The 9 Best Museums in North Carolina!

Museums serve as outlets to travel to the past, capture the present, and invent the future. Interactive experiences spanning interests in science, history, art, and beyond connect visitors through shared education and entertainment. Here are 9 destinations for timeless exploration at North Carolina's museums.

North Carolina Museum of History, Raleigh, NC

Its mission to preserve and present the state's past has led the North Carolina Museum of History to regularly house more than 150,000 artifacts in collections from six centuries. Rotating exhibits showcasing the works of local and national artists encapsulate the landscape of the state as well as its arduous social development. And the stories they tell extend into the Raleigh area. Statues of early North Carolina individuals modeled after forensically reconstructed archaeological remains stand outdoors to greet visitors as the individuals once did.

Ackland Art Museum, Chapel Hill, NC

Downtown Chapel Hill is home to the Ackland Art Museum and its permanent collection of thousands of works. The museum hosts a wide variety of drawings, photographs, and prints along with European masterworks, 20th century and contemporary art, local pottery, and North Carolina's collections of Asian art. To bring even more support to the area, the museum organizes several special exhibitions every year.

Museum of Life and Science, Durham, NC

The interactive science park and two-story science center at the Museum of Life and Science will excite scientists old and new. Over 84 acres of outdoor exhibits and 60 species of live animals provide safe havens for black bears, red wolves, lemurs, and those curious to see them. The museum also maintains one of the largest butterfly conservatories on the East Coast and invites visitors to observe the creatures during butterfly releases.

Asheville Pinball Museum, Ashville, NC

Asheville may be known for its Great Smoky Mountains and vibrant art scene, but the city is also home to one of the world's few pinball museums. Visitors at the Asheville Pinball Museum can play dozens of vintage machines and purchase their own to play pinball at home. The space can be reserved past regular visiting hours for private parties so the game doesn't have to end.

Airborne & Special Operations Museum, Fayetteville, NC

Fayetteville's Airborne & Special Operations Museum is a place to honor the heroic feats of the airborne and special operations troops who have contributed to protecting the nation. Owned by the U.S. Army, the museum contains hundreds of wartime artifacts and permanent exhibits with topics including World War II, Korea and the Cold War, and Vietnam. In the Reflection Garden, visitors can contemplate the past and reflect on the efforts of others.

Imagination Station Science & History Museum, Wilson, NC

To draw interest in science, technology, and history from hands-on learning is the goal of Wilson's Imagination Station Science & History Museum. An illuminated six-foot sphere illustrates properties of earth science and allows visitors to hold the world in their hands on the first floor. The museum also has a live animal collection located on the second floor of the building. A museum dedicated to the Coastal Plain can be found on the third floor.

North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh, NC

The largest museum art park in the country belongs to the North Carolina Museum of Art. One hundred and sixty-four acres of outdoor area surrounded the museum's interior of work from the Italian Renaissance to the 19th century. Permanent collections include Egyptian funerary art, sculptures and painted vases from ancient Greece and Rome, and Jewish ceremonial objects.

Mountain Gateway Museum, Old Fort, NC

As part of the Division of State History Museums in the Office of Archives of the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources, the Mountain Gateway Museum provides public access to artifacts with local, regional, national, and international contexts. By teaching how North Carolina's past continues to affect the present, Mountain Gateway Museum explores how one state is part of global history.

Graveyard of the Atlantic, Hatteras, NC

In its mission to preserve, present, and research maritime history, the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum serves its audiences by sharing findings from North Carolina Outer Banks and discovered shipwrecks. With emphasis on the period 1524-1945, the museum's relics have survived from the earliest periods of exploration and colonization.

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1170 US Highway 64 West, Asheboro, NC
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2222-G Pilots View Road, Asheboro, NC
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309 Branson Mill Road, Randleman, NC
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6136 Burlington Road, Sedalia, NC
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6136 Burlington Road,, Gibsonville, NC
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135 West Elm Street, Graham, NC
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201 East Main Street, Haw River, NC
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201 Main St., Haw River, NC
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131 West Church Street, Ellerbe, NC
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134 South Elm Street, Greensboro, NC
Vision:We seek to memorialize the courageous stand of the Greensboro Four as they launched, for posterity, the sit-in movement on February 1, 1960.... Read More
200 North Davie Street, Greensboro, NC
Mission Statement: Green Hill Center for North Carolina Art is a non-profit organization devoted to the stateÔ³ visual arts, artists, and cultura... Read More
220 North Church Street, Greensboro, NC
Mission StatementThe Greensboro Children’s Museum’s Mission is to provide children and families with fun, interactive, educational expe... Read More
130 Summit Avenue, Greensboro, NC
Discover & LearnThe Greensboro Historical Museum strives to open Greensboro’s history in ways that will inspire, challenge and even trans... Read More
500 Tate Street, Greensboro, NC
Hours Tue, Wed & Fri 10am-5pm Thu 10am-9pm Sat & Sun 1pm-5pm  Closed Mondays Mission Statement: The Weatherspoon Art Museum ... Read More
3900 Bonsal Road, New Hill, NC
History The original New Hope Valley Railway was built in 1904 to carry timber and other agricultural commodities such as cotton, corn and tobacco... Read More
2406 Glencoe Street, Burlington, NC
About US: The Textile Heritage Museum is located in the Company Store and Office Building in the Glencoe Mill Village. The building was purchased ... Read More
555 East Springfield Road, High Point, NC
Learn what it was like to live in the 19th century. An historic Quaker meeting house built in 1858, the Museum of Old Domestic Life is filled with ... Read More
101 South Columbia Street, Chapel Hill, NC
Mission: The Ackland Art Museum collects, preserves, and presents great art to educate, inspire, and engage the University and its regional, nation... Read More
Skipper Bowles Drive, Chapel Hill, NC
The state-of-the-art Carolina Basketball Museum features artifacts, videos, photos, and statistical and historical panels that highlight the histor... Read More
60 Falls Road, Badin, NC
History: Alcoa's rental office, town kindergarten and community building at it original location on the corner of Maple and Spruce Streets. In 199... Read More
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