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Living in Kannapolis

Kannapolis is well-known as the hometown of NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt. It’s also becoming home for an increasing number of people drawn to small-town life with big-city amenities.

Just a quick jaunt up I-85 from Charlotte, the city of Kannapolis offers a quaint downtown surrounded by plenty of neighborhoods, shopping, restaurants and parks.

It’s a remarkable turnaround for a town that just a decade and a half ago was the site of the largest single-day layoff in North Carolina history. Kannapolis was forced to completely change its identity with the closing of Cannon Mills.

Today, the city of Kannapolis has bought a large swath of its downtown to help guide its revitalization through an arts center, new baseball stadium and multi-story apartment buildings along its charming red-brick sidewalks.

The ambitious North Carolina Research Campus gives the town some academic heft, partnering universities from around the state with companies like Dole, General Mills and Monsanto to help create the next big technologies that will change our daily lives.

Dale would be proud with the speed of progress.


Population: 46,498

Commute distance to Uptown: 45 minutes

Median age: 35.7

Median household income: $49,637

Median home sales price: $130,300

Average rent: $848

Things to do in Kannapolis

Gem Theater. This iconic movie house has been entertaining Kannapolis since 1936. Details.

Kannapolis Intimidators. The Class A affiliate of the Chicago White House delivers a classic minor league baseball experience. Details.

The Dale Trail. This walking path through Kannapolis is a must-travel for NASCAR fans. Details.

NC Music Hall of Fame. Honor the past, present and future of North Carolina music, from Earl Scruggs to Fantasia Barrino. Details.

Kannapolis real estate

Kannapolis is known for its single-family home neighborhoods, and most homebuyers are bound to find something that meets their price range.

Starter homes go for less than $150,000, and you can find new construction neighborhoods that offer homes up to 3,000 square feet for around the $300,000 mark.

Cover image of the Gem Theater in downtown Kannapolis by Brad Spry via Flickr (Creative Commons)