Known for its furniture production and rugged natural beauty, the North Carolina Piedmont city of Hickory has a distinct charm. As a high tech center with great dining, the historic city continues to attract new residents.
People looking for apartments for rent in Hickory will find plenty to do in the surrounding foothills, whether they prefer golfing on nationally recognized courses or trekking among the beautiful fall colors of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Originally called Hickory Tavern after a log tavern that enjoyed the shade of a nearby hickory tree, the city of Hickory grew from a stagecoach and railroad stop into a major furniture and textile production hub in the 20th century. Today, Hickory's legacy lives on in the many furniture companies that still define the area, as well as in scenic parts of its downtown.
The city of around 40,000 is now also a defining part of emerging tech industries that include fiber optics and data storage. Residents of Hickory apartments can take advantage of the modern city's great outdoor surroundings and extensive shopping options, or enjoy a craft beer downtown as they take in its relaxed Southern pace of life.
Hickory has been the home of acclaimed Lenoir-Rhyne University since 1891, making it a long standing student hub. Hickory students can also enroll in degree programs at Catawba Valley Community College or take classes through Appalachian State University, which operates the Appalachian Center at Hickory.
The furniture business continues to play a big part in the Hickory economy, but recent years have also seen the expansion of high tech industry and manufacturing, with particular significance as a center of fiber optic cable production. Industry leaders Commscope and Corning Cable Systems are both headquartered in Hickory and provide major sources of jobs. The city is also the headquarters of tape manufacturer Shurtape and food distributor Merchants Distributors, which is the largest local employer. Hickory has become a data center hub for companies like Apple, and it still is a furniture manufacturing hub, with plants for companies such as Ethan Allen and the Hickory Chair Furniture Company, which has been operating in the city since 1911.
Hickory's relatively rural surroundings keep costs low, and it's no problem finding an apartment at a great price. Nearly half of Hickory residents rent, and there are a wide range of rental options available.
U.S. Census Bureau data showed the median gross rent from 2008 to 2010 was $616. Additional research found one bedroom apartments renting for between $500 and $1070 per month.
With its beautiful outdoor surroundings and its long history, it's no surprise that there is plenty in Hickory to keep residents busy. The greater metro area features a dozen golf courses, including PGA Tour stop Rock Barn Golf & Spa, home of the annual Greater Hickory Classic. Extensive local parkland includes access to the Catawba River, Lake Hickory and many other outdoor draws of the Blue Ridge foothills, with Lake James State Park, Pisgah National Forest and Lake Norman all just a short drive away.
Sports enthusiasts can watch the local minor league baseball team, the Hickory Crawdads, or check out a race at the Hickory Motor Speedway, which hosts regular events all summer long. The Catawba Science Center is another popular draw, while Hickory's cultural offerings include multiple community theaters, a symphony orchestra, one of the state's oldest art museums, and many other arts offerings through Lenoir-Rhyne University.
Hickory offers great dining and has become a draw for beer enthusiasts in particular, with local craft brewers, the annual Hickory Hope brewing festival and Hickory Oktoberfest. Many more downtown events help Hickory residents keep a full calendar.
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