Must-See Museums in Raleigh, NC


As the capital of North Carolina, Raleigh is home to several famous museums. My family has visited almost all of these museums, some multiple times. We love that Raleigh offers so many immersive learning experiences for our family.

Several of these museums are free, while others charge a small admittance fee.

Marbles Kids Museum

If you have children, Marbles Kids Museum is a must-visit destination while in Raleigh. Kids can play for hours innovating and creating in a space designed specifically for them.

Location:201 East Hargett Street
Raleigh, NC 27601

Hours: Monday-Sunday 9am-5pm
Cost: $7/per person (under 1 year is free)

CAM Contemporary Art Museum Raleigh

CAM Raleigh is the non-collecting contemporary art museum that provides an environment for transformation through educational programs, cultural experiences, and bold, non-traditional exhibitions by living artists.

Location: 409 W Martin Street
Raleigh, NC 27603

Hours: Thursday – Friday: 12:00pm– 6:00p.m.
Saturday – Sunday: 12:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Tuesday – Wednesday: By Appointment
Monday: Closed
Cost: $5 General Admission

North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences

The NC Museum of Natural Science is another one of our top places to visit. It’s free and offers hours of exploration and play. There are hands-on exhibits, animals, storytime, meet the animals and working labs where you can watch scientists work and so much more. They offer fun 3D documentary movies for a low cost and usually have a special limited time exhibit on display (admission is usually charged for special exhibits). The Discovery Room is a great place for younger children to get hands-on experiences with science, just make sure you check the website for their hours.

Location: 11 West Jones Street
Raleigh, NC 27601
Hours: Monday—Saturday: 9am—5pm
Sunday, noon—5pm
Cost: Free (special exhibits charge admission)

North Carolina Museum of History

The NC Museum of History is located adjacent to the NC Museum of Natural Science, so you could spend the entire day visiting museums if you want. I will say that the NC Museum of History isn’t as exciting for smaller children but most school age children will enjoy all of the fun exhibits at the museum. There are also several special events like story time for toddlers and larger festivals throughout the year.

Location: 5 East Edenton Street
Raleigh, North Carolina 27601
Hours: Monday–Saturday: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Sunday: Noon to 5:00 p.m.
Cost: Free (special exhibits charge admission)

North Carolina Museum of Art

The North Carolina Museum of Art has more than a dozen galleries holding works from around the world and various art types. Outside the museum is s 164-acre park, featuring public art installations inspired by nature.

Location: 2110 Blue Ridge Road
Raleigh, NC 27607
Hours: Tuesday–Thursday 10 am–5 pm
Friday 10 am–9 pm
Saturday–Sunday 10 am–5 pm
Closed Mondays and some holidays
Cost: Free (special exhibits charge admission)

COR City of Raleigh Museum

The COR Museum’s mission to “Preserve Raleigh’s Past for the Future”. It is a repository for Raleigh’s historical artifacts, a place to preserve the past, and an institution to educate Raleigh’s citizens and visitors.

Location: 220 Fayetteville Street
Raleigh, North Carolina 27601
Hours: Tuesday-Saturday, 9am-4pm
Sunday, 1pm-4pm
Closed Monday
Cost: Free ($5 donation recommended)

Gregg Museum of Art and Design

From 19th century Japanese color woodblock prints to antique North Carolina quilts, the Gregg Museum of Art and Design’s objects span cultures, disciplines and designs. Located on the NC State University campus this museum is accessible to students and the general public.

Location: 1903 Hillsborough Street
Raleigh NC 27607
Hours: Tuesday + Wednesday, 10am-5pm
Thursday, 10am-9pm
Friday + Saturday, 10am-5pm
Sunday, 1pm-5pm
Monday – Closed
Cost: Free

Joel Lane House Museum

The Joel Lane House Museum brings American history to life by providing a rich understanding of regional North Carolina history and the struggles, sacrifices, and achievements of those who lived in Piedmont North Carolina in the 18th century, with particular emphasis on the life and times of Colonel Joel Lane, his family, and enslaved workers.

Location: 160 South Saint Mary’s Street
Raleigh, NC 27603
Hours: Wednesday – Friday, Guided Tours begin at 10:00
Saturday – Guided Tours begin at 1:00
Cost: Adults: $8.00
Seniors (65 and over): $7.00
Students (kindergarten through college, with id): $4.00
Children under 6: Free

Pope House Museum

The only African-American house museum in the state of North Carolina, the Pope House offers a glimpse into the life of one of Raleigh’s most intriguing citizens, Dr. Manassa Thomas Pope, who was the only African-American man to run for mayor of a Southern capital in the midst of the Jim Crow Era.

Location: 511 South Wilmington Street Raleigh, NC
Hours: Saturday 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Cost: Free

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