Museums in the Triangle Area

The Triangle is home to a variety of great museums that have a range of interesting exhibits. Their buildings themselves are unique works of architecture and they serve as venues for all sorts of activities and community events. Below, we’ve compiled a list of some of the best museums in the area!

North Carolina Museum of Art

NCMA has an amazing permanent collection of works of art from different time periods, continents and cultures. It is also a destination for renowned visiting exhibits from names like MC Esher, Alohnse Mucha, Ansel Adams, Amanda Parer and many more. Around the museum that are over two miles of walking trails that are filled with all sorts of interesting art installations. The West Building will undergo renovations from May 29 to October 8 but the rest of the museum will remain open.

Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University

Opened in 2005, The Nasher is a free museum that’s located on Duke University’s campus. It showcases a variety of works including European and American paintings, contemporary art, pre-Colombian art and more. The museum also puts on events featuring live entertainment, hands-on projects and exhibitions.

Grammy Award-winning producer and Durham local 9th Wonder will be DJing and hosting a celebration of music on Sunday, May 1.

Museum of Life and Science Durham

The Museum of Life and Science is all about getting into it. The hands-on exhibits span a wide range of science fields and are so fun that kids (and adults) might just forget that they’re learning something. The facility also has extensive outdoor exhibits featuring live animals, a train, a massive butterfly house and more! The museum is hosting a “Party for the Planet” on April 30 to celebrate the natural world and help educate on ways to preserve it.


Admission is free at this UNC-Chapel Hill campus museum, located less than a block from Franklin Street. The museums permanent collection consists of over 18,000 pieces of art, including one of NC’s best collections of Asian art, European masterworks, contemporary art and NC pottery. Ackland also offers kids’ art classes and other public programs. The museum is currently featuring the art of Aaron Douglas, a major figure in the Harlem Renaissance.

NC Museum of Natural Science

The 300,000 square foot campus lies right in the heart of Downtown Raleigh, a short walk from the legislative and capital buildings and right across from the North Carolina Museum of History. In the words of the museum “The NC Museum of Natural Sciences is a high-performing nexus of research, collections, living collections, exhibitions and digital media, school and lifelong education, community engagement, and a regional network.”

Expanded in 2012, the exhibits are state of the art and have something for all ages. They cover much of the natural history of our state and beyond. The facility is much more than just a museum, offering classes and summer camps for youth and displaying the latest in scientific research.

Contemporary Art Museum, Raleigh

“CAM Raleigh seeks to curate the most contemporary works of art and design possible—those still emerging, growing, and living. We hope to spark new thinking by creating ever-changing experiences that explore what’s now and nearing.”

CAM, Raleigh’s destination for contemporary art, CAM is a living museum, regularly updated with new exhibits and fun events. The museum was one of the original residents of today’s Warehouse District, helping to blaze a trail for the area. Admission is free and the museum is open late on First Fridays. Hungry? Check out Humble Pie or The Pit right around the corner.

CAM Raleigh