Hickory is a city in the foothills of North Carolina. Hickory is something of a regional shopping hub and a significant center for furniture manufacturing. As a result, it's an excellent place for buying furniture.
- 1 Hickory Regional Airport (HKY IATA), Highway 321, at 3101 9th Avenue Drive NW. An airport for private aviation. It is not served by any commercial airline.
- I-40 - Exit 125 or 126 will take you to the commercial district for shopping and most chain restaurants.
- US-321 - Intersects with I-40 at mile marker 123.
- US-70 - Runs nearly parallel with I-40 East-West through town. Most shopping, restaurants, and hotels are along the US-70 corridor.
- NC-127 - Divides the town roughly between East and West. Head north until 127 ends to find US-64.
Greyhound buses offer direct service from several major North Carolina cities: Raleigh, Durham, Greensboro, Winston-Salem, and Asheville; connections are available to numerous other destinations. The buses stop at the 2 Citgo gas station at 3361 Hwy 70 SE in Newton. This is quite a ways outside of town, so you'll need to either have someone pick you up, call a taxi or rideshare, or take a local bus into town.
Driving in Hickory is quite easy, although the remaining one-way streets and eclectic street naming conventions can be somewhat bewildering. If you get lost, just ask a local and say you're from out of town. They'll refrain from an age-old Hickory tradition of giving directions based on where things "used to be".
The main thoroughfares in Hickory are Interstate 40, U.S. 70, and U.S. 321.
Greenway bus service is available in and around Hickory. Buses run Monday–Friday early morning to late afternoon and Saturday with a more limited schedule. The fare is $1.25 per ride, with one free transfer. $3 for a one-day pass. Children under 5 are free.
- 1 Hickory Museum of Art. Although American art was almost unrecognized outside of New York and Philadelphia in 1943, the North Carolina city of Hickory set out to establish a museum of American art. Located on Hickory, NC’s SALT Block (Sciences, Art, Literature Together), Hickory took the lead in the Southeast as being the first city to establish a museum of American art. Among the artists represented in the HMA collection are names such as Gilbert Stuart, Thomas Cole, Asher B. Durand, J. Fredrick Kensett, William Merritt Chase, Worthington Whittredge, F. Ballard Williams, Eanger Irving Couse, Elliot Daingerfield, Anna Hyatt Huntington, Hobart Nichols, Albert T. Bricher, Edward Potthast, and many others. Closed Mondays. Free admission.
- 1 Catawba Science Center, 243 Third Avenue NE, ☏ . Tu–F 10AM–5PM, Sa 10AM–4PM, Su 1PM–4PM, closed M. Explore the Physical and Natural Sciences. Interesting traveling exhibits rotate throughout the year. It has a planetarium and aquaria with touch tanks where you can touch creatures such as live sharks and rays. Located on Hickory, NC’s SALT Block (Sciences, Art, Literature Together), in the Arts & Science Center of Catawba Valley, CSC also provides a variety of educational movies (in their digital planetarium and fun programming for school groups, children, families, adults, homeschoolers, preschoolers, scouts and other community groups. The Science Emporium gift shop stocks educational toys and gifts that enhance the museum experience. Adults $8; seniors, students, military, and youth (age 3–18) $6, children (under 3) free.
- 2 Hickory Motor Speedway. NASCAR short track. It is the oldest professional sporting venue in Catawba County, and the oldest continually operating motor speedway in the country with over 53 seasons. Three fully equipped concession stands, a souvenir stand, six large restroom areas, and three enclosed air-conditioned hospitality suites. Also contains a game room, and kids' fenced-in play area with a climbing gym & swings, and RV parking is available. Adults $10.
- 3 Hickory Crawdads Minor League Baseball. As American as, well, baseball! Always good fun, and the Crawdads usually win, too! Try the Crawdad Red Ale at the Crawdad Cafe. (Take I-40 to exit 123 North (Hwy 321 Lenoir/Airport). Travel to fifth stoplight and turn left onto Clement Blv., NW. L.P. Frans Stadium is 1/2 mile up to the right). $6-12.
- 4 Rock Barn Country Club & Spa, 3791 Clubhouse Drive, ☏ . Two challenging golf courses, a spa, restaurants, and lodging.
- 5 AMC Hickory 15, 2000 Catawba Valley Blvd SE (behind the mall). First-run movies.
- 6 Carolina Theater, 222 1st Ave NW, ☏ . Downtown with two screens and daily $3 showings. A local favorite with ultra-affordable concessions and reclining seats with cupholders. Located in a seemingly ancient theater (built in 1934) downtown near the Wachovia building. $3.
- 7 Marquee Mimosa 7, 101 S. Green Street, Morganton (I-40W from Hickory to NC-18 N/W - 25 minutes), ☏ . Excellent first-run theatre in downtown Morganton. Less hectic than Hickory's movie theaters with friendlier people and cheaper concessions. $10.75 for adults, $9 matinee, $8.50 for seniors, $8.25 for children..
Take I-85S to US-321N for excellent furniture shopping at a host of furniture outlets as well as:
Hickory has two malls next to each other off US Highway 70 SE.
- 2 Valley Hills Mall, 1960 Highway 70 SE, ☏ . M–Sa 10AM–9PM, Su noon–6PM. Regional center for shopping. Dillard's, Belk, JC Penney, Sears. Gap, Limited, Lerner, Ambercrombie & Fitch, American Eagle, Aeropostale, Bath and Body Works, etc.
- 3 Hickory Ridge Shopping Center, Catawba Valley Boulevard (behind the Valley Hills Mall). Target, Best Buy, Hallmark, Marshalls, Kohl's, Old Navy, AC Moore Crafts, Babies R Us, Pier 1 Imports.
- 1 McGuire's Pub, 46 3rd St NW. Daily food and beer specials. Excellent array of interesting sandwiches. Booths offer excellent privacy in a relaxed atmosphere. Best onion rings in town and the home fries are to die for. The Fitzgerald sandwich is especially good. Stay away if you're truly pressed for time. $6-12.
- 2 Cafe Gouda, 2960 N Center St (NC-127N in the Belle Hollow shopping center), ☏ . Eclectic sandwiches with a more casual and sophisticated air. Sandwiches, mostly. Try the Gouda Delite. Open for breakfast. Lattes and coffee drinks available. $7-12.
- 3 Backstreets, 246 14th Ave NE, ☏ . M–W 11AM–10PM, Th F 11AM–11PM, Sa 11:30AM–11PM, Su 11:30AM–10PM. On the backstreets of Hickory near Hickory High School and the Bank of Granite Building is Backstreets. A little pricey but has an excellent selection of beer and some great food options. Good lighting and a relaxed atmosphere. Daily specials. $9-15.
- 4 Olde Hickory Taproom, 222 Union Square, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. 11AM–2AM daily. The restaurant front for Olde Hickory Brewery offers seasonal ales and beers as well as the local favorites OHB is known for. The food and service here is "just" pretty good, but everyone keeps coming back for more. Must be the beer! Try the dessert special. A limited menu is offered late into the night. $8-18.
- 5 Amos Howard's, 2828 US Hwy 70 SW (west on Highway 70, just out of town), ☏ . 11AM–10PM daily. Also owned by Olde Hickory Brewery. Food and service are on par with the Olde Hickory Taproom. Has giant beer barrels that you can eat in. $7-12.
- 6 J Thai, 2352 Springs Rd NE (from town, go past St. Stephen's Lutheran, and it's is a little farther on your right, before the intersection with McDonald Parkway), ☏ . Best Thai in town and the least expensive. Looks a little run-down on the outside, but nice once you're inside. In a small shopping center on Springs Road. $9-13.
