The Mayberry Retreat

Featuring Special Guest

LeRoy Mack McNees

May 3-5, 2023

Historic Boone Tavern Hotel

Berea, Kentucky

The Mayberry Retreat will be an intimate gathering of discerning fans of The Andy Griffith Show with special guest LeRoy Mack McNees. LeRoy was featured in the episode “Mayberry on Record” and seen in “Quiet Sam” during season one. An accomplished dobro player, LeRoy is also a member of the International Bluegrass Music Association Hall of Fame.

Attendees will enjoy activities centered solely on The Andy Griffith Show and entertainment in keeping with the spirit of the series. Think of it as all-Mayberry all the time.

The retreat will begin Wednesday afternoon and conclude late morning on Friday. Registration includes lodging Wednesday and Thursday nights and all breakfasts and dinners including taxes and gratuities.

Attendees will enjoy:

  A concert by LeRoy Mack McNees
• The opportunity for superior one-to-one contact with LeRoy thanks to the intentionally limited number of attendees
• Audio-visual presentations by Mayberry author and historian Randy Turner providing entertaining and detailed looks at various aspects of The Andy Griffith Show
• A concert by Zoe Speaks, a musical duo who perform both standard and original Appalachian music
• A new Mayberry book by Randy months before it will be available to the public
• An interview of LeRoy about his career and experiences on The Andy Griffith Show
• Communal viewing of select Mayberry episodes with commentary by Randy
• Several Mayberry and retreat-related mementos, including a t-shirt
• A sampling of various Kentucky treats, including spoon bread, Kentucky Derby pie, transparent pie, cream pulled candy, bourbon balls, mint Kentucky Colonel candy, and Blue Monday candy bars

The Mayberry Retreat will be held at the beautiful and historic Boone Tavern Hotel. Built in 1909, the hotel is on the National Register of Historic Places. Nestled in the Kentucky foothills of Appalachia, Berea is easily reachable within a day’s drive for an enormous segment of the country. 

Berea is known as the Folk Arts & Craft Capital of Kentucky. It is home to Berea College, whose students excel in the making of beautiful Appalachian arts and crafts in the disciplines of wood working, ceramics, weaving, jewelry, and broom making. One section of Berea known as “Old Town” is filled with artisan studios, galleries, distinctive gift shops, and much more.


• The hotel has a limited number of rooms of each type (king, queen, and double beds) which will be filled first come, first served. Earlier registrants are more likely to get the larger beds. If room is double occupancy but shared with a friend, the room will contain two separate beds.

Download the brochure with the registration form to sign up through the link below. Please note that the number of attendees will be quite limited by design. The hotel has only a finite number of rooms which will be filled first come, first served. NOTE: The date for the second payment will be adjusted for later registrants. The second payment for those registering after December 1  is currently February 2, 2023.

 2023 Mayberry Retreat brochure

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Value of The Mayberry Retreat

Whenever I attend Mayberry Days, the wonderful festival centered around The Andy Griffith Show in Mount Airy, North Carolina every September, I customarily spend close to $250 per night for lodging. That amount entitles me only to the free breakfast which is certainly okay but definitely not close to home cooking. And, of course, my roughly $500 does not entitle me to any concerts, presentations, or souvenirs such as books or t-shirts.

That alone is one reason that The Mayberry Retreat is actually a greater value than one might realize at first. But that’s not the main benefit to my way of thinking.

To me, the biggest plus in attending such an intimate gathering is the opportunity to have fellowship with a smaller group of true fans, including LeRoy. The registration paid by attendees is what enables LeRoy and his wife to be flown from California to spend time with us as a small group. It adds to the expense of attending, but I think it is well worth it. Anyone at Mayberry Days can wait in line and meet LeRoy and speak to him for a few minutes, but this event will allow one to actually spend quality time with him, not to mention an up close and more personal concert by this wonderful musician.

I will also be providing several new and entertaining audio-visual presentations similar to the one I did at Mayberry Days last year that was so well received. There will also be a second concert by Zoe Speaks, a talented duo of recording artists who perform both standard and original Appalachian music.

Plus, there will be a few surprises!

My goal is for everyone that attends to leave feeling they have been pampered for a few days. This will assuredly be a relaxing all-Mayberry, all-the-time unique experience for the devoted Mayberry fan that is not to be missed.

The Daniel Boone Tavern has an extra Mayberry connection

I have long been a fan of this beautiful historic hotel. A member of the Historic Hotels of America, the Daniel Boone Tavern first opened in 1909. The facility underwent an $11 million dollar renovation but maintained the charm that has makes it a leader in the Kentucky hotel industry.

The hotel includes the Boone Tavern Restaurant that is loved by so many for its longstanding tradition of excellence in its food offerings. The food retreat guests will be experiencing will be delicious and exceptional.

One thing that I have always particularly liked about this hotel is that it is owned by Berea College. The private school was founded in 1855 by an abolitionist minister and was the first Southern college to be coeducational and racially integrated.

The last time Berea College charged a student tuition was in 1892! Instead, students who are accepted work around 10 hours a week in any of more than 140 college departments and pay nothing for tuition. The hotel and restaurant are no exceptions, so events such as The Mayberry Retreat benefits more than the ardent Mayberry fan. All the furniture in the hotel rooms was also made by Berea students. The woodwork, weaving, handmade brooms, and more created by these Berea College scholars are available for purchase in town. 

The Boone Tavern Hotel is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, so it’s not surprising that many famous people have stayed there. The list includes the Dalai Lama, Eleanor Roosevelt, Henry Ford, Robert Frost, and Maya Angelou.

But only one U.S. President has stayed there, and when I heard who it was, I knew the Boone Tavern Hotel was the perfect retreat venue. That’s right. President Calvin Coolidge didn’t say everything, but he and the First Lady did stay at the hotel!

Library of Congress photo of President and Mrs. Calvin Coolidge with Berea College students (1926)