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30+ Amazing Things to Do in Mount Airy and Nearby

Published by Christina Riley. Last Updated on May 31, 2024.

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If you’re looking for fun things to do in Mount Airy NC and nearby, we created this travel guide for you!

Mount Airy is a wonderful small town, also known as Mayberry, North Carolina, thanks to its connection with The Andy Griffith Show.

Beyond attractions commemorating that storied TV series, Mount Airy is home to a lovely and walkable downtown, surrounded by incredible Yadkin Valley wineries, the iconic Pilot Mountain, and much more.

Things to Do in Mount Airy NC

After enjoying so many wonderful Mount Airy attractions over the years, we’ve created this guide to help you experience it, too. With a mix of hidden gems and popular places to go, here’s how we’ve organized this NC travel guide to Mount Airy.

  • Where is Mount Airy?
  • Where to Stay
  • Annual Events
  • Things to Do in Mount Airy This Weekend
  • Where to Eat and Drink
  • Nearby Attractions (Wineries, Pilot Mountain, and More!)

Whether you’re a new Mount Airy resident, a frequent visitor, or a Surry County local, we’re leaving no detail behind. If you live in the area and are wondering, “What are the best things to do near me?” we know this NC travel guide will help you out! 

Read More: The Most Interesting Historic Towns in North Carolina (Important Places for Your Next Adventure!)

Where is Mount Airy NC?

Map of North Carolina highlighting Surry County David Benbennick Public domain via Wikimedia Commons

Mount Airy is located on the western edge of Central North Carolina in Surry County. The town and its surroundings are considered part of the Piedmont Triad Region of North Carolina.

Surry County borders 3 counties in Virginia and 5 counties in North Carolina, including:

  • Stokes County (East)
  • Forsyth County (Southeast)
  • Yadkin County (South)
  • Wilkes County (Southwest)
  • Alleghany County (West)
Pilot Mountain Drone

Multiple significant roads pass through or near the town, including I-77, I-74, and US-52. Mount Airy is an easy day trip away from many places in North Carolina, including:

You can visually plan your Mount Airy NC adventures with the following maps:

Where to Stay

Thirsty Souls Apartment

There are a variety of chain hotels in the Mount Airy area. We’ve stayed in town and nearby in a rental. Thirsty Souls, which we’ll mention in more detail below, has two beautifully decorated apartments (one pictured above) for rent.

This is where we stayed during one of our visits to Mount Airy, and we highly recommend either one.

Annual Events in Mount Airy

Mount Airy Museum Surry County

Plan your trip to Mount Airy around these annual events and festivals!

Read More: The NC Tripping Events Calendar

Things to Do in Mountry Airy NC This Weekend

Those annual events belong on your calendar, but this section focuses on things to do in Mount Airy NC today, this weekend, and throughout the year!

  • Downtown Mount Airy
  • Andy Griffith Attractions
    • Andy Griffith Museum
    • TV Land Statue
    • The Mayberry Courthouse and Jail
    • Good Time Trolley Tour
    • Mayberry Squad Car Tours
  • Gertrude Smith House
  • The Historic Earl Theatre
  • Mount Airy Museum of Regional History
  • Siamese Twins Museum 
  • Surry County Ground Steak Trail
  • Surry Sonker Trail

Downtown Mount Airy

Downtown Mount Airy NC

Discussing things to do in Mount Airy without starting in its historic downtown is impossible. It’s home to many of the attractions and restaurants we’ll discuss, as well as a variety of shops you should frequent.

Here are a few of our favorite downtown Mount Airy shops:

Read More: 10 Ways to Support Amazing Local Businesses in NC Today

Andy Griffith Attractions in Mount Airy

Squad Cars in Mt Airy

Even if you’re not a fan of The Andy Griffith Show, it’s essential to recognize the impact of this show on Mount Airy.

Mount Airy is the hometown of actor Andy Griffith, and Mayberry is the fictional town based on it. While the TV show was not filmed in Mount Airy, the town has leaned into the history and nostalgia for everyone to relive famous moments! 

If you’re among the many people who travel to Mount Airy to experience Mayberry, you’re in luck.

There are plenty of spots in town that are inspired by The Andy Griffith Show.

