North Carolina: Museum of Natural Sciences, Raleigh

By exploring the state's geography, prehistoric past, geology, plants, and animals, North Carolina: Museum of Natural Sciences helps over a million visitors a year learn about the natural world. The museum has four floors of displays, live animals, and hands-on activities. At the Nature Research Center, you can watch scientists working at research labs through floor-to-ceiling glass walls. Researchers also give regular presentations at the center's three-story, multimedia space, which is also used to show spectacular scenes from nature. Use our Raleigh travel planner to visit North Carolina: Museum of Natural Sciences on your trip to Raleigh, and learn what else travelers and our writers recommend seeing nearby.
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North Carolina: Museum of Natural Sciences Reviews
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  • Located in Raleigh. How many other museums in Raleigh also, free admission. On 4 levels a great insight into the work of researchers and scientists, which you can watch in part at work. An overwhelming offer. Suitable for the entire family.
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  • We took a field trip with a fourth grade class here. It has stuff for everyone. They have all sorts of labs you can watch real scientists work in and even labs for kids to participate in. They have ev...  more »
  • Although the name is "Museum" is a mixture of laboratory, research, exhibition and interactive. Children and adults enjoy themselves too. My little grandson of 5 years had already been there and was very happy to come back. It is very organized, excellent service. Can kids do Labs "experiments". Not to be missed
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  • Great museum with various exhibits. The museum and exhibits are free. Many hands-on labs that great for all ages. If you've never been before, know that there are two wings of the museum separated by a sky bridge. I'd hate for you to miss out on half of what this museum has to offer.
  • Absolutely amazing museum for people of all ages. Tons of exhibits with live animals such as fish, snakes and bugs. Best part is it's completely free.
  • Whether you are young or old, this is a fantastic place to go. I've gone here multiple times and still plan on going back. They've updated not to long ago, added an interactive side to the museum. There's a room you can go into with hundreds of specimens to look at, touch, and explore. There are birds, butterflies, turtles, beetles, foxes, anything you can think of. The other side of the museum is where the older exhibits are. The dinosaurs, plants, bugs, the eras, so on. It's also where they house they ever changing special exhibits. I've been to two so far and they were both creative, fun, and engaging exhibits. If you're feeling a little hungry, give the cafe a try. I had their club sandwich and it was absolutely delicious. Not only that, but the butterfly room is right next to the cafe, so you get to watch the butterflies while you eat. If you're bored and looking for something to do or you're trying to take your kids on an educational adventure, swing by the museum. The admission is free and it's sure to garuntee a day full of fun adventures.
  • We took our 3.5 and 5 year olds here on a Sunday and found it was free admission. There are three floors of exhibits and most of the items are native to NC. They cover all the geographic areas of the state (coastal, savannah, and mountains) and have both live animal/insect displays as well as dioramas. Informative and fun, there was a good crowd and fun and interesting for kids and parents alike.
  • The museum is a great place to spend a day if you are in town. There are large numbers of interactive exhibits, and the new wing has loads of cutting edge technology.

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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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