Mount Airy Visitors CenterMon-Fri: 9am-5:30pm; Sat: 10am-5pm; Sun: 1-4pm
Steeped in nostalgia and friendly charm, Mount Airy is the quintessential Southern small town. Known by many as Mayberry, Mount Airy is the birthplace of Andy Griffith and inspired the fictional town depicted in “The Andy Griffith Show.”
Andy Griffith's Mayberry
Fans of “The Andy Griffith Show” reminisce about their favorite scenes as they stroll Main Street to visit Floyd’s Barber Shop, stop by Opie’s Candy Store and eat a famous pork chop sandwich at Snappy Lunch, which was mentioned on the first season of the famed sitcom. Another eatery, The Loaded Goat, is named for one of the show's funniest episodes.
A bucket list activity involves a ride in the back of a patrol car. Mayberry Squad Car Tours depart daily from Wally’s Service Station and ferry passengers in vintage Ford squad cars to Mayberry landmarks and other points of interest. Don’t miss taking a picture at Sheriff Taylor’s desk in the replica courthouse or posing behind the jailhouse bars. You'll also see the world's largest open-faced granite quarry.
A walk around downtown reveals Mount Airy’s pride for its most famous native son. In 2004, TV Land donated a bronze statue of Andy and Opie walking to the fishing hole as they do in the show’s well-known opening scene. The iconic twosome stands outside the Andy Griffith Museum, where more than 1,000 pieces of memorabilia detail Griffith’s life and career. Adjacent to the museum is the Andy Griffith Playhouse.
Each September, the town celebrates its television heritage with the weeklong Mayberry Days festival. From watermelon-seed-spitting contests to bluegrass music, appearances by famous folks connected to the show, and the annual parade, the event promises down-home family fun.
More than Mayberry
Mount Airy’s rich music tradition lives on today with live performances at the Historic Earle Theatre and preserved memories in the Old-Time Music Heritage Hall. The area’s signature old-time sound involves instrumental numbers led by the fiddle and banjo. Old-Time music paved the way for bluegrass.
Every Saturday morning, WPAQ (740 AM) broadcasts its live radio show, called “Merry-Go-Round,” from the Earle Theatre stage. Merry Go Round started on Groundhog Day in 1948 and is the second-longest-running live radio show in the nation, trailing only the “Grand Ole Opry.”
Like any good Southern town, Mount Airy restaurants dish out plenty of comfort food, from classic meat-and-threes to smoked pork barbecue. Great burgers, too!
Several local eateries serve the county’s signature dessert, a cobbler-like concoction known as sonker. The dessert has its own trail with eight stops, three located in Mount Airy, serving the heritage dessert. One in particular adds a little moonshine to the recipe, but don’t tell Deputy Barney Fife.
Andy Griffith is not the only famous person from Mount Airy. Singer Donna Fargo, who had a string of Top 10 hits in the 1970s, was born and raised here. See an exhibit dedicated to Fargo at the Mount Airy Museum of Regional History.
The original Siamese Twins — Eng and Chang Bunker — settled in Mount Airy and raised their families on a farm outside of town. Learn more about the twins’ fascinating story at the Siamese Twins Exhibit, located on the lower level of the Andy Griffith Playhouse.
The Market Street Arts and Entertainment District comes alive on the weekends, May through October. The street closes to vehicle traffic and welcomes makers, food trucks and musicians. Grab a craft beer at one of two breweries located on the street and browse the eclectic offerings. Public art installations and outdoor seating add to the festive atmosphere.
Mount Airy takes visitors from Mayberry to Merlot. The town’s location in the heart of the Yadkin Valley wine region makes it easy to explore beautiful vineyards.
Enjoy a glass of wine with dinner at Old North State Winery in downtown. Or head into the countryside for wine accompanied by views of the Blue Ridge Mountains at Round Peak and Serre vineyards. Several other wineries are nearby in Dobson and Pilot Mountain.
A local distillery also produces small-batch whiskey, the first legal moonshine in Mayberry since Prohibition.
Mount Airy Attractions
Andy Griffith Museum
Explore the life and times of Mt. Airy's most famous son at the Andy Griffith Museum. It also houses items donated by other actors, including Don Knotts (Barney Fife), George Lindsey (Goober) & Betty Lynn (Thelma Lou).
Mayberry Squad Car Tours
Enjoy a tour of the real Mayberry in vintage Mayberry squad cars as a "deputy" tour guide shares the sights, sounds and history of Andy Griffith's hometown of Mount Airy, NC.
Round Peak Vineyards
Round Peak Vineyards is located a few miles outside Mount Airy in a picturesque setting framed by Blue Ridge Mountains.
The Historic Earle Theatre, circa 1937, is an art deco theater open year-round for live music, touring concerts, select movies and the Saturday morning Merry-Go-Round radio broadcast. Known for bluegrass and Old Time music acts.
Take a tour of the jail cells where Barney locked up the hardened criminals, including the local drunk Otis Campbell.
Otis Campbell would be right at home in this Mount Airy business where visitors enjoy the first legal distillery in Mayberry since Prohibition!
Old-Time Music Heritage Hall
Located inside the Earle Theatre, the Old-Time Music Heritage Hall recognizes Mount Airy's role as the center of old-time genre and birthplace of famed fiddler Tommy Jarrell.
Around since 1923 and famous for its fried pork chop sandwiches. Andy Griffith ate here as a boy and mentioned it during Season 1 of The Andy Griffith Show.
Serre Vineyards in the Yadkin Valley offers dry and sweet wines and spectacular sunsets from a grass terrace overlooking the Blue Ridge Mtns.
Granite City Greenway
Tracing the Ararat River & Lovills Creek, Granite City Greenway forms a 6.6-mile horseshoe around Mt. Airy. The paved route offers walking, running & cycling. Includes kayak & canoe launches and trout fishing.
White Elephant Beer Company
White Elephant Beer Co. is a family owned craft brewery and taproom in the Market Street Arts & Entertainment District in Mount Airy, one block from Main Street.
Thirsty Souls Community Brewing
A large taproom invites patrons to sample small batch brews rotated seasonally. Garage door opens to Market Street in warm weather. Also offers artisan pizzas, pub food and great wines.
Old North State Winery
This urban winery is located in an 1890's mercantile building in downtown Mount Airy and features outstanding wines as well as hand-crafted ales and mixed drinks at the tasting bar.