Located north-west of Charlotte, Hickory originated as a log-built tavern in the 1850s and is home to one of the oldest furniture manufacturers in the United States, Hickory White. In the wake of World War II, it was the site of a rapidly-executed cooperative effort to treat polio that became known as the “Miracle of Hickory”.
Things to do in Hickory
American artwork dating from the 19th to 21st centuries are exhibited at the Hickory Museum of Art, which is one of the oldest museums in North Carolina. In addition to paintings by Wilford Conrow and Henry Hobart Nichols, it houses glass artwork, high-speed photography and Southern contemporary folk art. Also of note is the museum’s collection of American art pottery and paintings from the Hudson River School.
Travelling with kids? They’ll love getting hands-on with the nature and earth-inspired displays of the Catawba Science Center, which also hosts regular field trips. Get up close to sharks and stingrays in the fresh and saltwater aquariums before settling into the state-of-the-art digital planetarium theatre for an immersive sound and laser show. Travelling exhibitions are also showcased at the Catawba Science Center throughout the year.
Occupying the former terminal building of Hickory Regional Airport is the Hickory Aviation Museum, which was established following the restoration of a North American FJ-3 Fury by the Sabre Society. See a Lockheed Shooting Star, a Sikorsky Sea King and a de Haviland Vampire, then browse the model aircraft, aviation memorabilia and uniforms dating back to World War II.
Getting around Hickory
Hickory is around an hour’s drive from Charlotte and Charlotte Douglas International Airport, which has flights to destinations across North America. Buses travel to Hickory and connect most of its attractions.