Did you grow up watching The Andy Griffith Show? I sure did! I have seen most of the episodes probably 3 to 100 times each. I love the characters; I remember all the plot lines; I cringe over most of what Barney says and does. It was a great show and holds such a special place in my heart, that I decided it was high time I visited Mount Airy, North Carolina for myself. It is where Andy Griffith was born (in 1926), and it is also the town on which he based Mayberry.
The museum is open seven days a week, year-round, except on Thanksgiving and Christmas.
The entrance fee is $8 for adults and $6 for children 12 and under. For an extra $2, you receive an audio guide. (However, I did not do that.)
The museum is not large by any means, and it is all enclosed on one level, in one large room. You could look and read your way through it all in 30 minutes.
The museum takes you through Andy’s childhood and early career on stage and in movies, through the Andy Griffith show, and his other hit series, Matlock.
And unless you already knew this, which I did, there is a surprise on the level below — The Siamese Twins Exhibit.
In this room with the white and black checkered floor is an exhibit dedicated to the Siamese twins, Eng and Chang Bunker, who moved to Mount Airy in 1839. Here they made their livings, met their wives, and raised their large families (21 children!). I had listened to Mo Rocca’s podcast about Eng and Chang awhile ago, so I was looking forward to visiting this exhibit after touring Andy’s museum.
I also walked through the historic downtown area and took these pictures to share with you…
I was there on a Sunday, so many shops and restaurants were closed (though not all). But it was fun to slowly stroll along Main Street and see all the nods Mount Airy makes to Mayberry.
All in all, I would recommend stopping by if you find yourself driving past Mount Airy, North Carolina, or very near it. It is always fun to see a town embrace its claim to fame, and Mount Airy certainly has succeeded at that!