2nd Floor

Main building second floor map

Mountains to the Sea

Spanning two floors, the breathtaking Mountains to the Sea exhibit takes visitors from the mountains, through the Piedmont and on to the Coastal Plain.


A 20-foot waterfall modeled on Linville Falls cascades down the mountainside, flows into a streambed and courses toward the sea, a living example of the connection between habitats.


The Mountains to the Sea exhibit showcases the plant and animal diversity of North Carolina’s many habitats, using live plants and animals whenever possible.


Nature’s Explorers

Spend time in the Nature's Explorers exhibit hall and discover how the Museum began, why it is important to collect and preserve and how natural science research helps protect the state's health and welfare.

Nature’s Explorers Gallery

Go beyond exhibits, where the history of the Museum is explored.

Nature’s Explorers timeline

From the giant sunfish to the art of taxidermy, the Nature’s Explorers exhibit hall is bursting with curiosities.


Underground North Carolina

Dig deep under your feet to see beautiful gems and minerals, soil and seismic displays in the Underground North Carolina exhibit.

Underground North Carolina

Learn all about the ingredients of the ground in Underground North Carolina.

Gems and minerals

North Carolina is the only state where the four most valuable gems — rubies, emeralds, sapphires and diamonds — have been found.


Discovery Room

Young children and families share the joy and fascination of exploring the natural world in the Discovery Room, which is filled with touchable objects and specimens from the Museum’s collections.

Discovery Room

Visitors of all ages enjoy the interactive atmosphere in the Discovery Room.

Discovery Room

Engage all your senses as you touch, smell, hear and see real animals, fossils and other natural objects in the Discovery Room.


Special Exhibits Gallery

The Special Exhibits Gallery features traveling exhibits from across the country and around the world. For information about current and upcoming exhibits, please see the Special Exhibits page.

Wild Music exhibit

The Wild Music special exhibit was a hit with musically inclined visitors large and small.

Powers of Nature exhibit

The Powers of Nature exhibit was a hair-raising good time.