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Your guide to Mount Airy
All About Mount Airy
Mount Airy has a few interesting claims to fame: it’s the site of the world’s largest open-face granite quarry, which is visible from space. Perhaps most notably though, it was the inspiration for a town in a beloved 1960s sitcom, making it somewhat of a pilgrimage site for fans over the decades.
Above and beyond both those fun facts, Mount Airy is a charming mountain town, teeming with quirky local history. Original 1960s cop squad cars will take you on a tour of the town, where a classic ‘50s barbershop and candy store are sidled up next to grand Victorian homes — one of which has been converted into a museum of local history. Just outside town, Pilot Mountain stands tall, beckoning with its scenic hiking trails and picturesque views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Top it all off with a sampling of Yadkin Valley wine and a deliciously indulgent sonker (cobbler-like dessert), and you have Mount Airy at its peak.
When is the best time to stay in a vacation rental in Mount Airy?
Spring and summer see Mount Airy at its busiest, as warm weather draws people to town. From April through August, Mount Airy is a lively place, with plenty of things to do both in town and in the surrounding mountains: golfing, hiking, art walks, and touring vineyards. The end of August kicks festival season into high gear here, starting with the annual Wine and Craft Beer festival, followed by the Mayberry Days festival in September, the Autumn Leaves festival in October, and culminating in festive Christmas celebrations in December. While the weather will be cooler and possibly rainier during the autumn, the festivals and less crowds make this a worthwhile time to visit. In winter, things tend to slow down as the temperatures drop, though for those looking for the fewest crowds and cozy sweater weather for hikes and walks, this may just be the perfect choice.
What are the top things to do in Mount Airy?
Fans come to Mount Airy to step inside the set of a famous hit ‘60s sitcom. Take a tour of town in a 1960s police squad car, explore quirky local museums, and whet your palate at retro sweet shops, diners, and soda counters. Those with a discerning eye will spot relics of the series everywhere, and even for those who aren’t fans, the kitschy, old-timey atmosphere still makes this a charming and fun-loving place to see.
Taste a sweet, sticky sonker
Sonker is a regional delicacy of Surry County North Carolina, and you can only find it here. This custardy fruit cobbler is made with berries, peaches, apples, or sweet potatoes, a rustic dough, and often a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side; it’s kind of like a deep-dish pie, and it’s delicious. While you’re here, follow the Surry County trail and taste as many as you can as you drive between nearby towns, stopping at bakeries, diners, and restaurants along the way.
Take to the mountains
With the Blue Ridge Mountains at Mount Airy’s doorstep, there are plenty of places around town for a scenic hike. Head up to Pilot Mountain for views over the surrounding mountains and for fantastic rock climbing; walk wooded trails at Riverside Park, or spend the day at Westwood Park for golfing and mountain biking.