Hickory, Granite Falls and beyond

Well, yesterday was all about what this blog is all about. I left Asheville around 11 and was in Hickory by around noon. Several hours of shopping later we got back to Asheville by five. Think about it. That’s six hours. And I got to see Hickory, Granite Falls, a bit of Morganton and a bit beyond. And the weather was incredible. Overcast with cool temperatures.

Hickory is a good sized city with a picturesque downtown. I was in a bit of a hurry, so I didn’t spend as much time there as I’d like to. Still, it was a pleasant experience and I got a couple of really good photographs. When we were there they had the nicest farmer’s market right downtown. But I was on a schedule so I had to keep going.

We took 321 north toward Granite Falls. We could have gone up to Lenoir, Boone and Blowing Rock. These are all well within an hour of Hickory. But we were on a schedule, so we limited ourselves to Granite Falls.

The drive up 321 is interesting for a couple of reasons. Hickory has a huge furniture industry around it. Some of the plants are still in use, some aren’t. There are lots of furniture outlets on the drive up 321. If you need furniture you should come browse Hickory and Lenoir. I’d recommend two trips (unless you already have truck) since they may not offer what you’re looking for. But they probably will. There are other outlets here as well. One that stood out to me was a sock outlet, but there are others.

Granite Falls is a really neat town. It has a very good branch of the Caldwell County Library and two museums.

I strolled around the downtown taking a few photos. This next one is their library. There’s alot more there than meets the eye. In the back corner they have a really nifty corner wall built around some stairs. It looks just like a pirate ship. Its a really great library.

Granite Falls is home to the headquarters of the Bank of Granite.

It also is home to two museums. Regrettably both were closed when I stopped by and that’s one reason I’m definitely going back.

The first photo is the Granite Falls History and Transportation Museum. It is on the way out of town and has a nice big parking lot behind it.

The second is the Soda Machine Museum, operated by the Antiquities Vending Company. Although the museum was not  open the staff of the Company were nice enough to explain a bit about the museum. The Antiquities Vending Company is a supplier of soft drinks in glass bottles. The museum building evidently also houses a event venue, the Club Cola Reception and Banquet Hall. Evidently the owner of the company is really into vintage soda machines and has amassed a collection from all around. This is definitely something I plan to visit again. Check out their selection of soda at www.antiquevending.com.

Granite Falls is a great place to visit, relax and shop. It has a wonderful selection of stores, ranging from big box national chains located out on Highway 321 to smaller boutique shops.

And that was my trip to Hickory and Granite Falls. Its a great place, only an hour away from Asheville on easy roads with only one big mountain. Its a trip that can include Black Mountain, Swannanoa, Ridgecrest, Montreat, Old Fort, Marion and Morganton. So I’d say this will definitely help you save gasoline. Keep checking in to hear about when I go back.

3 responses to “Hickory, Granite Falls and beyond

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