Not just any whistle, but a certain uplifting little tune. Images of a small boy and his father ambling down a country lane with their fishing poles flood your mind. Suddenly, the duo appears as a bronzed statue in front of the Andy Griffith Playhouse and all is clear.
Welcome to Mayberry.
Thanks for its almost constant broadcasts since its inception the hit 1960s’ television series; “The Andy Griffith Show” still brings a sense of small town friendless to its viewers. As the actor’s hometown the people and places, of this small city close to the Blue Ridge Mountains, served as inspiration for the show.
With its padded top, bottom and side handles the Eagle Creek Crossroads Upright 22” is the right piece of luggage as a grab and go – perfect for a Mount Airy stay.
A stop at the town’s visitor center on N. Main Street is where to begin. Their friendliness is genuine and advice sterling. Do not leave without the free visitor’s map. You can do it on foot, in the car or both.
For the ultimate in Mayberry tourism, consider taking the 20-30 minute tour in the Deputy Barney Fife car. Five people can pile in and split the fee as the tour begins at Wally’s Station. Next door to the gas station is a replica of the jail and courthouse. It is so authentic you might expect to see Otis, the series’ ever-polite town drunk, comfortably snoozing in a cell.
When hunger calls there is no place better to get the answer than the Snappy Lunch Restaurant with its famed pork chop sandwich. After eating snappy it is time to look snappy and that means a visit to Floyd’s City Barber Shop. With its striped pole on the outside inside the shop features Russell Hiatt who has cut the hair of the famous and not so famous for seven decades. The walls of his two-chair shop are lined with the photographs of those whose locks he has shorn. Become one of them.
While downtown be sure to visit the local merchants. The Main Oak Emporium on Main Street offers everything from helpful to the extremely kitschy
Back at the Andy Griffith Playhouse, originally his elementary school, entertainment of all kinds happens and the building also houses a museum of the actor’s life.
Mayberry fans have several iconic options when it comes to slumbering in Mount Airy.
Some choose Griffith’s original childhood home. The 1930s style two bedroom bungalow is now a bed and breakfast and run by a local hotel.
You might head for the Mayberry Motor Inn where even if spending the night is not possible a visit or at least a window view of the “Aunt Bee” room is. Owner Alma Venable, once hairdresser to Griffith’s mother, worked hard to collect personal items belonging to the actress, Frances Bavier who played his fictional aunt. Venable also uses part of her collection when she portrays Aunt Bee during the town’s annual Mayberry Days every September.
If you are feeling stressed or cynical about modern life, a visit to Mount Airy could be the perfect tonic, especially when accompanied with a whistle.
Images of Mount Airy – Andy and Opie and Barney Fife’s Car – thanks to LJ Bottjer.
What You Need to Know about the Eagle Creek Crossroads Upright 22″: