The Ultimate Guide To Asheville and the Western North Carolina Mountains
The Ultimate Guide to Asheville & the Western North Carolina Mountains

The Online Version of the Best-selling Regional Guidebook

Susanna Pantas, Artist


(Including nearby Brookford, Fairbrook,
Mountain View & Saint Stephens)

All about rain forests of the world

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Downtown Hickory NC

Downtown Hickory NC    Arts & Science Center of Catawba Valley building, Hickory NC    Harper House, Hickory NC        L .P. Frans Stadium, home of the Hickory Crawdads

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Hickory, North Carolina

Located in the foothills of Western North Carolina, Hickory NC is the second largest city in the mountains and a great destination for furniture shopping as well as for cultural activities and outdoor recreation. Hickory and surrounding Catawba County uniquely enjoy a world-wide reputation as one of the premier destinations for shoppers looking for fine furniture and home furnishings. A large percentage ofof America's furniture is produced within a 200-mile radius of Hickory, and virtually every major furniture manufacturer Hickory Furniture Mart Entrance Sign, Hickory Furniture Mart, Hickory NChas a presence here. There are a number of malls just featuring furniture stores and manufacturer's outlets in the greater Hickory area. These include the Catawba Furniture Mall and the prestigious Hickory Furniture Mart, both located on Highway 70. Hickory Furniture Mart is the largest of its kind in the country, houses over 100 factory outlets, stores and galleries, representing over 1000 manufacturers and receives over 500,000 visitors every year. The Mart has been well-known for years as one of North Carolina's most popular travel and tourism destinations for furniture shoppers and enthusiasts nationwide. It is home to the Catawba Valley Furniture Museum which includes in its collections some of the area's first pieces of furniture ever produced. Hickory is also one end of the "20 Miles of Furniture", a stretch of US Highway 321 between Lenoir and Hickory where numerous furniture outlets and stores also offer deep discounts. Think of this as a 20-mile long furniture mall!
     Hickory started in the 1850's when Henry Robinson built a tavern of logs under a huge Hickory tree. The city of "Hickory Tavern" was established shortly afterwards in 1863, and in 1873, the name was
changed to Hickory. Hickory was known in the years after World War II for the "Miracle of Hickory." In 1944 the area around Hickory became the center of one of the worst outbreaks of polio ever recorded.  Since local facilities were inadequate to treat the victims, the citizens of Hickory and the March of Dimes decided to build a hospital to care for the children of the region. From the time the decision was made until equipment, doctors, and patients were in a new facility, took less than 54 hours.
    The cultural hub of Hickory is the famous SALT Block (an acronym that stands for  Science, Art and Literature Together), where on one block downtown clustered together are the
Catawba Science Center, the Hickory Museum of Art, the Hickory Public Library, the Western Piedmont Symphony, the United Arts Council of Catawba County and the Hickory Choral Society. A unique concentration of science and art, the SALT block is a major tourist destination in Hickory, with over 200,000 visitors a year. The block's anchor is the iconic former Claremont Central High School, built in 1925 and transformed 60 years later into the 74, 923 square-foot Arts and Science Center of Catawba Valley that houses many of the SALT Block organizations and institutions.

    Hickory is also home to  the Hickory Community Theatre and other important cultural institutions that include the Harper House/Hickory History Center located in the historic and stunningly beautiful Harper House, one of the finest examples of Queen Anne architecture and interior design to be found in North Carolina, and two historical houses that also are local cultural history museums, the Maple Grove Historical Museum and the J. Summie Propst House Museum.
    Hickory has a Class A minor league baseball team, the Hickory Crawdads, that play at L.P. Frans Stadium, located at at 2500 Clement Boulevard NW,  and also the Hickory Motor Speedway, a racing facility that has presented competitions for over 50 years and is hailed as the birthplace of NASCAR stars Dale Earnhardt, Junior Johnson, Ned and Dale Jarrett and Harry Gant.
     Recreational opportunities abound in the area, with more than 10 public courses in the Hickory metro area, and numerous parks and recreational facilities. One of the most convenient is the city park, Glenn C. Hilton, Jr. Memorial Park, located at 2000 6th Street NW, which features five picCatawba County Sealnic shelters, gazebo, lighted and paved walking trails, disc golf course, and fitness and nature trails. Other popular parks in Hickory include Bakers Mountain Park, at 6680 Bakers Mountain Road,  the Ivey Arboretum in Carolina Park located at 1441 9th Avenue NE, and St. Stephens Park at 2247 36th Avenue NE. Bakers Mountain Park is located at the highest point in Catawba County (1780 feet) and features 189 acres of mature Chestnut Oak forest with nearly six miles of trails. The Ivey Arboretum in Carolina Park contains a collection of over 400 labeled species of native and rare trees and shrubs within a three-acre park and St. Stephens Park, a 9.1 acre park that features walking trails, playground, educationally-themed landscaping and a dog park. Kiwanis Park located at 805 6th St. SE now includes Zahra Baker All Children’s Playground. It is a playground where children of different abilities can meet and play together.

