New Bern was founded in 1710 by Swiss and German adventurers led by Baron Christoph von Graffenried from Bern, Switzerland. Royal Governor William Tryon made New Bern the colonial capital. His restored 18th-century capitol and residence, Tryon Palace, dominates a thirteen-acre garden complex that includes several historical landmarks in the heart of the city. A major port and trading center in the 1800's, New Bern was captured and occupied by the Union Army after a fierce battle on March 14, 1862. New Bern has three historic districts with homes, stores, and churches dating as far back as the early 18th century. In 1898, the pharmacist Caleb Bradham invented Pepsi Cola in his pharmacy at the intersection Middle and Pollock Street. The building still exists.
Generally, those who come to New Bern come in from Raleigh-Durham International Airport (IATA: RDU) via rental car or through the local airport, Coastal Carolina Regional Airport (IATA: EWN), with flights on Delta and USAirways. I-40 and I-95 are interstate highways that run relatively close to New Bern, which is located on US Highway 70, NC 17, and US Highway 17.
The downtown shopping district is walkable. Elsewhere in town a car is necessary. There is no public transportation and taxis are rare and expensive.
- Bank of the Arts, 317 Middle St, ☎ . Tuesday - Saturday, 10am - 5pm. Home of the Craven County Arts Council, the Bank of the Arts is an art gallery in an old bank building. The Arts Council sponsors performances, festivals and other events and is a good starting place to find out what there is to do in the area. Free admission.
- Birthplace of Pepsi, 256 Middle Street, ☎ . Monday - Saturday 10AM - 6PM & Sundays Noon - 4PM. In 1898 Caleb Bradham invented Pepsi Cola in his pharmacy at this location. Enjoy a Pepsi at a recreation of the original soda fountain.
- New Bern Fireman's Museum, 408 Hancock Street, ☎ . Mon-Sat 10am-4pm. A museum with fire fighting equipment and other historical items. The New Bern Fire Department has an unusual history of rivalry between the Atlantic Hook and Ladder Company and the Button Company; vestiges of this good-natured rivalry continue to this day. Admission $5 adults, $2.50 children, free under 6.
- Tryon Palace and North Carolina History Center, 529 South Front Street, ☎ , toll-free: . Mon-Sat 9am-5pm, Sun noon-5pm. A reproduction of Governor Tryon's mansion. New Bern was the capitol city of the Colony of North Carolina before the Revolutionary War. The original palace burned at the end of the 18th century. The Palace that stands today was rebuilt on the original site with North Carolina state funds during the 1950s. There are tours, special events, lectures and re-enactments. Day pass, $20 adults, $10 children; Galleries pass, $12 adults, $6 children; Gardens pass, $6 adults, $3 children.
- The Accidental Artist, 219-A Craven Street, ☎ . Mon-Tue 10 to 6 Wed.-Fri 10 to 9 Sat. 10 to 6 Sun. 12 to 6. Paint your own pottery. Choose a pottery item and paint it. The staff will coat it with a clear glaze, fire it and you can pick it up 4 days later. Studio fee is $8 for adults; $6 for children under 12. In addition, you pay for the pottery item, average price $8.
- AtOmic Cycles, 504 South Front Street, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Tue-Sat 10am-6pm. Bicycle rental and sales.
- Down East Folk Arts Society, 1410 Spencer Avenue, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. The Down East Folk Arts Society sponsors folk music concerts and dances at the Trent River Coffee Co., 208 Craven Street, New Bern and the Clawson's Restaurant, 425 Front Street, Beaufort. General admission $15, Active duty military and Down East Folk Arts Society Members $12, Full-Time Students $8.
- Ghosts of New Bern, Buy tickets at Bynum's Drug Store, 240 Middle Street, or phone to order tickets by credit card. (Tour starts at the corner of Craven and South Front Street.), ☎ . Wed-Sat at 7:30pm. A one-hour walking tour of downtown historic New Bern. Learn about strange occurrences and unusual happenings, including paranormal investigations, and ghosts that haunt many of New Bern’s homes and buildings. Based on the book, Ghosts of New Bern by Joseph and Joyce O'Callahan. Adults $12, children $6.
- New Bern Civic Theatre, 414 Pollock Street, ☎ . The New Bern Civic Theatre performs 6 to 8 plays and musicals each year in the historic Athens Theatre. Also has summer movie nights.
- Rivertowne Players, Performing at the Masonic Theatre, 514 Hancock Street, New Bern, NC 28560, ☎ , e-mail: RiverTownePlayers@gmail.com. Amateur theatre group performs a variety of musicals, plays and activities for kids around the year.