Read More: 100+ Unique Things to Do In North Carolina (Your NC Bucket List)

Andy Griffith Museum

Address: 218 Rockford St, Mt Airy, NC
Website

Andy Griffith Museum

Start your tour of Mayberry by stopping in the Andy Griffith Museum. Here, you’ll find items used on the set for filming, fun facts about the cast, and lots of memorabilia.

Relive your favorite moments from The Andy Griffith Show, and don’t skip a photo op with Andy and Opie in front of the museum! 

Tickets to the Andy Griffith Museum are $8 for adults and $6 for kids 12 and under. 

Read More: The Most Amazing Museums in North Carolina (for ALL Ages!)

Andy Griffith Playhouse

Address: 218 Rockford St, Mt Airy, NC
Website

Originally Mount Airy’s first public school, the Andy Griffith Playhouse is one of the most storied places in the area. Andy Griffith attended school here and performed on its stage in the 1930s and 1940s.

Today, it’s managed by the Surry Arts Council and is open throughout the year. Offerings and events include art camps, classes, theatre productions, and live music concerts.

Read More: The Best North Carolina Mountain Towns to Visit Now!

TV Land Statue

Address: 218 Rockford St, Mt Airy, NC (at the Andy Griffith Museum)

Mount Airy NC TV Land Statue

TV Land donated this aptly named bronze statue, which was dedicated in 2004. If you’re a real Andy Griffith fan, you’ll know that the TV Land Statue depicts the show’s iconic opening sequence depicting Andy and Opie (Ron Howard).

The Mayberry Courthouse and Jail

Address: 625 S Main St, Mt Airy, NC

The Mayberry Courthouse and Jail Mount Airy NC

Any Andy Griffith Show fan must stop at the Mayberry Courthouse and Jail. It is a replica of the 1960s courthouse depicted on the show. Visitors can have their picture taken behind bars and sit behind Andy’s desk.

Just don’t end up on the Most Wanted Bulletin Board! 

Good Time Trolley Tour

Website

After touring the museum, hop on the Good Time Trolley Tour. This 60-minute tour takes you on an informative loop through the town.

It is narrated by a local and filled with interesting history and facts about Mount Airy and Andy Griffith.

This is one of our most recommended things for first-time visitors to Mount Airy! Tours run Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from Spring to Fall

Mayberry Squad Car Tours

Website

Squar Car Tour Mt Airy

Before getting locked up, you must take a trip in the squad car! The Mayberry Squad Car Tour leaves from Wally’s Service Station.

Andy Griffith House Mt Airy

It will take you to iconic Andy Griffith spots like Floyd’s Barbershop, Andy’s Homeplace (711 E Haymore St, Mt Airy, NC), and even the granite quarry (the world’s largest open-faced granite quarry!)

Tours are $50/carload of up to 4 people and should be booked beforehand.

Read More: Bands from North Carolina That You Can Listen to Right Now 

More Things to Do in Mount Airy

After you’ve filled your day with all of the Andy Griffith things to do in Mount Airy, check out some more of these hidden gems downtown and beyond!

Gertrude Smith House

Address: 708 N Main St, Mt Airy, NC
Website

The Gertrude Smith House was willed by the namesake owner to serve as a “living museum” and reminder of the early 1900s. Built in 1903 by the Smith family, the house is on the National Register of Historic Homes.

The Gilmer-Smith Foundation manages the Gertrude Smith House, which hosts art exhibits, musical concerts, Christmas events, and more annually.

Read More: Visiting the Carl Sandburg Home in Flat Rock (History + the Best Things to Do)

Historic Earle Theater

Address: 142 N Main St, Mt Airy, NC
Website

Historic Earle Theater Mount Airy NC

The Historic Earle Theatre is another Mount Airy icon with a history that includes premiering Gone with the Wind in 1939. Today, the Earle doubles as a theater that shows first-run, sub-run, classics, and movies during special events.

The Old-Time Music Heritage Hall is also inside the Earle, which preserves Surry County’s old-time music tradition through exhibits lining the walls and music filling its halls.

Mount Airy Museum of Regional History

Address: 301 N Main St, Mt Airy, NC
Website

Mount Airy Museum

Want to dig deeper into local history?

The Mount Airy Museum of Regional History features the surrounding counties of Surry, Stokes, Forsyth, Wilkes, and Yadkin, with permanent exhibits on the first inhabitants to famous people born there. 

