Best attractions in North Carolina, ranked

“Art in Bloom” takes place at the North Carolina Museum of Art.Karen Malinofski

North Carolina is full of attractions, and some of the most popular are in the Triangle.

For the fourth year in a row, the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences is the state’s most visited attraction, with 946,486 visitors in 2017.

The Triangle is home to half of the top 10 in the N.C. Museums and Historic Attractions survey, by Carolina Publishing and Associates. Four of those are in Raleigh.

Fort Macon State Park in Atlantic Beach ranked as the second most visited attraction, with 896,682 visitors last year.

The 2017 survey is the 14th annual ranking. Asheville’s Biltmore no longer reports attendance totals, and is not included.

The top 10 attractions, in order, are:

1. N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences, Raleigh, 946,486.

2. Fort Macon State Park, Atlantic Beach, 896,682.

3. Fort Fisher State Historic Site, Kure Beach, 871,676.

4. North Carolina Zoo, Asheboro, 860,148.

5. Discovery Place, Charlotte, 715,453.

6. Marbles Kids Museum, Raleigh, 690,629.

7. N.C. Museum of History, Raleigh, 579,236.

8. Museum of Life and Science, Durham, 574,884.

9. North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh, 495,696.

10. North Carolina Arboretum, Asheville, 494,532.

Top NC Attractions

Marbles Kids Museum // attractions
Marbles Kids Museum // N&O file photo

 

1. N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences, Raleigh, 946,486.

2. Fort Macon State Park, Atlantic Beach, 896,682.

3. Fort Fisher State Historic Site, Kure Beach, 871,676.

4. North Carolina Zoo, Asheboro, 860,148.

5. Discovery Place, Charlotte, 715,453.

6. Marbles Kids Museum, Raleigh, 690,629.

7. N.C. Museum of History, Raleigh, 579,236.

8. Museum of Life and Science, Durham, 574,884.

9. North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh, 495,696.

10. North Carolina Arboretum, Asheville, 494,532.

11. Greensboro Science Center, Greensboro, 434,718.

12. Wright Brothers National Memorial, Kill Devil Hills, 413,387.

13. North Carolina Aquarium, Pine Knoll Shores, 390,012.

14. NC Aquarium at Roanoke Island, Manteo, 306,376.

15. Grandfather Mountain, Linville, 287,611.

16. Battleship North Carolina, Wilmington, 286,772.

17. N.C. Maritime Museums, Beaufort, Hatteras, Southport, 279,985.

18. NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher, Kure Beach, 275,166.

19. Fort Raleigh National Historic Site, Manteo, 274,981.

20. Chimney Rock State Park, Chimney Rock, 253,715.

21. Tryon Palace, New Bern, 249,233.

22. Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens, Belmont, 215,233.

23. Old Salem Museums and Gardens, Winston-Salem, 204,601.

24. Kaleideum, Winston-Salem, 189,134.

25. Schiele Museum of Natural History and Planetarium, Gastonia, 185,577.

26. Jennette’s Pier, Nags Head, 179,329.

27. Linville Caverns, Marion, 177,642.

28. Cherokee Cultural Attractions, Cherokee, 161,146.

29. NASCAR Hall of Fame, Charlotte, 157,186.

30. N.C. Transportation Museum, Spencer, 143,282.

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