The Andy Griffith Show movie cover Movie Locations Guide

Where was The Andy Griffith Show filmed?

About The Andy Griffith Show

CBS aired The Andy Griffith Show between 1960 and 1968. Since then, TV Land keeps the show alive by broadcasting reruns of the sitcom. 159 episodes of the half-hour series are in black and white while 90 were recorded in color.

Starring Andy Griffith, the sitcom partially drew its inspiration from The Danny Thomas Show. Griffith shared the screen with Don Knotts (Barney Fife), Frances Bavier (Bee Taylor/Aunt Bee), and Ron Howard (Opie). Other characters include eccentric townspeople who provide some much-needed laughter, punctuated with moments of anger, sadness, and triumph.

Set in the fictional North Carolina town of Mayberry, the premise of the show revolves around the joys of small-town living. Griffith personifies Andy Taylor, a widowed deputy sheriff, who is the town’s hero in every sense.

His lists of achievements include foiling bank robberies, at least once or twice, and helping the townsfolk with their day-to-day chores. Fife, who moves from Raleigh to Mayberry, best reflects the perks that come with living in a place where everyone knows each other. Still, he has to adjust to the slow-paced nature of the small town while also stepping up his game when faced with the time-sensitive duties tied to his job as a police deputy.

The cast members did a great job at showcasing the best of Southern hospitality. Aunt Bee, in particular, spoils the Taylor family with hearty meals and she always keeps a clean house. The family also maintains the ritual of dressing up every Sunday for church.

In true sitcom fashion, they don’t always get along and the recurring conflict comes from how Taylor relates with Aunt Bee. Several plotlines also explore some of the pitfalls of small-town living, including the lack of culture and entertainment options.

An added bonus for anyone watching the sitcom in recent years is being transported back to a time when cellphones didn’t exist, milkmen made door-to-door deliveries, and 5-cent soda bottles were all the rage.

City Locations

Los Angeles, CA

Location Types

Naturescapes, Mansions, Retail, Studios

Location Styles

Southwestern, Old Hollywood

The Andy Griffith Show Locations

The enthralling scenes of the sitcom play out at fancy restaurants, old mine shafts, lakes, and backroads in Mayberry. While the depicted locale is a fictional place, one of the star’s real-life hometowns inspired the show’s setting.

The late Andy Griffith grew up in Mount Airy, North Carolina and the show’s producers modeled the on-screen town after the North Carolina city. Long after the show wrapped up, Mount Airy maintains a long tradition of hosting annual “Mayberry Days.” The week-long celebration features parades, concerts, and appearances made by some of the beloved sitcom’s cast members.

According to IMDB, The Andy Griffith Show was filmed at various studios around Los Angeles. A few scenes were recorded on-location, particularly for the opening credits.

With that in mind, let’s revisit some of the best scenes in The Andy Griffith Show and explore their respective film shoot locations. On top of that, we’ll also break down the Mount Airy equivalents worth visiting during the Mayberry Days celebrations or whenever you find yourself in North Carolina.

Fun fact:

Knotts initially had a one-episode contract to appear in the sitcom. After witnessing the on-screen chemistry he had with Griffith, the producers extended his contract and made him a series regular.

Aunt Bee considers getting married scene in The Andy Griffith Show

Getrude Smith House

The 26th episode of the second season titled “Wedding Bells for Aunt Bee” is one of the show’s most memorable episodes. It can also teach us a thing or two about sacrifice, given that Aunt Bee essentially holds the household together and takes great pride in it. One of her best lines reflects it, “This isn’t a living room. This is a combination closet, warehouse, wastepaper basket, and storeroom.”

In this specific episode, Aunt Bee feels like she’s preventing Andy’s love life from blossoming. She figures that if she rekindles a romance with one of her old flames she can finally move out. Only she doesn’t still hold a torch for Fred Goss (Fred Sherman), the local dry cleaner, and soon enough, the charade falls apart.

The Taylor house scenes were filmed at a Los Angeles studio, and the Culver City-based Desilu Studios served as one of The Andy Griffith Show filming locations. The Gertrude Smith House at 708 North Main Street, NC is an equivalent of the Taylor residence.

Constructed in 1903, the residence is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Local businessman Jefferson Davis Smith occupied the home alongside his wife and their seven children. The home is now managed under a foundation, and visitors are welcome to tour the property. If you are ever in North Carolina, why not include this ode to the Taylor Residence in your The Andy Griffith Show tour?

Barney goes undercover scene in The Andy Griffith Show

The Backlot

The 21st episode of the fourth season is titled “The Shoplifters.” Barney goes on an undercover mission to investigate a series of thefts that have been taking place at the Weaver Department Store.

The kicker is when Barney, who delivered one of our best lines, “I ain’t got time to stand around and discuss trivial trivialities,” takes action. He disguises himself as a mannequin to get to the bottom of the thefts.

The Andy Griffith Show production team also filmed at the Desilu Studios Backlot. Located at 9336 W in Washington Blvd, the premises now go by The Culver Studios. The backlot was dubbed ’40 Acres’ and it stretched out to the hills. The backlot was also the setting for other productions like Gone with the Wind and King Kong.

Several Mount Airy locations are named after the sitcom’s character as an ode to the beloved show. That includes the Opie’s Candy Store at 135 North Main Street which is worth a visit for their ice cream cones.

The confections store, and several other businesses along Main Street, will make you feel like you’ve traveled back to the ‘60s. Note that it’s a cash-only business, much like other neighboring stores.

