New Bern Travel Guide

  • Things to Do
    by momcms
  • tryon palace
    tryon palace
    by doug48
  • Sudan Shriner's building
    Sudan Shriner's building
    by grandmaR

New Bern Things to Do

  • River Boat Tours

    I wanted to do some activities where my family and I could learn about the history and attractions of New Bern. I looked into alot of tours and found the "Lookout Lady" which offered Scenic River Tours. My kids and I went on the 2 hour boat ride and it was the highlight of our stay. What a fun and unique way to spend the afternoon! We got to see...

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  • howard house

    the howard house was built in 1890 in the queen anne style. it was built for james m. howard a new bern ship builder and tobacco merchant. today the howard house is a bed & breakfast inn. the howard house is an excellent example of victorian architecture in downtown new bern.

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  • battle of new bern

    a significant event in the history of new bern was the battle of new bern in march 1862. new bern was an important port city and protected the town of goldsborough fron the east. goldsbourgh (goldsboro) was an important railroad junction and a major supply line to virginia. new bern was defended by confederate general lawrence branch and he...

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  • centenary methodist church

    the centenary methodist church was established in 1772. the current church was built in 1904. the centenary methodist church has an interesting romanesque design. the centenary methodist church is listed on the national register of historic places. for those interested in architecture the centenary methodist church is worth a look when in downtown...

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  • lehman-duffy house

    the lehman-duffy house was built for robert b. lehman in 1888. the lehman-duffy house is one of the finest examples of italianate architecture in new bern. today the lehamn-duffy house is home to the tryon palace commission.

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  • first presbyterian church

    the first presbyterian church was established in 1817. the current church was built in 1829. during the occupation of new bern the church was used as a hospital during a yellow fever epidemic. the first presbyterian church is listed on the national register of historic places.

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  • st. paul's catholic church

    this beautiful greek revival church was built in 1841. st. paul's catholic church is listed on the national register of historic places.

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  • christ episcopal church

    christ episcopal church is one of several historic and architectully significant churches in new bern. christ episcopal church was established in 1715. the first christ church was built in 1750 and was rebuilt in 1824. the second church was destroyed by fire in 1871. the current gothic revival church you see today was built in 1875. a very...

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  • george w. dixon house

    this federal style house was built in 1833 for merchant-tailor and former mayor george dixon. later the house was owned by north carolina state senator w. h. washington. today it is home to the tryon palace gift shop.

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  • james bryan house

    the james bryan house was built in 1803. this beautiful federal style home was built by the famous new bern carpenter martin stevenson. the james bryan house is listed on the national register of historic places. for those interested in colonial architecture the james bryan house is worth a look in downtown new bern.

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  • john jones house

    this federal style home was built in 1809. during the occupation of new bern the jones house served as a confederate jail. a famous inmate of the jail was confederate spy emeline pigott. pigott was a very interesting character in u.s. history. for those interested in civil war history and architecture the jones house is worth a look in downtown new...

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  • john wright stanly house

    the john wright stanly house was built in 1783 and was believed to be designed by architect john hawks who also designed tryon palace. the john wright stanly house is considered one of the finest examples of a georgian home in north carolina. the john wright stanly house was a "house divided". it was the birthplace of edward stanly the unionist...

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  • new bern academy

    the new bern academy was established in 1766. the original academy building was destroyed by fire and the current academy building was rebuilt in 1809. during the battle of new bern the academy was a military hospital. today the academy building is a museum on the history of new bern. the museum has an interesitng collection of civil war relics....

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  • pepsi cola museum

    located on the corner of middle and pollack streets is bradham's pharmacy where caleb bradham invented pepsi cola. bradham invented the soft drink in 1893 and originally named it "brad's drink". in 1898 he changed the name to pepsi cola. the bradham pharmacy is now a museum on the history of this famous product.

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  • new bern city hall

    the town of new bern was established in 1710 by baron christopher de graffenfreid of bern switzerland. the new bern city hall is a collection of buildings that were combined to form the present city hall in 1895. on the facade of the building is a statue of a bear which is the symbol of the city. for those interested in architecture the city hall...

