All free museums and attractions to visit in North Carolina

If you are on a budget North Carolina (United States) still has a lot to offer for you culturally, including free museums, free activities and free attractions. 72 museums and attractions in North Carolina can be visited without charge.

Are you looking for free things to do in North Carolina? These are the best places to visit:

  1. The Billy Graham Library1

    The Billy Graham Library

    Charlotte, NC
    The Billy Graham Library serves as a public museum and library that documents the life and ministry of the renowned Christian evangelist, Billy Graham. It provides an in-depth look into his life, his teachings, and his impact on the world. Visitors can explore the various exhibits and collections that showcase his life's work and his contributions to Christianity.
  2. Folk Art Center2

    Folk Art Center

    Asheville, NC
    The Folk Art Center, situated at milepost 382 on the Blue Ridge Parkway near Asheville, North Carolina, is a museum dedicated to Appalachian arts and crafts. This location is a hub for the appreciation and understanding of the rich artistic traditions of the Appalachian region.
  3. 3

    River Arts District Artists

    Asheville, NC
    Don't judge a book by its cover! This area is full of old warehouses that are being turned into an edgy artsy enclave.
  4. North Carolina Museum of Art4

    North Carolina Museum of Art

    Raleigh, NC
    The North Carolina Museum of Art, which was established in 1947, is situated in Raleigh. The museum officially opened its doors to the public on April 6, 1956. This historical establishment has been a significant part of the city's cultural scene for many decades.
  5. Black Mountain College Museum and Arts Center5

    Black Mountain College Museum and Arts Center

    Asheville, NC
    Black Mountain College, established in 1933 near Asheville, North Carolina, was a unique institution that placed the study of art at the heart of education. This innovative approach was a novelty in the United States at the time, making the college a significant landmark in the history of American education and art.
  6. Airborne & Special Operations Museum6

    Airborne & Special Operations Museum

    Fayetteville, NC
    The Airborne & Special Operations Museum (ASOM) is a significant part of the U.S Army Museum Enterprise. Its primary mission is to preserve and educate the public about the history of the Special Operations and Airborne community. Additionally, it provides a broader perspective on U.S military history. This museum is a valuable resource for anyone interested in learning more about these aspects of American history.
  7. Mount Mitchell State Park7

    Mount Mitchell State Park

    Burnsville, NC
    Mount Mitchell State Park is a 4,789-acre (19.38 km ) North Carolina state park in Yancey County, North Carolina in the United States. Established in 1915 by the state legislature, it became the first state park of North Carolina . By doing so, it also established the North Carolina State Parks Sys
  8. North Carolina Museum of History8

    North Carolina Museum of History

    Raleigh, NC
    The North Carolina Museum of History, situated in downtown Raleigh, is a significant historical institution that is affiliated with the Smithsonian Affiliations program. This affiliation allows the museum to share resources and collaborate with the Smithsonian Institution, enhancing the museum's offerings and providing visitors with a rich and diverse experience.
  9. Carolina Basketball Museum9

    Carolina Basketball Museum

    Chapel Hill, NC
    The Tar Heels have a successful track record, having won six NCAA championships, 17 Atlantic Coast Conference titles, and 29 regular Atlantic Coast Conference seasons. These achievements are a testament to the team's skill and dedication.
  10. City of Raleigh Museum (cor Museum)10

    City of Raleigh Museum (cor Museum)

    Raleigh, NC
    The City of Raleigh Museum, a local history museum, is situated in the historic Briggs Hardware Building on Fayetteville Street in downtown Raleigh, North Carolina. This location not only provides a rich historical context but also offers easy access due to its central location in the city.
  11. Historic Yates Mill Park11

    Historic Yates Mill Park

    Raleigh, NC
    Yates Mill, a fully restored gristmill from around 1756, is located just five miles south of downtown Raleigh, North Carolina. This historic mill is the main attraction of the Historic Yates Mill County Park, situated in the heart of Wake County. The mill's rich history and its picturesque location make it a fascinating destination for visitors interested in history, architecture, and nature.
  12. Nasher Museum of Art12

