The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh was the most visited historic attraction in 2014.
The museum reported 973,738 visitors, marking its second time in the top spot in three years, according to a survey by Matthews-based Carolina Publishing and Associates, which publishes Carolina Field Trips Magazine and the Carolina Heritage Guide.
Coming in second was Fort Fisher in Kure Beach with 748,664 visitors. The North Carolina Zoo in Asheboro ranked third in the annual survey with 743,774 visitors. Charlotte's Discovery Place, with 709,937 visitors, came in fourth and Fort Macon State Park in Atlantic Beach came in fifth with 702,192 guests.
Among the 30 most popular attractions in the state, 11 are located on the coast, five are in the mountains and 14 are in the state’s heartland.
Biltmore, the largest private home in the U.S., led in nine of the past surveys, which go back 11 years. The Asheville site doesn’t report attendance totals anymore, so it’s not included in the survey.