Opening credits fishing montage scene in The Andy Griffith Show

Franklin Canyon Reservoir

A man-made reservoir, found in Franklin Canyon, Los Angeles, provided the backdrop for the show’s opening credits. In this particular scene, Sheriff Taylor and Opie are seen walking to the lake armed with fishing poles.

Opie provided lighthearted and humorous moments throughout the show. In one of the episodes, he tried to get his dad’s attention, and when asked if it was something they can discuss later, Opie responded “Well, if you could let me have a dime, we wouldn’t even have to talk about it.”

The hiking trail at Franklin Canyon Park is worth a visit if only to recreate The Andy Griffith outdoor scene. Located near the Santa Monica Mountains and in proximity to the Benedict Canyon, the park features five miles of hiking trails and a 3-acre lake.

Several other productions, including I Love You, Beth Cooper, When a Stranger Calls, and How I Met Your Mother feature scenes filmed at the Park. Get to Franklin Canyon Park via bus number 2/302.

Citizen’s arrest scene in The Andy Griffith Show

Paramount Studios

The 11th episode of the fourth season titled “Citizen’s Arrest'', sees Gomer Pyle (Jim Nabors) turn the tables on Barney. Gomer, an auto mechanic, was introduced during the show’s third season, and he soon became one of the sitcom’s most beloved characters earning him a spin-off.

Barney, who previously said, “Today’s eight-year-olds are tomorrow's teenagers. I say this calls for action and now. Nip it in the bud. First sign of youngsters going wrong, you've got to nip it in the bud” is a man known to take accountability for his actions.

In this particular episode, Barney tickets Gomer for a traffic violation only to end up committing a similar offense. Gomer conducts a citizen’s arrest and the controversy that follows forces Barney to resign from his position as a deputy. The Paramount Studios at 5555 Melrose Avenue also housed some of The Andy Griffith Show film sets.

Wally’s Service Station at 625 South Main Street offers Squad Car Tours, and it’s an ode to Goober’s (George Lindsey) on-screen workplace. Tourists go on tours aboard Sheriff’s-themed vehicles, much like the 1967 Ford Galaxy seen in the show, with sirens blaring and hooting at every stop.

Next to Wally’s, you’ll find the Mayberry Courthouse which is a replica of The Andy Griffith location. It houses two jail cells, and a local pastor weds couples within the premises in front of a replica of Sheriff Andy’s desk. Once hitched, newlyweds are driven through town aboard a Sheriff’s squad car with sirens blaring.

Illegal gambling operation scene in The Andy Griffith Show

RKO Studios (Hayden Tract)

Floyd the barber (Walter Baldwin) is yet another character who provides plenty of comical moments. One of his best lines is from the ninth episode of season three, “Time heals everything. Know who said that? My Latin teacher in barber College.”

However, his most memorable moments came from the 28th episode of season two titled “The Bookie Barber” when he leased out space in his shop to an out-of-towner (Herb Vigran). He soon learns that the out-of-towner is operating an underground gambling operation.

The Los Angeles-based RKO Studios at Gower Street also served as the backdrop for some of The Andy Griffith Show scenes. In Mount Airy, Floyd’s Barber Shop at 129 North Main Street pays homage to Floyd the Barber.

Sadly, the owner, Russel Hiatt, passed away after operating the barbering business for 72 years. His son now runs the shop, and he’s always happy to chat with tourists about the town. The shop is also decked out with some of the sitcom’s memorabilia.

RKO Studios is now an industrial tract where many studios have been built. Originally a backlot known as Forty Acres, this parcel of over 28 acres was razed in 1976. From National Boulevard, take Hayden Avenue.

The loaded goat scene in The Andy Griffith Show

Ren-Mar Studios, Cahuenga Blvd

The 18th episode of season three, titled “The Loaded Goat,” sees Sheriff Taylor and Barney face off with a farmer's goat. Having swallowed several sticks of dynamite, the farm animal is quite the ticking bomb.

The episode spawns yet another famous line when Taylor says, “You may go down in history as the first man to ever lead a loaded goat out of town.” The Ren-Mar Studios, now known as the Red Studios, at 846 N Cahuenga Blvd also served as a filming location.

In Mount Airy, The Loaded Goat at 247 City Hall Street borrowed its name from the famous season 3 episode. The late Betty Lynn, who portrayed Barney’s girlfriend Thelma Lou, lived in Mt. Airy until her passing in October 2021. She even hosted her 90th birthday at the pub.

Conclusion

Besides the California locations, most folks find themselves stopping over at Mt. Airy in North Carolina because it’s at the halfway point of the Mid-Atlantic and Midwest states. If you are planning a similar trip, start by binge-watching old episodes of the show, and use The Andy Griffith filming locations rundown to guide your N.C. itinerary. Make 2 trips and do both the California and North Carolina locations.

In N.C., the Andy Griffith Museum at 2018 Rockford Street also deserves an honorable mention. It’s essentially a shrine to the show curated with a large collection of memorabilia tied to the show. Emmett Forest, Griffith’s great childhood friend, collected items from the show throughout his life.

Forest’s stash alongside items donated over the decades is displayed at the Museum. The items on display include articles, movies, comedy albums, Matlock, and props from the show.

Though not associated with the show, at 301 Main Street, you’ll find the Mount Airy Museum of Regional History. You can learn more about the town at the Museum including stories about the local early settlers, and the third floor features a “Hands-on History” exhibit.