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Bluegrass, Blue Ridge & Barney (Two-day Bluegrass and Mayberry Trip)

It’s hard to visit Mount airy and not notice the bluegrass influences, from the Round Peak style of old-time mountain music to the live radio broadcasts from WPAQ’s Merry-Gro-Round, the second-longest live radio broadcast in the nation.  Below, we’ve listed all the must-see attractions for Mount Airy regarding Mayberry, bluegrass, and a few Blue Ridge attractions.

Day 1

Morning Tour the Andy Griffith Museum where you’ll notice the musical roots of Andy Griffith. Andy’s background as a singer and guitarist was obvious during The Andy Griffith Show. Also, check out all the memorabilia from The Andy Griffith Show.

Tip: Tickets to the Andy Griffith Museum also includes a trip through the Old-Time Music Heritage Hall.

Walk to downtown Mount Airy to tour the Old-Time Music Heritage Hall inside the Earle Theatre. The old-timey theatre presents daily showings of the UNC-TV Folkways documentary, “Folkways: Music of Surry County,” which reveals why the intense, bluesy, bluegrass Blue Ridge sound of Surry County has become known from around the world. You’ll also want to pay extra for the audio tour through the exhibits.

Tip: Try to visit on a Saturday morning at 9 a.m. for a Saturday jam along with the live radio broadcast of Merry-Go-Round at 11 a.m.

Lunch Order a Pork Chop Sandwich from Snappy Lunch, a boneless, tenderized fried pork chop. Snappy Lunch was referenced on several episodes of The Andy Griffith Show and Andy ate there as a young boy.

Tip: Ask for extra napkins.

Afternoon Walk down Main Street to the Mount Airy Museum of Regional History and check out the bluegrass in the Blue Ridge exhibits, including the history of old-time music legend Tommy Jarrell and memorabilia from country music star Donna Fargo.

Shop Main Street through the antique stores, candy stores, retail outlets, and gift shops—making sure take some extra sweet treats for the road trip back home.

Tip: Stop by the Mount Airy Visitor Information Center first before heading through Main Street.

Check in to a Mount Airy hotel for a quick nap and then head over to a downtown restaurant or a Mount Airy restaurant for some Southern hospitality and cuisine.

Day 2

Morning Head 20 minutes North to the Blue Ridge Parkway at exit 8 off U.S. 77. Head through the town of Fancy Gap, and take the exit north on the Blue Ridge Parkway to Mabry Mill, a 1910 operating grist mill, located a milepost 176.

Lunch Dine at the Mabry Mill Restaurant, and afterward, stop by the gift shop and pick up your own pack of grits, cornmeal and buckwheat flour.

Afternoon Head south to the Blue Ridge Music Center at milepost 213 to tour the museum and hear old-time and bluegrass music jams daily during the summer months, from noon until 4 p.m.

Tip: Make sure to visit for their schedule of outdoor performances.