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Living in Smithfield, N.C.

Smithfield, North Carolina, is located off I-95 and was founded on the Neuse River. It is home to the Carolina Premium Outlets and the Ava Gardner Museum, and it is the county seat, making it the hub of Johnston County’s business and governmental activity. Downtown Smithfield is continually bustling with concerts, festivals and outdoor recreation. Smithfield offers many job opportunities because of its businesses that it’s ranked No. 2 Best Places for Millennials in Johnston County and draws such a diverse crowd that it is ranked No. 2 Most Diverse Places to live in Johnston County.

Smithfield, NC Street View

Things To Do in Smithfield

Smithfield’s location off I-95 makes it a great day stop and a great place to get away and stay for a weekend. Many of Smithfield’s hotels along the I-95 corridor offer getaway specials and shopping coupon books. The town is centered around the Carolina Premium Outlets, which welcomes over 7 million visitors annually, and “shop til you drop” is a real thing here.

You can shop the premium outlets and then drive a mile to browse the local downtown boutiques, enjoy the Wine Walk or learn about one of Hollywood’s leading ladies at the Ava Gardner Museum. Smithfield also boasts being part of the Beer, Wine and Shine Trail in Johnston County, making it a great place to grab not only a drink, but also eat some local North Carolina BBQ.

Smithfield, NC Movie Theater

Getting Around Smithfield

Smithfield is located off exit 95 on I-95 and is close to the intersection of I-95 and I-40. It is located about 35 minutes southeast of Raleigh and 20 minutes south of Clayton.


Getting There & Around


What Locals Love

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  • Shopping is something that residents of Smithfield really love, and the Carolina Premium Outlets features more than 80 national brand stores like Adidas, Polo Ralph Lauren and Coach.
  • For over 30 years, Smithfield’s Chicken ‘N Bar-B-Q joint has been a popular place for locals and tourists alike. Now with 36 locations across North Carolina, you can taste this BBQ anytime and almost anywhere in NC – but it wouldn’t be Smithfield’s BBQ unless you taste it while you’re in Smithfield.
  • Johnston County’s largest flea market, Brightleaf Flea Market, does not disappoint the bargain shopper. Brightleaf offers 100,000 square feet of indoor market with a fresh vegetable market where you can get locally grown produce.


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