Mayberry Comes To Life In The Town Of Mount Airy

Think Mayberry only exists in a television show? Think again.

Andy Griffith’s hometown of Mount Airy, North Carolina, invites folks to visit the real-life place that inspired the fictional Mayberry on The Andy Griffith Show.

Visitors to Mount Airy can choose from several Mayberry attractions and activities. The most popular activity is a Mayberry Squad Car Tour. Replica Ford Galaxie squad cars, just like the ones on the show, depart from Wally’s Service Station daily and take customers throughout town, showcasing landmarks like Andy Griffith’s boyhood home, the TV Land statue of Andy & Opie, the Andy Griffith Playhouse and more.

The Squad Car Tour owners even built a replica courthouse next door with a jail cell dedicated to Otis Campbell, Mayberry’s town drunk.

After the tour, stop by the Andy Griffith Museum. The museum houses the world’s largest collection of Andy Griffith memorabilia, collected over a quarter century by Emmett Forrest, Andy’s boyhood schoolmate and long-time friend.

The third Friday of every month, actress Betty Lynn, who played Barney Fife’s sweetheart Thelma Lou on The Andy Griffith Show, makes appearances at the museum, health permitting. The 93-year-old Lynn has lived in Mount Airy since 2007 and enjoys meeting fans and telling stories about the show and cast.

Main Street is definitely Mayberry-esque, with must-see spots like Floyd’s City Barbershop and Snappy Lunch. Snappy Lunch opened in the 1920s and was mentioned in the seventh episode of the first season. Snappy Lunch’s other claim to fame is its fried pork chop sandwich smothered in chili, slaw, mustard, tomatoes and onions.

A great place to stay the night is Mayberry Motor Inn. This traditional 1950’s motor court is guarded by its own Mayberry patrol car. Be sure to ask for a tour of the Aunt Bee Room containing a trove of items from the estate of Frances Bavier, the actress who played Aunt Bee and spent her later years in Siler City, North Carolina.

An ideal overnight spot for history buffs and die-hard fans is the Andy Griffith Homeplace. It’s the modest two-room bungalow where Andy lived until going to college at the University of North Carolina.

The local Hampton Inn owns the homeplace and rents it out, complete with complimentary breakfast at the hotel.

For information on all the Mayberry attractions in Mount Airy, go to