Every now and again, we like to put together a fun day trip agenda for our more adventurous readers. Bored? Not sure what to do? Leave it to us and we’ll help you explore the small towns around you and the communities within larger cities.
Today, we’re talking Smithfield, North Carolina. Yes, as in Smithfield’s Chicken ‘N Bar-B-Q – Smithfield. About 40 minutes southeast of Raleigh, this rural community is mostly known for its outlet shopping, but whatever your reason for being there, we’re telling you what to do and where to go for a little fun.
- What you’re wearing: Jeans
- Themes: Comfort food, Craft beer, Hollywood History
- Best for: Couples, Girls-Night-Out
- Duration: 3-4 hours
Where You’re Going
- The Ava Gardner Museum
- Heidi’s Two Wheel Cafe
- Double Barley Brewing
The Ava Gardner Museum
You may have heard of the movie star, Ava Gardner? She was the Angelina Jolie of her time. Sexy, sultry and talented, she was born in the Smithfield-area and is one of the American Film Institute’s 25 Greatest Female Stars of Classic Hollywood Cinema. The Ava Gardner Museum is located there and it’s not to be missed, especially if you enjoy movie history. And even if you don’t, you’ll be surprised to find out how entertaining the visit can be.
Tickets are $6.00-$10.00 and hours are Monday – Friday, 9:30 am to 4:30 pm, Saturday, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm and Sunday, 2:00 pm to 5 pm.
Because the museum is only open during the day, we suggest you go here first, then have dinner. But if you’re an early bird, you might want to have lunch first and then head to the museum. Your call.
Heidi’s Two Wheel Cafe
Head to Heidi’s Two Wheel Cafe for some hearty traditional Americana food. Prepare for lots of local flavor, rustic interiors and a few bikers, because, yeah, this place is friendly with the bikers. But all are welcome.
Heidi’s can get pretty busy, so be patient and don’t mind the wait if there is one. We suggest you order the humble burger and fries, or maybe the Philly steak sandwich and chips, but you may feel differently. And yes, this is a bar, but this is not where you’re drinking. Remember, you’re making a day of it, and we’ve got something else planned for you.
Double Barley Brewing
After you’ve filled your belly, you’re heading to Double Barley Brewing for a few beers. If for some reason, biker bars aren’t your thing or you just don’t feel like waiting because service can be slow for such an awesome place, you can eat here. And the food is good. Order a few flights of craft beer (they have a great list) and try a bit of everything.
Now, you’re going home and you’re going to rent one of Ava Gardner’s best-known films and watch her Oscar-nominated performance for best actress in the film Mogambo, also starring Grace Kelly and Clark Gable. Do you have room for popcorn?