This 19-room museum, built from 1767 to 1770 as both the state capitol and the residence of the royal governor, has been authentically restored. Walking through the elegant rooms, it's easy to see why this mansion was once called the most beautiful in America. The main building burned in 1798 and lay in ruins until the restoration from 1952 to 1959. The handsome grounds and gardens surrounding Tyron Palace are designed in 18th-century style.

Two other landmarks in the 13-acre Tryon Palace complex are the John Wright Stanly House (1780), a late-Georgian-style mansion with town-house gardens, and the Dixon-Stevenson House (1805), noted for its rare Federal antiques. Crafts shows and historical dramas are presented, and seasonal guided tours are available.