USA TODAY says Mount Airy's friendly and fun Main Street is the top attraction in North Carolina.
The media conglomerate commissioned a group of travel experts to select the 20 best attractions in the Tar Heel State, then readers voted on the top 10. The result: Main Street in Mount Airy, aka Mayberry, topped the statewide list.
Here's what USA TODAY said when making the announcement: "The charming town of Mount Airy was Andy Griffith's childhood home and the inspiration behind the town of Mayberry in his 1960s classic The Andy Griffith Show. The town's historic Main Street looks much like its fictional counterpart, complete with vintage squad cars and a replica of the jail and courthouse from the show."
Mount Airy emerged from an impressive list that included the Biltmore Estate, Blue Ridge Parkway, Grandfather Mountain, Battleship North Carolina and the International Civil Rights Center & Museum.
Visitors to Mount Airy have come to love Main Street for its nostalgic feeling and ample supply of things to do. It is easy to spend a day (or two) along Main Street checking out such places as the Mayberry Squad Car Tours, Floyd's City Barbershop, Historic Earle Theatre, Opie's Candy Store, Snappy Lunch, Mount Airy Museum of Regional History, Old North State Winery and several Mayberry-themed shops.
Just two blocks off Main Street are the Andy Griffith Museum and Andy Griffith Playhouse. A complete resource of all Mayberry attractions available in Mount Airy is available by clicking here.
"We are very proud to be named No. 1 in North Carolina, and this media exposure will be wonderful for the City of Mount Airy and Surry County," says Mount Airy tourism director Jessica Roberts.
Here is the list of the USA TODAY 10Best Readers' Choice selections for North Carolina:
- Mount Airy Main Street
- Battleship North Carolina
- Biltmore Estate
- Sarah P. Duke Gardens
- Grandfather Mountain
- Blue Ridge Parkway
- International Civil Rights Center & Museum
- Cape Lookout National Seashore
- Great Smoky Mountains National Park
- Wild Horses in Corolla
March 19, 2017
Charlotte Five explores what Mount Airy has to offer
Travel writer Sara Kendall gives her take on a wonderful day trip in Mount Airy -- touring Mayberry, eating locally, and visiting some select cultural icons!
Aug. 20, 2019
Mount Airy Ghost Tours for the Dearly Departed
The 90-minute, lantern-lit walking tours begin and end at the museum on Main Street. They reveal a chilling side of Mount Airy not seen during the daylight.
Oct. 11, 2014
Vintage squad cars take riders to Mayberry
The best way to tour the hometown of Andy Griffith is in a replica Mayberry squad car – a 1963 Ford Galaxie—driven by knowledgeable and friendly guides.
Jan. 22, 2019
Mayberry Squad Car Tours are a Popular Pastime in Mount Airy
Each patrol car holds up to five riders at a time, plus the driver, who serves as a tour guide. Longtime guides enjoy watching people’s faces light up as they see landmarks reminding them of their favorite scenes from The Andy Griffith Show.