Motor Man and I were in Martinsville, VA this weekend for a Late Model race.

Yesterday morning, at the hotel, Motor Man chatted with a couple who had been to Mt. Airy, NC on Saturday for the Mayberry Festival.

(For those of you who may not be familiar with Mt. Airy, it’s the hometown of Andy Griffith. The town of Mayberry in the Andy Griffith show, was based on Mt. Airy.)

Since we had a few hours before Sunday’s race, we checked online to see how far Mt Airy is from Martinsville (approximately 50 miles), and off we went.

We stumbled upon “Wally’s Service Station”…

wallys 10-6-2013 9-57-33 AM

..and learned that we could take a tour of the town IN the squad car!

db jr squad car 10-6-2013 10-01-44 AM

Our tour guide was a friendly gentleman named Lee, who was very knowledgeable about Mt. Airy, as well as the Andy Griffith show. As we drove down Main Street, and tourists waved and took pictures of us in the squad car, Lee would blow the siren and call out the window: “citizen’s arr-rest!”.

He drove us by Andy’s childhood home, which Andy’s family purchased in 1935 for $600. Supposedly, Andy’s dad, a carpenter by trade, was terrified at signing his name to go in debt for that amount of money.

The home is now owned by Hampton Inn, sleeps five, and is available for nightly rentals. (Including taxes, the cost is about $200 per night, so three nights would have paid off the Griffith’s 1935 mortgage.)

andys house 10-6-2013 10-40-37 AM

Following the tour, Lee encouraged us to visit the replica of the Mayberry courthouse, located next door to the filling station. He said he had let Otis out of jail earlier in the morning.

db on phone 10-6-2013 10-51-02 AM

“Hello, Sarah? Would you ring Aunt Bee for me, please?”

Then, Motor Man and I “tried out” Otis’s jail cell. Yes, the first thing I looked for when we walked in the courthouse was the set of keys hanging within easy reach of the cell.

db jr in jail cell 10-6-2013 10-55-37 AMNever fear, we both made bail.

jrdb courthouse 10-6-2013 10-59-12 AM

There are many little shops and restaurants in downtown Mt. Airy, most with names referring to Mayberry residents. A few were open yesterday, but we needed to return to Martinsville for the race.   We’re hoping to make another trip soon when we’ll have more time to explore Mayberry Mt. Airy.

And, next time, we’ll try to avoid “jail time”.


24 responses to ““Mayberry”

  1. Oh what fun!! Not many folks can say they’ve visited Mayberry you know…..that old show was one of my favorites though. You and MM looked right at home in that jail cell (haha).


  2. As soon as I saw the first photo, I got it !! And now that whistling theme song is in my head 🙂 How fun! MJ

  3. Even though we didn’t get to watch the show much, I really loved that era. Looks like a great time too.

  4. What a fun trip! You sure made the most of your visit – glad you made bail!

  5. Oh Dianna! You and MM certainly make friends easily. What a fun side trip. Lisa, at wp’s bigsheepcommunications writes her blog from Mount Airy. I had never heard of it until I “met” her and now you mention it, too.

  6. So glad you’ve visited one of my favorite spots, Mayberry! It’s a perfect long weekend destination and there is a lot to do. The Siamese twins Eng and Chang Bunker lived there and there is a fascinating museum about them. Also the Andy Griffith musem is packed with personal momentos and stage effects from the show. I love the Smith mansion which was the gorgeous estate of a Mt Airy woman who became an interior decorator in NYC then returned in style! There are lots of scenic back roads, historic small towns and of course the Blue Ridge mountains nearby. Can’t wait to go back!

  7. gracemarie51@gmail.com

    I love it!! I think I might want to visit Mt. Airy also. Looks like you had a really good time.

  8. bigsheepcommunications

    Hi Dianna, Georgette clued me in to your post about Mount Airy. We’ve lived here for 6 years and it really is Mayberry. So glad you enjoyed your trip here. If you ever plan to come back, you can get more information at http://www.visitmayberry.com. This weekend is the BIG Autumn Leaves Festival, which attracts about 200,000 people for food, crafts, music, etc. Y’all come on back soon! Lisa

  9. What a wonderful side trip to your weekend! When John went on a classic car road trip several years ago, they went through Mt. Airy. He said all the citizens of the town, showed up and waved to the cars as they drove by…they basically shut down the town for them to drive through!

  10. Cool post Dianna! And what fun!!! Love the picture of you at Andy’s desk.. 😀

  11. I love this post Dianna! I was in Mt. Airy/Mayberry with friends a few years ago, but it was at the end of a longer trip. We were all exhausted so all we did there was visit the “museum”. That was fascinating of course. But now I wish we had stayed longer and looked further like you did. Your photo ops are just wonderful! 🙂

  12. Sometimes the unexpected trips are the best ones! By the pictures it looks like you had a great time. Now David wants to go! Thanks!!

  13. Oh my gosh, what fun!! I want to live there! I bet you expected to see Opie coming down the street with a fishing pole in his hand. Now, of course, I have the theme song from the Andy Griffith show stuck in my head….do do dooo do, do do do do, ….[whistle inserted here!] 😀

  14. How cool! Glad we didn’t have to come bail you out. I imagine that was quite a trip in the squad car.

  15. Right up your alley! Neat to experience it all.

  16. What a great “side-trip” !!I
    I heard the whistling right away ! – one of the catchiest tunes in TV history… It used to come on channel 27 years ago, and I remember watching it during summer break when I was at home during the day…
    They don’t make television shows like that one anymore 😦
    Glad y’all made bail !

  17. Nice little town! We stopped once on a trip back from Charlotte to Radford and enjoyed a little lunch at Aunt Bea’s BBQ. Sounds like you guys had fun. A little trivia for you Dianna is that Mt. Airy is in Surry County….NC. Don’t know why I know that. lol!

  18. What fun! When we were in WS with Gregory you could see Pilot Moutian (or Mt.Pilot and it was called in the show) from his hospital window. I’d like to go back and visit too.

  19. I’ve been wondering if I wanted to go to Mt. Ary and after reading your post I think I might! Sounded like fun.

  20. Love this! And more trivia – My brother-in-law’s mother went to school with Andy Griffith:) Yesterday, I was near Mt. Airy as well!

  21. Shirley Matthews Dunn

    Chuck and I were there on vacation last year and had so much fun. It truly is a wonderful little town. Chuck and I went to Floyd’s barber shop and Chuck had his hair cut by the nicest man (who owns the shop) and had cut Andy’s hair a long time a go. So glad you and Motor Man had a good time. Love the pictures.

  22. LOVE LOVE this blog. I loved Andy Griffith and to see his home town and your shining face was just awesome. I am smiling as I am typing! Thank you!

  23. OMG, I did not even know that something like this existed! That is so awesome! I love all of your photographs and wish I was there with you and Motor Man! I would have loved that! I watch the Andy Griffith Show all the time! 🙂

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