Whether you're planning a day trip or a weekend getaway we invite you to take a look at these sample itineraries we have pulled together. You may decide to sample from a couple different ones and that's just fine! We want you to feel at home and pick adventures that best suit your life.
Feast your eyes upon all the great foodie spots in the Hickory Metro.
Breakfast: with the most important meal of the day first, we suggest starting your day at:
Frothy Rooster – is a fresh and fun breakfast stop in Downtown Hickory. They offer breakfast plates, specialty drinks, sandwiches, salads, sushi, sweets, and much more.
Sunday Brunch: this just hits differently than other meals.
Cafe Rule and Wine Bar – offering locally sourced eclectic cuisine and an extensive, global wine list in an upscale yet casual setting. Great for Sunday brunch or dinner!
Mas Amor Cantina – is your neighborhood Tex-Mex restaurant with solid North Carolina roots that will keep you craving more!
Lunch: After a good start to the day and a walk around Union Square, your next stop should be at one of these fantastic spots:
Hatch Sandwich Shop – offers locally sourced ingredients in their sandwiches, plates, salads, and sides. Hatch also has a variety of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages available.
Plant Base Boss – is a 100% plant-based and vegan restaurant offering the yummiest and healthiest food options!
Dinner is where the party really starts with mouth-watering experiences at every turn!
Charolais Steakhouse – serves amazing steaks! They offer a full menu that includes seafood, chicken, appetizers, and their famous homemade soup, salad, and cheese bar. In addition, they have a world-class selection of wines and cocktails.
Cowa Saké – brings an urban fusion concept to the heart of downtown Hickory! Their vibe is the most fun, with fresh ingredients, and even elevate your experience with flaming desserts to tableside smoked sushi rolls and cocktails, popping flavor bubble martinis, and dry iced cocktails and mocktails, they promise you an evening like no other.
Standard Oyster Co. – indulge in a chilled seafood platter, steamed shellfish, or another classic American fare. Oyster Happy Hour 4 pm-6 pm.
Boca – specializes in Mediterranean dishes and tapas, including seafood and marinated olives with an at-home family feel.
Mas Amor Cantina – is so good that we had to mention it again in the dinner section. Also, they have fabulous margaritas.
Helpful Hint: Plan ahead and make those reservations. We would hate for you to miss out on one of our show-stopper restaurants.
This is a short list of our amazing culinary scene, for more restaurants, breweries, and pubs click here!
Grab a quick lunch at Backstreets Bar and Grill – which offers a diverse menu, including hand-cut steaks, burgers, wings, fresh seafood, pasta, and wraps. They have now also added homemade pizzas to their list, baked in a hot stone-fired pizza oven.
Let that artistic side show at Bisque n Beads where you can craft your heart out.
Enjoy a scoop of the 40+ flavors of ice cream and a round of 13 holes of mini golf at Udderly Delicious on HWY 70.
Tour the Hickory Aviation Museum for FREE/donations. There you can get up close and personal touring planes and helicopters.
Dive Bar Hickory is not just for adults! Dive Bar is kid-friendly until 8 pm featuring all kinds of arcade games.
Take in America’s favorite sport at a Crawdads baseball game with Friday Fireworks.
Start your day at Rock Barn Country Club & Spa with mimosas, massages, and more. The Spa at Rock Barn has been known to have a relaxing and state-of-the-art spa, championship golf, and other 5-star services and amenities for members and guests. Their reputation of being a premier spot for golf and more precedes them.
Delight in an eclectic lunch in Downtown Hickory. Notions is a farm-fresh comfort food restaurant.
Get some retail therapy at our local boutiques, specializing in clothing, home decor, and more right on Union Square in Downtown Hickory! When walking around take advantage of our social distinct and stop by the Hickory Wine Shoppe for an excellent drink.
Another great place to wind down is, 3 Little Birds Corks & More, this is a great place for fantastic wine and snacks.
