Introduction: Welcome to Hickory, NC
Nestled in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, Hickory, NC is a charming city with a rich history and a vibrant culture. Known for its furniture manufacturing, Hickory is also home to a variety of outdoor attractions, cultural events, and family-friendly activities. Whether you’re a local or a visitor, there are plenty of things to do in Hickory, NC that are sure to keep you entertained. In this article, we’ll explore the top things to do in Hickory, NC, from outdoor adventures to cultural experiences.
1. Visit the Hickory Museum of Art
If you’re a fan of the arts, the Hickory Museum of Art is a must-see. This museum features a variety of rotating exhibits that showcase local and regional artists. You’ll find everything from paintings and sculptures to photography and mixed-media art. The museum also offers educational programs for visitors of all ages, including workshops and classes.
2. Explore Downtown Hickory
Downtown Hickory is a charming area that’s perfect for a stroll. You’ll find a variety of boutique shops, galleries, and restaurants to explore. Make sure to check out Union Square, a beautiful park in the heart of downtown. During the summer months, you can catch live music and other events here.
3. Take a Hike at the Hickory Nut Gorge Trail
If you’re looking to get outside and enjoy nature, head to the Hickory Nut Gorge Trail. This scenic trail winds through the woods and along the banks of the Catawba River. You’ll enjoy beautiful views of the river and the surrounding landscape as you hike. The trail is also great for bird watching and spotting other wildlife.
4. Visit the Catawba Science Center
The Catawba Science Center is a great destination for families with kids. This interactive museum features a variety of hands-on exhibits and displays that explore science, technology, engineering, and math. You’ll find everything from a planetarium to a butterfly garden here.
5. Check Out the Hickory Crawdads Baseball Game
If you’re a sports fan, catch a Hickory Crawdads baseball game. This minor league team plays at L.P. Frans Stadium and offers affordable tickets and a fun atmosphere. You’ll enjoy the thrill of the game and the energy of the crowd.
6. Explore Lake Hickory
Lake Hickory is a beautiful spot for boating, fishing, and swimming. There are several parks and public access points around the lake, making it easy to enjoy a day on the water. You can also rent kayaks, paddleboards, and other watercraft if you don’t have your own.
7. Visit the Harper House/Hickory History Center
History buffs won’t want to miss the Harper House/Hickory History Center. This museum tells the story of Hickory’s past through exhibits and artifacts. The Harper House, a historic home that was used as a hospital during the Civil War, is part of the museum and is open for tours.
8. Sample Local Craft Beer
Hickory has a burgeoning craft beer scene, with several breweries offering delicious brews. Make sure to stop by Olde Hickory Brewery, one of the most popular breweries in the area. You can sample a variety of beers and enjoy food from the on-site restaurant.
9. Shop at the Hickory Furniture Mart
Hickory is known for its furniture industry, and the Hickory Furniture Mart is the place to go to find high-quality furniture. This massive complex features over 100 showrooms and galleries showcasing everything from classic pieces to modern designs.
10. Visit the Hickory Museum of Art
Located in the heart of downtown Hickory, the Hickory Museum of Art is a must-visit for art lovers. The museum features a variety of exhibits, including paintings, sculptures, and photography, showcasing the work of both local and national artists. With a focus on contemporary art, the museum also offers educational programs and workshops for visitors of all ages.
11. Attend the Oktoberfest Celebration
If you’re in Hickory in the fall, make sure to check out the annual Oktoberfest celebration. This festival features live music, local food vendors, and of course, plenty of beer. It’s a great way to experience the local culture and have some fun.
12. Take a Tour of Hickory Motor Speedway
NASCAR fans will love the opportunity to tour the Hickory Motor Speedway, one of the oldest and most historic tracks in the country. You’ll learn about the history of the track and get a behind-the-scenes look at the facilities.
13. Visit the Hickory Aviation Museum
Aviation enthusiasts will enjoy the Hickory Aviation Museum, which showcases the history of flight and aircraft manufacturing in the area. You’ll see a variety of planes and helicopters on display, as well as artifacts and exhibits related to the aviation industry.
