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17 thrilling things to do in Hickory

Hickory is largely in Catawba County, although its legal limits also include Burke and Caldwell counties. The city is located in the state of North Carolina in the United States. Get a plethora of things to do in Hickory NC, whether you’re traveling with colleagues, relatives, or your loved one. The city is well-known for having some of the country’s oldest furnishings businesses. It is also known as the “Birthplace of NASCAR Stars” since it is the birthplace of many famous NASCAR racers. Hickory, roughly an hour south of Charlotte, is home to a plethora of art galleries, parks, and barbecue places.

The name Hickory comes from a bar built out of logs under a hickory tree in the 1850s. “Hickory Tavern” was the name of the establishment. Hickory Tavern was incorporated as a municipality in 1870. The name was changed to the Town of Hickory three years later, in 1873, and then to the City of Hickory in 1889.

Some of the things to do in Hickory are here on the list.

Things to do in Hickory

1. Catawba Science Center

Catawba Science Center
Catawba Science Center

Location- 243 3rd Ave NE Hickory, North Carolina 28601

If you are here with kids, here is one of the most fun things to do in Hickory. The scientific center’s mission is to educate tourists about many science areas, and it does so through a variety of displays and seminars. It was founded in 1975 and is located in an ancient Victorian structure. Catawba Science Center is now a 35,000-square-foot science and technology museum whose mission is to inspire learning and improve lifestyles via technology and amazement.

Things to see- Experience the fascinating freshwater and marine ecosystems and get personal with live sea animals such as stingrays and sharks. A planetarium at the Catawba Science Center features laser light displays and interactive constellation presentations.

Do you know- The Catawba Science Center, together with the Western Piedmont Symphony, the Catawba County Council for the Arts, Hickory Museum of Art,   and the Hickory Choral Society, moved into the site in April of 1986.

2. Hickory Aviation Museum

Hickory Aviation Museum
Hickory Aviation Museum

Location- 3101 9th Avenue Drive NW Hickory, North Carolina 28601

Thinking of different things to do in Hickory? Here is an amazing thing to see here. The Hickory Aviation Museum is an aeronautical museum with airplanes, relics, and mementos dating from WWII to now. You may see into antique engines, learn about the mechanics of flight, and see aviation costumes while you’re here. It houses numerous aviation items from World War II to the present, featuring plane models like the F-18 Hornet and the Wright Flyer.

Things to see- Throughout the year, the museum conducts guided tours and hosts a variety of activities. There are many other displays within the museum for you to witness, as well as a Wall of Honor honoring local veterans.

Do you know- When an FJ-3 Fury, the Naval variant of the North American F-86 Sabre, was recovered and became the museum’s first aircraft, the Sabre Society, co-founded by Kyle and Kregg Kirby, was born.

3. Bakers Mountain Park

Bakers Mountain Park
Bakers Mountain Park

Location- 6680 Bakers Mountain Rd, Hickory, NC 28602

Bakers Mountain Park, at 1780 feet, is the tallest peak in Catawba County and is ideal for climbing or bicycling among the numerous fauna and flora. Discover a variety of fauna and flora unique to the North Carolina Mountains while relaxing in the park’s tranquil atmosphere. You may have a lunch in the approved picnic sites with picnic tables in addition to bicycling or hiking.

Things to see- Amongst the most favorite things to do in Hickory is to have a great walk and get a little closer to nature in this park. Trek on the park’s well-marked pathways and then relax with a picnic.

Do you know- Mountain Laurel, hardwood forest, and old Chestnut Oak make up the diverse terrain that makes up this park, which spans around 200 acres.

4. Hickory Museum of Art

Hickory Museum of Art
Hickory Museum of Art

Location- 243 Third Ave NE Hickory, North Carolina 28601

For some amazing artwork, one of the best things to do in Hickory is to visit here. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to see some of the finest genuine folk and modern art while you’re in town; it’s great for families. Various touring exhibits are available at the Hickory Museum of Art, ranging from vacation photography to behind-the-scenes glimpses of artists at work.

Things to see- The museum has a wide selection of traditional arts on exhibit. Visitors can also enroll in one of the numerous art programs offered here, which include clay pottery basics and abstract painting.

Do you know- The Hickory Museum of Art, which opened on February 4, 1944, is North Carolina’s second-oldest art gallery, displaying 19th century via 21st-century American art.

5. Geitner-Rotary Park

 Geitner-Rotary Park
Geitner-Rotary Park

Location- 2035 12th St Dr. NW, Hickory, NC 28601

This park, which is located in a lovely residential area near the lake and forests, is ideal for summer BBQ celebrations or simply getting in shape by strolling or bicycling along its picturesque pathways. Walking tracks, picnic spots with grills, a boat dock, an angling wharf, and more can be found at Geitner-Rotary Park in Hickory, North Carolina. All the fun things to do in Hickory will be found here.

Things to see- Take your fishing equipment to Geitner-Rotary Park and enjoy the day fishing. You may also go kayaking or swimming on a section of the Catawba River

Do you know- In honor of the late Deidra Lackey, the existing Rotary-Geitner Park will be restored and a lot of things are expected to be part of the eventual Deidra Lackey Memorial Park.

