- Associated Press - Thursday, August 11, 2016

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - More people are visiting North Carolina’s state-run attractions, whether to view masterpieces, learn about exotic animals or take in other natural beauty.

Gov. Pat McCrory’s office says overall visitation grew by nearly 8 percent at state historic sites, museums and other offerings for the year ending June 30 compared to the previous 12 months. The increase equals nearly 1.8 million more visitors.

The division inside the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources seeing the largest percentage attendance growth was the North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh at more than 34 percent. State park visits grew 11 percent. The North Carolina Zoo in Asheboro saw nearly 5 percent growth.

Some proceeds from a bond package voters approved in March will go toward zoo and state park upgrades.

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