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New Bern

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New Bern

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New Bern is a city in the coastal region of the state of North Carolina.


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.

Get in

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.

Get around

Rental cars are absolute necessities in the town in order to get around. Taxis are exorbitantly priced and rare.


  • Tryon Palace is 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. Admission moderately priced, the guides are quite knowledgeable, and the site itself is well kept-up.


There is insufficient shopping and eating to be done. Walking is not recommended anywhere that is not in downtown New Bern.



  • The Flame, [1]. One of the better eating establishments in uptown New Bern. It has a wonderful Sunday brunch each week from 11:30am - 3:00pm. Price is $15.95 per person.
  • Outback Steakhouse is 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. The prices per person range from US$15-US$35 if one does not request anything from the wine cellar.
  • The Chelsea is another well-established dining institution. It is rather expensive, yet very good. $40 per person is not unheard of.
  • Pollock Street Delicatessen serves great food in historic downtown New Bern. Charming atmosphere and people though dining area is small. Good food and reasonable prices.
  • Morgan's Tavern is a fine dining restaurant located squarely in downtown New Bern. The food is comparatively priced to The Chelsea, but the quality makes it well worth the price.
  • Captain Ratty's is a great seafood restaurant also 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.


Trent River Coffee Company has 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. See to look for dates for movie screenings and live music. This coffee house also has free internet.

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.


  • Hampton Inn, 200 Hotel Drive (Shopping District), +1-252-637-2111, []. One of the best values in town.
  • Sheraton New Bern Hotel Marina, 100 Middle Street (Downtown), +1-252-638-3585. Considered the most upscale of the inns in New Bern.
  • Days Inn, 925 Broad Street (Downtown), +1-252-672-0222 Phone, +1-252-636-0773 Fax. Central location, conveniently located.
  • Comfort Suites River Front Park, 218 East Front Street (Downtown), +1-252-636-0022. Located on one of the prime pieces of real estate in town.

Get out

Routes through New Bern
WilmingtonJacksonville  S noframe N  WashingtonNorfolk
RaleighGoldsboro  W noframe E  NewportMorehead City

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