Mount Airy is a small town in Surry County, North Carolina, that is famous for being the home of renowned actor Andy Griffith and the resting place of the original Siamese twins, Chang and Eng Bunker. Founded in the 1750s as a stagecoach stop, the town was the inspiration for the fictional town of Mayberry in 'The Andy Griffith Show’ half a century ago. Mount Airy features several attractions built in honor of Andy Griffith, as well as other interesting sites such as the Historic Earle Theatre, the Trinity Episcopal Church, and the William Carter House. There are also plenty of options for wining, dining and outdoor entertainment.
1.The Andy Griffith Museum
© The Andy Griffith Museum
The Andy Griffith Museum is dedicated to the life of Andy Griffith, famous American actor, singer, and television producer. Located in Griffith's hometown of Mount Airy, the 2,500square-foot museum as founded by the late Emmett Forrest, Griffith's lifelong friend, and houses the world's largest collection of Andy Griffith memorabilia. The collection includes many pieces from the sets of The Andy Griffith Show and the television series, Matlock, as well as a rocking chair made by Griffith's father, and visitors can explore the museum on guided tours. The Andy Griffith Museum is open year-round, seven days a week.
218 Rockford St, Mt Airy, NC 27030, Phone: 336-786-1604
2.Historic Downtown Mount Airy
© Downtown Mount Airy
Historic Downtown Mount Airy embraces the spirit of the charming town where ancient tradition harmoniously blends with urban living. The best way to explore the downtown area is by strolling through the area on foot and soaking up the history and culture of the town that became popular in the television series of The Andy Griffith Show. Mount Airy’s historic downtown district is home to an array of small businesses, ranging from antique shops, retail stores, and gift shops to plenty of restaurants and cafés, the Earle Theatre and the Blackmon Amphitheatre. The town has many Mayberry tributes to visit, such as The Blue Bird Diner, Snappy Lunch, Floyd’s Barber Shop, and Wally’s Service Station, and visitors can ride in one of several RFD Mayberry squad cars while learning about the history of the town.
Mt Airy, NC 27030
3.Mount Airy Museum of Regional History
© Mount Airy Museum of Regional History
The Mount Airy Museum of Regional History is dedicated to documenting the history of Mount Airy and the people who settled and developed the little town. The museum tells the story of how the beautiful valley surrounded by the Blue Ridge Mountains was settled by pioneers and features a collection of many artifacts, objects and photographs depicting the history and heritage of the town, including the natural history of the region, and the local Saura Indians who lived in the area in the 1600s. Permanent exhibits at the museum include a typical pioneer village with a log cabin and a general store, a medical display, an agricultural display, vintage fire-fighting equipment, and Victorian-era artifacts from the Woodroffe family. There is also a “Hands-on History” gallery for kids, and the museum can be explored on docent-led guided tours.
301 North Main Street, Mount Airy, NC 27030, Phone: 336-786-4478
4.The Historic Earle Theatre
The Historic Earle Theatre is a 1930s American music hall-turned-movie theater that has been providing Mount Airy and surrounding communities with exciting and entertaining cultural experiences since 1938. The theater houses the Old-Time Music Heritage Hall that was founded to preserve, promote, and protect Surry County old-time Music through a variety of fascinating exhibits, lessons, workshops, and audio guided tours. The Hall also presents a daily UNC-TV Documentary hosted by David Holt called Music of Surry County and is open seven days a week for the public to explore.
142 N Main St, Mt Airy, NC 27030, Phone: 336-786-2222
5.Mount Airy Public Library
The Mount Airy Public Library is a public library that is home to a wide range of books, DVDs, and other literary material that the community can enjoy in a quiet, classic atmosphere. The library is part of the Northwestern Regional Library system that includes 13 member libraries in the counties of Alleghany, Stokes, Surry, and Yadkin. The Mount Airy Public Library features plenty of reading and study spaces, comfortable lounge seating, several conference rooms, a separate Children's Library and Teen area, public-access computers and collections, an Exhibit Gallery, and wireless Internet throughout the building. The Mount Airy Public Library also hosts several events such as book and poetry readings, storytime, and workshops for all ages.
4759, 145 Rockford St, Mt Airy, NC 27030, Phone: 336-789-5108
6.The Grave of Chang and Eng Bunker
Chang and Eng Bunker were the world’s most famous conjoined Siamese twins, and their final resting place is in the White Plains Baptist Church Cemetery in Mount Airy. Born in Siam in 1811, Chang and Eng Bunker were conjoined at the chest and traveled the world as an independent act known as the famed “Siamese Twins.” They settled on a small plantation in the town of Traphill in North Carolina, where they married and subsequently had 21 children! The twins died in 1874 and were laid to rest in Mount Airy, and it is estimated that around 1,500 descendants of the famous twins still reside in the vicinity of Mount Airy.