    Nasher Museum of Art

    Durham, NC
    The Nasher Museum of Art (previously the Duke University Museum of Art ) is the art museum of Duke University , and is located on Duke's campus in Durham, North Carolina , United States. The Nasher, along with Dartmouth's Hood Museum of Art and Princeton's Art Museum , has been recognized as a pla
  13. Ackland Art Museum13

    Ackland Art Museum

    Chapel Hill, NC
    The Ackland Art Museum is conveniently located at 101 S. Columbia Street, near the intersection of Franklin Street at the northern edge of the university campus. This central location makes it easily accessible for both locals and tourists alike.
  14. Fort Fisher14

    Fort Fisher

    Kure Beach, NC
    One of the last major battles of the American Civil War took place at Fort Fisher. This historical event is a testament to the fort's strategic importance and the role it played in the conflict between the North and the South. Visitors can learn about the battle and its impact on the war's outcome.
  15. Mineral and Lapidary Museum of Henderson County15

    Mineral and Lapidary Museum of Henderson County

    Hendersonville, NC
    The Mineral and Lapidary Museum of Henderson County, located in the heart of Hendersonville's Historic District, is a non-profit institution run by volunteers. Established in 1997, the museum is situated at 400 North Main Street, making it easily accessible for visitors.
  16. Hendrick Motorsports16

    Hendrick Motorsports

    Concord, NC
    Hendrick Motorsports ( HMS ) is an American professional auto racing organization that competes in the NASCAR Cup Series . The team was founded in 1984 as All Star Racing by Rick Hendrick . Hendrick Motorsports has won a NASCAR-record 284 Cup Series races and 14 Cup Series owners and drivers champio
  17. Bog Garden17

    Bog Garden

    Greensboro, NC
    The Bog Garden, located at 1101 Hobbs Road, Greensboro, North Carolina, serves as a nature preserve, botanical garden, and city park. It is open to the public every day and does not require an admission fee.
  18. Duke Homestead18

    Duke Homestead

    Durham, NC
    The Duke Homestead State Historic Site is a recognized state historic site and National Historic Landmark located in Durham, North Carolina. This site is significant as it commemorates the place where Washington Duke, a prominent figure in the American tobacco industry, founded the nation's largest early-20th-century tobacco firm, the American Tobacco Company. The site offers a glimpse into the history of the tobacco industry in the United States.
  19. Mountain Farm Museum19

    Mountain Farm Museum

    Cherokee, NC
  20. History Museum of Catawba County20

    History Museum of Catawba County

    Newton, NC
    The Catawba County Courthouse is a historic building located in Newton, Catawba County, North Carolina. This courthouse, now home to the Catawba County Museum of History, is a significant part of the region's history and architecture. Its Renaissance Revival style and granite veneer structure make it a unique landmark in the area.
  21. 21

    Grovewood Village

    Asheville, NC
    This free small exhibit is a real treat for car lovers. Unique collection well worth the visit!
  22. Hickory Museum of Art22

    Hickory Museum of Art

    Hickory, NC
    The Hickory Museum of Art (HMA) in Hickory, North Carolina, is an art museum that hosts exhibitions, events, and public educational programs. These activities are based on a permanent collection of American art from the 19th to the 21st century. This collection provides a comprehensive overview of American art history, making it a valuable resource for both art enthusiasts and casual visitors.
  23. 1897 Poe House23

    1897 Poe House

    Fayetteville, NC
    Take a step back in time to see how far our lives have come. Interesting tour and for free! They ask only for a donation.
  24. Fayetteville Area Transportation Museum24

    Fayetteville Area Transportation Museum

    Fayetteville, NC
    Today, the Fayetteville Area Transportation Museum is located in this historic building. The museum showcases the local history and transportation of the area. It features a model train room and a recreated station agent's office, providing a glimpse into the past.
  25. North Carolina Maritime Museum At Southport25

    North Carolina Maritime Museum At Southport

    Southport, NC
    Recently revamped museum, reflecting the immediate area. Aren't the artifacts from local shipwrecks exciting?
  26. North Carolina Maritime Museum26

    North Carolina Maritime Museum

    Beaufort, NC
    The North Carolina Maritime Museum is a system of regional museums within the North Carolina Museum of History , which in turn part of the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources . There are several branches of the Maritime Museum located in Beaufort , Southport and Hatteras .
  27. Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum27

    Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum

    Hatteras, NC
    The Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum, located in Hatteras Village, North Carolina, is a maritime museum with a focus on the maritime history and shipwrecks of the Outer Banks. The museum offers a unique insight into the rich maritime history of the region, showcasing the remains of hundreds of ships that were sunk due to war, piracy, or weather.
  28. Greensboro History Museum28

    Greensboro History Museum

    Greensboro, NC
  29. Weatherspoon Art Museum29

    Weatherspoon Art Museum

    Greensboro, NC
    The Weatherspoon Art Museum, situated at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, is recognized as one of the largest collections of modern and contemporary art in the southeast. The museum primarily focuses on American art, making it a significant destination for art enthusiasts and tourists interested in American art history.
  30. Stagville State Historic Site30

    Stagville State Historic Site

    Durham, NC
    Stagville Plantation, situated in Durham County, North Carolina, holds a significant place in American history as it was part of one of the largest plantation complexes in the South. This vast complex, with buildings dating from the late 18th to the mid-19th century, provides a unique insight into the region's past.
  31. Southeastern Narrow Gauge & Shortline Museum31

    Southeastern Narrow Gauge & Shortline Museum

    Newton, NC
  32. Museum of the Albemarle32

    Museum of the Albemarle

    Elizabeth City, NC
    The Museum of the Albemarle, situated in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, functions as the northeastern regional branch of the North Carolina Museum of History. This location is significant as it provides a comprehensive understanding of the history and culture of the northeastern region of North Carolina.
  33. Horne Creek Living Historical Farm33

    Horne Creek Living Historical Farm

    East Bend, NC
  34. Wake Forest Historical Museum34

    Wake Forest Historical Museum

    Wake Forest, NC
    The Dr. Calvin Jones House is a significant historical site located in Wake Forest, Wake County, North Carolina. This plantation home, built around 1820, offers a glimpse into the past and the rich history of the area. It was originally owned by Dr. Calvin Jones, a physician and the mayor of Raleigh, North Carolina. The house has been moved three times in its history, with its final move in 1956 to its current location on a 4.5-acre lot.
  35. The Jesse Helms Center35

    The Jesse Helms Center

    Wingate, NC
    The Jesse Helms Center in Wingate, North Carolina, offers a comprehensive collection of U.S. Senator Jesse Helms' personal and professional artifacts. Visitors can explore a wide range of materials, including Helms' papers, letters, speeches, and transcripts of his televised editorials for WRAL-TV. The center also houses books of faith and a replica of his Senate desk and office, providing a unique insight into the life and career of this influential figure.
  36. Museum of Ashe County History36

    Museum of Ashe County History

    Jefferson, NC
    The Ashe County Courthouse, located in Jefferson, North Carolina, is a historic Beaux Arts style building that was constructed in 1904. This architectural gem is not only a testament to the rich history of the area, but also a beautiful example of the Beaux Arts style, which was popular in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
  37. Aurora Fossil Museum37

    Aurora Fossil Museum

    Aurora, NC
    The Aurora Fossil Museum, located in Aurora, North Carolina, is a natural science museum. It is a place where visitors can explore the fascinating world of fossils and learn about the geological history of the area. The museum's collection is built around fossils recovered from the nearby phosphate mine and includes specimens from around the world.
  38. Avery County Historical Museum38

    Avery County Historical Museum

    Newland, NC
    The Avery County Historical Museum, originally known as the Avery County Jail, is a historic site located in Newland, Avery County, North Carolina. This unique museum was once a functioning jail, providing a unique glimpse into the past.
  39. Weymouth Woods-Sandhills Nature Preserve39

    Weymouth Woods-Sandhills Nature Preserve

    Southern Pines, NC
    Weymouth Woods-Sandhills Nature Preserve is a state park located in Moore County, North Carolina. It spans across 915 acres in the Sandhills region of the state. This region is known for its unconsolidated sand, which is part of the Quaternary Pinehurst Formation. This sand is believed to have been blown by the wind and mobilized episodically from approximately 75,000 to 6,000 years ago.
  40. 40

