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Ava Gardner Museum

325 E Market St, Smithfield, NC 27577-3919
+1 919-934-5830
Review Highlights
A+ for Ava

We accidentally stumbled onto this gem of a museum. We went and enjoyed every minute. It was a... read more

Reviewed May 18, 2016
Julie M
Dallas, Texas, United States
via mobile
Great Day trip

I became interested in Ava Gardner years ago, after attending a screening of the "Barefoot... read more

Reviewed May 12, 2016
Read all 131 reviews
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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.
  • Excellent67%
  • Very good29%
  • Average3%
  • Poor1%
  • Terrible0%
Travelers talk about
“minute film” (12 reviews)
“frank sinatra” (11 reviews)
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Hours Today: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
325 E Market St, Smithfield, NC 27577-3919
+1 919-934-5830
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Reviews (131)
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31 - 40 of 131 reviews

Reviewed May 18, 2016 via mobile

We accidentally stumbled onto this gem of a museum. We went and enjoyed every minute. It was a first class operation and full of a treasure trove of Hollywood memorabilia. This is off the beaten track but worth the effort. Also, try Cricket's Grill while...More

Thank Julie M
VisitSmithfieldNC, President/CEO, Johnston County Visitors Bureau at Ava Gardner Museum, responded to this reviewResponded May 20, 2016

Thank you -- we think the Ava Gardner Museum is a gem too for tourism in Smithfield!

Reviewed May 12, 2016

I became interested in Ava Gardner years ago, after attending a screening of the "Barefoot Contessa" at an independent movie theater. A bunch of women friends were planning an outing, and I suggested this museum. The Ava Gardner museum is located in Downtown Smithfield, about...More

Thank Momalita
Reviewed April 15, 2016 via mobile

Great day trip. 18 minute video to watch. Really enjoyed seeing the museum. If you are so in Smithfield this is a must see!

Thank Tina J
Reviewed March 31, 2016

Four of us decided to take a drive to Smithfield and expected a hokey drop in like so many little museums across the U.S. Not so!! This is a delightful, well planned, well laid out, and excellently run homage to a beautiful and talented woman....More

Thank NancieL
Reviewed March 31, 2016

My wife is a big fan of Ava Gardner, the country girl who was discovered when her photo was placed in a photographer's studio window. One of the most beautiful women in the world, Gardner was married to Mickey Rooner, Artie Shaw and Frank Sinatra....More

Thank 2014TravelingMan
Reviewed February 20, 2016

Ava Gardner's museum is like walking back in time. As someone born in 1926, I can certainly appreciate this place. My wife and I, though a little older than Ava used to know people that were acquaintances with Ava as she was born in the...More

Thank James W
Reviewed February 17, 2016 via mobile

Our group of ten ladies visited the museum from Wilmington, NC. This was to be the highlight of our overnite trip. I can't say we were warmly or even tepidly greeted by Sara! It started our visit off on a bad note. We enjoyed the...More

Thank LorraineT808
Reviewed February 17, 2016

This small, but quaint museum is a jewel in downtown Smithfield. If you enjoyed any of Ava Gardner's movies, this is a must stop. There is enough memorabilia to keep one occupied for about an hour an a half, and the personnel are friendly and...More

Thank Jose M
Reviewed February 7, 2016

This is an excellent museum. Greatly exceeded expectations in its depth of material on , Ava Gardner. Clothes , movie posters, personal articles and so much more than you would expect. Everything is perfectly displayed and perfectly neat. There is an 18 minute movie that...More

Thank Richard A
Reviewed January 11, 2016

I went here with my wife while visiting the Smithfield area. The museum is a wonderful way to spend about 90 minutes learning about the life and history of Ava Gardner. The admission costs are $8 per adult and there is an 18-minute movie that...More

1  Thank John514
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Jeanette M
June 25, 2017|
AnswerShow all 6 answers
Response from AllenVirginiaBeach | Reviewed this property |
Open Monday - Saturday 9am - 5pm Sunday 2pm - 5pm All you had to do was type in Ava Gardner museum and it gives you the times, just like I did for you. Glad I could do your leg work for you!