Central North Carolina

We’ve compiled the best of the best in Central North Carolina - browse our top choices for the top things to see or do during your stay.

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  • 1. North Carolina Museum of Art (NCMA)

    North Raleigh | Museum/Gallery

    On the west side of Raleigh, the NCMA houses more than 5,000 years of artistic heritage, including one of the nation's largest collections of...Read More

  • 2. Artspace

    Downtown | Arts/Performance Venue

    A nonprofit visual-arts center, Artspace offers open studios, where artists are happy to talk to you about their work. The gift shop showcases...Read More

  • 3. Ava Gardner Museum

    Museum/Gallery

    Located in the hometown of the legendary movie star, this museum has an extensive collection of memorabilia tracing Gardner's life, from childhood...Read More

  • 4. City Market

    Downtown | Market/Bazaar

    Specialty shops, art galleries, restaurants, and a small farmers' market are found in this cluster of cobblestone streets. ...Read More

  • 5. Executive Mansion

    Downtown | House/Mansion/Villa

    Since 1891, this 37,500-square-foot brick Queen Anne–style structure, made entirely from materials from the Tar Heel State, with elaborate...Read More

  • 6. JC Raulston Arboretum at North Carolina State University

    Garden/Arboretum

    The university's working, research, and teaching garden holds the most diverse collection of hardy temperate-zone plants in the southeastern...Read More

  • 7. Joel Lane Museum House

    Downtown | House/Mansion/Villa

    Dating to 1769, the oldest dwelling in Raleigh was the home of Joel Lane, known as the "Father of Raleigh" because he sold 1,000 acres of his...Read More

  • 8. Marbles Kids Museum

    Downtown | Museum/Gallery

    This 84,000-square-foot cathedral of play and learning is aimed at children 10 and younger. Everything is hands-on, so your child is free to...Read More

  • 9. Mordecai Historic Park

    Downtown | House/Mansion/Villa

    You can see the Mordecai family's Greek revival plantation home and other historically significant structures that have been moved onto the...Read More

  • 10. North Carolina Museum of History

    Downtown | Museum/Gallery

    Founded in 1902, the museum is now in a state-of-the-art facility on Bicentennial Plaza. Its signature exhibit, The Story of North Carolina...Read More

  • 11. North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences

    Downtown | Museum/Gallery

    With seven floors of immersive exhibits, a 3-D theater, and working research labs, this museum is the largest of its kind in the Southeast....Read More

  • 12. Oakwood Cemetery

    Oakwood Historic District | Cemetery

    Established in 1869, Oakwood Cemetery is the resting place of 2,800 Confederate soldiers, Civil War generals, governors, and numerous U.S. senators...Read More

  • 13. Oakwood Historic District

    Downtown | Historic District/Site

    Several architectural styles—including Victorian buildings, which are especially notable—can be found in this tree-shaded 19th-century neighborhood...Read More

  • 14. State Capitol

    Downtown | Government Building

    This beautifully preserved example of Greek revival architecture from 1840 once housed all the functions of state government. Today it's part...Read More

  • 15. State Legislative Building

    Downtown | Government Building

    One block north of the State Capitol, this complex hums with lawmakers and lobbyists when the legislature is in session. It's fun to watch from...Read More

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