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Mount Airy: A North Carolinian Hidden Gem 

Lauren Jablon 

As mentioned prior, Mount Airy is a hidden gem that many non-local NC residents may not be aware of. However, the town hosts events every year to celebrate the town’s tradition of a delicacy known as “sonker”, among many other things. Mount Airy is located in the core of the Surry Sonker trail, a trail devoted to different locations where one can buy an authentic North Carolinan sonker. 


Additionally, each fall, the town hosts an Autumn Leaves festival where shops all around the town contribute by showcasing their famous sonkers, among other products. Moreover, Mount Airy is also the real-life town behind the made-up “Mayberry” town from the Andy Griffith show. 


Walking around this town, it is clear that the town combines bits of modern culture, as well as bits from the past. For example, walking around the downtown area of Mount Airy, one can observe a vintage Coca-Cola mural on a large alleyway’s wall or a local “pop” store and diner; each of these makes you feel like you’re time traveling back to the 1900s. However, walking into some of the town’s more modern shops like “Anchored Sweet Treats and Savory Eats”, the interior resembles more modern style decorations, giving the town a great balance between old and new. Mount Airy is the perfect day trip, and you definitely won’t regret trying some of Miss Angel’s French crumb apple sonker while there. 


Mount Airy definitely has a more “small town” vibe and nuance to it; however, this gives the town most of its charm, as the locals go above and beyond to make visitors feel at home. Their generosity and charisma are some of what makes this place so special. 


Below you will find images of a local pop shop diner, a vintage CocaCola mural in the heart of downtown, a photo of the main street where many of the local sonker shops are, and a photo of a Mount Airy-Opoly board game that was found in one of the local souvenir shops. 


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