The town of Mount Airy, North Carolina is known mostly for its association with actor Andy Griffith, known for his roles on Matlock, Diagnosis Murder and, of course, The Andy Griffith Show. He grew up here and went to school nearby.
His former school theater is now a memorial theater in his honor. Longtime friend Emmett Forrest collected hundreds of items of memorabilia over the years, much of which makes up the collection of the Andy Griffith Museum.
The museum first opened in 2009 during the 20th anniversary of Mayberry Days. The yearly festival was created as a place for fans of The Andy Griffith Show to come and meet one another as well as to see the town that inspired Mayberry.
It’s grown enormously over the years, so this museum is a place for visitors to come for the full experience year-round.
What to See at the Andy Griffith Museum
Visitors can pose with the statues of Andy and Opie outside before entering the one-room museum. Despite its size, there is plenty to see, especially if you’re a fan. Start on the left side of the room directly next to the door.
Here you’ll find information on Andy’s early life, starting with papers from his school days and photos of his first performances in school plays.
You’ll also find items donated by Andy and his former co-stars, specifically set pieces and items from his later television shows.
Among the memorable pieces fans are sure to enjoy are chairs from Matlock and Diagnosis Murder, the sheriff’s desk, doors and costumes from The Andy Griffith Show, and other items Andy was involved with. This includes advertisements and products he created like the fast-food chain and frozen foods, pictured below.
Tips for Visiting the Andy Griffith Museum
Andy Griffith Museum is located at 218 Rockford Street, Mount Airy, North Carolina 27030. They’re open Monday to Friday from 9 am to 5 pm, Saturday from 11 am to 4 pm, and Sundays from 1:30 pm to 4:30 pm.
Admission is $6 per person plus another $2 for an audio guide, but it provides you entry into all Mount Airy attractions, including the neighboring Siamese Twin Museum and the Earle Theatre. Photos are not allowed inside the museum.
Where to Eat Near the Andy Griffith Museum
After touring the museum, go to Snappy Lunch, an old-school lunch counter that was a favorite of Griffith’s. Open since 1923, it’s known for its pork chop sandwich. Nearby, Walker’s Soda Fountain has a similar atmosphere with burgers and milkshakes.
Old North State Winery is another option, located in an 1890s mercantile. The restaurant highlights award-winning wines from the Yadkin Valley and beyond, paired with dishes like risotto, seared tuna, and shrimp stir fry.
Where to Stay Near the Andy Griffith Museum
Stay within a few blocks of the Andy Griffith Museum at Bee’s Bed and Breakfast, which has free WiFi, daily breakfast, and bike rentals. Mayberry Haven is a 1947 home-turned-rental with three bedrooms and free WiFi.
Closer to the highway, Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Mount Airy has all of the comforts of the big-name brand, including an indoor pool, a fitness center, and free daily breakfast.