13 Best Places and Things To Do in Hickory, North Carolina

Hickory, North Carolina is a charming city located in Catawba County. Nestled in the foothills of the stunning Blue Ridge Mountains, Hickory offers a mix of natural beauty, cultural attractions, and a rich history. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, a history buff, or someone seeking a vibrant community, Hickory has plenty to offer. Here are some of the best places to visit and things to do in Hickory.

1. Henry River Mill Village


Image Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_River_Mill_Village,_North_Carolina

Henry River Mill Village is a historic and picturesque location situated in Burke County, North Carolina, near Hildebran. This quaint village has gained recognition for its preservation of a bygone era and its connection to literature and film.

2. Catawba Science Center

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If you’re traveling with family or have a curious mind, head to the Catawba Science Center. This interactive science museum offers hands-on exhibits, live animal encounters, a planetarium, and educational programs. It’s a great place for kids and adults to learn and have fun together.

3. Hickory Museum of Art

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Start your exploration by visiting the Hickory Museum of Art, which houses a diverse collection of American art. The museum features rotating exhibitions, showcasing various art styles and mediums. It’s an excellent place to appreciate both local and national artists.

4. Hickory History Center


Image Source: https://www.catawbahistory.org/our-sites/harper-house-hickory-history-center

Immerse yourself in the history of Hickory by visiting the Harper House/Hickory History Center. This beautifully restored Victorian-era home provides a glimpse into the city’s past. Explore the exhibits, learn about the Civil War era, and take a guided tour to uncover the stories behind this historic landmark.

5. Hickory Aviation Museum

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The Hickory Aviation Museum, located in Hickory, North Carolina, is a fascinating destination for aviation enthusiasts and history buffs. This museum is dedicated to preserving and showcasing the rich aviation heritage of the region. The museum features a collection of historic aircraft that span various eras of aviation. Visitors can marvel at vintage planes, helicopters, and other aircraft meticulously restored to their former glory. The exhibits provide an up-close look at the engineering, design, and technological advancements of these flying machines.

6. Bakers Mountain Park

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For outdoor enthusiasts and hikers, Bakers Mountain Park is a hidden gem. This scenic park offers several trails of varying difficulties, providing opportunities to enjoy nature and stunning views from the summit. Pack a picnic and spend a day exploring the trails and wildlife.

7. Maple Grove


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Maple Grove is a common name for various locations throughout North America. While I can provide a general description of what a place named Maple Grove might be like, please note that I don’t have specific information about any particular Maple Grove location. Maple Grove typically refers to a scenic area characterized by an abundance of maple trees. It evokes images of serene landscapes, beautiful foliage, and a tranquil atmosphere. A typical Maple Grove might be a small town, a park, a neighborhood, or even a forested area.

8. Glenn C Hilton Jr Memorial Park

Glenn Hilton Signage

Image Source: https://www.hickorync.gov/glenn-hilton-park

The park is situated on the shores of Geitner-Rotary Park Lake, providing a beautiful backdrop of water and nature. The serene atmosphere and well-maintained green spaces make it an ideal place to relax, unwind, and enjoy the outdoors. Glenn C Hilton Jr Memorial Park features walking trails that wind through the park, offering opportunities for leisurely strolls or more active exercise. The trails meander through wooded areas, providing a peaceful setting for nature enthusiasts and walkers alike.

9. Geitner-Rotary Park


Image Source: https://www.hickorync.gov/rotary-geitner-park

Lake within the park offers fishing opportunities for visitors. Anglers can cast their lines from the shore or bring their boats to explore the lake’s waters. Common fish species in the lake include bass, catfish, and sunfish.

10. Lowes Foods City Park


Image Source: https://www.hickorync.gov/lowes-foods-city-park

The park offers a playground area for children, equipped with swings, slides, and other play structures. It provides a safe and enjoyable space for kids to have fun and burn off energy. Lowes Foods City Park has picnic tables and benches available for visitors to relax and enjoy outdoor meals. It’s a great spot for family picnics, gatherings, or simply enjoying a meal surrounded by nature.

11. Kiwanis Park

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Kiwanis Park features playgrounds that cater to different age groups, providing a safe and fun environment for children to enjoy. The playgrounds are equipped with swings, slides, climbing structures, and other play equipment. The park offers picnic areas with tables and benches, making it a great spot for picnics and outdoor gatherings. Visitors can bring their own meals and enjoy a leisurely picnic surrounded by the park’s natural beauty.

12. Shuford House & Gardens


Image Source: https://www.theshufordhouseandgardens.com/

The Shuford House & Gardens is a historic property located in Hickory, North Carolina. This historic house and its surrounding gardens provide visitors with a glimpse into the region’s past and offer a serene and beautiful setting to explore. The centerpiece of the property is the Shuford House, a historic home that dates back to the early 1900s. The house showcases architectural features and interior design elements from that era, providing a window into the lifestyle of the time. Guided tours may be available to provide insights into the history and significance of the house.

13. Lake Hickory Trails


Image Source: https://www.hickorync.gov/lake-hickory-trails

Lake Hickory Trails refer to a network of trails that surround Lake Hickory, a reservoir located in the Catawba Valley region of North Carolina. These trails offer opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts to explore the natural beauty of the lake and its surrounding areas. The trails around Lake Hickory provide options for hiking and walking at various skill levels. You can find both easy, leisurely trails suitable for a casual stroll and more challenging paths for avid hikers. The trails often wind through scenic woodlands, providing beautiful views of the lake.

These are just a few of the highlights that Hickory, North Carolina has to offer. Whether you’re interested in art, nature, history, or simply exploring the local culture, Hickory has something for everyone to enjoy.