Get A Free Moving Quote
  • All Fields Are Required

  • MM slash DD slash YYYY
  • Hidden

Moving to Hickory NC? 🌲 | Ultimate Guide to Living in Hickory North Carolina + Tips!

Last Updated on: 12th October 2023, 02:55 pm

Hickory is a city in western North Carolina. Hickory’s name comes from a tavern that was made of logs that sat beneath a hickory tree in the 1850s. The establishment was known as the “Hickory Tavern.” In 1870, the town was established as Hickory Tavern and then later renamed the City of Hickory in 1889. Today, Hickory is known for its affordable cost of living, gorgeous nature, and beautiful real estate. Hickory recently made U.S. News’s list of Best Places to Live and Best Places to Retire. As such, Hickory is a good place to live. If you are thinking about moving to Hickory, you will be pleased with the many benefits the city has to offer.

Where Is Hickory North Carolina?

Hickory is in Catawba County but also has formal boundaries extending into Burke and Caldwell counties. It is also the principal city of the Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton Metropolitan Statistical Area. The historic Lake Hickory is situated on the northern edge of the city and covers nearly 4,223 acres, and has 105 miles of shoreline.

Hickory is close to many popular North Carolina cities. It is 58 miles from Hickory, NC to Charlotte, NC, and 77 miles from Hickory, NC to Asheville, NC.

The Greenway Public Transportation System offers seven different bus routes around the Hickory area that also extend to the nearby cities of Conover and Newton. Although the bus system is handy, the most convenient way to travel in Hickory is by car.

Hickory Population & Demographics

The population of Hickory is 43,490, which is an 8.6% increase from 2010! Hickory is also the largest city in the Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton metropolitan area, which has a combined population of 365,276. There are many notable people from Hickory, including MLB player Jeff Barkley, singer Eric Church, and Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes.

Hickory Demographics:

  • Sex ratio: 52% female 48% male
  • Median age: 38.3
  • Racial and ethnic composition: 64.7 White, 13.9% Black or African American, 12.4% Hispanic or Latino, 5.6% Asian, 5.5% two or more races
  • Median household income: $53,117 (compared to the North Carolina average of $60,516)
  • Educational attainment: 89.3% high school degree (or higher), 36.7% bachelor’s degree (or higher)
  • Foreign-born population: 9.5%

Is Hickory, NC safe? The Hickory crime rate is 4,700 crimes per 100,000 people. This is 77.6% higher than the state average and 100.3% higher than the national average. The violent crime rate is 540 per 100,000 people, which is 28.8% higher than the state average and 39.3% higher than the national average. The property crime rate in Hickory is 4,160 per 100,000 people. This is 86.8% higher than the state average and 112.4% higher than the national average. Although these numbers may seem alarming at first, it is important to understand that most of the crime in the area is concentrated in small areas where the nightlife activity and poverty rates are higher. 

Hickory is a safe place to live. Crime in Hickory is on a downward trend, and the city is taking measures to make the area safe for its citizens. The city recently passed a $40 million bond referendum to revitalize the area.

When living in Hickory NC, you will be served by the Hickory Police Department. The department currently has 112 officers on the force.

Cost of Living in Hickory NC

Hickory is an affordable place to live. U.S. News recently ranked Hickory as the #1 most affordable place to live in the United States. The Cost of Living Index in Hickory is 88.2. This means that the Hickory, NC cost of living is 11.8% more affordable than the national average Cost of Living Index of 100.

According to the Economic Policy Institute, a family of four would need to earn $74,291 per year to afford to live in Hickory. This is around $6,041 per month.

Typical Hickory Living Expenses

  • Average Hickory NC utilities per month: $77.50
  • A gallon of gas: $3.09
  • A gallon of milk: $3.55
  • Gym membership: $7.00
  • Cappuccino: $4.25
  • Child care (monthly): $1,017

Source: Numbeo

Searching for Hickory, NC homes for sale? The Hickory, NC real estate market is booming. The average home price in Hickory, NC is $270,000. This is much cheaper than the United States average of $388,211.

Thinking about renting Hickory, North Carolina real estate? The average Hickory rent is $1,443 per month. This is much cheaper than other nearby cities such as Charlotte, where the average rent is $1,667, and Raleigh, where the average rent is $1,630.

Hickory Neighborhoods | Where to Live in Hickory NC

When moving to Hickory, you will want to choose a neighborhood that best suits your specific needs. Here are a few of the most popular neighborhoods in Hickory, NC.

Downtown Hickory | Busy Area Perfect for Couples and Young Professionals

Downtown is one of the best places to live in Hickory, NC, for those who enjoy apartment living. Living in Downtown Hickory puts you within walking distance of some of the city’s best shopping, dining, and entertainment options.

Kenworth | Beautiful Neighborhood Great for Raising a Family

Kenworth is the city of Hickory’s first planned subdivision and is the ideal spot for those moving to Hickory with kids. The neighborhood is home to Kiwanis Park, which is a great place for kids to play. Kenworth is also close to many top-rated schools, such as Longview Elementary School and Grandview Middle School. The average Kenworth home price is $163,000.

