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 via rental car or through the local airport, Coastal Carolina Regional Airport, 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.
Rental cars are absolute necessities in the town in order to get around. Taxis are exorbitantly priced and rare.
Baker's Kitchen 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. 227 Middle St. (252) 637-0304
Captain Ratty's Seafood Restaurant and Steakhouse Tavern-style American food, seven time Wine Spectator Award-winning program. For the best view request rooftop dinning. 202 Middle St. (252) 633-2088
The Chelsea Restaurant 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 1st place for the best starters in New Bern. 335 Middle St. (252) 637-5469.
247 Craven 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. 247 Craven St. (252) 635-1879
Christoph's on the Water Steak and seafood with an American and International twist; live jazz on Thursday’s and seasonal Cabana Deck Parties on Friday’s. 100 Middle Street (252) 638-0305
MJ's Raw Bar & Grill Casual seafood with Maryland influences; renowned for their crab cakes. 216 Middle St. (252) 635-6890
Morgan's Tavern & Grill 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. 235 Craven St. (252) 636-2430
Persimmons Waterfront Restaurant 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. 100 Pollock St (252) 514-0033
Ribeyes Steakhouse Omaha Steaks, USDA Choice beef served with an endless salad bar. Sun Journal Reader’s Choice Awards 1st place for the Steak Dinner. 313 Pollock St. (252) 288-5814
Trent River Coffee Company has a classic coffee house atmosphere. It's located in downtown New Bern at 208 Craven Street. 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.
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.
The Hilton, also located in downtown New Bern, 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 on Trent Road, is 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.