Fans of the 1960s Andy Griffith Show get a taste of the life depicted in the popular television series when they visit Mount Airy in north-central North Carolina, Griffith’s hometown and the inspiration for the series. Visitors are welcome to take a ride in Barney’s squad car (also available for weddings, anniversaries and special occasions) and cruise by Andy’s childhood home and down Main Street past Floyd’s Barbershop.
The town has dedicated a bronze statue of Andy and TV son Opie, and there’s plenty more to see and do around this small town, from enjoying a pork chop sandwich at Snappy Lunch to taking in views off the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Actor Andy Samuel Griffith was born in a house on South Street in Mount Airy on June 1, 1926, the only child of Carl and Geneva Nunn Griffith.
From Mayberry to Merlot
Actor and native son Andy Griffith grew up in Mount Airy who became known for his role as Sherriff Andy Taylor in the 1960s sitcom The Andy Griffith Show. The town draws fans from around the world that trek to the town to pay homage to the show. Mount Airy draws similarities to the fictional town with more than 35 Mount Airy people, places and things that are referenced on the show. Most people who come to Mount Airy looking for a flavor of Mayberry don’t realize that Mount Airy is a good jumping off point for the Yadkin Valley wine region. There are 35 nearby wineries in the Yadkin Valley American Viticulture Area (AVA).
Mount Airy was incorporated in 1885. It is the largest of the four municipalities that make up Surry County.
The town’s name is believed to have come from the Mount Airy plantation which was established along a stage road in the early 1800s.
During the 1800s, the town was a former stagecoach stop along the Ararat River and served as a frontier commercial and trading center for the surrounding rural areas.
Mount Airy residents enjoy four distinct seasons, marked by warm summers and mild winters. The average annual temperature is 61 degrees F. The annual winter temperature is 46 degrees F, while the average summer temperature is 76 degrees F. The average annual rainfall is 45.5 inches, and the average annual snowfall is 10.5 inches.
Mount Airy has an average elevation of 1,100 feet. It covers 6.81 square miles. Surry County has 539 square miles.
Bordering the Virginia state line, Mount Airy is nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Mount Airy is 35 miles northwest of Winston-Salem and 100 miles north of Charlotte.
The Blue Ridge Parkway is 21 miles north of Mount Airy with a main entrance at Fancy Gap at milepost 199.5. Mabry Mill and the Blue Ridge Music Center are nearby attractions along the Blue Ridge Parkway.