Finish your day with the gals at a local favorite, Cafe Rule & Wine Bar. The patio and lighted garden area make their outdoor dining a true delight.
Play in Our Parks
Bakers Mountain Park – easy-to-advanced trails are a haven for hikers and are often used as a training ground for tackling the Appalachian Trail. The park’s trail system ascends over creeks and through mature Chestnut Oak forest to a mountaintop observation deck with stunning year-round views.
Mountain Creek Park – Catawba County’s newest outdoor destination features 18.7 miles of biking and hiking trails, including several bike-only sections, with enough combinations to ensure you rarely have to take the same route twice. Other major amenities include an adventure playground, pickleball courts, a dog park, and lake access for paddling and fishing.
Riverbend Park – Visitors to this park also enjoy hiking, biking, river access for paddling, a dog park, and an observation deck perfect for viewing Oxford Dam or casting a line.
St. Stephens Park – Whatever you decide to do at St. Stephens, don’t forget to bring your dog. The park’s signature one-acre off-leash dog park offers unfettered playtime for Fido and has become a beloved hangout for locals and their four-legged companions. This suburban oasis on the outskirts of Hickory also features a playground, horseshoe pits, a paved Literacy Trail, and a wooded 1/3-mile hiking loop.
The Catawba County Park System offers countless options to fulfill your itch for exploring the outdoors. Learn more about the Catawba County Park System and all the parks in our community at www.catawbacountyparks.org.
Pro Tip: After burning all those calories biking, hiking, or kayaking it's time for a hearty meal and a good brew! Stop by Cranford Brothers BBQ to curve that appetite and walk just around the corner to City Walk Brewery which is family and pet-friendly with an outdoor patio for the perfect craft beer.
Hickory, NC, is a place where old stories meet new imaginations. Dive into our rich history and learn how Hickory was founded in a tavern!
Breakfast: Old Hickory Station – dine in a refurbished train depot.
Lunch: Claremont Cafe – one of the best hole-in-the-wall burger places. (They only take CASH.)
Dinner: Vintage House Restaurant – this upscale restaurant is formerly the Abernethy Home of 1915. The Vintage House has a world-class wine list and impeccable signature dishes.
• The History Museum of Catawba County testifies to the hardy settlers of the Catawba River Valley and their resourceful descendants who carved a world-renowned furniture and textile empire out of the backwoods. Free Admission.
• Bunker Hill Covered Bridge is one of the last surviving covered bridges in NC, built in 1894.
• The Harper House was built in 1887 featuring traditional Queen Anne architectural elements. Tours are available.
• Murray’s Mill is a turn-of-the-century gristmill with a 28-foot waterwheel built in 1913. The grounds are open during daylight hours.
Bonus Activity: Hart Square Village is the world’s largest collection of 1800’s log cabins. From corn cribs and barns to houses and chapels, the Hart Square Village has preserved over 100+ original structures. Every cabin is furnished with Appalachian antiques, accurately displaying the various professions and nineteenth-century experiences. Annual Festival in October!
All About The Arts
Crafting and making are a big part of the Hickory Metro area. From murals and building furniture to pottery and music, we would love to share our beautiful art scene.
Taste Full Beans Coffee, Tea, and Cafe has a massive specialty coffee and tea selection. They also have a significant selection of gluten-free, vegan, and vegetarian items. Art is a BIG part of who they are, this coffeehouse features several local artists and serves as a gallery for our community. One of the owners is even a distinguished poet.
Hickory Museum of Art is the second oldest art museum in NC. It is home to a large collection of Southern Folk Art, rotating exhibitions, and much more. They offer tours and summer camp programs.
If the theatre is calling your name, two of our local theatres, The Green Room Community Theatre and The Hickory Community Theatre, are sure to put a smile on your face with intriguing and engaging performances.
Enjoy dinner with a twist and unconventional cocktails at FOURK.
See if you can find all our murals in our metro! Click here for a full list.