Group Tour Suggested Itineraries!
The Johnston County Visitors Bureau staff is available to assist motor coach groups of 25 or more seeking assistance in planning a trip to the Ava Gardner Museum for the annual festival held the first weekend in October each year or anytime during the year long celebration of Ava's 100th birthday. Please contact Ashby Brame, our Director of Marketing and Group Sales for itinerary planning and other services for your group.
We will be glad to assist with the following: group room blocks, custom itinerary planning, dining options for groups, securing tickets, and gift bags with additional coupon offers.
Day Trip Itinerary
For groups interested in making a day trip to Smithfield for the Opening Day of the new exhibits at the Ava Gardner Museum, the following is a suggested itinerary.
|10:00am||Tour the Ava Gardner Museum New Exhibits|
|Groups traveling to Smithfield for the day may drop by the museum on Friday to enjoy the new exhibits created for this year’s festival.|
|11:15am||Shopping along Third Street in Downtown Smithfield|
|Downtown Smithfield has a variety of boutiques, home decor, and antique shops for your group to enjoy.|
|12N||Group Options for Lunch|
|Your group may choose to stay downtown following shopping, and split up for lunch at the following dining options: The Gilded Pear, Gotham's New York Deli, The Diner, or SoDoSoPa. Or gather up the group for the buffet at Golden Corral, or Cracker Barrel both close by at Exit 95.|
|1:30pm||Outlet Shopping at Carolina Premium Outlets|
|For an afternoon option, your group could enjoy outlet shopping (a crowd favorite), shopping at DeWayne's or exploring nearby Hinnant Winery and enjoy a wine tasting.|
|3pm||Depart for Home|
One Night Two Day Itinerary
|1pm||Arrival in Smithfield|
|Based on your arrival time to Smithfield, your group could take in some outlet shopping at Carolina Premium Outlets before checking into your hotel or tour the museum exhibits.|
|5pm||Early Dinner Options|
|For groups of 25 or more there are private dining options in the area: Texas Steakhouse, Golden Corral, Mayflower Seafood, or nearby Robbins Nest or Parkside Cafe.|
|6:30pm||Optional Movie shown in the Theater|
|The Museum may with some notice set up a movie night in the Museum's theater. What a treat!!|
|10:00am||Heritage Tour with Step-on Guide|
|Step on Guide will take your group on the Heritage Tour of Ava's birthplace, the Teacherage where she lived in the Brogden Community and her grave site at Sunset Memorial Park.|
|12:15pm||Options for Lunch|
|Group can enjoy shopping on Third Street where merchants will have sidewalk sales and local artists will have booths. Lunch options include The Diner, Gotham's New York Deli, The Gilded Pear, and SoDoSoPa. Group will have to split up as dining options in downtown do not include private space for large groups.|
|2pm||Tour of the Ava Gardner Museum|
|The museum's new exhibits showcase some new acquisitions in the Doris Cannon Library, and visitors to the museum will see the newly renovated museum. There will be new programs and events celebrating Ava's 100th Birthday throughout 2023 -- we hope you return again to Smithfield!|
|3:30pm||Depart for Home|