Field Trips, Capital Area Visitor Services and Raleigh Group Visits

Column Paragraph


Column Paragraph

Featured Article Image


What venues can we tour?

Click on the tabs below to learn more about each of the venues that are serviced by Capital Area Visitor Services, including information on what you’ll see, security procedures, and pre-visit resources to make your trip a success. 

Tours for groups of 10 or more can be made for our venues through this platform. Remember, our Chaperone Policy requires one adult per ten students. All reservations must be made at least two weeks in advance.  

Tab/Accordion Items


The Executive Mansion’s Holiday Open House runs Thursday, December 7, from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m.; Friday, December 8, from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m.; and Saturday, December 9, from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. No reservations are needed or accepted.

The Executive Mansion will be beautifully decorated, and a North Carolina Christmas tree will be featured in every room on the first floor. Musical performances will occur throughout the event; docents will be stationed in each room and will be available to answer any questions about the house’s history. Only the Executive Mansion interior is open to the public during this time; garden tours are unavailable.

Guests are invited to stay and enjoy the music if they like. However, public restrooms are not available inside the Executive Mansion.

Guided tours of the mansion and gardens must be reserved at least two weeks in advance through Capital Area Visitor Services.  

Fall tours of the gardens have been canceled. Tours of the house will not be affected, for more information please contact

Fall tours of the mansion will be offered on Wednesdays and Thursdays, September 13–November 9, at 10 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 2 p.m., and 2:30 p.m. Tours last 30 minutes. Tour capacity for this activity is a minimum of 5 people and maximum of 50 people. Groups of less than 5 people should contact

Executive Mansion security requires that a list of names for every individual in each group be submitted to Capital Area Visitor Services at least 72 hours before your tour. 

Know Before You Go: 

  • The Executive Mansion is located at 200 N. Blount Street in Raleigh. Please plan to arrive at the front gate of the mansion (near the two flagpoles) about 15 minutes ahead of your tour time. 

  • Upon entry, you will be asked for your group’s booking information and required to go through a brief security check. 

  • Visitors are encouraged to dress for the weather and wear comfortable shoes appropriate for outdoor terrain. 

  • There are no public restrooms at the Executive Mansion, and we encourage you to take advantage of the facilities at the NC Museum of History before or after your tour, should you need them. 

  • Parking is available in this Visitor Lot for a fee, or metered street parking can be found throughout downtown Raleigh. 

  • Visitors are not allowed to wander from the docent-led group and must always stay with the guide. 

  • Garden tours will occur rain or shine. 

Virtual Tour of NC Executive Mansion  

Monday–Friday, 8 a.m.–5 p.m. 

Guided tours are available 9 a.m.–3:30 p.m. in 30-minute increments. 

The Legislative Building is open to the public year-round, except on state holidays. 

Virtual Tour of NC Legislative Building  

Admission is free. 

Guidelines for visiting the NC General Assembly — Legislative Building 

  • ARRIVAL AND REGISTRATION. Upon arrival to the General Assembly, please have your students gather in a single-file line behind the visitors and guests sign at the front entrance of the building located on Jones Street. Teachers are responsible for the registration of their groups. Please enter through the door marked appropriately for registration. Parents, adults, and chaperones should not be responsible for any part of registration. Teachers should come to the front desk to register, receive classroom materials, be given specific instructions, and meet their Building Guide. 

  • SECURITY AND SCREENING. The Legislative Building now has a NEW security screening procedure in place for all visitors. To ensure the best possible experience, several recommendations will expedite screening. All students, teachers, parents, adults, and chaperones will be required to go through screening upon entry to the building. To accelerate this procedure, we are requesting that students leave all nonessential items, including backpacks, cell phones, etc. (excluding medical items), on their respective buses. We also ask that items not left on the bus, including souvenirs, be left outside with 2 or 3 adults while the tour takes place. Below are prohibited items inside the legislature: 

Prohibited Items Through Screening Process 

  • Aerosol containers 

  • Electric stun guns, martial arts weapons or devices 

  • Knives of any size 

  • Mace and pepper spray 

  • Guns, replica guns, ammunition, and fireworks 

  • Any weapon facsimile 

  • Razors and box cutters 

  • Pets or animals (guide and assistance animals are permitted) 

  • Batons and nightsticks 

  • Signs on handsticks 

  • Any other item or device that can be considered a dangerous weapon 

The Building Guide will lead the group into the screening area. The Building Guide must be followed by the teacher, then students next, for screening, with parents, adults, and chaperones remaining at the end of the line to be screened last. 

