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June 03, 2021

Newly-remodeled Ava Gardner Museum reopens with new exhibits

Travel Ava Gardner

Content sponsored by Visit NC - Johnston County Sponsorship Badge

Limited - Ava Gardner Museum Costume Exhibit Ava Gardner Museum/for PhillyVoice

The Ava Gardner Museum, located in the historic town of Smithfield in Johnston County, North Carolina, has officially reopened following an extensive renovation brought on by a flood that damaged nearly half of the building earlier this year. Ava Gardner fans are invited to come see the newly-remodeled museum’s unique collection of Ava’s personal artifacts and explore the brand-new exhibits featuring costumes from Gardner’s five-decade career in film and television.

Visitors will also have the opportunity to view rarely seen items on display, including clothing and jewelry given to Ava by Howard Hughes, a chicken platter with ties to Mickey Rooney, newly acquired jewelry from the movie “Pandora & the Flying Dutchman,” and more.

With rotating exhibits, interactive presentations, special events and expert docents, the Ava Gardner Museum offers fans a multitude of ways to learn about the remarkable life and career of Ava Gardner all year long.

Plan your trip to Smithfield now to experience all the Ava Gardner Museum has to offer and enjoy the town’s thriving downtown with new retail, restaurants, events, historic attractions, outlet shopping, and recreational activities. Take a walk on the Mountains to the Sea Trail that curves along the banks of the Neuse River, catch a production at the Neuse Little Theatre, eat in one of several locally-owned restaurants, or relax with a local craft beer at Double Barley Brewing.

Whether you’re traveling to Smithfield as your final destination or just an overnight stop along the way, there’s no shortage of things to do.

Visit the Ava Gardner Museum

325 E. Market St.
Smithfield, NC 27577

Hours of Operation:
Monday - Friday: 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Saturday: 9 to 5 p.m.
Sunday: 2 to 5 p.m.

Learn more