    Kaleideum North

    Winston-Salem, NC
  41. 41

    Pope House Museum

    Raleigh, NC
    The Pope House Museum is a significant historical site in Raleigh, North Carolina. Constructed in 1901, the house was once the residence of Dr. Manassa Thomas Pope, a notable African-American citizen of the city. The museum offers a glimpse into the life of Dr. Pope and the African-American community in Raleigh during the early 20th century.
  42. 42

    African-american Cultural Complex

    Raleigh, NC
    Collection of African American artifacts and documents, plus nature trail behind the complex.
  43. 43

    Southeastern Center For Contemporary Art

    Winston-Salem, NC
    The Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art (SECCA) is a multimedia contemporary art gallery in Winston-Salem, North Carolina . SECCA has no permanent collection but offers exhibitions of works by artists with regional, national, and international recognition. Although founded as a private institu
  44. 44

    Asheville radio Museum

    Asheville, NC
    This museum is for those who love all the radio stuff. Here they find various vintage pieces.
  45. 45

    Timothy S. Y. Lam Museum of Anthropology

    Winston-Salem, NC
  46. 46

    J. Bayard Clark Park & Nature Center

    Fayetteville, NC
  47. 47

    Wrightsville Beach Museum of History

    Wrightsville Beach, NC
    A beach house hides history of this island, including the model of trolley that ran along the beach.
  48. 48

    Museum of Durham History

    Durham, NC
  49. 49

    Caswell Number 1 Fire Station Museum

    Kinston, NC
  50. 50

    Mountain Gateway Museum

    Old Fort, NC
    The Mountain Gateway Museum and Heritage Center is a part of the North Carolina Museum of History. It primarily focuses on the Southern Appalachian heritage, and the culture and history of western North Carolina. This museum is a great place to learn about the rich history and culture of the region.
  51. 51

    Gem and Mineral Museum of Franklin North Carolina

    Franklin, NC
    Former jailhouse turned into museum, houses collection from around the world and from every state in the union. Plus fluo rocks. Anybody interested?
  52. 52

    Mount Holly Historical Society

    Mount Holly, NC
  53. 53

    Harvey W. Smith Watercraft Center

    Beaufort, NC
  54. 54

    Badin Historic Museum

    Badin, NC
  55. 55

    Badin Firehouse Museum

    Badin, NC
  56. 56

    Cowan Museum of History and Science

    Kenansville, NC
  57. 57

    Swannanoa Valley Museum & History Center

    Black Mountain, NC
  58. 58

    The History Museum of Burke County

    Morganton, NC
  59. 59

    Stanly County Museum

    Albemarle, NC
  60. 60

    Greenville Museum of Art

    Greenville, NC
  61. 61

    Museum of North Carolina Minerals

    Spruce Pine, NC
    They offer interesting information about the area geology that is rich in minerals, displays of various rocks, minerals and gems.
  62. 62

    The Tufts Archives - Pinehurst Resort

    Pinehurst, NC
    The history of Pinehurst, its people and mainly the Tufts family displayed in photographs, documents and other artifacts.
  63. 63

    Nature Center - Highlands Biological Station

    Highlands, NC
  64. 64

    Textile Heritage Museum

    Glen Raven, NC
    The Textile Heritage Museum, situated in Glencoe, North Carolina, is a history museum that provides a deep dive into the textile industry and the life in mill towns in North Carolina and the American south. This museum offers a unique opportunity to understand the historical context and significance of the textile industry in the region.
  65. 65

    Rural Heritage Museum

    Mars Hill, NC
  66. 66

    Chatham Historical Museum

    Town of Pittsboro, NC
  67. 67

    Boars Nest a Dukes of Hazzard Museum

    Rougemont, NC
  68. 68

    Orange County Historical Museum

    Hillsborough, NC
  69. 69

    Belhaven Memorial Museum

    Belhaven, NC
  70. 70

    Hickory Aviation Museum

    Long View, NC
    The Hickory Aviation Museum is located at the Hickory Regional Airport in Hickory, North Carolina. This museum is dedicated to the preservation and display of aviation artifacts and aircraft. It provides an opportunity for visitors to learn about the history of aviation and see a variety of aircraft up close.
  71. 71

    Museum of the Alphabet

  72. 72

    Cam Raleigh

    Raleigh, NC

All museums in North Carolina