Mount Airy, North Carolina: Andy Griffith TV Town of Mayberry

Andy Griffith's hometown is full of 1960s TV show gems made famous on the Andy Griffith Show.
Address:
Main St., Mount Airy, NC
Directions:
US Hwy 52 to downtown.
RA Rates:
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Visitor Tips and News About Andy Griffith TV Town of Mayberry

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Wall of Flame. Town of Mayberry

It's the birthplace of Andy Griffith, but don't expect an exact replica of the town of Mayberry. There was a great gift shop to buy stuff at a reasonable price called Mayberry on Main. Check out their Wall of Flame (a gazillion bottles of hot sauce); the friendliness of the owners was the highlight of my visit.

You can get a tour of the town in Andy's Squad car, too.

[Joy, 05/26/2011]
Mayberry courthouse. Mayberry Courthouse

One of the many highlights of my trip across country this summer was visiting Andy Griffith's home town of Mt. Airy, NC, the purported model for the fictional town of Mayberry in the classic television series of the 1960s. There are many tips of the hat and tributes to the series, most well documented on RoadsideAmerica.com, but I have to say I really enjoyed the replica of the Mayberry Courthouse, which stands next to a very good likeness of Wally's Service Station (1962 Ford Galaxy Squad Car and all). The outside of the Courthouse is rather unassuming but, once inside, the replicas of the set for Andy's office and the cells are uncanny and extraordinarily accurate.

I was the only one in the courthouse, so I had plenty of time to explore all the nooks and crannies, going into the cells, looking in file cabinets, pretending to speak with Sarah the town telephone operator or Juanita down at the Blue Bird Cafe on the candlestick phone. As I sat behind Andy's desk with my feet up next to the vintage typewriter, I could imagine Otis staggering in the door and over to get the key to "his" cell letting himself in to sleep it off, or Barney barging in with another hardened criminal wanted for Jaywalking. There's even a brick signed by Ernest T. Bass on display to commemorate his time spent behind the famous bars of Mayberry.

The city of Mt. Airy has many references to Andy Griffith and his famous series, and this kind of thing could be very poorly or self-consciously done. Happily, Mt. Airy has done things just right, with tongue firmly planted in cheek, but with a respectful sort of reverence, too.

So, next time you find yourself in northern North Carolina, I urge you to swing by Mt. Airy for a bite at the Snappy Lunch, a soda down at Wally's Service, a little off the top at Floyd's Barber Shop, or a memorable few minutes at the Mayberry Courthouse.

[D. Pruiksma, 08/14/2010]
Mayberry sheriff office. The Mayberry Experience

Had a wonderful time in Mt. Airy. Ate at the Bluebird Cafe for lunch (pork chop sandwiches, yum), and at Barney's Cafe for breakfast. Inexpensive and great food. Some of the exhibits at the Andy Griffith museum: the original desk from the Mayberry courthouse, the bed posts from Chang and Eng's bed, Barney's dating suit, Andy Griffith's Matlock suit, Otis' suit, the "fun girls" dress, and the justice of the peace and sheriff signs from the original Mayberry Courthouse.

Went to the historical museum filled with Mount Airy exhibits, including Andy Griffith mementos, Donna Fargo dresses, and a small exhibit on Chang and Eng. We went to Goobers Filling Station. Right next to the filling station, is a recreation of the courthouse with the jail cells and desk. Great for pictures.

There are many souvenir shops, and everyone is friendly and Mayberry-savvy. We had our picture taken with Otis. The original jailhouse is closed on Saturday, but the mock-up by the filling station all but makes up it. Behind the filling station is the Darling cabin. Great for pictures. There are many Mayberry vehicles to get your picture with and they offer tours in Mayberry police vehicles.

We drove by the Andy Griffith Boyhood home, now a bed and breakfast. There is also a motel with Frances Bouvier's belongings. We inquired about possibly seeing Betty Lynn, aka Thelma Lou. She lives there, and we were told that she makes trips downtown and can be seen sometimes. And finally, we met Floyd the barber and a lot of great people who are very proud of their town. Thank you, Mayberry.

[Tim Gammel, 04/27/2010]

Goobers Filling Station is technically "Wally's Service Station" as it was known on the show. It was built in 1937 as a Gulf station.

Mayberry TV Town

Andy Griffith's hometown is truly a "Mayberry." Virtually the whole town has been transformed to look like Mayberry did in the TV show. Of course, some of the places were originals, like "The Snappy Lunch"(great pork chop sandwich).

Andy based some people and places in the show on those from his hometown. There's a Bluebird Diner, Wally's Service Station, Floyd's Barber Shop, and a replica of the Mayberry courthouse that you can go inside. You can take a tour of the town in a sheriff's car just like the one from the show. If you're lucky, you'll get D.C. as your driver. He was a childhood friend of Andy's and adds a special touch to your tour.

The Andy Griffith museum is also something you shouldn't miss. So many memories from the show. You should plan on a whole day to really see everything and have time to enjoy. And the really great thing is it doesn't cost anything to wander around. The only things that cost are the tour in the car ($30 for up to five people) and a small charge to get in museum. You leave with a really good feeling, like you've gone back in time to the 'good ole days'.

[Terri Dunn, 09/16/2009]

Ford used a new Ford Galaxie 500s as the Mayberry police car for every year of the show, but sold them all as junker cars before they realized what they'd done. The 1962 model used on the tours is a replica.

Opie Tribute Wall. Andy Griffith TV Town of Mayberry

As an Andy Griffith Show/Andy Griffith fan and just a North Carolinian, Mount Airy is one of my favorite places to go and hang out for a day or so.

First, you can rent out the house that Andy grew up in to stay. On Main Street, you can visit "The Blue Bird Diner" (the workplace on the show of Juanita -- Barney's secret girlfriend); "The Snappy Lunch" (mentioned in an Andy Griffith Show episode, and they have the BEST pork chop sandwich); "Floyd's Barber Shop", and "Wally's Service Station" (where you can get a bottle of pop and actually take a tour of Mount Airy in a real squad car like the one on the show). The Snappy Lunch and Floyd's were there before the show.

TV Land dedicated a statue of Andy and Opie in front of the Andy Griffith Playhouse. Every September there is Mayberry Days, which is a huge Andy Griffith Show festival.

The museum is in the Welcome Center and is worth the trip. There is also memorabilia at the Main Oak Emporium. Just go to either the Welcome Center in the old house or the Welcome Center downtown and they will give you a map and show you all the attractions.

[Natalie, 03/09/2007]

Mount Airy has kept the Andy Griffith legacy alive longer than most TV towns. You can find little pockets of Mayberry love around town. In one store, we noticed a construction labeled "Opie's Tree House," and a Ron Howard Tribute Wall of photos, with "Opie" spelled out in hard candies.

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