Raleigh, N.C. (Nov. 2017) – Those with a passion for art and culture will love the "Smithsonian of the South," also known as Raleigh, N.C., for its abundant, high-caliber cultural attractions, most of which are open to the public free of charge. Visitors can explore impressive permanent collections, discover extraordinary visiting exhibitions and participate in unique programming available year-round.

North Carolina Museum of Art
No admission fee

  • Overview: opened in 1947 with a $1 million General Assembly appropriation, making N.C. the first state in the nation to use public funds to buy art. Today, the museum's collection spans more than 5,000 years, from ancient Egypt to the present and includes the largest repository of Rodin sculpture in the American South.
  • What’s New: 2017 renovations include an expanded African art gallery featuring 16 centuries of African creativity; expanded outreach featured through a new museum education website, NCMALearn. Coming in 2018 is You Are Here (April 7 to July 22, 2018) featuring immersive art installations.

Anne and Jim Goodnight Museum Park at the North Carolina Museum of Art
No admission fee 

  • Overview: the largest museum park in nation showcasing unique outdoor works of art amid 164 acres of gardens, fields and woodlands. Amenities include a theater, picnic areas, a terraced pond and paved trails that connect the museum to the Capital Area Greenway System. A park expansion completed last year added several new gardens.

North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences
No admission fee

  • Overview: the largest museum of its kind in the Southeast, affiliated with the Smithsonian Institution, accredited by the American Alliance of Museums and a recipient of the National Medal for outstanding community service. Collections and interactive exhibitions are housed in the Nature Exploration Center and the Nature Research Center.
  • What’s New: 2018 exhibitions include Mazes & Brain Games (Jan. 20 to Sept. 3, 2018), an elaborate assortment of mind-bending adventures, 3-D puzzles and full-body games.

North Carolina Museum of History
No admission fee

  • Overview: an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution featuring more than 14,000 years of N.C. history, from the state's earliest inhabitants through the 20th century. The museum also houses the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame.
  • What’s New: includes "North Carolina and World War I," a 6,500-square-foot re-created trench warfare environment with interactive components (on display through Jan. 6, 2019) and the permanent, award-winning "The Story of North Carolina."

Gregg Museum of Art & Design (newly opened)
No admission fee

  • Overview: following a four-year renovation program, the Gregg re-opened late summer 2017 with more than 35,000 art objects, the largest and most diverse collection of any university museum in N.C.

CAM Raleigh
Admission: $5 for visitors over 10 years old

  • Overview: N.C.'s only non-collecting contemporary art museum, CAM explores what’s "new and now" with an always-changing experience designed to inspire new ways of thinking, seeing and making.
  • What’s New: "And Then the Sun Swallowed Me" (showing through Feb. 4, 2018).

Marbles Kids Museum
Admission: $7 for children ages two and up

  • Overview: Marbles helps kids to connect, communicate, create and learn through extraordinary adventures in play with dozens of interactive exhibits, educational programs, special events and an IMAX theater.
  • Updates: in early November the museum opened "Seedlings," an imaginative greenhouse exhibit sponsored by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of N.C., designed to strengthen a child's connection to healthy food choices and healthy food origins. In September (on their 10th birthday), the museum received a $345,000 grant award to create a new culturally-relevant STEAM exhibit with focus on dual-language learners ("STEAM Para Todos" is expected to open by 2020).

For a complete list of Raleigh's cultural attractions visit https://www.visitraleigh.com/things-to-do/museums/

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Media Contact:
Jessica Holt
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