Wild & Furry Animals of the Southern Appalachian Mountains, by Lee James Pantas

     Hickory has been named an "All-America City" three times, the last time in 2007. This prestigious award is given annually to only ten cities in the United States. The Hickory Metro area has also been named the 10th best place to live and raise a family in America by Readers Digest. Higher educational institutions include Lenoir-Rhyne University and Catawba Valley Community College. Hickory as one would expect for a city of 40,000 residents has strong lineup of festivals and cultural events. One of the major festivals is the famous  Catawba Valley Pottery Festival held every March in the Hickory Metro Convention Center. Another popular annual event is the Hickory Alive program, free concerts held every Friday evening in June and July in downtown Hickory.
     Getting to Hickory is easy since the city is conveniently located on interstate highway I-40. Hickory also has a small regional airport as well, the Hickory Regional Airport, for non-commercial aircraft.


City Website: Hickory
: Town Hall, 76 North Center Street, Hickory NC 28601; 828-323-7400
Facebook: Hickory
Foothills, 1 hour and 15 minutes east of Asheville
County: Catawba County
: County Offices, 100-A South West Boulevard, Newton NC 28658; 828-465-8201
Elevation & Population:
910 feet, 40,000+
Regional Visitors Center:
Hickory Metro Convention Center & Visitors Bureau, 1960-A 13th Avenue Drive SE, Hickory NC 28602; 800-509-2444
County Visitor/Welcome Center: Catawba County Visitor Information Center
, 1055 Southgate Corporation Park SW, Hickory NC 28602; 828-328-6111
County Chamber of Commerce:
Catawba County Chamber of Commerce, 1055 Southgate Corporation Park SW, Hickory NC 28602; 828-328-6111
: Hickory Daily Record, 1100 Park Place, Hickory NC 28603; 828-322-4510
Movie Theatres: AMC Hickory 15, 2000 SE Catawba Valley Boulevard, Hickory NC 28603; 828-298-4885 and Carolina Theater, 221 1st Avenue NW, Hickory NC 28601; 828-322-7210
High Schools: St. Stephens High School, 3205 34th Street Drive NE, Hickory NC 28601; 828-256-9841 and Challenger High School, 2550 Highway 70 SE, Hickory NC 28602; 828-485-2980
Colleges and Universities:
Lenoir-Rhyne University, 625 7th Avenue NE, Hickory NC 28601; 828-328-1741 and Catawba Valley Community College, 2550 US Highway 70 SE, Hickory NC 28602; 828-327-7000
Frye Regional Medical Center, 420 North Center Street, Hickory NC 28601; 828-315-5000 and Catawba Valley Medical Center, 810 Fairgrove Church Road SE, Hickory NC 28602; 828-326-3000
Parks: Bakers Mountain Park, Glenn C. Hilton, Jr. Memorial Park, Ivey Arboretum in Carolina Park, St. Stephens Park, Kiwannis Park
Area Major Festivals: Apple Festival (October), Art Crawl (May & September), Catawba Valley Pottery Festival  (March), Hickory Alive (Friday evenings June & July), Hickory American Legion Fair (September), Hickory Hops (April), Oktoberfest (October), Old Soldier Reunion (August), Swinging under the Stars (May)
Area Natural Attractions:  
Pisgah National Forest, South Mountains State Park
Area Cultural Attractions:
Bunker Hill Covered Bridge
Catawba County Museum of History, Catawba Science Center, Harper House/Hickory History Center, Hickory Community Theatre, Hickory Crawdads, Hickory Furniture Mart, Hickory Motor Speedway,  Hickory Museum of Art, Historic Murray's Mill J. Summie Propst House Museum, Maple Grove Historical Museum, Western Piedmont Symphony


