Exploring Mount Airy and the Blue Ridge Parkway

Andy and Opie
Andy and Opie

Many of us who grew up in the 50’s and 60’s have fond memories of watching The Andy Griffith Show. I loved watching Andy and Opie walking down the path with their fishing poles at the beginning of each of the older episodes. It was this image that was chosen for a statue in Mount Airy, North Carolina.

Mount Airy is the birthplace of Andy Griffith. A walk down Main Street is like walking through the fictional town of Mayberry. Just a few blocks from Floyd’s Barber Shop you can visit Wally’s Service Station and the Mayberry Courthouse.

After breakfast at the Snappy lunch (famous for their pork chop sandwich) we visited the Andy Griffith museum which contains exhibits from Andy’s long acting career. In addition to playing Sheriff Andy Taylor of Mayberry, he was in several movies and later played TV’s Matlock. He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President George W. Bush in 2005.

After the museum we walked through an exhibit about Chang and Eng Bunker, Siamese twins who settled in the area and raised their families in the 1800’s. We couldn’t leave town without stopping at Wally’s Service Station for a look around. After driving by Andy Griffith’s home place we drove north on Highway 52 for a drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway.

We turned onto the Blue Ridge Parkway at Mile Marker 199 in Fancy Gap, Virginia and continued going north. After stopping to take a short hike we arrived at Mabry Mill to discover that none of the facilities on the parkway are open until May 1. No worries. I was able to take pictures from the parking lot.

We spent 2 nights at the Mayberry Campground in Mount Airy.