Andy Griffith spent his childhood and teen years in Mount Airy, North Carolina. Old Town in Mt. Airy is a treasure trove of dedication to “The Andy Griffith Show.” Karen and I spent the afternoon and evening of Saturday (9-30-17) ‘tourist gawking’ at the locations that inspired the iconic show’s sets and became a cherished part of Americana.

We had a great time wandering about the Old Town district of Mt. Airy checking out the hokey shops immortalizing famous characters from Andy’s show. The Snappy Lunch inspired Mayberry’s diner set.

Nothing was ever video taped in Mt. Airy for the “Andy Griffith Show,” but Andy modeled many of the TV show’s sets and locations after the places he remembered from his childhood.

Floyd’s Barber Shop was not open, but we had to wait for our turn to gaze in the window.

Karen was as happy as, “A kid in Opie’s Candy Store.”

Alan of Squad Car Tours added color and fun facts to our exploration of fictitious Mayberry. Ford gave the “Andy Griffith Show” a new Galaxie- 500 for each of the eight seasons it aired.

Our Squad Car Tour included a drive-by of Andy’s childhood home.

When Robert Gilmer bought land by Mt. Airy in 1849 he found it was mostly a “big white rock.” He demanded part of his money back for the land he could not farm, which became the great Mount Airy quarry. The quarry is expected to provide white granite for harvesting the next several thousand years.  

Mt. Airy is also known as “The Granite City.” We cruised by “The World’s Largest Open-Faced Quarry” run by the North Carolina Granite Corporation.

The squad car tour was informative and fun. Maybe a bit pricey, but we didn’t feel robbed.

We met Scott earlier in the day at Shelton Vineyards. Following his advice, we ate a fine lunch in Mt. Airy at the Old North State Winery, where we ran into him again. Before dinner we stopped to visit Scott at work and got another tip, which led to an excellent burger at the Loaded Goat. Scott was knowledgable and very nice to us, but we had to promise that we would stop stalking him.

The Thirsty Souls Brewery operates in a refurbished mortuary. If you go there, make sure to say hello to Scott.

Mt. Airy is a quaint little town that will forever bask in the television glow cast by “The Andy Griffith Show” and it’s famous stars.


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