  Featured Realtors  

Fine Dining

Vintage House: (Continental) 271 3rd Avenue NW, Hickory NC 28601; 828-324-1210

Casual & Family Dining
Applebee's: (American) 2180 US Highway 70 SE; Hickory NC 28602; 828-328-1000
Atlanta Bread Company: (American) 1756 Catawba Valley Boulevard, Hickory NC 28602; 828-325-8008
Bistro 127: (American) 2039 N. Center Street, Hickory NC 28601; 828-328-3432
Carrabba’s Italian Grill: (Italian) 1954 13th Avenue Drive SE, Hickory NC 28602; 828-322-9032
Chili's: (American)
2181 US Highway 70E, Hickory NC 28602; 828-328-8447
Cracker Barrel: (American) 1250 11th Street Court SE, Hickory NC  28602; 828-261-0508
Golden Corral: (American-Western) 1053 Lenoir-Rhyne Boulevard SE, Hickory NC 28602; 828-324-2122
Ham's of Hickory: (Southern)204 US Highway 321 NW, Hickory NC 28602; 828-326-4267
Hickory Tavern (Southern) 2982 N. Center Street, Hickory NC 28601; 828-322-2699
International House of Pancakes: (American-Breakfast) 2415 US Highway 70 SE, Hickory NC 28602; 828-261-0150

Longhorn Steakhouse: (American-Western) 1332 Highway 70 SE; Hickory NC 28602; 828-322-2944
Outback Steakhouse: (Australian) 1435 13th Avenue Drive SE, Hickory NC 28602; 828-328-6283
Texas Roadhouse: (American-Western) 1020 Lenoir-Rhyne Boulevard SE, Hickory NC 28602; 828-325-9815
Tripp's Restaurant: (American) 1187 Lenoir-Rhyne Boulevard SE, Hickory NC 28602; 828-324-4400
Zaxby's: (American) 1330 Lenoir-Rhyne Boulevard SE, Hickory NC 28602; 828-324-2210

China Moon: (Chinese) 2346 Springs Road NW, Hickory NC 28601; 828-256-1188
China View Restaurant: (Chinese) 3105 1st Avenue SW, Hickory NC 28602; 828-431-2248
Kobe Japanese House of Steak & Seafood: (Japanese) 1103 13th Avenue Drive SE, Hickory NC 28602; 828-328-5688  
Panda Express: (Chinese) 1770 Highway 70 SE, Hickory NC 28602; 828-325-4837
Sakura Japanese Cuisine: (Japanese) 2461 Springs Road NE, Hickory NC 28601; 828-256-2277
Wild Wok Hickory Asian Bistro: (Asian) 2403 Catawba Valley Boulevard SE, Hickory NC 28602; 828-328-1688 and 303 N. Center Street, Hickory NC 28602; 828-322-1115

Dickey’s Barbeque Pit: (BBQ) 1036 Lenoir Rhyne Blvd. SE, Hickory NC 28602; 828-855-9390
Hannah's BBQ: (BBQ) 3198 Highway 127 South, Hickory NC 28602; 828-294-4227

DaVinci's: (Italian) 2968 North Center Street, Hickory NC 28601; 828-328-6101
Olive Garden Italian Restaurant: (Italian) 2261 Highway 70; Hickory NC 28602; 828-345-1015

Dos Amigos: (Mexican) 755 4th Street SW, Hickory NC 28602; 828-323-1915
El Paso: (Mexican) 505 Highway 70 SW, Hickory NC 28602; 828-267-1322
Max' Mexican Eatery: (Mexican) 802 Highway 70 SW, Hickory NC 28602; 828-322-6147
Salsarita's Fresh Cantina: (Mexican) 944 2nd Avenue NE, Hickory NC 28601; 828-304-2485

