The Andy Griffith Show is one of my all-time favorites, so when I found out there was a cute, little town dedicated to showcasing all things Andy, I had to go.
Mount Airy, N.C. is the hometown of Andy Griffith and revels in the fact that one of their small-town fellas made it big in the Hollywood TV industry. In fact, Mount Airy is the real-life inspiration for the town of Mayberry in the Andy Griffith Show.
The show is an American comedy series that aired from 1960 to 1965 in black and white and from 1965 to 1968 in color. Sheriff Andy Taylor and his son Opie live with their Aunt Bee in Mayberry, N.C. The town is quiet with few crimes, so the storyline focuses on the laughable absurdity of the characters, such as Deputy Barney Fife.
Don’t take my word for it – go watch it for yourself! And after you’re finished, visit Mount Airy and the places listed below.
Wally’s Service Station & Emmett’s Fixxit Shop
One of my favorite parts of our trip was stopping by Wally’s Service Station. Gomer Pyle is one of my favorite characters with his signature line, “Shazam!” Right beside Wally’s is Emmett’s Fixxit Shop and the Mayberry Courthouse and Jail.
The Mayberry Courthouse & Jail
We had the BEST time acting out the show in the courthouse (it really doesn’t take much for us to have fun, okay?). I even pulled a Barney Fife and called to Juanita at the Bluebird Diner to sing her a tune. (again, it doesn’t take much).
I found myself feeling like Andy himself. Perhaps it was because the set was so realistic. It was as though a drunk Otis or Ernest T. Bass was going to walk through the door of the courthouse at any moment. Except we all know Ernest wouldn’t walk in — he’d just throw a rock through the window. Anyway, we’ll let Gomer handle it with a citizen’s arrest.
The Jail & Squad Car Tours
Unfortunately, we couldn’t impersonate drunk Otis because the jail cell was locked, but perhaps Barney finally remembered to do his job.
Right beside the courthouse, you can venture into Wally’s Service Station to sign up for a Squad Car Tour. The tour costs about $40 per carload (in cash or check for up to four people), and since Asher and I were wandering around on foot to get a look at the stops, we didn’t think it was worth it. If you want to sit back, relax and take in the sites, I’d say it’s worth the money.
Downtown Mount Airy
Downtown Mount Airy has to be part of your day trip! It’s so cute, and you get to see Floyd’s Barber Shop, Opie’s Candy Store and Snappy Lunch.
Snappy Lunch opened in 1923 and is where Andy stopped for hot dogs and a bottle of soda as a kid. Andy even mentioned Snappy Lunch in the episode “Andy in the Matchmaker,” suggesting that he and Barney stop there for a bite to eat. It was the only Mount Airy business mentioned in the TV show.
Side note: I love antique stores, so we had to take a walk through the Mayberry Antique Mall. It was all I could do not to purchase the blue willow china. They have tons!
The Andy Griffith Museum & Andy’s Homeplace
If you’re going to take the trip, you have to stop by the Andy Griffith Museum to see items like Sheriff Taylor’s uniform, Barney’s suit, Goober’s funny-looking hat, Otis’ apparel and so much more. The people running the show are the kindest. It costs about $8 per person to get in and is so worth it.
We ended our trip with a drive by Andy’s original homeplace, where you can also book a stay (who knew?).
Have you visited Mount Airy? Tell me all about it in the comments below!