New Bern appeals to a broad spectrum of visitors. It is the second oldest town in the state and a popular visitor destination. Located on the Neuse and Trent rivers, the quiet beauty of this town is filled with homes and landmarks listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Noted attractions include Tryon Palace Historic Sites and Gardens, the NC History Center and the birthplace of Pepsi. Best seller Nicholas Sparks also calls New Bern, North Carolina home.
Make the most of your visit whether you are coming for a day or weekend by planning your visit. Gather area visitor information from the Craven County Convention and Visitors’ Center www.visitnewbern.com for a thorough source of information and an up to date calendar of events . There is a visitors’ guide on line and can be viewed on line or a hard copy requested at 800-437-5767.
We suggest you slow down to enjoy the present, while appreciating the past. Our recommendation for enjoying this historic town, is to approach it on foot. Park your car behind the Inn and leave it the entire time of your visit. All of the following can be enjoyed while walking, but parking is available close to some activities:
The Tryon Palace & Gardens and NC History Center is our major attraction in New Bern www.tryonpalace.org.
The 14 acres of beautiful structures and gardens is open year round and brimming with seasonal blooms. New Bern was the colonial capital of North Carolina, and Tryon Palace presents a historically accurate replica of the Georgian mansion that once housed the colonial governor and played host to founding father George Washington. Guided tours of the palace and historic buildings located on the grounds bring history to life in vivid detail at the Governor’s Palace and Gardens. The North Carolina History Center appeals to the young and young at heart with its unique blend of cutting edge technology depicting centuries past.
New Bern is also the birthplace of Pepsi Cola. Pharmacist Caleb Bradham invented the world-renowned soda in a downtown New Bern pharmacy. The site is now the Pepsi Store on Middle Street. Bestselling author Nicholas Sparks also calls the New Bern area home. New Bern is the setting for several of his noted romance novels, so read or re-read them before you travel to New Bern. The Heritage “Walk to Remember” tour highlights locations mentioned in his novels. Maps for that tour and other Heritage walking tours are available at the Inn. While walking the tours, be sure to take note of the more than 150 historic landmarks, most located in the area’s 3 historic districts, as well as the carefully restored historic homes. Other featured attractions of the New Bern area : Sailing, boating and fishing on the Trent and Neuse rivers, downtown art and antiques stores (we have a list). Tours by carriage, trolley and the above Heritage walking tours offering glimpses of history and architecture of New Bern. You may even plan a Ghosts of New Bern, evening guided walking tour. River walk at Union Pt. Park (sunrise picture), Fine restaurants, theatres, unique stores for retail therapy, Fireman’s Museum, Saturday Farmer’s Market and Mitchell’s Hardware Store.
When planning a visit to New Bern, consider planning a trip around one of New Bern’s major annual festivals or events. In the spring, The Historic Spring Homes & Garden tours by the Historic Society is a popular day time event www.newbernhistorical.org.
In the summer New Bern hosts free riverfront outdoor concerts, Neuse River days in June, numerous Fourth of July celebrations and August’s Carolinian Shakespeare Festival, and free North Carolina Symphony concerts at the Tryon Palace.
During the fall, visitors enjoy Mumfest, Oktoberfest and the Historic Society’s New Bern at night Ghost Walk. A highlight of the Thanksgiving weekend is the open houses by the downtown merchants, as they are decorated for a “Dickens of a Christmas” start of the season. The Tryon Palace candlelight tours on the second and third Saturday evenings in December are well attended and end with fireworks over the Trent river.
For the more active guest:
For the more active guests, bicycle rentals, segway tours, sailing with Palm Coast Tours , golfing, walking/hiking trails in the Croatan National Forest, paddling on the Neuse & Trent rivers (rentals available), Randy’s Water Car’s & Tug Boat Cruises; call 252-349-3819
Daytripping by car:
Fort Macon State Park: www.ncparks.gov/Visit/parks/foma
North Carolina Aquarium at Atlantic Beach, NC: https://www.ncaquariums.com/pine-knoll-shores
Cape Lookout National Seashore & Lighthouse: https://www.nps.gov/calo
City of New Bern