Last month I was thrilled to visit Jamestown, NY, the birthplace of Lucille Ball. We visited the Lucille Ball museum and a re-creation of the Desilu Studios. I was once again overjoyed to learn we would be visiting Mt Airy, NC, the hometown of Andy Griffith and the inspiration for the town of Mayberry. The Andy Griffith show is one of my all time favorites, second only to I Love Lucy. Bill has his love of Star Trek and Dr Who. I have my love of I Love Lucy and Andy.
We stayed three nights at the Mayberry Campground, just outside of the Mt Airy town limits. Luckily we had a reservation because the campground was full of people escaping the flooding in eastern North and South Carolina from Hurricane Matthew.
We had fun touring Mt Airy. The outskirts of downtown have many chain stores and restaurants. But the charming historic downtown area is like going back in time to the days of Mayberry. None of the show was actually filmed in Mt Airy. We saw in various places in the city: Floyd’s Barber Shop, Walker’s Drug Store (where Miss Ellie sold Andy, Barney and Opie ice cream sundaes), Wally’s Service Station where Gomer and Goober worked, the Darlings’ cabin and truck. Many of these were built for the tourists and resemble the show. We had lunch at Snappys Diner. In one of the episodes of the show, Andy suggests to Barney they grab lunch at Snappys. The diner is known for their “pork chop sandwich” which Bill ordered for lunch. I had a nice BLT for the exorbitant price of $2.25!
We walked to the Mayberry Courthouse where Andy and Barney worked. We were both thrilled to see the inside looked just like the set on the show. And we both ended up in Andy’s jail. We were also thrilled to see the police car like Andy drove!
We also visited the Andy Griffith museum where they had exhibits on Andy’s life and career. They had Andy’s police uniform shirt, and the suits that Barney and Goober wore on the show. They had Goober’s service station hat which had been bronzed. They also had the suit Andy wore as Matlock. At the entrance to the museum they had a statue of Andy and Opie going fishing. Just inside the door they had Barney’s sidecar that he bought in an episode in season 4. Such fun!!We found this production pictures of the making of the TV show’s opening credits where Andy and Opie are going fishing was filmed.
We finished the day by driving by Andy’s home place where he lived as a child until his high school graduation. It is now owned by the Marriott and they rent the house out to tourists! You can go to Mt Airy and sleep in Andy’s house!
Betty Lynn, who played Barney’s girlfriend Thelma Lou, visited Mt Airy during the yearly Andy Griffith festival and loved the town so much she now makes her home in Mt Airy.
We even found some geocaches in Mt Airy! Can you tell how much we enjoyed visiting this sweet little town?
That looks like so much fun. Going there next time in the area for sure!
How fun! Have been through there, but never stopped to see the downtown area.