North Carolina Museums

In the Triangle, there are four museums available for entertainment year-round. Three are located in Raleigh, and they are the Museums of Natural Science, Art, and History. In Durham one will find the Museum of Life and Science. Each museum attracts thousands of visitors annually, and with recent renovations to each location, the most up-to-date facilities are some of the most popular attractions in the area.

  • Museum of Natural Science:  Four floors of rich North Carolina history offer educational and fun permanent exhibits as well as seasonal specialty shows. Permanent exhibits include prehistoric North Carolina, NC Treasures, Coastal NC, Arthropod Zoo, Mountains to Sea, Complete Dinosaur fossils, and more. This museum is located on 11 West Jones Street in Raleigh and is open 9-5 Monday through Saturday, 12-5 on Sunday.
  • Museum of Art: Tucked away on Blue Ridge Road in Raleigh, the NC Museum of Art holds an extensive permanent gallery and wonderful seasonal exhibitions of some of the greatest artists in the world. The museum’s permanent collection includes African, American, Ancient American, Egyptian, Classical, Contemporary, European, Modern, and Judaic art. The museum is also home to one of the greatest Rodin collections (over 30 pieces) on the East Coast, a sight not to miss. General admission is free, though there may be additional charges for specific exhibitions. The outdoor park is open from dawn until dusk. Museum is open Tuesday-Thursday from 10AM to 5PM, Friday from 10-9, Saturday and Sunday from 10-5, and is closed on Mondays and all major holidays.
  • Museum of History:  Located on 5 East Edenton Street in Raleigh, the NC Museum of History offers a wide range of permanent and traveling exhibits that are sure to capture every audience. Permanent exhibits include postcards from NC, state military history, NC’s rich agricultural history, sports hall of fame, and the story of North Carolina. Temporary exhibits include North Carolina and the Civil War, Watergate, the 13th Amendment, NC Earthenware, and more. The museum is open Monday-Saturday from 9-5, and on Sunday from 12-5.
  • Museum of Life and Science: Located on 433 Murray Avenue in Durham, this museum offers extensive exhibits on life in North Carolina and throughout the world. Perhaps the biggest attraction is the butterfly conservatory, or the endangered wildlife home, where red wolves, black bears, lemurs, deer, and more species make their homes. Museum goers can also go on train rides, and play in the sailboat pond. The museum also has an indoor contraptions exhibit, educating about machinery.