Aurora Fossil Museum, Aurora

4.7
#29 of 90 in Museums in North Carolina Coast
Must see · Specialty Museum · Museum
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Aurora Fossil Museum is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit natural science museum that educates on the geology, paleontology, and prehistory of the Aurora, NC area. The museum was founded in 1976 and opened in 1978 as a collaboration between the town of Aurora, local mines, East Carolina University, and other interested parties. The museum's collection is built around fossils recovered from the nearby phosphate mine, but also includes fossil, rock, and mineral displays from around the world. Fossils from the local mine are approximately 23 to 2.5 million years old and are from the early Miocene and Pliocene eras of the Pungo River and Yorktown formations. The museum also maintains two fossil pits in the Fossil Park located directly across the street from the main museum and visitors are allowed to collect fossils and keep what they find as a memento of their visit to Aurora, NC. The pits are open from dawn to dusk daily and are filled with mine tailings where small shell, coral, shark tooth, and other fossils are relatively easy to find. Major events hosted by the museum include the Annual Fossil Festival held on Memorial Day Weekend and the National Fossil Day Celebration in October. Plan a Aurora trip in moments using our itinerary builder.
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Aurora Fossil Museum reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating
TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
98 reviews
Google
4.8
TripAdvisor
  • This was an amazing experience and beyond worth the 2 hour drive from Wilmington. I learned that they refill the pits twice per year, once in spring around their fossil festival and once in the fall.....  more
    This was an amazing experience and beyond worth the 2 hour drive from Wilmington. I learned that they refill the pits twice per year, once in spring around their fossil festival and once in the fall.....  more »
  • Yes, it is a small museum but they have a great collection. And the most fun was hunting our own fossils in the area outside. 
    Yes, it is a small museum but they have a great collection. And the most fun was hunting our own fossils in the area outside.  more »
Google
  • Went to the fossil fest this weekend. It was a great time. My understanding is that this is the first time the museum ran the event alone. There were some snafus but everyone was nice and helpful and tried to resolve the issue. I think that they will improve next year. We will go back.
  • The museum is filled with information and if you still have questions, talk to the staff. So personable, friendly, and very helpful. My friend and I dug for hours and then the gentleman at the museum told us about all of our treasures. Well worth the drive. I can't wait to go again.

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