Sandwiches & Subs
Backyard Burgers: (Grill) 1854 Catawba Valley Boulevard SE, Hickory NC 28602; 828-325-0558 and     2391 North Center Street, Hickory NC 28601; 828-325-4948
Firehouse Subs: (Sandwiches-Subs) 2423 North Center Street, Hickory NC 28601; 828-327-8800
Jersey's Mike's: (Sandwiches-Subs) 3018 North Center Street, Hickory NC 28601; 828-322-2989
Quizno's: ((Sandwiches-Subs) 2923A North Center Street,  Hickory NC 28601; 828-267-2000 and
   2101 Catawba Valley Boulevard SE, Hickory NC 28602; 828-267-2000
Sub Station II: (Sandwiches-Subs) 1215 16th Street NE, Hickory NC 28602; 828-324-5306 and
   422 Hwy 70 SW, Hickory NC 28602; 828 328-9956
Subway: 1960 Highway 70 SE, Hickory NC 28602; 828-327-7827 and
9473-B Highway 127, Hickory
     NC 28601; 828-495-2040

Captain's Galley: (Seafood) 1261 16th Street NE, Hickory NC 28601; 828-327-0555
Red Lobster: (Seafood) 1846 US Highway 70 SE, Hickory NC 28602; 828-327-6113

Cafes & Grills
Backstreets Bar & Grill: (American) 246 14th Avenue NE, Hickory NC 28601; 828-328-6479
Bootleggers Whiskey Bar & Grill (American) 2033 N. Center Street, Hickory NC 28601; 828-328-3432

Buffalo Wild Wings: (Grill) 2049 Catawba Valley Boulevard SE, Hickory NC 28602; 828-327-9464
Cafe Gouda: (Cafe) Belle Hollow, 2960 North Center Street, Hickory NC 28601; 828-267-1300
Checker's: (Drive Thru)  1304 2nd Street NE, Hickory NC 28601; 828-327-5611
Groucho's Deli: (Deli) 248 Union Square Common NW, Hickory NC 28601; 828-304-4545

Jason's Deli: (Deli) 2337 Highway 70 SE, Hickory NC 28602; 828-325-4938

Geppeto's Pizza: (Pizza) 1030 16thStreet NE, Hickory NC 28601; 828-328-8818
Little Caesar's Pizza: (Pizza) 1386 Highway 321 NW, Hickory NC 28601; 828-326-9191
Mellow Mushroom: (Pizza) 1185 Lenoir Rhyne Boulevard SE, Hickory NC 28602; 828-322-8491
Pizza Hut: (Pizza) 216 Highway 70 SE, Hickory NC 28602; 828-327-9788
Village Inn Pizza Parlor: (Pizza) 1021 Second Street NE, Hickory NC 28601; 828-322-2929 and
    2467 Springs Road NE, Hickory NC 28601; 828-328-3010

Taste Full Beans : (Coffeehouse) 29 2nd Street NW, Hickory NC 28601; 828-325-0108 and
Hickory Furniture Mart, 2220 Highway 70 SE, Hickory NC 28602; 828-322-9647

Comfort Suites: (Motel) 1125 13th Avenue Drive SE, Hickory NC 28602; 828-323-1211
Courtyard by Marriott: (Motel) 1946 13th Avenue Drive SE, Hickory NC 28602; 828-267-2100
Crowne Plaza Hotel: (Hotel) 1385 Lenoir-Rhyne Boulevard SE; Hickory NC 28602; 828-323-1000
Fairfield Inn: (Motel) 1950 13th Avenue Drive SE, Hickory NC 28602; 828-431-3000
Hampton Inn: (Motel) 1520 13th Avenue Drive SE, Hickory NC 28602; 828-323-1150
Holiday Inn Express: (Motel) 2250 US Highway 70 SE, Hickory NC 28602; 828-328-2081
Park Inn: (Motel) 909 Highway 70 SW, Hickory NC 28602; 800-789-0686

Red Roof Inn: (Motel) 1184 Lenoir-Rhyne Boulevard SE, Hickory NC 28602; 828-323-1500

Bed & Breakfasts
The Inn at Hickory: (B&B) 464 Seventh St. SW, Hickory NC 28601; 828-324-0548
The Pecan Tree Inn of Hickory: (B&B) 2303 Ewing Dr., Hickory NC 28602; 704-462-0822

Indian Springs Campground: (RV Campground) 4361 Whitener Drive, Hickory NC 28602; 828-397-5700



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