Johnston County, NC offers great connections to history, entertainment, dining, lodging and outlet shopping, along with a generous helping of true Southern hospitality. Located mid-way between New York and Florida on I-95 and at the crossroads of I-95 & I-40, Johnston County connects the nation's North and South with East and West. Its location places it only a two-hour drive from the Atlantic Coast beaches and a four-hour drive from the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Johnston County also offers many historical sites to visit such as the Bentonville Battlefield, Tobacco Farm Life Museum, Ava Gardner Museum and the Heritage Center.
Johnston County Court House
Johnston County schools structure their curriculum, programs and staff to foster a flame for learning within every child that will last a lifetime. In elementary schools the children learn by hands-on observation, a literature-based reading program and a process-oriented writing program. In the middle schools, there are core academic teacher teams, teacher-based guidance programs, and exploratory curriculum courses strive to make use of the best features of both elementary and high school programs to serve this unique age group.
Visitor attractions in Johnston County include several heritage museums and historic sites. The Bentonville Battlefield State Historic Site is located in eastern Johnston County, and it is the largest Civil War Battlefield in North Carolina. The Battle of Bentonville was fought March 19-21, 1865, and was the only Confederate offensive targeted to stop General Sherman's march through the south.
The Tobacco Farm Life Museum in Kenly has been collecting artifacts and showcasing the heritage of the Eastern North Carolina farmer for over 25 years. The site includes a museum and restored farmstead, working blacksmith shop, one-room school house and the site hosts several events each year.
The Ava Gardner Museum located in Smithfield is home to an incredible collection of artifacts such as scripts, movie posters, costumes and personal belongings of screen legend, Ava Gardner, who was born and raised in Johnston County.
The Johnston County Heritage Center is in Downtown Smithfield, and houses artifacts from all over the county. The Heritage Center has become known as one of the best equipped facilities in the country for studying local history and genealogy.
The Johnston County Arts Council promotes arts in the county and its schools. Smithfield is home to an annual Ava Gardner Film Festival (AGFF), which celebrates the life of the actress. In 2008 the festival will screen over 40 films in four theaters, including world, regional and state premiers. The Peacocks Crossroads community is home to Meadow Lights, an annual display of Christmas lights.
The following cities are included in the Johnston county area: Angier, Benson, Clayton, Four Oaks, Garner. Kenly, Micro, Pine Level, Princeton, Selma, Smithfield Wilson Mills, and Wendell.