Living Here in Western North Carolina

Western North Carolina  is a wonderful place to live. Our many communities offer all of the amenities of a large city, but bask in small town charm. The area has much to offer, and is close to many other large cities.

Shopping
Western North Carolina, and Catawba Valley have many shopping opportunities. We are known world-wide for our furniture production, and the Hickory Furniture Mart is an immensely popular shopping destination. We also have several shopping districts which house most national retailers. Valley Hills Mall, in Hickory, offers 90 specialty stores, along with Belk, JC Penney, Dillards and Sears. It also features a beautiful carousel, and several play areas to keep the children entertained.

Outdoor Activities
Western North Carolina is a natural playground for outdoor activities. Catawba County offers an abundance of  parks, with each park offering different options. People travel from 100 miles away to play disc golf at Glenn Hilton Park, and Riverbend Park is a popular destination for hiking and canoeing. The area is home to Lake Hickory, which frequently hosts fishing tournaments.  It is one of the loveliest lakes in Western NC. Boating is a popular pastime, and there are 4 marinas on the lake.

Sports
Our region has a variety of sports. The Crawdads are a minor league baseball team located in Hickory. Their season runs from April to September. Our area also offers the Hickory Motor Speedway. It is often referred to as “The Most Famous Short Track” and “The Birthplace of NASCAR Stars”. Rock Barn Golf hosts the Greater Hickory Classic in June each year, and it draws National attention.

Arts
Western North Carolina is also known for its dedication to Arts. As far back as the 1830’s, Catawba County has been known for its pottery. Catawba County pottery has a distinctive alkaline (ash) glaze, and it is very collectible now.  Today, there are many opportunities for residents interested in the arts. We have the state’s second oldest art museum, several community theatres, a choral society, a symphony and a very active Arts Foundation. Our arts community is one of the strongest in the state.

Agencies
There are many agencies in the area that improve the quality of life. These include the Catawba Chamber of Commerce, the United Arts Council of Catawba County, Catawba County Parks and Recreation,  the Home Builders Association, the Tourist Development Authority and the Economic Development Corporation. Each of these fills a vital role in our community.

Healthcare
Our region is home to two exceptional hospitals. Frye Regional Medical Center has been rated the best hospital in the state for Cardiac care. Catawba Valley Medical Center is recognized as a top-notch hospital with excellent neonatal care.  There are also many private practices, and  assisted living facilities.

Worship
Our area is overflowing with opportunities for worship. Historically, many of the churches in the area have been Lutheran, and you will still notice an abundance of Lutheran churches as you ride around. You can see a short listing of churches, temples and mosques here, but we’ve only listed a handful.

Childcare
There are many options available for Childcare in our area. In fact, the large number of listings can be a little overwhelming. We’ve provided a list of daycare centers in Catawba County that have 4 or 5 stars to assist you in your search.

News Sources
In the Catawba Valley Region,  there are several ways to get news. We have two major newspapers: Hickory Daily Record, and The Observer News Enterprise. There are also several smaller papers with entertainment news, like The Focus. If you prefer to hear or watch your news, you can check out WHKY, our local radio station, or Channel 7, our local news television station.  You can also keep your eye on our site, where we post news frequently.

Whatever it is you like to do, you will find ample opportunities here. Western North Carolina is constantly shifting and growing, and becoming a better place to live.