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Ava Gardner Museum

325 E Market St, Smithfield, NC 27577-3919
+1 919-934-5830
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Review Highlights
Great, Informative and Pictorial

This is a very informative look t the life and times of a great movie star. She was a little... read more

Reviewed 4 weeks ago
det683
,
Clarksville, Virginia
Wonderful visit!!

So glad I took the time to visit this fantastic museum! As a native of North Carolina, I grew up... read more

Reviewed 14 March 2018
parispls
,
Greensboro, North Carolina
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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.
  • Excellent69%
  • Very good27%
  • Average3%
  • Poor1%
  • Terrible0%
Travellers talk about
“minute film” (12 reviews)
“frank sinatra” (12 reviews)
Closed Now
Hours
Hours Today: 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
LOCATION
325 E Market St, Smithfield, NC 27577-3919
CONTACT
Website
+1 919-934-5830
Write a ReviewReviews (140)
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All reviews
"minute film"
in 12 reviews
"frank sinatra"
in 12 reviews
"humble beginnings"
in 5 reviews
"personal items"
in 6 reviews
"movie posters"
in 6 reviews
"interesting life"
in 2 reviews
"her parents"
in 3 reviews
"grave site"
in 3 reviews
"early life"
in 3 reviews
"memorabilia including"
in 2 reviews
"treasure trove"
in 3 reviews
"personal effects"
in 3 reviews
"north carolina"
in 10 reviews
"lots of pictures"
in 3 reviews
"downtown smithfield"
in 9 reviews
"grew up"
in 4 reviews
"introductory video"
in 2 reviews
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1 - 10 of 140 reviews

Reviewed 4 weeks ago

This is a very informative look t the life and times of a great movie star. She was a little before my time but now I have a better appreciation of her work. This is a great addition to any trip.

1  Thank det683
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ava_Gardner_Museum, Museum Director at Ava Gardner Museum, responded to this reviewResponded 4 weeks ago

We are so glad you enjoyed your visit, thank you for the great review! Hope to see you again :)

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Reviewed March 14, 2018

So glad I took the time to visit this fantastic museum! As a native of North Carolina, I grew up hearing about beautiful Ava Gardner...so happy I took the time to drive 2 hours to visit the museum! Very friendly and knowledgeable staff. Great short...More

Thank parispls
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ava_Gardner_Museum, Manager at Ava Gardner Museum, responded to this reviewResponded March 16, 2018

We are so pleased that you enjoyed your visit to the Ava Gardner Museum! We will be changing our current exhibits in May, so come back and see us again. Thank you so much for your support!

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Reviewed February 13, 2018

This museum tucked away in Downtown Smithfield offers a treasure trove of memorabilia from the Hollywood legend and Johnston County native's life and career. There's costumes, personal items as well as exhibits featuring the men in Ava's life including Howard Hughes and Frank Sinatra.

Thank johnmarkivey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed February 7, 2018 via mobile

I loved visited Ava Gardner Museum and discovered that her was the actress in the movie of Hemingway books! I love Hemingway! The Museum is very interesting and is possible watching a documentary about life and career of Ava Gardner! Near the Museum has a...More

Thank Silvane_Romero
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ava_Gardner_Museum, Director at Ava Gardner Museum, responded to this reviewResponded February 8, 2018

We are so happy you enjoyed your visit! We will be adding a new exhibit in May, so please come visit us again!

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed January 16, 2018

The museum is small but well laid out with several rooms and display cases. The hostess definitely knew the story of Ava Gardner and was most helpful. There is also a video program that makes her history clear. The displays of various facets of her...More

1  Thank gojusensei
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ava_Gardner_Museum, Manager at Ava Gardner Museum, responded to this reviewResponded January 19, 2018

Thank you for the wonderful review, we are so glad you enjoyed your visit! I will be sure to let our docent know that you mentioned her, we are very lucky to have such long-term and knowledgeable docents! We change our exhibits each year, so...More

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Reviewed December 26, 2017

Smithfield NC's Ava Gardner Museum is a good way to jump off I-95 and stretch your legs. Inside this museum the visitor can watch a video about the actress's life in addition to costumes that she wore in some of her movies. While this may...More

Thank Madeline103119148
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ava_Gardner_Museum, Manager at Ava Gardner Museum, responded to this reviewResponded January 19, 2018

Thank you for your review, we appreciate it! We do understand that our museum caters more towards adults, but we do have a little "scavenger hunt" list that we encourage the children who can read to participate in. We hope to see you again! ~Lynell~

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Reviewed November 3, 2017

While driving down I-95 in North Carolina, we saw a sign saying AVA GARDNER MUSEUM. Curiosity got the best of us so we decided to investigate. This small but intriguing museum is located in Smithville, NC., across from City Hall and adjacent to the town...More

2  Thank kathy321nj
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
VisitSmithfieldNC, Ava Gardner Museum Board Member at Ava Gardner Museum, responded to this reviewResponded November 6, 2017

Thank you for taking time to explore our "hidden gem" in Smithfield, NC -- many of us on the board have spent years curating Ava's story into what you experienced. We change out exhibits once a year and hold special events if you are ever...More

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Reviewed September 16, 2017

The museum covers all aspects of Ava's life. The introductory video is a "must see." The docent is well versed in her knowledge of Ava Gardner and her birthplace. The photos, paintings, and memorabilia; cover her entire lifespan. It was well worth my detour off...More

1  Thank Ron G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
VisitSmithfieldNC, President/Johnston County Visitors Bureau at Ava Gardner Museum, responded to this reviewResponded September 19, 2017

Thank you for your kind words -- we work hard to preserve Ava's legacy and showcase the collection in the best ways afforded the museum. Our next event will be October 21-22 showing vintage Ava and Frank movies if you are in the area. Take...More

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Reviewed August 11, 2017

We stopped in Smithfield to break up a drive from DC Metro to Hilton. The area was just shy of half way but the option to visit this museum put this town at the top of the list for stopovers. We were not disappointed. It's...More

1  Thank dc_fish
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed July 22, 2017

We had a friend in town and took him by to see this. Its a very nice little museum, nice movie about Ava. Warning. Be careful about parking on the street if you have a full size truck, a lot of mirrors get taken off....More

1  Thank firebear1961
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Saliha B
August 31, 2017|
AnswerShow all 2 answers
Response from AmarilisVos | Reviewed this property |
There is discount for military, seniors, teens and children
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Jeanette M
June 25, 2017|
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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!
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