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No. 1: N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences tops annual ranking of popular N.C. attractions

The natural sciences museum in downtown Raleigh welcomed a whopping 946,486 visitors in 2017. Fort Macon State Park in Atlantic Beach came in second with 896,682.

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Mazes and Brain Games at the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences
By
Sarah Lindenfeld Hall
, Go Ask Mom editor
For the fourth year, the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences ranks as the state's most visited historic attraction, according to Carolina Publishing and Associates annual survey.

The natural sciences museum in downtown Raleigh welcomed a whopping 946,486 visitors in 2017. Fort Macon State Park in Atlantic Beach came in second with 896,682. Here's the full list. Five Triangle-area destinations make the top 10.

Top Historic Attractions in North Carolina

1. NC 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.
Discovery Place Charlotte

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

7. NC 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.
Expanded Wiseman Aquarium at Greensboro Science Center

12. Wright Brothers National Memorial, Kill Devils Hill, 413,387.

13. North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores, 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.
The historic battleships sits on the Cape Fear River across from downtown Wilmington. Courtesy: Battleship North Carolina.

17. NC 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.
Courtesy: Tryon Palace

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.
NASCAR Hall of Fame
30. NC Transportation Museum, Spencer, 143,282.

It's worth noting that Biltmore in Asheville is not on the list because it no longer reports its attendance totals. Carolina Publishing and Associates publishes Carolina Field Trips Magazine and Carolina Heritage Guide.

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