Special exhibits provide visitors with new experiences during each visit. Make sure to go to the basement to check out the vintage fire engines!

And the museum’s top floor has a children’s play space for those traveling with young kids.

The museum hosts ghost tours on Friday and Saturday nights from May through October, and advanced reservations are required. 

Read More: The NC Museum of History in Raleigh (+7 Things We Love About It!)

Old North State Winery

Address: 308 N Main St, Mt Airy, NC
Website

old north state winery

Old North State Winery is in downtown Mount Airy and is unlike any other winery in North Carolina.

The vineyard is located outside of town on 18 acres in the Yadkin Valley. Founder Ben Webb grows Cabernet Franc, Chambourcin, Riesling, Petit Manseng, Carlos, and Noble Muscadine grapes to produce his wines.

The winery is inside a historic Hardware store on Main Street, which has the original pressed tin ceiling and solid oak floors. 

Read More: 6 Amazing North Carolina Wine Trails for Your Next Getaway!

Siamese Twins Museum 

Address: 215 Rockford St, Mount Airy, NC
(Opening Summer 2024)

Chan and Eng Siamese Twins Mt. Airy

Chang and Eng Bunker were Chinese-Thai-conjoined twins who made their way to Mount Airy. The two men traveled the United States and beyond as “oddities,” connected by a five-inch band of flesh at the chest.

In 1839, the twins settled down in Mount Airy and started families. They married sisters, fathered 21 children, and became successful farmers.

There is a lot of sensationalism about Chang and Eng, and the Mount Airy Museum aims to tell an accurate picture of what their lives were truly like. 

Surry County Ground Steak Trail

Website

The Dairy Center Ground Steak Trail

I guarantee a stop on the Surry Ground Steak Trail will be one of the most unique things to do in Mount Airy!

What exactly is Ground Steak? During the Great Depression, meat rations needed to be extended, so people got creative.

Think of a mix between a hamburger and a sloppy Joe without the ketchup or Worcestershire sauce. Ground steak can be served as a sandwich or made into an entree without the bun. It is simple but unique to Surry County.

Read More: North Carolina Barbecue (Lexington vs. Eastern vs. Contemporary, and 35+ Restaurants to Visit!)

Speedy Chef Elkin Ground Steak

There are 11 restaurants along the Surry Ground Steak Trail serving the regional delicacy that you should check out during your visit to Mount Airy! 

  • All Sauced Up BBQ (425 E. Hwy. 52 Bypass, Pilot Mountain, NC)
  • Aunt Bea’s BBQ of Mount Airy (452 N. Andy Griffith Pkwy, Mount Airy, NC) and Pilot Mountain (642 S. Key St, Pilot Mountain, NC)
  • Central Cafe (304 N. Main St, Dobson, NC)
  • Cousin Gary’s (626 S. Key St, Pilot Mountain, NC)
  • Dairy Center (407 W Lebanon St, Mount Airy, NC)
  • Martha Sue’s (885 Holly Springs Rd, Mt Airy, NC)
  • Rockford General Store (5174 Rockford Rd, Dobson, NC)
  • Snappy Lunch (125 N. Main St, Mount Airy, NC)
  • Speedy Chef of Mount Airy (1516 S. Main St, Mount Airy, NC) and Speedy Chef of Elkin (685 N. Bridge St, Elkin, NC)

Read More: Beautiful North Carolina Road Trips (Scenic Byways and Highways)

Surry Sonker Trail

Website

Miss Angels Sonker

Just like Ground Steak, Sonker is another regional dish that can only be found in Surry County! It’s not a pie or a cobbler—it’s a mix of both!

Recipes have been passed down through families for generations, and there is even a festival in October since 1980! 

We’ve enjoyed trying several spots along the Sonker Trail and can confirm that everybody’s granny does it differently.

Read More: 25 Wonderful Wineries Near Asheville (Vineyards Within 2 Hours)

Where to Eat and Drink in Mount Airy

Eating is one of our favorite things to do in Mount Airy, thanks to these fantastic restaurants.