14. Attend a Concert at the Hickory Metro Convention Center
The Hickory Metro Convention Center hosts a variety of events throughout the year, including concerts and performances by local and national acts. Check the schedule to see what’s coming up during your visit.
15. Go Shopping at Valley Hills Mall
If you’re in the mood for some shopping, head to the Valley Hills Mall. This indoor mall features a variety of stores, including national chains and local boutiques. You’ll find everything from clothing and accessories to electronics and home goods.
Whether you’re visiting Hickory for a weekend or a longer stay, there’s plenty to see and do in this charming city. From exploring the arts and history to enjoying the great outdoors and delicious local cuisine, you’ll find something for everyone in Hickory, NC.
16. Take a Hike in Jacob Fork Park
Outdoor enthusiasts will love exploring Jacob Fork Park, which offers hiking trails, picnic areas, and a playground. You’ll have the opportunity to see local wildlife and enjoy the natural beauty of the area.
17. Visit the Catawba Science Center
The Catawba Science Center is a great place to visit with kids, as it offers interactive exhibits and educational programs focused on science and technology. You’ll have the opportunity to learn about everything from the human body to space exploration.
18. Play Golf at Rock Barn Golf and Spa
If you’re a golfer, make sure to check out Rock Barn Golf and Spa, which offers two championship golf courses and a variety of amenities. You can also enjoy spa treatments, dining options, and other recreational activities on-site.
19. Explore Historic Downtown Hickory
Downtown Hickory is home to a variety of historic buildings, shops, and restaurants. Take a stroll down Union Square, where you’ll find a variety of boutiques and specialty stores, or check out the Hickory Museum of Art.
20. Attend a Show at the Hickory Community Theatre
The Hickory Community Theatre hosts a variety of performances throughout the year, including plays, musicals, and comedy shows. Check the schedule to see what’s playing during your visit.
With so many things to see and do in Hickory, NC, you’re sure to have a memorable trip. From outdoor adventures to cultural experiences and more, this city has something for everyone.
In conclusion, Hickory, NC is a hidden gem in the heart of North Carolina. This charming city offers a wide variety of things to do, from exploring the arts and history to enjoying the great outdoors and delicious local cuisine. Whether you’re visiting for a weekend or a longer stay, you’ll find plenty of activities to keep you entertained.
Take a hike in Jacob Fork Park, attend a show at the Hickory Community Theatre, or sample some of the local craft beers at one of the city’s many breweries. Learn about the history of the area at the Hickory History Center, or explore the world of science and technology at the Catawba Science Center. And don’t forget to try some of the delicious local food, from barbecue to farm-to-table cuisine.
Hickory, NC truly has something for everyone, and is a great destination for families, couples, and solo travelers alike. So pack your bags and head to this beautiful city in the heart of North Carolina, and discover all that it has to offer.
Q1: What are some outdoor activities in Hickory, NC?
A: Hickory, NC has plenty of outdoor activities to offer, including hiking in Jacob Fork Park, biking on the Catawba River Greenway, and fishing at Lake Hickory.
Q2: What is there to do in downtown Hickory, NC?
A: Downtown Hickory is home to a variety of shops, restaurants, and historic buildings. Visitors can check out the Hickory Museum of Art, stroll through Union Square, or enjoy a meal at one of the city’s many eateries.
Q3: Is Hickory, NC a good destination for families with kids?
A: Yes, Hickory, NC is a great destination for families with kids. There are many family-friendly activities to enjoy, such as the Catawba Science Center, the Children’s Playhouse, and the Hickory Aviation Museum.
Q4: What is the best time of year to visit Hickory, NC?
A: The best time of year to visit Hickory, NC is during the spring or fall when the weather is mild and the foliage is beautiful. However, there are plenty of activities to enjoy year-round.
Q5: Are there any cultural attractions in Hickory, NC?
A: Yes, Hickory, NC has a rich cultural scene, with many art galleries, theaters, and museums to explore. Some cultural attractions include the Hickory Museum of Art, the Hickory Community Theatre, and the Hickory History Center.