- Trolley Tours, 333 Middle Street (Purchase tickets where the tour starts at the corner of George and Pollack streets.), ☎ , toll-free: , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. April through October, Mon-Sat 11am and 2pm, Sun 2pm. The rest of the year, there is a more limited schedule. A 90-minute trolley tour through the New Bern historic district narrated by a professional guide. Adults $16, children $8.
There are lots of quirky little shops in downtown New Bern. A thriving artist's community in town and the surrounding area support a variety of art galleries.
- Bear City Fudge Company, 236C Middle Steet, ☎ . Fudge, chocolates and candy.
- Carolina Creations, 317 Pollack Street, ☎ . Fine art and contemporary crafts
- Fine Art at Baxter's Gallery, 323 Pollack Street, ☎ . Fine art gallery.
- Fraser's Wine and Cheese Gourmet Shoppe, 210 Middle Street, ☎ . Wine, cheese and other gourmet foods.
- Poor Charlie's Flea Market and Antiques, 208 Hancock Street, ☎ . Antiques, buy and sell.
- Snapdragon Toy Store, 214 Middle Street, ☎ . Toy store.
- Twice as Nice, 224 Craven Street, ☎ . Upscale consignment boutique with quality clothing.
- Weaver's Webb, 602 Pollack Street, ☎ . Supplies for knitting, weaving, cross-stitch, etc. Also has classes and individual instruction.
- Captain Ratty's, 202 Middle Street, ☎ . A great seafood restaurant located in downtown New Bern. The food is moderately priced, and you get a great deal. If you like, you can eat on the roof overlooking the river. Sandwiches are $8 to $11; entrees are $16 to $24.
- El Cerro Grande, 2503 Dr Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, ☎ . Mexican restaurant with surprisingly cheap beer and margaritas. Entrees range from $7 to $12.
- The Chelsea, 335 Middle Street, ☎ . A well-established dining institution with an innovative menu. It is rather expensive, yet very good. Entrees $24 to $36.
- Cow Cafe, 319 Middle Street, ☎ . A landmark in New Bern. A great lunch place, fun for the kids, with ice cream and fountain drinks. Sandwich baskets for $7.
- The Flame, 2303 Neuse Boulevard, ☎ . One of the better eating establishments in uptown New Bern, featuring upscale buffets. It has a wonderful Sunday brunch each week from 11:30am - 3:00pm. Sunday brunch is $16 per person; dinner buffets are $20 to $24.
- Morgan's Tavern, 235 Craven Street, ☎ . A fine dining restaurant located in downtown New Bern. Excellent for families. Has a variety of beers on tap and an extensive wine list. Sandwiches $7 to $12; entrees $15 to $20.
- Outback Steakhouse, 111 Howell Road (Across the bridge from downtown New Bern), ☎ . Locally considered the best chain dining establishment around. Make reservations well prior to when you intend to go; business is fast and waits can be over two hours. Entrees $10 to $16.
- Harvey's Mansion. This bar is located in the basement of the inn of the same name. Although the bar is small, it has a comfortable atmosphere. This is the bar where the locals like to go.
- The Hilton. Has two main bars. Both are good hangout places during the weekends. One bar features dance music and the other bar is a classic tavern. During the summer months, the Sheraton is famous for its "Deck Parties" on Fridays and Sundays from 6-10 pm. Friday deck parties usually feature rock, pop, and blues live music. Sunday's usually feature jazz.
- Mickey Milligan's, Trent Road. A great place to play billiards. Milligan's features a large bar with several beverages on tap in addition to eight pool tables. Some nights, there is also live music.
- Trent River Coffee Company. A café with a classic coffee house atmosphere. It's located in downtown New Bern on Craven Street. Also, TRCC sometimes schedules gigs for live performances and movie screenings. Check the website for dates for movie screenings and live music. This coffee house also has free internet.
- Hampton Inn, 200 Hotel Drive (Shopping District), ☎ . One of the best values in town.
- Sheraton New Bern Hotel Marina, 100 Middle Street (Downtown), ☎ . Considered the most upscale of the inns in New Bern.
- Days Inn, 925 Broad Street (Downtown), ☎ , fax: +1 252-636-0773. Central location, conveniently located.
- Courtyard New Bern, 218 East Front Street (Downtown), ☎ , toll-free: . Located on one of the prime pieces of real estate in town.
|Routes through New Bern|
|Wilmington ← Jacksonville ←||S N||→ Washington → Norfolk|
|Raleigh ← Goldsboro ←||W E||→ Havelock → Morehead City|