Aurora Fossil Museum, Aurora

The Aurora Fossil Museum is a natural science museum in Aurora, North Carolina. The museum's collection is built around fossils recovered from the nearby phosphate mine owned since 1995 by Potash Corporation (PCS), but also includes fossil specimens donated from around the world as well as geology and meteorite displays. Fossils from the local mine are approximately 18-22 and 2.5-5 million years old coming from layers in the mine traced to the early Miocene and Pliocene eras in the Pungo River and Yorktown formations. The museum also maintains 2 spoils piles in the park across the street from the museum. The pits are filled with mine tailings where small shell, coral, shark tooth and other fossils are relatively easy to find. The pits are open during daylight hours daily.The museum provides information about the geological history of the Aurora area, which is known as a center for fossil hunting (especially due to the phosphate mine). The museum was founded in 1976 and opened in 1978 as a collaboration between the town of Aurora, local mines, East Carolina University, and other interested parties. Visitors are allowed to collect fossils from the neighboring spoils pile.EventsThe museum has hosted a yearly Fossil Festival each May since 1983. The festival includes a fossil auction.
Plan a Aurora trip in moments using our itinerary builder.
Source
Create an itinerary including Aurora Fossil Museum
map
Aurora Fossil Museum Reviews
Rate this attraction
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
70 reviews
Google
4.8
TripAdvisor
  • This small town is the site of a posphate mining operation which digs up the bottom of the river, and removes the minerals. The river bottom is filled with fossils, fossilized shark teeth from about 5...  more »
  • I was born and raised in the small city of Aurora. When I first learned of the Aurora fossil Museum I didn't really think anything of it. Then one day on a whim I decided to go see what everybody was ...  more »
  • The Museum is great however the Fossil farm/dig was lacking a little when we were there, The dirt is hauled or trucked in and dumped there. We did find a few sharks teeth and other smaller things but ...  more »
Google
  • Free museum with lots of examples of prehistoric fossils and a dig pile to find your own fossils. Very friendly, helpful, and informative curators. Bring sturdy gardening tools to dig. Plastic won't work. Restrooms on site. Bring a picnic-no restaurants in this town.
  • Wonderful museum! My wife and kids and I enjoyed visiting! Besides the museum itself, there is a park where the museum has dirt piles for anyone to dig through to search for fossils. The museum and park are free. The staff are friendly and helpful.
  • I adore the Aurora Fossil Museum. We drive almost 3 hours to dig for fossils, and the museum is a nice place to learn and cool off! Be sure to buy something in their little shop to support them!
  • Great place to take the kids. We found lots of cool stuff digging in the fossil pits. The staff was very helpful and kind. Everytime the kids found something, they would go running back to the museum and they were more than eager to explain what they found. Best of all it's free. Donations accepted of course. If you have time you can squeeze in a ferry ride too.
  • Wonderful place to take the kids or friends of all ages. The staff inside are very friendly and enthusiastic about the fossils and the history of the area. Outside is the piles where you can dig for shark teeth and other fossils, for free I might add.

Plan your trip to Aurora

  • Get a personalized plan

    A complete day-by-day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it

    Refine your plan. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it

    Choose from the best hotels
    and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it

    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.

Where to stay in Aurora

Browse hotels, guesthouses, and unique homes and book your stay on the world's leading accommodation sites.
Live like a local, find unique places to stay
Millions of travel reviews on TripAdvisor

Plans in North Carolina Coast by other users

1 day in Avon BY A USER FROM BRAZIL January, popular PREFERENCES: January ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 24 days in North Carolina BY A USER FROM SWITZERLAND August, culture, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: August, culture, outdoors, beaches, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 21 days in United States & South America BY A USER FROM PHILIPPINES April, fast-paced, popular PREFERENCES: April ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Fast-paced 4 days in Cleveland & Jacksonville BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES December, popular PREFERENCES: December ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 4 days in Outer Banks BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES November, popular PREFERENCES: November ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 5 days in Outer Banks BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES November, popular PREFERENCES: November ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 25 days in North Carolina BY A USER FROM SWITZERLAND August, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, shopping, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: August, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 25 days in North Carolina & South Carolina BY A USER FROM SWITZERLAND August, culture, outdoors, beaches, shopping, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: August, culture, outdoors, beaches, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 8 days in Outer Banks BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES April, outdoors, historic sites, museums, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: April, outdoors, historic sites, museums, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 5 days in Wilmington BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES January, culture, relaxing, museums, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: January, culture, relaxing, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 8 days in Emerald Isle BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES August, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: August, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 29 days in North Carolina BY A USER FROM TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO June, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: June, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium
View more plans