6. The Vineyard and Winery at Catawba Farms

 The Vineyard and Winery at Catawba Farms
The Vineyard and Winery at Catawba Farms

Location- 1670 Southwest Blvd, Newton, NC 28658

The Vineyard and Winery at Catawba Farms are less than an hour’s drive from uptown Charlotte. Don’t lose the opportunity to sample a range of scents and flavors in the wine shop, and dine with a view of the vineyard. Without any second thought, add this place to the list of things to do in Hickory. This is one of the most romantic places to take your companion. After a long and busy day, all you can do is enjoy your stay here.

Things to see- Visitors can buy wine by the pint, bottle, or case in addition to sampling it. A trip around the vineyard to discover about the cultivars is included in the guided tours of the site. A supervised, tailored wine sampling of all wines is included in the tasting room experience.

Do you know- Catawba County’s first winery is located on this 34-acre plot of property.

7. Glenn C. Hilton, Jr. Memorial Park

Glenn C. Hilton, Jr. Memorial Park

Location- 2000 6th St NW, Hickory, NC 28601

Glenn C. Hilton Jr. Memorial Park is a 2-mile circle route near Hickory, North Carolina that is highly frequented. If you’re searching for fun things to do in Hickory, go to Glenn C. Hilton Jr. Memorial Park, which has a canoe launch, horse pits, parks, and other family-friendly activities. Such a well park is the perfect spot for a relaxing lunch in one of the five picnic shelters.

Things to see- The disc golf course has a 24-hole layout where you may play. If you’re lucky, you could even see some cute birds in the trees. Plan on taking a walk along the wooded environmental boardwalk and feed the tiny ducks in adjacent Lake Hickory.

Do you know- 5 picnic shelters with tables and grills, 2 playgrounds, restrooms, gazebo, lit and paved walking route, nature boardwalk, and 18-hole disc golf course are all available in the park.

8. Hickory History Center

Hickory History Center
Hickory History Center

Location- 310 N. Center St, Hickory, NC 28601

Hickory History Center, often known as “Harper Mansion,” is a regional history museum in an aesthetically magnificent historic Victorian house that celebrates the town’s local heritage via different displays and artifacts. Consider a visit to the Harper House and Hickory History Center if you’re seeking informative and entertaining things to do in Hickory. Experience Victorian life in the South and know about Hickory’s story through the many prominent families that resided there.

Things to see- Inside the house, there are a few exhibitions with historic jewelry, cutlery, and apparel. The home is filled with exquisite furnishings, woodwork, and Victorian decor, as well as remarkable equipment and antiquities in the kitchen.

Do you know- The Hickory History Center, commonly known as the Lyerly House, is housed in a Queen Anne-style and Craftsman-style residence.

9. Henry Fork River Park

 Henry Fork River Park
Henry Fork River Park

Location- 5655 Sweet Bay Ln, Hickory, NC 28602

Spending time in the Henry Fork River Park, whether playing sports or having a picnic, is among the greatest things to do in Hickory, NC. This park, which has picnic shelters and a catering kitchen, is ideal for an outdoor party or celebration. It is the perfect spot in Hickory if you are here with your kids as along with an amazing landscape, it also offers several amenities.

Things to see- Visit the park’s canoe launch and go for a paddle, or visit the horseshoe pits and try your luck.

Do you know- Eight soccer fields, two playgrounds, an Alpine Tower ropes course, a paved walking track, and much more can be found at the Henry Fork River Park

10. Henry River Mill Village

Henry River Mill Village
Henry River Mill Village

Location- 4255 Henry River Rd Hickory, North Carolina 28602

The Henry River Mill Village, located in the lowlands between the mountains at Hildebran, North Carolina, is one of the few remaining examples of an untouched industrial district from the 1800s in the United States. If you’ve ever wondered what it was like to live in the impoverished and abandoned District 12 of The Hunger Games, a visit to this location is one of the finest things to do in Hickory to find out.

Things to see- There are tours of the town available, such as one that leads you through the region late in the evening while talking you about local ghost legends.

Do you know- For the early half of the twentieth century, the Henry River Mill Village was home to a cotton mill. The village’s industries were powered by water, which was considered cutting-edge technology at the time.

11.  L.P. Frans Stadium

 L.P. Frans Stadium
 L.P. Frans Stadium

Location- 2500 Clement Blvd NW Hickory, North Carolina 2860

The Hickory Crawdads / L.P. Frans Stadium, which opened in 1993, is the location of the local minor league baseball club, the Hickory Crawdads. This stadium is part of the things to do in Hickory list for enjoying a Hickory Crawdads baseball night out with family and friends, with exciting theme evenings, great fireworks, and additional netting to protect viewers. Take a seat in one of the 4,000 seats at L.P. Frans Stadium and enjoy a nice baseball game.

Things to see- Purchase Hickory Crawdads tickets to see them live. Relish Friday night fireworks while eating hotdogs, burgers, snacks, and pop on a party terrace reserved for your group.

