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Mt Airy , North Carolina

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Jun 22nd, 2007, 08:40 PM
  #1
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Mt Airy , North Carolina

We are planning to stop here on our way to the beach for one night. I know there are alot of things to see in and around this town. Has anyone ever been here to give us some suggestions? A good place to stay? We were considering the Mayberry Motor Inn or The Best Western.Good places to eat? We were thinking of trying Snappy Lunch. We would appreciate any suggestions. Thank You
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Jun 22nd, 2007, 09:01 PM
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Ohhh!!! You're in luck. We have a resident expert on "Mayberry". When cmcfong signs back on she'll have LOTS of info for you

I've been to Mt Airy and loved it - but I'll leave it to cmcfong to share details.
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Jun 23rd, 2007, 05:53 AM
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Good morning, summervacation. I live near Mt. Airy and love this area. Starrsville is right, I am always glad to promote visits here. Check out www.visitmayberry.com for some links.

Could you give me some idea of your particular interests (Mayberryabilia, hiking,nature,biking,shopping, wineries)and I will be glad to make some specific suggestions.

The Snappy Lunch for a porkchop sandwich is a must. Be sure and come early, they close at two. Don't let the line deter you, it moves quickly. If you love milkshakes try Goobers 52, casual atmosphere and eclectic menu. Bluebird Cafe and Barneys Cafe on Main Street are options if Snappy Lunch has already closed. For a lovely dinner try Shelton Vineyards about a twenty minute ride outside of town. I had dinner there last night and it was quite good.

There is a brand new Hampton Inn at the Shelton Vineyards (with a shuttle service so you can have a few glasses of vino with dinner). It is just off I-77S and well marked.
I would think the Best Western a better choice than the Mayberry Motor Inn.
While you are here, come on over to my neck of the woods, Pilot Mountain (Mt. Pilot in the Andy show...where the "fast" girls lived!). It is a beautiful mountain and you can drive all the way to the top. Excellent trail system to give you the best view of our area. Just come straight down 52S from Mt. Airy (20 minutes drive).

Please let me know if I can be of any help to you in planning your stay. Welcome to North Carolina!
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Jun 23rd, 2007, 10:33 AM
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Hello cmcfong ,we have been to NC many times. I really love the area! Mountains, beaches, it has it all! We've always wanted to stop in Mt Airy on our previous trips, so we are really lookng forward to it! I was on the website yesterday. We are interested in the Mayberry things and if you could point out the things not to miss I would appreciate it.We will be traveling with 2 teenagers 14 & 19 and the 19 year old is a photographer, and is interested in nature. Pilot Mountain sounds wonderful and is definitely something we would like to see.They both would be interested in making a stop at Opies Candy store! Goobers sounds good as well. We usually like to eat at casual restaurants, sandwiches mostly, nothing fancy.Not chain restaurants, when we travel we like to experience the local eateries.I know we cant see everything our first trip but I would really appreciate all of your help. Thank You!
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Jun 23rd, 2007, 11:20 AM
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Absolutely seeing Pilot Mountain would be a treat for the photographer in your group.
www.stateparks.com/pilot_mountain.html
Drive up the road, about two miles, and park at the top. Jomeokee Trail and the Trail to Little Pinnacle are two excellent walks with first rate views. Neither requires hiking boots, etc.

For a special experience consider
www.pilotknobinn.com. Of course, another option would be to stay in Andy's birthplace recently converted to a bed and breakfast.

The Mayberry experience is primarily in the downtown area. Park anywhere on Main Street and you will be able to walk to Snappy Lunch, the cafes I mentioned in my earlier post, or the Good Life Cafe in the Emporium at Main and Oak. Definitely stop at the Emporium for the vast Andy display. We also have sightseeing rides in the squad car!

Goober's is on US52 on the northbound side just north of the Mayberry Mall. Sandwiches, salads, seafood, and the milkshakes.

Would the kids like to go to a drive in theatre? We have a great one, The Bright Leaf. First run movies, cheap and still quite a fun experience.
www.drive-ins.com/theater/ncbrig

Mt. Airy is also the site of the largest open face granite quarry in the world. Not first on many lists of "to dos" but actually fairly interesting. It is an easy ride from town and accessible to viewing.

