We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Ava Gardner Museum

325 E Market St, Smithfield, NC 27577-3919
+1 919-934-5830
Review Highlights
From Rags to Riches

The museum covers all aspects of Ava's life. The introductory video is a "must see." The docent is... read more

Reviewed 5 days ago
Ron G
Greensboro, North Carolina
Very worth the visit

For people of our generation, the pre-boomer types, a visit to Ava's museum is a treat. It... read more

Reviewed 3 weeks ago
Stephen F
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Read all 134 reviews
Map updates are paused. Zoom in to see updated info.
Reset zoom
Updating Map...
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 good28%
  • Average2%
  • Poor1%
  • Terrible0%
Travellers talk about
Closed Now
All hours
Hours Today: 09:00 - 17:00
325 E Market St, Smithfield, NC 27577-3919
+1 919-934-5830
Write a Review
Reviews (134)
Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year

1 - 10 of 134 reviews

Reviewed 5 days ago

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

Thank Ron G
VisitSmithfieldNC, President/Johnston County Visitors Bureau at Ava Gardner Museum, responded to this reviewResponded 2 days ago

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

Reviewed 3 weeks ago

For people of our generation, the pre-boomer types, a visit to Ava's museum is a treat. It brought back memories of the many movies she starred in with all the leading male actors of her generation. Why she couldn't find marital happiness in her marriages,...More

Thank Stephen F
Reviewed 12 August 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

Thank dc_fish
Reviewed 23 July 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

Thank firebear1961
Reviewed 3 July 2017

Went with my mom and sisters once, and again with my hubby. His grandmother has old letters from Ava as well as an invitation to her funeral. I learned a lot about what films she was in and she had high city taste, for sure!

1  Thank pirategirl122017
Reviewed 22 June 2017 via mobile

This iconic actress was born just outside of Smithfield. Many of her family members spent their entire lives here. Ava is buried locally with other members of her family. The museum is very well laid out with many displays of personal effects and photographs telling...More

1  Thank Jim4249541
Reviewed 19 June 2017

A great story of a local girl making it. Story start with birth and go to death with all good and bad thing in her life. The collection of things was very good.

1  Thank William G
Reviewed 7 June 2017

There are lots of exhibits and mostly her clothing. This was when movie stars where mostly respectable people...

2  Thank Lorene W
Reviewed 25 May 2017

We thoroughly enjoyed our visit. We have lived in NC for 20 years and had heard about this museum but were never much interested in Ava Gardner. But, I'm glad we decided to stop by. The museum was wonderful. As mentioned, plenty of free parking...More

1  Thank GmaSandra
Reviewed 7 May 2017

We visited this museum on May 6th. There is parking in the street. It does not seem to be a big museum on first sight, but there are a lot of little histories behind every item. Every year they put other items in display. That...More

3  Thank AmarilisVos
Nearby Restaurants
Simple Twist
84 reviews
.15 km away
26 reviews
.19 km away
Gotham's Deli
49 reviews
.18 km away
Cricket Grill
28 reviews
.24 km away
Nearby Attractions
Rudy Theatre
21 reviews
6.46 km away
Carolina Premium Outlets
195 reviews
3.07 km away
Ice House Theatre
6 reviews
6.37 km away
Ask a question
Questions & Answers
Saliha B
31 August 2017|
AnswerShow all 2 answers
Response from AmarilisVos | Reviewed this property |
There is discount for military, seniors, teens and children
Jeanette M
25 June 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!