Welcome to Smithfield
We encourage our guests to discover the many charms of Ava Gardner’s hometown, Smithfield, NC. Enjoy delicious meals at our chef-driven restaurants; take a leisurely stroll along the scenic Neuse River on the Buffalo Creek Greenway, part of North Carolina’s Mountain to the Sea Trail; visit our local boutiques and destination shopping center, the Carolina Premium Outlets; explore the exhibit hall at the Johnston County Heritage Center; and stay a night at one of our area hotels.
PLAN YOUR TRIP TO SMITHFIELD
9:30am Arrive at the Ava Gardner Museum in historic downtown Smithfield. Watch our introductory video, tour our exhibit galleries, visit our gift shop for exclusive souvenirs.
12pm Grab lunch at one of the restaurants within a short walking distance from our museum. Choose from comfort food at The Diner, soups and sandwiches at Gotham’s Deli, Italian favorites at Sami’s Pizza and Pasta, or artisanal, chef-driven specialties at Simple Twist, SoDoSoPa, or The Gilded Pear.
2pm Enjoy the walking trail through downtown. Exploring the unique architecture and history of Smithfield at 19 featured stops and shop at our downtown boutiques like Evan's Jewelry, Jewels Formals, The Twisted Willow, or The Oak City Collection.
4pm Visit Ava's grave site at Sunset Memorial Park, located one mile west of downtown.
5pm Enjoy a delicious dinner at one of our area restaurants by your hotel.
7pm See a movie at the historic Howell Theatre, where Ava Gardner watched movies when she returned home and her film The Great Sinner premiered.