Do you know- It was named after a local Pepsi company that contributed to the stadium’s development.

12. Downtown Hickory Farmer’s Market

Downtown Hickory Farmer’s Market
Downtown Hickory Farmer’s Market

Location- Union Square NW, Hickory, NC 28601

Hickory’s Farmer’s Market is a periodic marketplace where local food such as flowers, veggies, flowers, chickens, dairy, fruits, and more is sold by many merchants. Despite its modest size, the market is highly popular among both residents and tourists. It’s the finest location in town to try some of the town’s healthy organic vegetables. For shoppers, this is definitely on the list of favorite things to do in Hickory.

Things to see- Along with the veggies, there will be wonderful and fresh cans of tuna, chocolate teas, pies, and other delicacies to taste or consume while enjoying live entertainment and other fun things. This market also sells souvenirs, housewares, pottery, handcrafted cosmetics, and other items.

Do you know- The Downtown Hickory Farmers Market is a bi-weekly gathering place for local farmers, craftspeople, and other merchants to sell their produce, crafts, and other products and services.

Also Check Out: Things to do in Bakewell

13. Blowing Rock Brewery

Blowing Rock Brewery
Blowing Rock Brewery

Location- 883 Highland Avenue SE Hickory, North Carolina 28602

This little brewery has some of the world’s greatest homebrewed beer, including high-end fermentors and kettles. It’s a Hickory-based boutique microbrewery that serves delectable craft beers, as well as appetizers, pub fare, and wood-fired pizza. If you want to have a good time with your friends or family over liquor, this is on the list of most favorite things to do in Hickory.

Things to see- Take a guided tour of the brewer to understand the brewing process and see some of the greatest fermenters and kettles in the world. Once you are done with it After that, make sure you get your preferred chilled beer and along with excellent cuisine.

Do you know- Blowing Rock Brewery was established in 2007 to teach others about the art of making beer and some of the finest ways to enjoy it.

14. Backstreets Bar and Grill

Backstreets Bar and Grill
Backstreets Bar and Grill

Location- 246 14th Ave NE Hickory, North Carolina 28601

Although the firm moved to a tower a few feet away from the initial location, it has kept an essential neighborhood feature. The bar is well-stocked with a range of beers and wines for diners. Backstreets Bar and Grill boasts a unique collection of sports and bar memorabilia on its walls in addition to its food and drinks.

Things to see- Burgers, sandwiches, hand-cut steaks, salads, handmade pasta, and pizza are all on the menu at this bar and restaurant. If you are searching for some delicious food, add this place to one of the best things to do in Hickory list.

Do you know- Backstreets Bar and Grill originally opened its doors in 1996, at what used to be a barbeque joint.

15. Maple Grove

Maple Grove
Maple Grove

Location- 542 Second Street NE Hickory, North Carolina 28601

Located in Hickory, the place was once a residence of people who helped develop Hickory. To know about their life and history, this is the place to make it to the list of things to do in Hickory. The house has been restored to its original appearance from the 1800s and is one of the area’s oldest residences. Family artifacts, ranging from clothing to furniture, are displayed in each room.

Things to see- Explore its different rooms, which include bedrooms, a parlor, and a kitchen, and also look for their heirlooms, and apparel.

Do you know- The Shuford family helped develop Hickory, and Maple Grove, a farmhouse constructed in 1883, was their home.

16. Sam’s Hot Dog Stand

 Sam's Hot Dog Stand
Sam’s Hot Dog Stand

Location- P.O. Box 539, Waynesboro, Virginia 22980

The business quickly grew in popularity, and it eventually expanded to include a stand in the neighborhood. This hot dog business serves 100 percent beef hot dogs and allows you to customize your hot dog garnishes. Because of its vivid red and green canopy, customers will be able to readily locate the stand. Hot-dog lovers must wishlist this place on most favorite things to do in Hickory.

Things to see- Try their specialty on their menu. Also, they sell homemade ice-creams so do not forget to have one.

Do you know- Sam’s Hot Dog Stand was founded in West Virginia in 1983. The business quickly grew in popularity, and it eventually expanded to include a stand in the neighborhood.

17. Carolina Theater

Carolina Theater
Carolina Theater

Location- 222 1st Ave NW, Hickory, NC 28601

Are you looking for some entertaining things to do in Hickory? Why not go see a movie at the Carolina Theater with your mates? With new overhead lights, modernized rocking seats, and restored gorgeous hardwood flooring, you can relax and enjoy your movie.

Things to see- Before walking in to see the movie, stop by the concession stand and get some snacks, burgers, candies, and sodas.

Do you know- Since 1935, the Carolina Theater has been showing films. In its freshly refurbished facility, it now offers screens cheap second-run movies.


With a spectacular view of the lovely natural scenery, this city is extremely attractive. Lake Hickory runs through the city and is a popular spot for boating. Hickory is filled with living life and rich culture, with theaters, art galleries, historical centers, and much more. The places mentioned here are the best things to do in Hickory.

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