Driving in Hickory is quite easy, although the remaining one-way streets and eclectic street naming conventions can be somewhat bewildering. If you get lost, just ask a local and say you're from out of town. They'll refrain from an age-old Hickory tradition of giving directions based on where things "used to be". Please remember, though, to always be polite when talking to locals under any circumstance. For instance, if you just barge in to somebody and ask how to get to the interstate, for example, your reception will be decidedly less-than-friendly and you won't get your answer, either. The phrases "excuse me", "please", and "thank you" go a long way.
Given Hickory's German heritage and heavy Lutheran influences, it's no surprise that beer is easy to find and fun to ingest among friends in Hickory.
Stay away from South Center Street. Everywhere else is relatively safe. Avoid the intersection of Highway 70 and Lenoir Rhyne Boulevard at rush hour.