614 Old U.S. 601, Mount Airy, NC 27030-7892
7.Old North State Winery
© Old North State Winery
Old North State Winery is an urban winery and brewery located in located Old North State in downtown Mt. Airy that offers wine tasting tours, excellent food, and drinks, and hosts live entertainment. Founded in 2002, the unique dining destination is based in a renovated former hardware store that was built in the 1890s on Main Street that boasts a hip, upbeat atmosphere. The Old North State Winery produces a range of wines from Cabernet Franc and Chambourcin to Riesling, Petit Manseng, and Nobel Muscadines, all of which can be sampled on guided wine tasting tours at the facility. A deli and restaurant serve delicious farm-to-table cuisine made with locally sourced ingredients, and a variety of live entertainment is hosted throughout the year.
308 N Main St, Mt Airy, NC 27030, Phone: 336-789-9463
8.Little Richard's BBQ
© Little Richard's BBQ
Little Richard's BBQ is a family-friendly restaurant chain that was founded in Winston-Salem in 1991 and serves mouthwatering barbecue in a casual and relaxed setting. The chain aims to preserve the great North Carolina BBQ tradition by serving the best barbecue in the state, which includes fresh, hickory-smoked pork shoulders that are roasted for up to 16 hours in an old-fashioned way. Using authentic Lexington-style recipes that have been passed down through generations, the chain serves signature dishes of grilled brisket, smoked chicken, pit beef, hearty burgers, and hot dogs, along with fresh salads, sides, and vegetarian options. The food is accompanied by a range of craft beers, casual wines, and sodas and is open for brunch, lunch, and dinner, seven days a week.
455 Frederick Street, Mt Airy, NC 27030, Phone: 336-679-0227
© Byron Ortiz/stock.adobe.com
Snappy Lunch is a local landmark diner whose claim to fame is being mentioned on The Andy Griffith Show that serves hearty breakfast dishes, homemade biscuits, and the celebrity-endorsed pork chop sandwich that has a story of its own. Located at the end of North Main Street in Mount Airy, the small diner has two dining spaces with tables and cozy booths, walls adorned with pictures from The Andy Griffith Show, and a warm and welcoming atmosphere. The diner’s famous pork sandwich is filled with pulled pork, chili, coleslaw, onions, tomato and mustard, and crowds of locals and tourists alike line up to get one of these finger-licking monsters. Snappy Lunch is open for breakfast and lunch, Monday through Saturday.
125 N Main St, Mt Airy, NC 27030, Phone: 336-786-4931
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10.Libby Hill Seafood
© Libby Hill Seafood
Libby Hill Seafood is a well-known seafood restaurant chain that serves a variety of fresh local seafood, fresh fish, and shellfish locally sourced from Virginia and the Carolinas. The family-owned and operated chain has been a seafood dining destination for the past 50 years, serving a variety of delectable dishes featuring trout from Africa's Cape of Good Hope, Atlantic perch and clams from New England, flounder and whitefish from Alaska, scallops from Canada, oysters from the Gulf and Atlantic coasts, salmon from Chile, and shrimp from the North Carolina and the Gulf Coast. An impressive selection of boutique wines, craft beers, and signature cocktails accompany the cuisine, and the Mayberry Mall location is open for lunch and early dinner, seven days a week.
199 Mayberry Mall, Mt Airy, NC 27030, Phone: 336-786-8376
10 Best Things to Do in Mt Airy, NC
- The Andy Griffith Museum, Photo: The Andy Griffith Museum
- Historic Downtown Mount Airy, Photo: Downtown Mount Airy
- Mount Airy Museum of Regional History, Photo: Mount Airy Museum of Regional History
- The Historic Earle Theatre, Photo: matusciac/stock.adobe.com
- Mount Airy Public Library, Photo: monticellllo/stock.adobe.com
- The Grave of Chang and Eng Bunker, Photo: fotoklok/stock.adobe.com
- Old North State Winery, Photo: Old North State Winery
- Little Richard's BBQ, Photo: Little Richard's BBQ
- Snappy Lunch, Photo: Byron Ortiz/stock.adobe.com
- Libby Hill Seafood, Photo: Libby Hill Seafood
- Cover Photo: Downtown Mount Airy