North Carolina Museum of History, Raleigh

4.6
#4 of 7 in Museums in Raleigh
An affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, the museum fosters a passion for North Carolina history, with more than 14,000 years to learn about and explore, from the state’s earliest inhabitants through the 20th century. The major exhibition The Story of North Carolina features fascinating artifacts, multimedia presentations, and an interactive format for all ages. Other exhibits highlight the state’s military history, sports heroes, decorative arts and more. Monthly programs include children’s programs, craft demonstrations and family events. The Museum Shop, featuring North Carolina crafts, and the on-site restaurant Pharaoh’s @ the Museum are open daily.

Admission is free, although some special exhibits require a fee. Free parking is available on weekends in the Jones/Edenton Street lot. Museum hours are Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. For more information, call 919-807-7900 or go to ncmuseumofhistory.org.

To book group tours (10 people or more), call 919-807-7950 or toll-free 866-724-8687. The museum is part of the Division of State History Museums, an agency of the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources, www.ncculture.com.
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North Carolina Museum of History Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
696 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • This museum covers every part of North Carolina's history. There's a ton of exhibits to go through. The exhibit for sports history was a little disappointing but overall everything else was great. The...  more »
  • I was very surprised at the quality of this museum. It is not really advertised or even mentioned at the top of the list of places to visit in Raleigh. But I spent 3 hours visiting it and truly enjoye...  more »
  • Nice museum, does a good job of sharing the history of the state and a really good look at WW1. Not really a museum guy but I really enjoyed the military displays, weapons, and memorabilia on display.  more »
Google
  • I am a fan of history and was interested in stopping by and seeing the local history museum. I was blown away. I've never been to a museum like this before. I wasn't sure whether to smile or to weep as I went through the history of the area. Very well documented the history of the area. Nothing hidden, good and bad all on display. I never knew that North Carolina had the rich history that it had. Everyone needs to see something like this at least once in their life.
  • We did just the first floor. It took us an hour and a half, not stopping to watch videos. There we're a lot of squealing children around. I liked that the placards were family friendly, yet not sugar coated. They didn't pretend that white people made "friends" with American Indians, and placards included them even throughout the civil rights movement, which is often depicted as just black vs white. The museum was clean and organized and well put together.
  • Museum was great for the children. Free admission made it fantastic. The exhibits where tailored to the state, making it a real learning experience for newcomers of all ages.
  • Great museum, offers good reference to native and African American history. I especially appreciated the constant reference to Jim Crow laws alongside the modern history sections, which do not let you forget that you can't discuss modern southern history without remembering this cruelty and discrimination.
  • Lots of material about the early years of North Carolina and very detailed and captivating exhibits. Best part is it's completely free and a great way to escape the summer heat.

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Where to stay in Raleigh

Staying downtown provides the most convenient access to Raleigh's leading attractions. You'll find a couple of large, efficient hotels here--they feature a large volume of beds. The area around the North Campus of North Carolina State University lies just west of downtown and features a handful of additional hotels. A cluster of national chain hotels and motels lies in the midtown area north of downtown. There are a couple of bus lines that provide easy access to downtown from here, so this area serves as a suitable option if you cannot find accommodation in the city center. The intersection of I-440 and Route 70 to the northwest of downtown features numerous hotels and motels, but these largely cater to business travelers who require convenient access to both downtown and the airport.
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