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  • craven county courthouse

    craven county is named after william earl of craven who was a wealthy land owner in colonial north carolina. the original craven county courthouse was destroyed by fire in 1861. the current courthouse was built in 1883. the craven county courthouse is one of the finest examples of second empire architecture in north carolina. for those interested...

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  • palace gardens

    tryon palace has several beautiful english gardens that were designed by the famous landscape architect morley jeffers williams. pictured is the latham garden on the grounds of the palace. for more images of the tryon gardens see my tryon palace travelogue.

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  • tryon palace

    tryon palace is new bern's most famous tourist attraction. the current tryon palace is a reconstruction of the royal governor's palace of the province of north carolina. colonial governor william tryon chose architect john hawks to design the mansion in 1764. the mansion was completed in 1770. taxpayers rebelled against this massive project and the...

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  • New Bern Academy Museum

    We did not get to the museum because I was more interested in driving around town. The school was incorporated by the legislature in 1766 but this is not the original building because that was destroyed by fire in 1795. This building was constructed between 1806 and 1809, and served as a school until 1971. It is claimed that it is one of the oldest...

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  • Historic Building Walking Tour

    We got a map with the historic buildings marked on it and I tried to take photos of the various buildings as we drove around town - I wasn't going to walk. These are a few of the pictures I tookThe present city hall (photo 2) on the corner of Pollack and Craven Streets was built in 1895 and was originally a post office. The clock tower was added in...

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  • Tryon Palace

    We bought our tickets ($15 each) and walked over to do the noon palace tour. They told us no pictures allowed inside.The docent was in costume, and she explained that the Palace was built kind of like the White House - as a government building with family living quarters upstairs. It was built by the colonial Governor of NC William Tryon. He lived...

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New Bern Hotels

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New Bern Restaurants

  • Good, Reasonably Priced in New Bern

    Morgan's is a nice restaurant and bar in downtown New Bern. We stopped here as a group of about 8 after hiking in nearby Croatan National Forest on our way back to the Triangle. Although the atmosphere is definitely classy (I was a little worried, since we were all in dirty hiking clothes), the prices are very reasonable and everyone in the group...

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  • Historic Lunch

    We walked over to Chadwick House, and ate there. There was a real daffodil in the vase on the table. They only serve lunch from 11 to 3, Monday through Saturday. There is parking behind the cafe.They make their own chicken salad, pimiento chese, olive nut, Benedictine, beer cheese, cole slaw, potato salad, pies and cheesecake, which they sell. Bob...

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  • New Bern Hotels

    24 Hotels in New Bern

New Bern Transportation

  • grandmaR's Profile Photo

    by grandmaR Updated Apr 4, 2011

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    We saw this little trolley when we were in New Bern, but in the winter when we were there, there was only one tour a day at 2 pm on the weekends and we couldn't make it. Plus a minimum of 6 adults are required for the tour, and there were only two of us.

    Tickets are available on the Trolley Cars...or at New Bern Tours Office
    ADULTS $15 - CHILDREN (12 and under) $7

    Their brochure says:

    Discover three centuries of history and architectural beauty in a comprehensive 90-minute trolley tour of historic downtown New Bern.

    Our professional guides will recount the fascinating details of this former royal capital of North Carolina and will leave you enchanted by the city's unique charm.

    They also have horse drawn carriage tours (call for the price), a Civil War Tour, and African American Tour (both of these are $285 for 22 Passengers), and a day trip package for $50 which includes the admission to the Governor's Palace and lunch.

    Horse and carriage in the Visitor's Center film Streets of New Bern Street Corner Street scene
    Related to:
    • Road Trip
    • Architecture
    • Historical Travel

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New Bern Shopping

  • grandmaR's Profile Photo

    by grandmaR Updated Apr 24, 2009

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    I did not shop at either of the Tryon Palace shops. There appeared to be a middle school group of kids at this shop

    MUSEUM SHOP

    Located in the historic Jones House at the corner of Eden and Pollock streets, the Museum Shop offers a myriad of choices. Some of the things you will find on its well-stocked shelves are:

    * An excellent selection of books on history, decorative arts,
    architecture, and cooking;
    * Decorative pieces for the home;
    * Personal care products and jewelry;
    * Toys, games and books for young people.