Any history buffs in your group? If so, Winston Salem is a must see. There are three areas, Old Salem, Bethabara and Bethania, which are marvelous historical reconstruction/refurbishments.

I check the board regularly so let me know if I can help. Enjoy North Carolina.


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Jun 23rd, 2007, 12:47 PM
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Thanks for al of the great info.We are going to focus on doing the "Mayberry" things in town and taking a trip to Pilot Mountain on this visit, but I guarantee you, we will be back! We also may go to the drive in. Just so many things to see and do in that area. I checked out the Pilot Knob Inn but they dont accept children, adults only, so that is out for us. I called both The Hampton Inn and Best Western and The Best Westerns rate was about $20.00 less and is an official appointment of AAA.( We are members) Do you have any experiences with this particular hotel? We were leaning more towards Best Western for those reasons.
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Jun 23rd, 2007, 12:55 PM
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The Best Western will be fine and closer to the center of town. I am sorry, I didn't realize the Pilot Knob was adults only. It is a cool place.

You will have loads of fun in Mt. Airy. Do you know what day you will be there? Let me know and I will try to find out if there is anything special going on. The Andy Griffith Theatre often has great music shows.
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Jun 23rd, 2007, 03:22 PM
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I will go ahead and make my reservation at The Best Western. We will be arriving late Thursday June 28th and spending all day Friday June 29th in Mt Airy. We are looking forward to it. Thank you for all of the helpful information!
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Jun 23rd, 2007, 03:41 PM
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Ain't she grand?!
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Jun 23rd, 2007, 03:45 PM
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I will see if there is anything special going on and get back to you.

Awwww, starrs, blush, blush.....
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Jun 23rd, 2007, 03:55 PM
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THE EMBERS
Thursday, June 28, 2007, 7:30 p.m., Blackmon Amphitheatre, $10

THE TRADITIONS
Friday, June 29, 2007, 7:30 p.m., Blackmon Amphitheatre, $10

The amphitheatre is behind the Andy Griffith Playhouse (where the statue of Andy and Opie is located). The Embers are traditional Carolina beach music. I don't know the Traditions but if you are interested, I will find out on Monday.

I forgot to mention the museum
http://www.northcarolinamuseum.org/. Worth a stop!

Enjoy your visit! And, y'all come back, you hear?
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Jun 23rd, 2007, 07:05 PM
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cmc -- if you were to drive from Mt Airy to Boone / Blowing Rock, which route would you take, and how long, without stops?
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Jun 24th, 2007, 03:49 AM
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Hi Rae, I drive south on I-77 and west on 421 if I am leaving from Mt. Airy. 2 to 2.5 hours is my usual driving time.

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Jun 24th, 2007, 01:09 PM
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Thanks. That's probably a little too far for a day trip from home, especially since we'd avoid the Interstate. We're an hour from Boone.
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Jun 24th, 2007, 05:31 PM
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Hey, rae, there's an easy solution. Come and stay overnight in one of those romantic Pilot Knob Inn cabins. They are so cool. You could hike Pilot Mountain, go canoeing, have a milkshake at Goobers, visit a winery or two, and have a great time here. Think about it!
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Jun 24th, 2007, 06:52 PM
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I checked those Pilot Knob cabins the other day, they look excellent!

But what we'll probably do is take a drive when we use our (stupid) timeshare near Sugar Mountain sometime this year. DH and I were just discussing the fact that we need to get away -- either his parents or my parents are "dragging" us on trips (willingly!). We rarely travel alone anymore and get to do things for just us. But I am definitely bookmarking the Pilot Knob Inn for future reference.
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Jun 25th, 2007, 04:27 AM
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We'll be waiting for you, rae!
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Jul 3rd, 2007, 07:47 AM
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Depending on how the day goes, we may pop over to Mt. Airy tonight for a quick overnight and take advantage of the day off work tomorrow. We are thinking about the Quality Inn or Best Western.
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Jul 3rd, 2007, 08:26 AM
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Shouldn't have any problem finding a room, rae. I think the Best Western is probably the better of those two choices. Do consider the brand new and very nice Embassy Suites at Shelton Vineyard. They even do a shuttle to the restaurant so you can drink a little wine with dinner and not worry about driving.
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Jul 4th, 2007, 09:23 PM
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We are just back from a quick overnight to Mt. Airy, and we LOVED it. Had a great trip.

