I-77 South from Virginia
* Suggested stops
Mount Airy - www.visitmayberry.com, 1-800-948-0949
Step back to a simpler time when you visit Mount Airy. Actor Andy Griffith grew up here, and it's no coincidence that a stroll down Mount Airy's Main Street reminds people of the town of Mayberry from The Andy Griffith Show. Visit the Andy Griffith Museum, Floyd’s Barbershop and the Mayberry Jail. Bluegrass and traditional music lovers can take in a jam session or live radio show every Saturday morning in Downtown Mount Airy. History buffs can delve in to the area's colorful past at the Mount Airy Museum of Regional History and by visiting the county's myriad of historic sites.
Yadkin Valley - www.yadkinvalleywinecountry.com
Mount Airy is also located in the Yadkin Valley wine region, home to over 24 wineries, featuring the following wineries:
Round Peak Vineyards – www.roundpeak.com
765 Round Peak Church Rd., Mount Airy, NC 27030; 336-352-5595
Taste award-winning wines that are all estate bottled, using only the grapes grown in their vineyard.
McRitchie Winery & Ciderworks - www.mcritchiewine.com
315 Thurmond PO Road, Thurmond, NC 28683; 336-874-3003
This winery crafts small batches of excellent wines that have earned a place on menus across the state, as well as hard ciders sourced from apple orchards in the nearby Brushy Mountains.
Shelton Vineyards – www.sheltonvinyards.com
286 Cabernet Lane, Dobson, NC 27017; 336-366-4724
In the northern Yadkin Valley, brothers Charlie and Ed Shelton envisioned the transformation of a 383-acre dairy farm into a destination winery. Craftsmanship matches ambition with their award-winning wines and the Harvest Grill, hiking trails, special events and lodging complete the picture.
RagApple Lassie Vineyards – www.ragapplelassie.com
3724 RagApple Lassie Lane, Boonville, NC 27011; 366-367-6000, 866-RagApple
The atmosphere at this winery is just as genuine and unique as the name, which came from the owner’s prized Holstein calf. Visitors flock here for the stories, internationally lauded wines, lunch at the café, live music and more.
Raffaldini Vineyards & Winery - www.raffaldini.com
450 Groce Rd., Ronda, NC 28670; 336-835-9463
The vineyards and Tuscan-style villa with their Brushy Mountains setting rank as one of North Carolina’s most scenic destinations. As befits a place with such beauty and Old World charm, this Swan Creek vineyard crafts outstanding Italian wines.
Wilkesboro – www.wilkescountytourism.com, 1-336-838-3951
Visit St. Paul's Episcopal Church where world renowned artist Benjamin F. Long, IV painted two fresco scenes of the Apostle Paul in the commons area joining the chapel and the sanctuary. Follow with a visit to the Churches of the Frescoes in Glendale Springs and West Jefferson and begin to see how mud truly was transformed into magnificent in the frescoes of artist Ben Long. Learn about the moonshine business in old North Carolina at the Old Wilkes Jail. Wilkesboro was once known as the “Moonshine Capital of the World”, and it was on these back roads that some of NASCAR’s best drivers honed their skills evading “revenuers.” Stop in at the Brushy Mountain Smokehouse and Creamery for lunch and ice cream, and check out their still and collection of moonshine memorabilia. Then stop by the Wilkes Heritage Museum to see local NASCAR hero and former bootlegger Junior Johnson’s first racing car next to the moonshine exhibit. For a taste of the stuff, pick up a jar of “Midnight Moon”, now distilled legally from a Junior Johnson recipe.
Statesville – www.visitstatesville.org, 1-877-531-1819
Get a glimpse of North Carolina’s interconnected moonshine and racing legacy on a visit to the headquarters of Bill Elliott NASCAR team (Evernham Motorsports, LLC) in Statesville, NC, at the Evernham Motorsports Museum and Gift Shop. The Museum offers a historical tour through the careers of Ray Evernham, Bill Elliott, Jeremy Mayfield and Kasey Kahne. Next visit Images at the Crossroads, another Ben Long fresco at the Statesville Civic Center in historic downtown Statesville. Learn about the 1911 Statesville Depot or shop and dine in some of NC’s most unique boutiques and restaurants.
Hiddenite – www.hiddenitecenter.com, 1-828-632-6966
Just a few miles from Statesville is Hiddenite, home to Hiddenite Gems Inc.’s Emerald Hollow Mine where visitors can search for fine gemstones in the rough. Also stop by The Hiddenite Center/Historic Lucas Mansion, a three-story Victorian mansion housing various collections and art galleries, as well as a toy and doll collection.
Mooresville – www.racecityusa.org, 1-877-661-1234
Home to many of auto racing's top programs, Mooresville is a prime destination for any race fan. Spend the day touring race shops, including Dale Earnhardt Inc., JR Motorsports, Penske Racing and Kyle Busch Motorsports, many of which offer viewing rooms where you can watch crew members working on the cars, or explore the history of auto racing in one of our auto museums. In Mooresville, you can also experience the Lazy Five Ranch drive-through safari which takes you through gently sloping pastures as you watch more than 700 animals from six continents in a natural habitat.
Lake Norman – www.visitlakenorman.org, 1-704-987-3300
Not only is Lake Norman a draw for outdoor enthusiasts, it is a ideal for history buffs. Nestled on the banks of Lake Norman are the towns of Cornelius, Davidson and Huntersville. A tour of Huntersville’s Latta Plantation Nature Preserve includes the historic Latta Plantation circa 1800, the Nature Center, Equestrian Center and Carolina Raptor Center. Drop by Cornelius Town Hall to visit the Heritage Hall exhibit. Based on the book “A Town by Any Other Name” by Leslie Rindoks, Heritage Hall provides a tangible overview of the town’s history. Historic Rural Hill Farm in Huntersville was the home of Major John Davidson, American patriot and signer of the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence. Today the 265 acre historic plantation stands as a memorial to early American agriculture and has become a cultural center for Scottish heritage. Huntersville is only a short 15 miles North of Charlotte on I-77.