Ava Gardner Museum, Smithfield

#1 of 18 in Things to do in Johnston County
This is the Official Page of the Ava Gardner Estate and the Ava Gardner Museum.

The Ava Gardner Museum is home to an incredible collection including original scripts, photos, costumes, and personal effects of screen legend Ava Gardner—a true Hollywood “Cinderella” story.

Experience her rise from a local country girl to one of Hollywood’s film goddesses. Born near Smithfield, Ava’s friends and co-stars included Mickey Rooney, Clark Gable, Frank Sinatra, and Gregory Peck. Her grave site is located in nearby Sunset Memorial Gardens, approximately two miles from the museum. Merchandise is available for purchase.

Wheelchair accessible, public restrooms. Free parking along street and rear lots.

Admission per person:

$10 adults; $9 seniors, military, teens; $6 children ages 3-12. Special group rate of $9/person for 10 or more. Group Heritage Tours can also be arranged for an additional $2 per person by calling our museum.

Please also consider becoming an Ava Advocate for $36/year (individual) or $60 (family- up to 5 people). Includes a yearly calendar, unlimited admission (excluding special events), and a 15% discount in the gift shop!

Hours: Monday- Saturday 9am- 5pm, Sunday 2pm- 5pm. During instances of inclement weather we may operate on delay or close for safety reasons. Please keep updated by checking our Facebook or calling the museum.

Closed: Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
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Ava Gardner Museum Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
169 reviews
  • Lovely little museum with lots of interesting info, costumes, posters, and a short film about a glamorous film star who came from nothing and succeeded in Tinseltown - unless you count three failed...  more »
  • Not a large museum but enough (with movie) to go through Ava Gardner's life, how she became a Hollywood legend, the men in her life, her movies, and her later years. Self-guided. Very interesting...  more »
  • This well tended museum is a warm tribute to their hometown girl. It's obvious what pride the staff have in sharing Ava's life with visitors. The exhibits are beautifully and advantageously presented in the modest space. They include artifacts, clothing and jewelry as well as photographs. A film is shown in a separate space. Gift items to purchase. I was as impressed with the museum's intention to honor Ava as with the excellent displays. We made a rest stop in this town driving up to D.C. from Florida because of the well placed sign on Route 95. Street Parking.
  • Wonderful museum! Original home movies of Ava Gardeners life. A very interesting place that gave you a sense of the life she led from her birth,how she was raised by her family as a country girl, & her steps to stardom as well as the interesting lifestyle she led till her death! I would highly recommend stopping by & checking it out especially if you love the movie stars of that era! You will be sorry if you miss it! Great Place!

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