Our Trip to Mayberry (Mount Airy, North Carolina)

Last week, Jennifer, Jonathan, Carmel, and I visited Mount Airy, North Carolina, the birthplace of Andy Griffith. The fictional town of Mayberry seems to be based on Mount Airy, although there are obvious differences between the two. Mount Airy plays up the connection to Mayberry, and has regular “Mayberry Days” festivals. Many of the businesses are named after Andy Griffith Show characters or places. I thoroughly enjoy the Andy Griffith Show (I own all the DVDs), and I found Mount Airy fascinating because of the connection, although it stands out as a nice, little town in its own right. Many of the locals seem to like the connection to the show, although some prefer to emphasize the historic Mount Airy (home to the first “Siamese” twins, among other things). Here are some photos I took on our trip (with explanations):

Wally's Service Station

This image is a replica of Wally’s Service Station, where Gomer and Goober Pyle (as well as Goober’s gal, Flora) worked.

Mayberry Courthouse

This is a photo of Jennifer and I sitting at Sheriff Taylor’s desk, in the replica of the Mayberry Courthouse.

Blue Bird Diner

This is the Blue Bird Diner, started in the 1990s, and named after the diner mentioned in the show where Barney’s occasional love-interest Juanita works. I asked our waitress how often customers ask for Juanita. She said, “oh, about every other customer” in a wearied voice.

The Snappy Lunch

This is the Snappy Lunch, mentioned in a first season episode on the show. Andy visited this restaurant as a boy. The owner, Charles Dowell, is still around today. We met him when we visited. They are famous for their pork chop sandwich: deep fried pork chop, slaw, chili, onions, mustard, and tomato!

Mount Airy Wall

This wall showcases Mt. Airy attractions.

Mount Airy, North Carolina

This is a view of the outlying, newly-developed, areas of Mount Airy. Perhaps Mayberry would have a modern area like this, if it were a real town.

Shelton Vineyards

North Carolina is seeing many new vineyards and wineries spring up, especially as the importance of tobacco declines. This image is from the Shelton Vineyard, outside of Mount Airy.

Mount Airy Jail

This is a cell in the actual (old) jail of Mount Airy. They no longer use it today. It just isn’t quite the same as Mayberry, and I can’t imagine Otis actually enjoying his stay here!