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Around Town: Five Great Museums in Raleigh

Photo Credit: Flickr

More than Marketing

If you have ever checked out our AlphaGraphics blog before, you will notice that most of our posts showcase thoughts, products, and services within the print and marketing industry. While we enjoy sharing that information, we thought it may be nice to showcase some community-centric information moving forward. After all, we live in Triangle and there’s something for everyone in this area.

A Little Raleigh History

Raleigh, North Carolina was nicknamed the City of Oaks in 1792 due to the vast tracts of old-growth oak trees that surrounded the area.

In the 1800’s, several critical civil war battles took place in the surrounding farmlands and countryside that helped determine the course of the war.  The city has grown exponentially since those early days and now has many museums that explore, educate, and celebrate the culture and history of this great area. In fact, the very first state art museum in the entire country began right here in Raleigh!

We created a top five list of our favorite museums in the Raleigh area. Whether you’re here on vacation, or just looking for something fun to do with the family this summer (or any time of the year), these amazing destinations will be sure to provide hours of entertainment and education!

North Carolina Museum of History

NC Museum of History

Photo Credit: commons.wikimedia.org

The North Carolina Museum of History focuses on the history of the great state of North Carolina. It starts off in the early days and then takes you on a tour of through all the changes that it went through over the years. From colonial times to various wars, to independence, to slavery, and onto space exploration, the exhibits are highly informative and educational.

Most of the exhibits are static and require a great deal of reading. If you’re coming with kids under the age of 5 or 6, they may not show much interest in standing still and taking the time to read the placards.

Be sure to check out their website as they put on various cultural and educational events throughout the month.

Location: 5 E Edenton St, Raleigh, NC 27601

Cost: Free! (Donations accepted)

Yelp Rating: 4/5 Stars.

Marbles Kids Museum

Got kids?

If so, then gather up the little ones and head on down to the Marbles Kids Museum.  Almost everything is interactive, and unlike most other museums, children are highly encouraged to touch things, spin wheels, push buttons, and run around and be themselves.

The dress-up area will allow kids with a great imagination to pretend that they’re doctors, veterinarians, news reporters (meticulously coifed hair not included), farmers, actors, and many more professions!

All of that running and jumping around can give any kid a considerable appetite. Luckily, there’s a café inside the museum that serves up reasonably priced kid’s meals. The Marbles Kids Museum is a must-see as it will keep your young ones occupied for hours on end.

Location: 201 E Hargett St, Raleigh, NC 27601

Cost: $7 per person admission for children, adults, and seniors.

Yelp Rating: 4.5/5 Stars.

North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences

The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences is the oldest museum in North Carolina and the largest of its kind in the Southeastern United States. There are four floors of exhibits, live animals, gift shops and several cafes.

There’s also a nature research center that features a 10,000-gallon aquarium and living collections of fish, reptiles, butterflies, and amphibians. This is a world-class museum that’s on par with anything they have in Europe or anywhere else for that matter.

If you can find the time in your schedule, it’s best to experience the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences over two to three days or several weekends. It’s that amazing!

Location: 11 W Jones St Raleigh, NC 27601

Cost: General admission is free! (Donations accepted)

Yelp Rating: 4.5/5 Stars.

North Carolina Museum of Art

The North Carolina Museum of Art was founded in 1947 and featured 139 works of American and European art ranging in periods from the Renaissance to the 19th century.

Since its humble beginnings, it has grown into one of the biggest cultural centers in all of North Carolina. Just when you think you’ve seen it all, they add another exhibition or masterpiece on loan to the collection.

In addition to priceless works of art, the museum also offers many exhibits, concerts, and museum tours for the general public. Check their website calendar for a list of upcoming events.

Location: 2110 Blue Ridge Rd Raleigh, NC 27607

Cost: Free! (Donations accepted)

Yelp Rating: 4.5/5 Stars.

Bentonville Battlefield

The Bentonville Battlefield played a significant role in the history of North Carolina and the civil war. The Battle of Bentonville was one of the last full-scale actions in the civil war in which the Confederates were able to launch a tactical offensive attack against the North.

The site features the famous Harper House, which served as a civil war hospital. There is also a reconstructed kitchen and slave quarters on premises. A ¼ mile trail runs through the Federal XX Corps reserve trenches, a Confederate mass grave, the North Carolina monument, and the Harper Family Cemetery to name just a few points of historical interest.

Location: 5466 Harper House Rd, Four Oaks, NC 27524

Cost: Admission is free.

Yelp Rating: 4/5 Stars.

Raleigh Museums and Historical Sites

If you find yourself in Raleigh and have a few hours to spare, check out any one of the above five amazing museums that this great city has to offer. From Old Masters Renaissance paintings to historic Civil War battlefields, there is a wealth of culture, arts, and learning that awaits your discovery in Raleigh, North Carolina!

Mike Linden

Posted by Mike Linden

Mike Linden is the Vice President of Operations at AlphaGraphics of Downtown Raleigh. He focuses on client relationships, daily operations, business development and digital marketing initiatives. Mike joined the firm in 2008.

Mike is a graduate of the University of North Carolina where he earned a degree in Economics.