  • The Chef’s Table at Old North State Winery (308 N Main St, Mt Airy, NC): If you want the ultimate luxury experience, make a reservation for The Chef’s Table at Old North State Winery. It is offered on Friday and Saturday evenings and consists of a farm-to-table chef-prepared meal with wine pairings. 
  • Thirsty Souls Community Brewing (238 Market St, Mt Airy, NC): From carrying beer casks up the Slovakia countryside to a brewery in Mount Airy, Thirsty Souls satisfies a thirsty traveler. Owners Jan and Maria Kriska wanted to create a home around their passions, so together, they built a community around small-batch beer. Along with 12 European-inspired beers on tap, Thirsty Souls has tasty pizzas (including gluten-free!) and excellent appetizers. 
  • Snappy Lunch (125 N Main St, Mt Airy, NC): Snappy Lunch is an iconic place to eat in Mount Airy. It has been open for over 100 years and is famously Andy Griffith’s favorite place to eat when he was a boy. It is said he would pop over to Snappy’s for two hot dogs and a Coke! Today, Snappy Lunch serves classic burgers, hot hogs, breakfast plates, and more for very reasonable prices. And don’t forget to try their famous pork chop sandwich piled high with mustard, slaw, chili, and tomato!

Things to Do Near Mount Airy

Looking for more things to do near Mount Airy? There are wineries and outdoor adventures for everyone just outside of Downtown.

  • Blue Ridge Parkway Stops Near Mount Airy
  • Surry County Wineries
  • Pilot Mountain State Park
  • Downtown Pilot Mountain
  • Horne Creek Farm
  • The Farm at Dobson
  • Elkin
  • Hanging Rock State Park
  • Stone Mountain State Park

Blue Ridge Parkway Stops Near Mount Airy

Doughton Park Recreation Area Blue Ridge Parkway NC

The Blue Ridge Parkway is one of the most adventure-filled attractions near Mount Airy. Here are some nearby stops that you can reach within an hour:

  • Cumberland Knob (Milepost 217.5, 30 Minutes Away from Mount Airy): Cumberland Knob is where the road’s first day of construction began on September 11, 1935. Today, it’s home to 1,000 acres of recreation, including the easy Cumberland Knob Trail.
  • High Piney Spur Overlook (MP 218, 30 Minutes Away from Mount Airy): About a mile south of Cumberland Knob is the High Piney Spur Overlook, also known as Fox Hunter’s Paradise.
  • Doughton Recreation Area (MP 238 to 241, 1 Hour Away from Mount Airy): 7,000 acres of open fields and uninhabited land await at Doughton Park. Highlights between Mileposts 238 and 241 include:
    • Brinegar Cabin (MP 239)
    • The Bluff Mountain Trail (7.5 miles)
    • The Doughton Park Campground (MP 239)
    • Doughton Park Picnic Area (MP 241)
    • The Fodder Stacks Trail (2 miles roundtrip)

Read More: NC Blue Ridge Parkway Hikes (30 of the Best Trails!)

Surry County Wineries

Jolo Winery surry county

The Yadkin Valley wine region has 40-plus wineries, some of them kid-friendly, and many of which are an easy drive from Mount Airy.

From Old North State, with sweeter sips, to Christian Paul, with bolder reds, there is a winery near Mount Airy for every kind of drinker. Our favorites nearby Mount Airy include:

Read More: The Surry County Wine Trail (and 17 Amazing Vineyards to Try)

Pilot Mountain State Park

Visitor Center Address: 1721 Pilot Knob Park Rd, Pinnacle, NC
20 Minutes Away from Mount Airy
Website

Pilot Mountain Drone

Less than 20 minutes from downtown Mount Airy is Pilot Mountain State Park. The iconic knob that pops out of the hillside provides excellent views.

You can drive to the top for beautiful mountain views, but it can get very busy during the summer and weekends. Hike around the base of Pilot Mountain via the Pilot Knob Trail (0.8 miles), or test yourself with a hike from the Visitor Center to the top via the Grindstone Trail (3.5 miles one way)

If you love rock climbing, Pilot Mountain is a very popular spot for that, too.

However, I think the summit view sometimes overshadows the hiking trails at the base of the mountain. Pilot Creek Access and Bean Shoals Access have great trails worth checking out if the summit is too busy. 

Read More: The Best Things to Do in Mount Mitchell State Park

Downtown Pilot Mountain

30 Minutes Away from Mount Airy

Pilot Mountain NC

You may know Pilot Mountain as the state park; we’ll mention it next. However, a great town nearby got its name from the famous peak.