- 7 Thai Orchid, 1822 Catawba Valley Blvd SE (Hickory Ridge Shopping Center on Catawba Valley Boulevard, behind the mall in the same shopping center as Best Buy). Good Thai. Very easy to find. $10-15.
- 8 Tony's Pizza, 1832 Catawba Valley Boulevard SE (Hickory Ridge Shopping Center on Catawba Valley Boulevard, behind the mall in the same shopping center as Best Buy), ☏ . Best pizza in town. Very easy to find. $13 for a 19" cheese.
- 9 Wild Wok, 2043 Catawba Valley Blvd SE, ☏ . Located in southeast corner of the Valley Hills Mall parking lot, off of Highway 70. Asian bistro with Chinese, Japanese, Thai, and sushi. Very good food with good service. $9-12.
- 10 The Hickory Tavern, 2982 N Center Street, ☏ . Daily 11:30AM - 2AM. Shrimp specials on Wednesdays, and oyster specials on Thursdays. Seafood, steak, appetizers, and sandwiches.
If you want to buy liquor by the bottle you must do it at state-run ABC (Alcoholic Beverage Commission) stores rather than at a traditional liquor store. Beer and wine are available for purchase at most markets, grocery stores and gas stations. The alcohol laws of North Carolina prohibit the sale of alcohol after 2AM Monday through Saturday, and from 2AM until noon on Sundays.
Given Hickory's German heritage and heavy Lutheran influences, it's no surprise that beer is easy to find and fun to ingest among friends in Hickory: see McGuire's Pub, Backstreets, Olde Hickory Taproom, and Hickory Tavern above.
- 1 Courtyard, 1946 13th Avenue Drive SE, ☏ .
- 2 Hampton Inn, 1956 13th Avenue Drive SE, ☏ . Check-in: 3PM, check-out: noon.
- 3 Hilton Garden Inn, 1320 17th Street Drive SE, ☏ . Check-in: 3PM, check-out: noon.
- 4 Crowne Plaza, 1385 Lenoir Rhyne Blvd SE, ☏ . Check-in: 3PM, check-out: noon.
- 5 Holiday Inn Express, 2250 US Highway 70 SE, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-in: 3PM, check-out: noon.
- 6 Baymont Inn & Suites, 1120 13th Avenue Dr SE, ☏ . Check-in: 3PM, check-out: 11AM.
- 7 Sleep Inn, 1179 13th Ave. Dr. SE, ☏ . Check-in: 3PM, check-out: 11AM.
- 8 Fairfield Inn & Suites, 1950 13th Avenue Drive SE, ☏ .
Stay away from South Center Street. Everywhere else is relatively safe. Avoid the intersection of Highway 70 and Lenoir Rhyne Boulevard at rush hour.
- Emergencies: 911
- Hickory Police. +1 828-328-5551 (Non-emergency).
- 2 Patrick Beaver Memorial Library, 375 3rd St NE. Excellent library with comfy chairs and plenty of books and periodicals. Internet access available for a fee.
The area code is 828.
- Blowing Rock, NC. Beautiful town in the mountains. Great park downtown. Get some ice cream across the street, enjoy the breeze, and read a book. US-321N.
- Blue Ridge Parkway. Junction is just north of Blowing Rock. US-321N.
- Charlotte, NC. Largest city in NC with lots of things to do. Take US-321S to I-85N.
- Linville Gorge Wilderness. Serious hikers only. Pristine wilderness in the rugged, untamed Linville Gorge. I-40W to NC-18N/W to NC-181 to NC-183. Permits required for overnights during the peak months. Stay away from Cabin Trail and Rock Jock.
|Routes through Hickory|
|Asheville ← Black Mountain ←||W E||→ Statesville → Winston-Salem|
|Asheville ← Black Mountain ←||W E||→ Statesville → Lexington|
|Johnson City ← Blowing Rock ←||N S||→ Gastonia → Columbia|