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Ava Gardner Museum

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Address: 325 E. Market Street, Smithfield, NC 27577
Phone Number: 1-919-934-5830
Website
Today
9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Open now
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Hours:
Sun 2:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Mon - Sat 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Activities: Group tours/walking tour
Description: The Ava Gardner Museum, one of North Carolina’s most remarkable...
The Ava Gardner Museum, one of North Carolina’s most remarkable attractions, honors the life, loves, and legacy of one of Hollywood’s most glamorous leading ladies. It’s here that you will see personal interviews and get the real story from those that knew her best.Discover the real Ava Gardner as you take the self-guided tour through more than 5,000 square-feet of exhibit space. You’ll see extraordinary costumes, movie posters and awards that represent Ava’s 50-year career as a leading Hollywood actress. The Museum also houses a collection of personal items of china, jewelry, clothing and fine art, including 40 portraits by Bert Pfeiffer, an artist whose collection was donated to the museum in 2001. The tour also includes a screening of a short biography of Ava that features information about her life in Johnston County and commentary by those who knew her best, including family members, childhood friends, co-stars, and even one of her husbands, Mickey Rooney.Get to know the people who played important roles in Ava’s life. Her circle of close friends included celebrities such as Gregory Peck, Grace Kelly, Ernest Hemingway and Howard Hughes. You’ll also learn about her marriages, which were even bigger news than her films. View artifacts that belonged to her third and final husband, Frank Sinatra, whom she considered the love of her life.
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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

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Wonderful museum! A must see even for those who are not big Ava Gardner fans!

We finally got to stop here on our way back from vacation on the Outer Banks. I am not an Ava Gardner fan. Or rather, I was not, until I got to come here! The girl at the desk... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed June 7, 2015
Jamie O
,
Hiram, Georgia
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81 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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English first
Hiram, Georgia
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
7 attraction reviews
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 7, 2015

We finally got to stop here on our way back from vacation on the Outer Banks. I am not an Ava Gardner fan. Or rather, I was not, until I got to come here! The girl at the desk was very enthusiastic. She took our money (only $8 per person) and sent us into a room that had an 18... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
West Columbia, South Carolina
Top Contributor
181 reviews 181 reviews
43 attraction reviews
121 helpful votes 121 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 29, 2015

We had eaten lunch in Lumberton, NC and were driving to Washington, NC. Since we had an hour or so, we decided to break the drive by stoping at the Ava Gardner Museum in Smithfield, NC off exit 95 of I95. We did good! So many of these "hometown museums" are well intentioned, but amateurish, NOT this one. You are... More 

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Northampton, Massachusetts, United States
Top Contributor
54 reviews 54 reviews
19 attraction reviews
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 9, 2015

The Ava Gardner Museum is as sparkling a jewel and as tailored a collection as the wardrobe of the remarkable woman and Hollywood legend it honours. Smithfield, NC off I-95 has created a generous and sophisticated homage to the actress that starts and ends with the warmth of its staff, and includes an 18-minute introductory film (a must see), stunning... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
Hellertown, Pennsylvania
Senior Contributor
42 reviews 42 reviews
6 attraction reviews
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 28, 2015

This one is a must for Hollywood aficionados! Incredibly tastefully presented, and with a must - see introductory documentary on Ava's life. If you care about fashion, you will marvel at beautiful classic stuff made by Gucci, Dior, Ferragamo and others that genuinely belonged to her. Very enthusiastic lady at the reception desk and good stuff to buy at the... More 

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New Brunswick, New Jersey
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 21, 2015

I was here for a war reinactment but stopped into the museum and enjoyed the little time I spent there. I am a history fanatic.

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Haverford, Pennsylvania
Top Contributor
738 reviews 738 reviews
109 attraction reviews
460 helpful votes 460 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 11, 2015

I guess I was expecting a small kitschy museum dedicated to Ava Gardner when I pulled off I95. So I was surprised to find a rather substantial building on the Main Street in little Smithfield. I was the only person in the museum on this morning and the elegant, very southern docent gave me a warm welcome. I started with... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 3
Raleigh, North Carolina
Top Contributor
148 reviews 148 reviews
61 attraction reviews
104 helpful votes 104 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 7, 2015

I was highly impressed with my visit to The Ava Gardner Museum. It is located in downtown Smithfield, NC. There is street parking as well as a large public parking lot in the back. When you enter the museum, you are warmly greeted and then told a little about Ava Gardner before watching an 18 minute film to give you... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
Greensboro, North Carolina
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
10 attraction reviews
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 2, 2015

The overall experience of the museum and the townis a great experience. There was nothing we did not like.

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jshuclan
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 9, 2015

Really enjoyed going in and watching the film as well as touring the exhibits. There was a nice collection of memorabilia and clothing but having been once I don't know that I would necessarily pay to go back again. A neat side trip though and would make a good field trip for my homeschoolers.

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Port Saint Lucie, Fl USA
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 30, 2014

there is a lot to learn about this great actress. Ava Gardner was a great actress and by stopping at the museum ther is a lot to learn

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Additional Information about Ava Gardner Museum

Address: Address: 325 E. Market Street, Smithfield, NC 27577
Phone Number: 1-919-934-5830
Location: United States  >  North Carolina (NC)  >  Smithfield
Open Hours:
Sunday 2:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Monday 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Tuesday 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Wednesday 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Thursday 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Friday 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Saturday 9:00 am - 5:00 pm

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