Hickory : North carolina


What It Is Like to Retire in Hickory

Hickory is a growing town of about 41,000 people in western North Carolina (Catawba County). The much larger metro comprises several other town.  The town got its name from the first building there, the Hickory Tavern. Hickory was named an "All-American City" three times and was also named the 10th best place to live and raise a family in the United States by Readers Digest. The area has a robust economy with furniture, fiber optics, and pressure sensitive tape being some of the local products. Along with nearby High Point, this area is considered by many to be the "Furniture Capital" of the U.S. There is a college (Lenoir-Ryne) and a community college in town. Photo of Lenoir-Rhyne University courtesy of Wikipedia and Vitusha232 (public domain); photo of Union Square Down Town Hickory courtesy of Wikipedia and Netmogul (public domain). Watch this short Youtube video presented by CityofHickory:

Where to Retire in Hickory and Home Prices

The median price of a home in Hickory was about $194,505 in early 2021, according to Zillo, and a 8.8% rise over the past year. The Hickory area and all of western North Carolina has many active adult and 55+ communities - search in our NC Active Adult Directory to find them.


What Is Special about Hickory

Lake Hickory, formed by the Oxford Dam, was named  for the city. The lake covers almost 4,223 acres. Lenoir-Rhyne University has more than 1,000 students; there is also Catawba Community College with over 2,000 students.  One of the oldest furniture companies in the world is here, the Hickory Manufacturing Company. The city has won numerous awards as a great place to live.

What Is Not Special about Hickory

If you are looking for a warm place to spend the winter this might not be a good choice.

Who Will Like Retirement in Hickory

People looking for a low-key town in western NC, a place where there is a fair amount going on and also near the mountains, might like Hickory.

Local Economy Is Driven by

The area's economy is quite diverse. Wagon wheel manufacturing evolved into furniture making. Now there are other high tech industries including a new billion dollar data center near town built for Apple. Hickory is home to one of the oldest furniture manufacturers in the United States that is still located and operated on the original site. Hickory White, formerly known as Hickory Manufacturing Company, was built in 1902 and has been in continuous operation ever since.

Climate and Physical Environment

Hickory is in western North Carolina. The average July high is 88 and the average January low is 29. The wettest month is March (5").

Restaurants & Cultural Scene

There is an art museum, aviation museum, Choral Society, Western Piedmont Symphony, and TheatreWorks.  Lenoir-Ryne University has some cultural offerings. Furniture shoping is a big thing in Hickory.


The crime rate is quite high, almost double the national average.

Medical Facilities

There are 2 medical centers in town: Catawba Valley Medical Center and Frye Regional Medical Center.


Hickory Regional Airport (does not have scheduled service)

Valuable Links

Catawba Chamber of Commerce

What people are saying about Hickory

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