Local Attractions of Raleigh, NC
North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences
The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences (NCSM), located in Raleigh, is the oldest established museum in North Carolina and the largest museum of its kind in the Southeast. It has about 1.2 million visitors annually and is the state's most popular museum or historic destination among visitors. This natural history museum features dinosaur and whale skeletons, live animals, walk-through dioramas, special exhibits, hands-on science education and accessible scientists. The museum's campus consists of four facets: the Nature Exploration Center, the Nature Research Center, the Prairie Ridge Ecostation satellite facility and outdoor classroom, and the North Carolina Museum of Forestry.
Neuse River Trail
The Neuse River Trail is a 33-mile paved greenway located in the Research Triangle region of North Carolina, running along the banks of the Neuse River from Falls Lake Dam to the town of Clayton. The Neuse River Greenway trail is part of the Capital Area Greenway system as well as the Mountains-to-Sea Trail that crosses North Carolina from the Great Smoky Mountains to the Outer Banks. Open to both cyclists and pedestrians, the Neuse River Trail is the longest greenway trail in North Carolina and the longest paved trail between northern Virginia and western Georgia.
North Carolina Museum of Art
The North Carolina Museum of Art (NCMA) opened in 1956 as the first major museum collection in the country to be formed by state legislation and funding. The museum has continued to be a model of enlightened public policy with free admission to the permanent collection. It encompasses a collection that spans more than 5,000 years of artistic work from antiquity to the present, an amphitheater for outdoor performances, and a variety of celebrated exhibitions and public programs. The museum features more than 40 galleries as well as more than a dozen major works of. One of the leading art museums in the American South, the NCMA recently completed a major expansion, winning international acclaim for innovative approaches to energy-efficient design.
Pullen Park is a 66.33-acre public park in Raleigh, adjacent to the campus of North Carolina State University. The park features picnic areas, a concessions stand along with several small rides including the Pullen Park carousel, train, and kiddie boats. Pedal boats are also available for rent seasonally on the park's large pond. The Pullen Aquatic Center, Pullen Arts Center and Theatre in the Park are also located on the park grounds. It is one of the most famous and known parks around the Raleigh/Durham area.
Carolina Ballet is a ballet company founded in 1997 which performs primarily in Raleigh and throughout the state. It has also toured to New York City, Hungary, and China. One of Carolina Ballet's most popular performances, The Nutcracker, is performed annually. Carolina Ballet currently has about 35 dancers.
Marbles Kids Museum
Marbles Kids Museum is a nonprofit children's museum located in downtown Raleigh in the Moore Square Historic District. Its mission is to "inspire imagination, discovery and learning through extraordinary adventures in play and larger-than-life IMAX experiences." Marbles Kids Museum offers unique hands-on interactive experiences that inspire children to be creative thinkers and active learners. Its permanent exhibits are intended for children under 10 years of age and include Around Town, Splash!, IdeaWorks, Power2Play, and Moneypalooza. Daily activities and numerous special events are organized around Marbles' mission and child-centric core initiatives. The museum offers affordable daily admission and annual memberships and access programs for children from low-income families and children with disabilities.
JC Raulston Arboretum
The JC Raulston Arboretum is a 10-acre (40,000 m2) arboretum and botanical garden administered by North Carolina State University, and located at 4415 Beryl Road, Raleigh, North Carolina. It is open daily to the public without charge. Its plant collections now include over 6,000 species of perennials, bulbs, vines, ground covers, shrubs, and trees, with significant collections of maple, oak, buckeye, barberry, boxwood, redbud, holly, magnolia and more.