Nestled in the crook of Lake Hickory, the town of Hickory borders North Carolina's northwestern mountains. About 60% of the nation's furniture is produced within a 200-mile radius of Hickory so its no wonder furniture is a "theme" here. Nearby Statesville sits at the junction of two major interstates, I-40 and I-77, and has ties to NASCAR racing. Both towns offer outdoor activities and historic spots.
Several furniture sales and festivals draw visitors to Hickory throughout the year. Visit Catawba Furniture Mall with more than eight acres of furnishings and Hickory Furniture Mart with more than 100 galleries, showrooms and factory outlets. Catawba Valley Furniture Museum explores the roots of furniture in the area. Other don't miss sites include Catawba Valley Arts & Science Center, Hickory Museum of Art and Maple Grove, a restored Victorian mansion.
Statesville's historic downtown includes both commercial and residential structures deemed historic. Located in the 1899 Water Pump Station, Iredell Museum of Arts and Heritage presents historic artifacts, glassware and portrait miniatures. Evernham Motorsports is Statesville's connection to NASCAR racing. The 90,000 square foot facility is where the Evernham team prepares and maintains its race cars. A race shop and museum featuring exhibits on Bill Elliott, Jeremy Mayfield and Kasey Kahne is on site.
Outdoor activities include a visit to the Town of Love Valley, an authentic old West town with rodeo arena, riding trails, restaurants, camping and shops. Tour over 3,000 acres of historic gardens at Allison Woods, which includes examples of almost every native habitat of the area. Nearby Lake Norman State Park offers camping, boating, fishing and swimming.
Accommodations are bountiful in these two areas and range from hotels/motels to inns and B & Bs. Dining runs the gamut here from fast food to casual to fine dining.
Hickory is located about 80 miles northeast of Asheville, NC off I-40. Statesville is located about 110 miles northeast of Asheville at the junction of I-40 and I-77.