Raleigh is the second largest city in North Carolina. It is known as the "City of Oaks" for its many oak trees. North Carolina Museum of Art is a popular tourist destination is the area. This museum features paintings and sculpture date back to 5,000 year, from ancient Egyptian artifacts to present contemporary art. The museum has over 40 galleries and over a dozen works of art in its 164-acre Museum Park. It is especially known for its European galleries, which features works he masters artist such as Monet, Rubens and Raphael to name a few. The West Building holds the permanent collection and East Building holds special exhibitions. It is a beautifully designed museum and a great place to spend morning and afternoon. If you have children then you can take them to Marbles Kids Museum. It is a nonprofit children's museum located in downtown Raleigh. The museum offers various fun hands-on activities that involve creative thinking, active learning and confidence building. It features 5 galleries and 2 outdoor escapes. They have customized activities for children of all ages and their families. The museum’s permanent exhibits include Around Town, Splash, IdeaWorks, Power2Play, and Moneypalooza. The museum building also houses the Wachovia IMAX Theatre. This 267-seat theatre is the only 3D capable IMAX theatre in North Carolina. It features a giant-screen, five stories high and a sound system capable of supplying 12,000 watts of surround sound. The theater plays short educational IMAX documentaries as well as Hollywood feature films. It is an ideal place for young families to spend the afternoon together.
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There are lots of other places to do in Raleigh, North Carolina. Being the state capital, Raleigh is home to the North Carolina State Capitol, the main building of government of the state. Located at One East Edenton Street, the building houses the offices of the Governor of North Carolina. The building is designed in the Greek-Revival style architecture. The State Capitol attracts over 100,000 visitors to Raleigh each year. While you are there, you can go to North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences located not too far from the city center. It is the oldest established museum in North Carolina and the largest natural science museum in the Southeast. It is the most visited attraction in the state, boasting over 700,000 visitors annually. The museum collections extend over four stories galleries and each floor is filled with exciting artifacts. First floor exhibits include North Carolina's Natural Treasures, contains dioramas of various local wildlife and artifacts including 2000 year old trees and Coastal North Carolina, includes exhibits of live sea cucumbers and fish native to North Carolina. There is also High-definition films that are shown daily in the 250-seat auditorium. Second floor exhibits include Mountains to the Sea, displays natural habitats from the western mountains to the central Piedmont and the Nature's Explorers, shows the tools and techniques naturalists used 100 years ago. There is also a Discovery Room with hands-on exhibits staffed by museum volunteers. Third floor exhibits include Prehistoric North Carolina, chronicles of prehistoric life in the state as well as in the country. It features Willo, the only dinosaur in the world with a fossilized heart. Fourth floor exhibits include Arthropod Zoo, Living Conservatory, Naturalist Center and a Café. If you like to stay near to nature then you can go to nearby Pullen Park and Umstead State Park.