Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Museum of Coastal Carolina near Sunset Beach, NC

If you're looking for a fun place out of the sun (or rain) to go with small children during your visit to Sunset Beach, nearby Ocean Isle has a very nice natural history museum. Despite is smaller size, the Museum of Coastal Carolina has a lot to offer to its visitors - and most particularly to families with children. Amongst its plentiful displays of ocean-related artifacts and exhibits, there are lots of hands-on activities thoughtfully provided throughout the various display rooms, to keep the younger members of your party richly entertained during the course of your visit. Also the native American and Civil War artifacts on display add yet another dimension to your appreciation of the area.

When our family visited during latest beach trip, my 5 year old spent a very long time observing the many different creatures the museum's touch tank and peppering the very patient docent who was there at the time with question after question. Next, we passed through an rather elaborate walk-through display of a coastal habitat, while the kids pointed out the various life-sized creatures modeled there and ran around with their own newly-created jellyfish and seahorses made from the simple kits thoughtfully left out on low craft tables set up throughout the museum. A walk through the aviary to watch the birds, plus a viewing of their collection of non-venomous live snakes, rounded out our lesson on the region's natural features admirably. We ran out of time before we ran out of museum, and so we plan to re-visit it on our next trip.

Tucked away from the crowds and often exhausting size of other more well-known museums and aquariums, the Museum of Coastal Carolina is a reasonably-priced and reasonably-sized place to go for a few hours of quiet fun. It is also possible to save a little extra on admission to its sister facility, the Ingram Planetarium in neighboring Sunset Beach, when you buy a combination pass for both.

Learn more by visiting the Museum of Coastal Carolina website at www.museumofcc.org