We arrived in Mt Airy around 10pm via US 601, I-77, and US 421 from Boone. (421 is a nice road now, I remember when it was not four-lane).

We had a $49.99 RoomSaver.com coupon for the Quality Inn, which they honored for a King room. The Inn is nice, what you'd expect from that type establishment. The room was clean and quiet. The bed and pillows were comfy. The carpet and decor were new-ish. Bathroom was SMALL but not cramped. Free basic continental breakfast in the morning. Pool hours 10a-10p so we didn't use it.

This motel is on US 601 just south of town, less than two miles from downtown. Very convenient.

This morning we started by driving by the Andy Griffith boyhood home. Then we headed toward downtown, which was blocked off for July 4 festivities. So we parked at the Andy Griffith Playhouse and walked the block to Main Street. We watched the Veterans' July 4 ceremonies and speech by the mayor. Then we took a few hours to walk Main Street, shop, eat, and sightsee. Many businesses were closed for July 4 or were closing early. So we missed some of the "must sees" (but were able to peek through the windows).

We did wine tasting at Old North State Winery on Main Street. $7 for a "premiere" tasting including souvenir glass; $4 for a smaller flight. Took two bottles home with us.

Continued our walk to the Dr. Robert Smith house for their short video and free Mt Airy displays. We really enjoyed the Chang & Eng Bunker room (*right* up our alley).

Walked back toward downtown and visited the Main Oak Emporium for their Andy Griffith memorabilia (free exhibit, lots of photos, some scripts, movie posters and one-sheets, records, costumes). We had lunch at the Good Life Cafe in the Emporium. We each had a sandwich and drink for less than $10. Very tasty. We sat in the window and watched people and traffic. (Snappy Lunch was closed!)

We headed back toward our car, stopping to photograph interesting buildings and peer through the glass into Floyd's Barber Shop.

We then drove around the corner to the Old Mayberry Jail and had fun taking photos inside at the Sheriff's desk and in the cells.

Then we popped over to the North Carolina Granite Corporation to view the world's largest open-face granite quarry. VERY interesting, even though they weren't working today.

From there we headed toward the grave of Chang and Eng Bunker, the original Siamese Twins. It's just a couple miles off US 601. The Mt. Airy brochure has directions. Nice churches, nice graveyard. Beautiful view for eternity, there is about a 180* view of mountains.

From there we took backroads to Pilot Mountain State Park. It's an easy drive to the top, and an easy walk to the pinnacle overlook. A more strenuous hike will take you to the huge rock monolith across the way. Lots of photo opportunities. It would also be a nice place to picnic or read a book.

From there we returned to Mt. Airy via the four-lane US 52, and then headed up into the mountains on pretty two-lane roads. We took NC89 to the state line, crossing the Blue Ridge Parkway. Then NC18 south through Sparta to Laurel Springs, where we picked up NC88 to US221 at West Jefferson. From there we hit NC194 to Boone and then back home to Tennessee.

I think my favorite part of the trip was Todd, NC, off NC194. I had seen brochures for the Todd General Store, so when we passed the area we turned down Todd Railroad Grade Road to see what that was all about. The entire town -- about 20 buildings -- is an historic area. Todd was the terminus of the Virginia Creeper railway, and the depot still stands. There is a locomotive and a couple cabooses on display. You can pick up a brochure for the walking tour and learn the history of the buildings in Todd. Many of the buildings are on the National Register. It's a neat little spot, about as out-of-the-way as you can get. I was glad we stumbled across it!

We had such a great day. Thanks to cmcfong and starrsvile and summervacation for putting the bug in my ear in the first place!

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