    Shop Hours:
    Monday through Saturday 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
    Sunday 1 p.m-5:30 p.m.

    The signs outside (photos 3 and 4) say the John Jones, who owned a turpentine distillery built the house around 1809 and added a wing in 1820. During the Civil War, the notorious Confederate spy Emeline Piggett, who smuggled military information, clothing and food underneath her hoop skirts was imprisoned in the house for awhile.

    What to buy: CRAFTS AND GARDEN SHOP (photo 2)

    I didn't buy anything this shop - since we were at the end of a fairly long trip, and it was March, I didn't want to buy any plants. I had already bought gifts for my mom who was the gardener in the family..

    The poultry house of the Palace Complex houses the Crafts and Garden Shop, chockfull of items of special interest to gardeners and crafters. Gardening offerings include books, pots, tools, and, in season, a selection of plants from the Palace greenhouse. Here, too, you will find the handiwork of our craftspeople. These lovingly produced handmade items are instant heirlooms, providing a tangible connection with earlier lifestyles.

    Shop Hours:
    Monday through Saturday 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.; Sunday 1- 5 p.m. While the shop is inside the Palace gates, tickets are not required for shopping. Pick up a Shop Pass at the Museum Shop on the corner of Eden and Pollock Streets.

    Jones house with visitors Palace Poultry House Garden Shop Sign about the Jones House Another sign about the Jones House Street near Jones house
    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Road Trip
    • Historical Travel

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New Bern Warnings and Dangers

  • grandmaR's Profile Photo

    by grandmaR Written Mar 7, 2008

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    When we went to the visitor's center they told us that no photographs were allowed in the Governor's Palace or the historic houses that we toured. I was relatively OK because they did tell us up front. And they did have postcards etc for sale.

    After we went through the palace where they had told us we could take no photos, we toured the outbuildings. The old kitchen was a reconstruction, so I thought photos would be OK. When we got around to where they were doing a weaving demonstration, the weaver told me that by law photos were forbidden in all NC historic buildings. I do not believe that she was telling me the truth. I have searched all over and can find no place that such a law is written. And this wasn't a historic building in any case.

    When I access their website I found the following rules:

    ..we ask that you observe these guidelines:

    All tours begin with an informative 20-minute audio-visual orientation program. Tours are guided by costumed interpreters. Large groups are always split into smaller groups of no more than twelve.

    The furnishings of Tryon Palace and the other historic sites are several hundred years old and must be treated with great care. We ask that they not be touched by students or adults.

    Food, drinks, and gum are not allowed in the exhibition buildings. Gum should be removed before entering the Visitor Center area.

    Visitors may take photos of the gardens and building exteriors; however photography is not allowed in the exhibition buildings.

    It is recommended that visitors wear soft-soled shoes and comfortable clothes appropriate for weather conditions.

    They did not make it clear to me that ALL the exhibition buildings were off limits to photography. They stated specifically the Governor's Palace and any of the single houses.

    Fireplace in the kitchen Exhibit in the Old Kitchen Bedroom in the kitchen building Another fireplace
    Related to:
    • Museum Visits
    • Castles and Palaces
    • Historical Travel

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New Bern Favorites

  • Downtown Historic District

    The Downtown Historic District is a 56 square block area, along the banks of the Trent and Neuse Rivers, which contains a collection of buildings and landscape elements that chronicle the development of New Bern from the time when it was the capital of the new colony (1766 to 1778), to the early 20th century fueled by a thriving lumber industry One...

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  • Churches

    New Bern has many historic churches. The first photo is of Christ Episcopal Church at 320 Pollock St. The churchyard stretches to either side of the main sanctuary. In the eighteenth century it served as a burial ground. In the aftermath of several yellow fever epidemics, the churchyard had filled with graves and was closed by 1799.The second photo...

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  • Historic Signs

    In addition to the main New Bern historic buildings like the Tryon Palace, New Bern has a full compliment of historic signs about events in New Bern.The first sign is about the Battle of New Bern, where, according to the sign, "The victory of Union General Ambrose Burnside here on March 14, 1862 caused the fall of New Bern"The signs by the...

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