Few places can inspire and educate like a great museum. Raleigh is home to several amazing museums of all types, from traditional history museums to modern art museums. And best of all: many of them offer free admission! Make time in your schedule to explore these top Raleigh museums. We promise you’ll have a fantastic time and learn something new, too!


NC Museum of History

The NC Museum of History is an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution featuring artifacts of North Carolina history that spans 14,000 years. The permanent exhibit, “The Story of North Carolina” includes recovered items from the Queen Anne’s Revenge, the Civil War period, and the American Civil Rights Movement. The museum offers learning opportunities through various programs and events throughout the year. Hungry? Stop at Pharaoh’s restaurant inside the museum for sandwiches, burgers, and hot dogs.


NC Museum of Natural Sciences

The NC Museum of Natural Sciences is the oldest established Raleigh museums and one of the oldest in the state of North Carolina. It is also the largest museum of its kind in the Southeastern United States. Located in downtown Raleigh, the museum showcases natural history exhibits, featuring dinosaurs and live animals and hosts a range of fun events and classes.


NC Museum of Art

The NC Museum of Art is a state-funded Raleigh museum that opened in the 1950s. The museum’s permanent collection spans more than 5,000 years, while rotating exhibitions feature everything from modern art to art deco cars. Take a stroll outside through the nation’s largest museum park where you will find Rodin sculptures and several pet-friendly walking trails.


Contemporary Art Museum

Top Raleigh Museums


Gain a new perspective by visiting CAM Raleigh, a multimedia contemporary art gallery in downtown Raleigh. In place of a permanent collection, this Raleigh museum features ever-changing exhibitions of works by artists with regional, national, and international recognition. A majority of the art is crafted with novel materials by emerging artists, so you are bound to see something you’ve never before seen. Take advantage of free admission, food trucks, and live entertainment on First Fridays at the museum.


Gregg Museum of Art & Design

The Gregg Museum of Art & Design offers free admission to both the NC State community and the public. The collecting and exhibiting museum houses more than 35,000 objects from around the world as well as some interesting pieces of North Carolina art. Unlike many other Raleigh museums, exhibits at The Gregg are arranged by item rather than location or time, which offers a unique experience. Unwind after visiting the museum in the pollinator garden, designed and installed by NC State horticultural science students.


City of Raleigh Museum

Get to know our great city even better at the City of Raleigh (COR) Museum. The exhibits at the COR Museum change periodically but always keep the focus on Raleigh’s history and heritage. The museum is located inside the 1874 Briggs Building, a historic landmark that still has its original tin ceiling.


Did we miss any great Raleigh museums? Be sure to stop by and let us know! We’d love to hear your recommendations and show you around our luxury apartment community. You can also schedule a tour online or give us a call at (919) 439-4787.

Hope to see you soon!