Family Travel: A Trip to Mayberry in Mount Airy North Carolina

A recent trip home through North Carolina drove us right past Mount Airy, North Carolina.  From the interstate, we were able to notice a few signs referencing Mayberry.  Well--growing up with Andy Griffith fans in my house, I was all too familiar with Mayberry and The Andy Griffith Show.  I could also clearly remember Mt. Pilot referenced often on the television show--and we found ourselves wondering if the nearby Pilot Mountain and all of the Mayberry references would lead us to something interesting in Mount Airy.  Sure enough, Mount Airy, North Carolina, is home to Andy Griffith's birthplace and childhood home, The Andy Griffith Museum and Playhouse, and to a little section of historic Mount Airy devoted to Griffith's Mayberry.  Mount Airy has set up quite a trip down memory lane for fans of The Andy Griffith Show!  What should you know about a trip to Airy, North Carolina?

Plan a visit to The Andy Griffith Museum & Playhouse. 

Our quick visit to Mayberry was poorly timed--and we were disappointed to find that the museum and playhouse were not open. We arrived too late on a Saturday night and our itinerary required that we leave too early on Sunday! The museum is home to the largest collection of Andy Griffith memorabilia--including items from both his days as Sheriff Andy Taylor and as attorney Ben Matlock--and numerous items donated from other cast members of The Andy Griffith Show.

We visited the General Store by "Wally's Filling Station".  Mount Airy has created replicas of some of the most remembered landmarks from The Andy Griffith Show.  Several are located in one little strip.  Be sure to stop by the General Store--it's really a gift shop that serves as the staging ground for the Mayberry Squad Car Tours.  Visitors will find loads of nostalgic Mayberry star photos--and locals ready to share a wealth of information and memories.  Everyone was extremely friendly--and ready to share both their love of Mayberry and their own Mount. Airy.

The girls enjoyed some cinnamon candy sticks, the husband chatted with the costumed "deputy" preparing to journey through town with a group on the sightseeing tour of Mayberry, and I spent a bit hearing a little "insider" information on the show's cast.

We actually visited the morning we heard the news that actor James Best had passed away.  You may remember James Best as the bumbling Roscoe P. Coltrane from the Dukes of Hazzard--but, he was was also a recurring guest star on the The Andy Griffith Show as Jim Lindsay.


It seems Best was also a frequent visitor to Mayberry Days and Mount Airy over the years.

We were able to visit the repilica of the Mayberry Court House.  

Sitting behind the sheriff's desk, walking through the cells--especially Otis' special cell--was fun for the girls.

The historic cars were fun.. 

Remember The Darlins?

If you Visit Mount Airy, North Carolina

Check the hours of operation and event calendars for the attractions.  While the museum and replica spaces are only open during certain hours of the day--the town has a very active event calendar.  Check out the museum event calendar or the Surry Arts Council calendar for happenings throughout town--especially for later evenings. 

Take the Squad Car Tour of Mayberry.  Rather than driving yourselves around Mount Airy in search of the Mayberry sites, you may opt to take an official Squad Car Tour.  The costumed "deputy" begins the tour at Wally's Fillin' Station, then takes riders down main street to check out sites like the Blue Bird Diner, Floyd's Barber shop, Snappy Lunch and Andy Griffith's original homeplace.  The tour is priced by the carload--and is suitable for all ages. 

Spend the night in Andy Griffith's boyhood home.  The property is owned and maintained by a hotel chain--and is available for overnight guests.  At the time of this writing, check-in and reservations are made through the Mount Airy Hampton Inn

Head to town during Mayberry Days.  Mayberry Days  is an annual event in Mount Airy.  Fans flock to town for parades, festival fun, special celebrity visits, and various events throughout the city.  Some of the events require tickets--so be sure to check out the Mayberry Days website if you plan to attend.

Check out the other Mount Airy area attractions.
Visitors will also find the Old Time Music Heritage Hall at the Historic Earle Theatre.   We missed the boat on this one since we weren't aware that the Theatre was open on Saturday night for a movie night!  Apparently--the theatre is home to a weekly, Thursday night, bluegrass music jam session as well! 

Near the museum--the Surry Arts Council also operates a Siamese Twins Exhibit.  The first known conjoined twins were from Siam--and helped coin the term "Siamese Twins"--and settled in an area near Mount Airy.

Giving the fictitious Mt. Pilot from  The Andy Griffith Show its name; nearby Pilot Mountain is a must see on your visit to "Mayberry".  The peak is nestled in Pilot Mountain State Park and is surrounded by outdoor, family friendly activities.

It's amazing what you can find by venturing off the interstate and the itinerary!  The girls aren't necessarily Andy Griffith fans--but, the visit to Mount Airy, Griffith's Mayberry, was fun for the whole family. 

To learn more about the items featured here:
Visit Mount Airy, North Carolina's Website
Visit the Surry Arts Council Website
Visit The Andy Griffith Museum Website

Disclosure: We were not compensated for this post. 

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