We recommend following the above-listed procedures carefully, as any failure to follow the above guidelines may result in a delay for your group. Please remember your group will need to use the restrooms at the NC Museum of History prior to your tour of this site.  We greatly appreciate your cooperation with these NEW security measures. We look forward to seeing you at the General Assembly and serving the needs of your group during its upcoming visit to the State Legislative Building! 

Visitors from around the world travel to the North Carolina Museum of History, a Smithsonian Affiliate, to discover fascinating secrets and hidden gems from our state’s past. Located at 5 East Edenton Street in the heart of downtown Raleigh across from the State Capitol, the state history museum, before the COVID-19 pandemic, welcomed more than 465,000 visitors a year, including over 83,000 schoolchildren. You can contact the museum at 919-814-7000. The fax number is 919-733-8655. 

The North Carolina Museum of History is open to the public with some procedures in place to help ensure the safety of staff and visitors. Daily, health, and safety guidelines are being followed and monitored.

 Please continue to follow the museum website and social media (FacebookTwitter, and Instagram) for the most up-to-date information. We look forward to seeing you soon!

Beginning Monday, November 6, the North Carolina Museum of History will be closed on Mondays to align with the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences’ schedule. Our hours will also change as of Tuesday, November 7, to 10 a.m.–5 p.m., Tuesdays through Saturdays, and Sundays, noon–5 p.m. 

Admission is FREE. Tickets are NOT required for entry. Hours of operation are as follows:

  • Tuesday–Saturday: 10 a.m.–5 p.m. 

  • Sunday: Noon–5 p.m. 

The Museum Shop hours of operation:

  • Tuesday–Saturday: 10 a.m.–5 p.m. 

  • Sunday: Noon–5 p.m. 

Nearby the museum is convenient parking, restaurants, and many other family-friendly attractions. 

The museum is closed on New Year’s Day, Easter, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day. 

Before Your Visit to the N.C. Museum of History

To help you plan your visit to the Museum of History, you might find some of these links helpful:

NCMOH Book Your Tour Today

The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences in downtown Raleigh is open Tuesday–Sunday, 10 a.m.–5 p.m., with procedures and plans in place to help ensure the safety of visitors and staff. 

To help make your experience the best it can be, please Know Before You Go

Hours (Downtown Raleigh) 

  • Open Tuesday–Sunday, 10 a.m.–5 p.m. 

Know Before You Go 

  • Cloth face coverings are available for purchase in the Museum Store. 

  • Enhanced cleaning of the facilities will take place multiple times throughout the day. 

  • Hand sanitizer stations are accessible throughout the museum. 

  • If you are experiencing symptoms of illness, we ask that you postpone your visit. 

Download the Museum's Reopening Map

Please check this page before visiting, and follow the museum on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for the most up-to-date information. For additional questions, email or see the FAQs. We look forward to seeing you soon! 

 Temporarily Closed Area

Areas within the downtown museum that will remain closed during the initial opening period include: 

  • Living Conservatory (aka “the butterfly room”) 

For more information! 


During much of the colonial period, North Carolina was without a fixed capital city. Governors lived in their own homes and the Assembly moved from place to place, meeting in private homes, and in courthouses when available.

In 1722 the Assembly selected Edenton as the capital, but years passed before modest government facilities became available. By then the center of the population had shifted southward, and the government again became migratory.

Several efforts to establish a seat of state government failed until 1766, when the town of New Bern was selected. Construction of Governor Tryon's Palace began in 1767 and was completed in 1771. This new structure served as the governor's residence and office, as well as a meeting place for the Upper House. However, when New Bern was threatened by enemy attacks during the American Revolution, the government took to the roads again, meeting in both coastal and inland towns of the state. The "palace" soon became neglected and in 1798 all but one wing burned to the ground.

Meanwhile, the state's population had moved westward, and in 1788 a State Convention voted to fix the capital within ten miles of Isaac Hunter's plantation in Wake County. A committee later purchased 1,000 acres of Joel Lane's plantation, and a plan for Raleigh was drawn, based on the then nation's capital of Philadelphia. Construction of a State House began on the town's central square in 1792.

First occupied in 1794, the State House was enlarged by State Architect William Nichols between 1820 and 1824. A third floor and eastern and western wings were added to the building, and a domed rotunda constructed at its center to house Antonio Canova's statue of President George Washington, acquired by the state in 1821. Sadly, when the State House burned down in 1831, the statue of George Washington was damaged beyond repair.