Ridgeview | Quiet Community Ideal for Retirees

If you are moving to Hickory to retire, then you should consider the beautiful area of Ridgeview. Ridgeview is known for its charming one-story houses and lamp-lined streets. Although the area is quiet, there are many churches, shops, and cafes in the area to keep you busy. The average home price in Ridgeview is $160,000.

Hickory North Carolina Weather & Climate

According to the Köppen Classification, Hickory has a humid subtropical climate. This means that the weather in Hickory, North Carolina is all over the map, with hot, humid summers and cool, mild winters. The hottest month of the year in Hickory is July, with an average high of 87ºF. The coldest month of the year is January, with an average low of 32ºF.

You will want to pack your rain jacket when moving to Hickory! The wet season lasts 3.8 months, from May 4 to August 29. During this time, there is a 32% chance of rain on any given day.

Things to Do in Hickory NC

There are many fun things to do in Hickory, NC. You have many grocery shopping options, such as Walmart, Publix, and Food Lion. There are also plenty of retail shopping options at the Valley Hills Mall and the Hickory Plaza. Here are just a few of the best things to do in Hickory, North Carolina.

Glenn C. Hilton, Jr. Memorial Park

The Glenn C. Hilton, Jr. Memorial Park is one of the best free things to do in Hickory. You can spend the entire day at this park enjoying the walking trails, canoeing opportunities, playgrounds, and nature boardwalk.

Glenn C. Hilton, Jr. Memorial Park, 2000 6th St NW, Hickory, NC 28601, (828) 322-7046

Hickory Aviation Museum

The Hickory Aviation Museum is located inside the former terminal of the Hickory Regional Airport. This museum is a great way for people of all ages to learn about the history of aviation.

Hickory Aviation Museum, 3101 9th Ave Dr NW, Hickory, NC 28601, (828) 323-1963

Catawba Science Center

If you are searching for things to do in Hickory with kids, then look no further than the Catawba Science Center. This 35,000 square-foot science museum features dozens of hands-on activities for kids to enjoy. It also has a large aquarium with sharks and a planetarium!

Catawba Science Center, 243 3rd Ave NE, Hickory, NC 28601, (828) 322-8169

Additional Attractions in Hickory

Looking for more things to do in Hickory, NC? The City of Hickory manages several parks and recreation centers in the area. You can also check out the City of Hickory events calendar to find upcoming events in the area!

Hickory NC Restaurants

There is no shortage of great restaurants in Hickory, NC. The city is home to some of the best cuisine in the state. Here are just a few of the best restaurants in Hickory, North Carolina.

Olde Hickory Station

The Olde Hickory Station is a unique restaurant located in the city’s old train station. Stop by for casual American fare during breakfast, lunch, or dinner 7 days a week.

Olde Hickory Station, 232 Government Ave SW, Hickory, NC 28602, (828) 322-2356

Cafe Rule & Wine Bar

Cafe Rule & Wine Bar is one of the best restaurants in Hickory, NC. This upscale restaurant serves Southern-inspired cuisine as well as wines and cocktails from around the world.

Cafe Rule & Wine Bar, 242 11th Ave NE, Hickory, NC 28601, (828) 324-2005


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Cafe Rule & Wine Bar (@caferule)


KOBE is a unique Japanese-style steakhouse where the food is cooked directly in front of you. Stop by to enjoy steak, sushi, and seafood!

KOBE, 1103 13th Ave Dr SE, Hickory, NC 28602, (828) 328-5688

Jobs in Hickory North Carolina

Looking for jobs in Hickory, North Carolina? There are many options for you to choose from. Some of the largest industries in Hickory include manufacturing, education, and healthcare. Hickory’s top employers include Catawba Valley Medical Center, Hickory Springs Manufacturing, and Corning Inc.

According to PayScale, the average salary in Hickory is $63,000. If you are looking for a job, try checking out the city job board or search for ‘Hickory North Carolina jobs’ on Indeed.

Hickory Schools

Students living in Hickory, NC are served by the Hickory Public School System. HPS serves over 4,000 students across 16 different schools. There are also many higher education options in Hickory, with schools such as Catawba Valley Community College, Lenoir-Rhyne University, and Appalachian Center at Hickory.

When living in Hickory, you will have access to the City of Hickory Library System.

Hickory NC Statistics & Information

  • County: Catawba, Burke, Caldwell
  • Hickory area: 31.14 square miles
  • Hickory zip code: 28601-28603
  • Hickory area code: 828
  • Hickory elevation: 1,188 feet
  • Hickory time zone: Eastern Time Zone (EST)
  • Closest airport to Hickory: Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT), 51 miles away

Hickory NC Map

Explore more things to do, restaurants, and amenities with this map of Hickory, NC.

If you are ready to make your move to Hickory, then let our Hickory, NC movers help you. Our licensed and insured team can help you with all of your relocation needs. Call Make a Move today at (704) 378-8588 to discuss your move and get a free estimate!


  • All Fields Are Required

  • MM slash DD slash YYYY

Search by Category

Search For more helpful Resources

Check Out Our Related posts