing. Dale Earnhardt and Kyle Busch are a few names that might ring a bell, but there are so many in town. Many of which are open to the public and tours can be arranged.

Noteable Mooresville Restaurants


I am going to be real honest with you, I could write an entire post about how much much family loved Novanta.

It is an Italian restaurant with a wood fired pizza oven. My oldest son had a cheese pizza. Here’s the thing, my oldest never eats. Seriously. It is a struggle. He devoured the cheese pizza and then ordered gelato. The gelato was just a seemingly (when we ordered it) pain chocolate, it was so amazing, I can’t even describe the taste. My son, practically licked the bowl clean.

My husband had the lasagna and said that it was his second favorite lasagna ever, second only to a restaurant that no longer exists and even he admitted that most of the love for that other lasagna had to do more with nostalgia.

I had the chicken parmesan and it was also excellent.

My youngest was in a mood that night (keeping it real ya’ll) and opted for the buttered noodles. The set up for the buttered noodles was the most inventive and creative, with separate containers of parm, red pepper flakes and Italian seasoning. I promise you my son ate way more than he would have, had he been presented with just a standard bowl of buttered noodles.

Novanta is perfect for date nights, we saw several of those happening as well as a family meal out.

We’ve already decided that when we are in the area again, Novanta is a must stop.

Jeffery’s Restaurant

Jeffery’s was just down the street from our hotel and was the perfect place for a celebration. Indeed we were celebrating, my son had just won the cross country race that we were in town for, decisively.

In the effort of full disclosure, we were still somewhat full from the lunch we had eaten near the course. So what we ordered was a hodgepodge of food, and it was perfect.

My son wanted a steak and that’s what he got, it was cooked to his liking.

My husband was happy to see French onion soup on the menu, he had been talking about not having had a good bowl of that soup in quite some time.

I ordered the crab cakes. I told you that it was a weird mashup of items ordered!

Things to do in Mooresville, NC

Tour the Garages of NASCAR Drivers

Mooresville is known as Race City USA, and is home to many well known names in NASCAR racing. Dale Earnhardt and Kyle Busch are a few names that might ring a bell, but there are so many in town. Many of which are open to the public and tours can be arranged.

Spend some time on Lake Norman

Obviously visiting, the day after Thanksgiving meant that we missed out on all of the fun recreation that there is to be had on Lake Norman. As you can imagine, there is a lot to do when it comes to enjoying Lake Norman. From spending time at Lake Norman State Park, to renting a boat or jet ski or even trying your hand at stand-up paddle boarding (it’s harder than it looks!) there are many memories to be made on Lake Norman.

Zootastic Park

We experienced Zootastic in a bit of a different way. During the Holiday Season, in the evenings, Zootastic park is transformed into the most magical place you could dream about. With 3 miles of Christmas lights that you can drive through, it doesn’t matter what the weather is, because it is all done from the comfort of your vehicle. When we visited, it was raining, but it didn’t dampen our spirits.

There was a sign at the beginning of the park asking you to make sure your gas tank is full before entering the park. Let me just say, I would totally be the person who went to the park with my gas light on and causing an issue.

When the park isn’t doing the Holiday light display, there is still so much to see and do. You can see more about what they offer here.

NASCAR Hall of Fame

The first thing that I need to say is, you will need more time than you think you do, when you head to the NASCAR Hall of Fame. The second thing I want to make sure is understood is this: if you aren’t a NASCAR fan you will enjoy your time at the hall of fame, if you are a NASCAR fan, you will love your time visiting.

My boys were enthralled by the realistic banking set up, when you first arrive. There are cars from various different eras, set up on a track with the appropriate slope that NASCAR drivers would be driving on during a race. They also learned how woefully bad they were at being part of a pit crew for a NASCAR driver.

I don’t typically mention gift shops, but I would be remiss to leave out the fact that they have some really cool items at prices that aren’t terribly out of line. In fact, I picked up a huge book of NASCAR history for my dad for under $40.

Victory Lanes

One of the favorite pass times of my family is to go bowling and spend way more money than we should on arcade games.

Victory Lanes in Mooresville offers both bowling and arcade games. Let me tell you, it is a popular spot, by the time we were leaving the wait to bowl was close to two hours! Between the arcade, bowling and the food available there is something for everyone in your family to enjoy.

Just a word of advice, get your own game card to play the clown game. My husband and I always push the kids out of the way to attempt to hit the jackpot.

Where to stay in Mooresville, NC

While we were in town, we stayed at the Hilton Garden Inn. I have to say, prior to our visit we had only stayed at one other Hilton Garden Inn. After our stay in Mooresville, we’ve decided that we will seek them out. As far as hotels go, I would say that they are a step up from some of the middle of the road hotel chains but not so pricey that it becomes a financial hardship to stay for more than one night.

We’ve also found that we really like the breakfast, no it isn’t included with the room, but it offers so much more than the traditional continental breakfast.

As luck would have it, we were the guests of the day when we checked in, which my kids thought was the coolest thing!

No matter what brings you to the Mooresville area, there is lots to see and do, with kids or without. We found ourselves remarking about what a cute little town Mooresville was and talk about our stay often.

Headed to the Charlotte, NC area? Make sure you spend time in Mooresville, NC. We have the scoop on what to see, do and eat while you are in town.