Field Trips, Capital Area Visitor Services and Raleigh Group Visits

0 SCHEDULED in 2019

In 2019, CAVS scheduled over 314,000 visitors combined for the five sites we service.


Effective March 7, 2022, masks became optional for visitors and staff at CAVS sites. 

Capital Area Visitor Services (CAVS) is the gateway to Raleigh, the city that has served as the capital of North Carolina since 1792. CAVS was established by the state in 1976 as a US Bicentennial project. It is now a permanent point of contact for more than 300,000 annual visitors to Raleigh’s state-owned cultural and historic attractions. 

Scheduling a Tour

CAVS schedules and coordinates tours of historic state-owned points of interest. Visits must be scheduled at least two weeks in advance; however, earlier scheduling allows more flexibility, permits ample delivery time for your written itinerary, and opens more options for your trip. Please note: due to potential pandemic-related restrictions, all sites may not be readily available for tours. 

To schedule through CAVS, you need to have at least 10 persons in your group. For smaller groups, contact the site directly at the following numbers: State Capitol, 984-867-8340 / Legislative Building, 919-733-7928 / Executive Mansion, 984-867-8345 / NC Museum of History, 919-814-7000 / NC Museum of Natural Sciences, 919-707-9800. To have CAVS schedule your group, here’s what you do: 

Visit our website at / Email us at / Call us at 919-814-6950 

If you represent a group, you should contact us at least one month in advance so that you will have a better chance of receiving the tour times you want. Before you contact us, please consider 

  • The date of your visit. Since Raleigh’s visitation is heaviest in March, April, and May, it may be more difficult to secure tour times in these months. Try to schedule from June through February for a more personal, relaxed visit. 

  • Time limits. Schedule your itinerary time by adding the tour times shown on the website, and add 15 minutes for travel time between each site. For instance, State Capitol: 30-minute tour; 15-minute transition time; plus Museum of History: 60-minute tour time equal total tour time of 1 hour and 45 minutes. If a group vacillates from an assigned tour time on the day of its trip, the tour to that specific site may be lost due to schedule conflicts. 

Once you get here

Parking: The bus unloading zone is in front of the Legislative Building at 16 West Jones Street. Bus parking lots are located at 101 W. Peace Street and 218 E. North Street. 15 passenger vehicles will need to utilize street parking or Lot 18, a paid lot, located at the corner of E Jones Street and N Blount Street. Those driving personal vehicles will have to utilize regular downtown parking or the lot located at 120 W Edenton Street. Please visit this link to view a map of the above-listed lots. 

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. All reservations must be made at least two weeks in advance. 

What's New Now

School Group Lunches

Raleigh's downtown sites do not have indoor dining facilities for groups. Fire regulations prohibit groups from sitting inside the facilities while eating and do not allow waiting inside to escape the weather.

Several tables with seating are available in Fletcher Garden, between the Museum of History and the Museum of Natural Sciences. Buses may stop along Jones Street long enough to unload lunches but they may not park at the curb. Tables may not be reserved. Groups are responsible for cleaning up after themselves, so bring heavy-duty garbage bags to collect trash for disposal.

Picnicking in the park behind the Archives and History/State Library Building is also allowed. Buses may stop along the Lane Street side of the park long enough to unload lunches but they may not park near the picnic area.

Check out the map to the right to see where your group can eat lunch.

On days with inclement weather, you will need to eat lunch on your buses. If your bus has had to park at the Museum of Art, you must have a way to contact your bus driver.

You may purchase brown-bag or box lunches for eating outside. Many restaurants can provide these lunches with two-week advance notice. Contact them directly for menu options, prices, and arrangements.

  • Daily Planet Café (NC Museum of Natural Sciences, Nature Research Center Wing): 919-707-8060