1. Get to know the city by walking around Union Square. The city’s doorstep is home to a collection of shops, restaurants, and pubs. A farmers market runs two days a week, April through November, and the brick-paved square hosts events throughout the year.

2. Join an estimated 500,000 visitors from the United States and other countries who flock annually to the Hickory Furniture Mart, a sprawling complex of factory outlets, custom showrooms, and private galleries. Find furniture of any style for any room in the house. Just make sure to bring your walking shoes.

3. Looking to stay indoors for a bit? Housed in the city’s cultural arts complex near downtown, the Catawba Science Center and the Hickory Museum of Art offer a wealth of exhibitions, educational programs for adults and children, and a planetarium and aquarium.

4. When it’s time to eat, check out the local favorite Windy City Grill. For a sweet treat, don’t miss the red velvet cake ice cream at Udderly Delicious Homemade Ice Cream.

5. Finish the day cheering on the Hickory Crawdads. Baseball’s roots are deep in Catawba County, dating back to the competition between mill teams around the turn of the century. Since 1993, the Class A Crawdads have been a mainstay each April through September. If you’re looking for a thrill, you can also check out the schedule at Hickory Motor Speedway.

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