For all those people wishing they could just retreat to a simpler time, a time when small town America meant everyone knew each others name, and the biggest gossip was the kindly sheriff’s crush on the local teacher, well, you’re in luck, because Mayberry is real. Sort of.
The real life city of Mt. Airy, North Carolina was the quaint birthplace of small town spirit animal, Andy Griffith, and it shows. After Griffith immortalized the platonic ideal of a certain type of fictional small town America with The Andy Griffith Show’s Mayberry, his hometown promptly began trying to live up to the fiction. After all, it was immediately assumed, and is still widely accepted, that Mt. Airy was the inspiration for Mayberry in the first place.
In order to honor Griffith, the city has recreated some of the sights from television’s Mayberry within its borders. There is the Mayberry Courthouse, Floyd’s Barbershop, and Goober’s Filling Station, which can all be visited. While the show itself was not filmed in Mt. Airy, you would be forgiven for not noticing that with all of the replicas on display. There are even Mayberry tours that are conducted in vintage police cruisers.
The world can be a cruel and hectic place, but at least, somewhere, there is a Mayberry to help us slow things down, even if it is kind of a tourist trap.
Know Before You Go
Traces of the Andy Griffith Show can be found everywhere you look in Mount Airy, but the downtown area is where to go to really feel like you're in Mayberry. The address listed is for the Andy Griffith Museum, and other locations like Wally's Service Station or the Mayberry Soda Fountain can be found nearby.