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 (a 3hr drive) via rental car or through the local airport, Coastal Carolina Regional Airport, (a 10 minute drive) 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 U.S. Highway 70 and 17 and NC 17.
Rental cars are absolute necessities in order to get around. Taxis are exorbitantly priced and rare.
However the town center is compact enough that walking allows seeing anything of interest. Most hotels provide a free ride to the local airport. There is a local cheap bus service that runs to the large shops out of town, via several residential neighbourhoods.
Tryon Palace is a reproduction of Governor Tryon's mansion. New Bern was the capital 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. Admission moderately priced, the guides are quite knowledgeable, and the site itself is well kept-up.
247 Craven, 247 Craven St, ☎ +1 252 635-1879. Unique one-of-a-kind dishes utilizing fresh, local, seasonal, ingredients. Sun Journal Reader’s Choice Awards 1st place for the best Chef and Gourmet dining experience in New Bern.edit
Baker's Kitchen, 227 Middle St, ☎ +1 252 637-0304. Once known as the Baker’s Square, it had been written up in Our State Magazine for the best French-Toast in NC. They may have changed the name but the chef remains providing the same great recipes.edit
Captain Ratty's Seafood Restaurant and Steakhouse, 202 Middle St, ☎ +1 252 633-2088. Tavern-style American food, seven time Wine Spectator Award-winning program. For the best view request rooftop dinning.edit
The Chelsea Restaurant, 335 Middle St, ☎ +1 252 637-5469. Hearty steak, hand-cut portabella fries and specialties like southern Osso Buco have a front and center place on the menu here. Sun Journal Reader’s Choice Awards first place for the best starters in New Bern.edit
Christoph's on the Water, 100 Middle St, ☎ +1 252 638-0305. Steak and seafood with an American and International twist. Live jazz on Thursday’s and seasonal Cabana Deck Parties on Friday’s.edit
MJ's Raw Bar & Grill, 216 Middle St, ☎ +1 252 635-6890. Casual seafood with Maryland influences; renowned for their crab cakes.edit
Morgan's Tavern & Grill, 235 Craven St, ☎ +1 252 636-2430. True tavern atmosphere with exposed wood beams and a clock in the center of the lower floor. Sun Journal Reader’s Choice Awards 1st place for the Brunch, Bar and Business meal in New Bern.edit
Persimmons Waterfront Restaurant, 100 Pollock St, ☎ +1 252 514-0033. Casual elegance with waterfront views of the Neuse River, offering modern dishes with a dedication to freshness and a loyalty to ingredients from local farms.edit
Ribeyes Steakhouse, 313 Pollock St, ☎ +1 252 288-5814. Omaha Steaks, USDA Choice beef served with an endless salad bar. Sun Journal Reader’s Choice Awards first place for the Steak Dinner.edit
Harvey's Mansion. The bar is located in the basement of Harvey's Mansion (the inn). Although the bar is small, it has a comfortable atmosphere. This is the bar where the locals like to go.edit
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.edit
Mickey Milligan's, Trent Rd. 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.edit
Trent River Coffee Company, 208 Craven St. Has a classic coffee house atmosphere. Also, TRCC frequently schedules live performances. See http://www.facebook.com/trentrivercoffee to look for dates. This coffee house also has free WiFi and a free public computer.edit
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