Many believe Pilot Mountain inspired Mount Pilot, the fictional town in The Andy Griffith Show. Main Street in the small town has shops and places to eat and is an excellent base for exploring Mount Airy and its surroundings.

Read More: 20+ Awesome Wineries near Charlotte (Vineyards Within 2 Hours)

Horne Creek Farm

Address: 308 Horne Creek Farm Rd, Pinnacle, NC
30 Minutes Away from Mount Airy
Website

Horne Creek Farm Surry County

While you’re at the base of Pilot Mountain, check out Horne Creek Farm. This NC Historic Site is a great example of a homestead family in North Carolina’s Piedmont during the 1900s.

The original farmhouse, tobacco curing barn, corn crib, and apple orchard still stand, allowing visitors to glimpse life.

Horne Creek has educational programs introducing rural life, like an annual corn shucking and old-fashioned ice cream social. Admission is free, and the site is open Tuesday through Saturday. 

The Farm at Dobson

Address: 769 Bray Ford Rd, Dobson, NC
25 Minutes Away from Mount Airy
Website

Christmas on the Farm in Dobson

The Farm in Dobson is a beautiful, family-friendly thing to do near Mount Airy. While we usually visit during their Christmas lights season, they are also open during the Spring and Fall to provide endless entertainment for the young at heart.

The weekends in May are reserved for strawberry picking, and the Fall is full of pumpkin patches, a 4-acre corn maze, and sunflowers

Elkin

40 Minutes Away from Mount Airy

Elkin is an adorable small town along the southwestern edge of Surry County. It’s a great complement to Mount Airy and pairable for a weekend.

When in Elkin, walk around its lovely downtown, which is home to amazing murals, wonderful shops, tasty restaurants, and the iconic Reeves Theater. You can enjoy restaurants like Southern on Main and sample wine flights at The Wisdom Table, a fantastic bottle shop.

Elkin-area wineries that we love include Grassy Creek Vineyard and Elkin Creek Vineyard.

Elkin is also known as “Trail Town,” with the Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail running through Elkin and the Elkin and Allegheny Rail Trail an excellent place for walking or jogging near downtown.

Carter Falls is a beautiful waterfall that is reachable via an easy 1-mile loop. Elkin’s awesome trail network allows you to extend your hike from other trailheads, including Grassy Creek Vineyard. 

You can also go paddling or floating down the Yadkin River with a rental from Rocky Forest River Run.

NC Trail Days in Elkin is an awesome annual event, usually held at the end of May or the beginning of June, depending on the calendar. This event showcases the area and its wonderful trail system.

Read More: 20+ Kid-Friendly Waterfalls In NC (Easy Hikes And Swimming Holes!)

Hanging Rock State Park

Visitor Center Address: 1790 Hanging Rock Park Rd, Danbury, NC
45 Minutes Away from Mount Airy
Website

Things to Do in NC Hanging Rock State Park Stokes County

Pilot Mountain is one of many beautiful Mount Airy attractions, as you’ll see when visiting Hanging Rock State Park. The Hanging Rock Trail (2.6 miles roundtrip) is usually our first choice, thanks to the epic views that await.

The state park has other fun hikes, including Moore’s Wall Loop Trail (4.7 miles) and the Indian Creek Trail (7.2 miles round trip).

The park also has five named waterfalls, with Lower Cascades the easiest to access and one of our favorites in NC!

Read More: 100+ of the Best Hiking Trails in North Carolina

Stone Mountain State Park

Visitor Center Address: 3042 Frank Pkwy, Roaring Gap, NC
50 Minutes Away from Mount Airy
Website

NC State Parks Stone Mountain

Last but not least is Stone Mountain State Park, one of our favorite NC state parks for various reasons. It’s home to 18 miles of trails, a massive granite dome (hence the name!), and gorgeous waterfalls.

Hiking the 4.5-mile Stone Mountain Loop will lead to both Stone Mountain Falls and the dome’s base. We also recommend you drive further down and cool off at Widow’s Creek Falls.

More Things to Do in Mount Airy NC And Nearby

While Mount Airy is best-known for being the hometown of Andy Griffith and the inspiration for the fictional town of Mayberry on The Andy Griffith Show, we think you’ll be able to enjoy it even if you’ve never seen the show!

We’ve featured many of these Mount Airy tourist attractions in our NC travel guides collection. Here are a few examples to keep you exploring this wonderful area!

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