Museums in Raleigh, N.C.

Raleigh, N.C., is often dubbed the "Smithsonian of the South," based on an abundance of high-quality, free museums, historic attractions and educational institutions. You'll better understand what that means the instant you're warmly welcomed by our smart, savvy locals who have created and proudly carried on a number of unique visitor experiences that define the heritage and culture of our blossoming Southern metropolis.

Discover rich history and science through captivating, state-of-the-art exhibits in Raleigh at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, recognizable by its three-story multimedia globe named the Daily Planet, and the North Carolina Museum of History, which brings our state's diverse history alive with an expansive permanent collection; admission is free at both museums!

The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences is the Southeast’s largest natural history museum, complete with its Nature... View More

The North Carolina Museum of History, located in downtown Raleigh, showcases more than 14,000 years and 150,000 artifacts of N.C.... View More

If your creative side is calling out, stroll through the beautiful North Carolina Museum of Art—equally perfect for a date night out or a day with the family—or be enriched at the Contemporary Art Museum (CAM Raleigh), the only non-collecting contemporary art museum in the state.

Kids will have a ball at Marbles Kids Museum, led by passionate mind Sally Edwards, where they get a chance to imagine, discover and learn in dozens of hands-on exhibits and educational programs, plus take in a larger-than-life movie at the Wells Fargo IMAX Theatre at Marbles.

The North Carolina Museum of Art has more than a dozen galleries holding works from around the world and a variety of art types.... View More

Delivering purposeful play in a big way, Marbles allows children to imagine, discover and learn in dozens of interactive... View More

Ready to start planning your educational getaway to Raleigh? Use the listings below to discover how our destination can inspire you.

Sort by tripadvisor rating

North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences - Nature Research Center

Emlyn Koster, Ph.D.

North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences

Dr. Emlyn Koster's journey is rooted in geology, and his path eventually led him to Raleigh. Impressed by the city’s museum culture and natural beauty, he accepted the job of museum director and has been integral in creating an accessible, enriching visitor experience.

“There might be a perception that all natural science museums are for children—but we are all children at one point. We all should be extra curious.”