Begin a walking tour of historic and beautiful downtown
near the Palace on Pollock St. and grab your camera. The Tryon
Palace Visitor Center shows a short film after you buy your tickets, if you
don't know any of the local history...see it.
The Tryon Palace is worth a lot of pictures. Every corner is
another photo op. A Punch & Judy puppet show is great fun, the blacksmith
is really making iron items, they really grow food items in the kitchen gardens.
After a morning at the Palace, walk or drive the 4 short blocks to Middle
Street. The Pepsi Store is on the corner of Pollock and Middle St.
certainly not restored to resemble the original, but it is on the exact spot
where Caleb Bradham invented his "soft" drink that gave the drinker more "pep". Free samples.
Great eating places on Middle St. (Click on our "restaurant" section for info).
Bear Plaza is a favorite "bench enhanced" park...head toward the river. Stop
in the Bank of The Arts, on Middle Street.
They always have a show on display, of local or traveling artists/artisans.
Across the street is the venerable Christ Church, a must see. The bust of
our founder, Swiss Baron DeGraffenreid, is
tucked away on Pollock St. adjacent to the burying ground of Christ
You're deep in the
Downtown Historic District of New Bern. Even without a guide, you can see history in the architecture....widow's walks on roofs tell us of a seaman's wife
watching for the sailor' return....colonial, Victorian, Craftsman homes are
everywhere on beautiful live oak lined streets. Since we were occupied by the
Federals during the entire Civil War, many old homes were spared. We live a
front porch life in New Bern. Most homes decorate their porches for socializing. Get your camera ready!
Go down Pollock toward the river and turn left. Walk along
the Neuse River north up
Front St. past several historic homes to a small garden on
the river walk with a marker celebrating-- the politicians
of the area! (There's a miniscule mention of the Indian tribes
that were here originally too.) This spot is very near where the
original Swiss settlers and DeGraffenreid met with the local
Indian King, (whom they named "Taylor"), to buy land. A nearby
huge old water elm was a witness to the sale, and is listed as
an historic tree. None of this is mentioned however,
politicians are always predictable.
After seeing many of the old homes and gardens, stroll down
Johnson Street to the corner where the Masonic Theater
sits caty-corner to the old Academy Grounds. The Masonic is the
oldest theater in America that is in continuous use. This is a
revered old building-- said to be haunted. The charming
old-time stage of the Masonic is now featuring live country
bands every Friday and special performances throughout the
Across the street, the first schoolhouse in North Carolina is worth a visit. The
has a restored schoolroom museum that will show kids that
the old folks did have it rough back then.
Probably the most haunted place in North
Carolina is the Cedar Grove Cemetery. Under the Confederate statue in
the center is a crypt with the bodies of 300 plus Confederate soldiers.
Around 1900, grave robbers opened the crypt and stole all the metal items,
sword, guns, buttons, picture folders that the bodies were buried with---and
since then, the Cemetery has a very strange nighttime atmosphere, according to
The local Fireman's Museum
on the corner of Broad almost has a
cult following. It's one of the most charming museums of its ilk in America. Lots
of old equipment and great stories. The kids will love this one.
Union Point Park is a great way to end the day. Drive there and park
on the circle. This is the point where our two mighty rivers (Neuse and Trent)
merge-the union point. Designated by DeGraffenreid as a government site-never
realized-- it has had a chequered past. Now, it's a picture perfect park with
spectacular water views, swings and picnic tables.
New Bern Trolley
Tour, which lasts around 90 minutes, is a delightful way to see the historic area without
straining your feet. Our guides are knowledgeable, and make you smile
as you get the story of New Bern in a nutshell. Catch it in front of the Tryon Palace. Also, horse drawn carriage rides are available
in the summer season.
(We're excited about the new Children's Museum and
Visitors' Center that the Tryon Palace is planning on the waterfront adjacent to
the Palace grounds. This will be an inter-active children's center
and has been financed by grants from the state and the Pepsi Corp. The
architects are working on it now, and construction will be started when state
budget constraints allow, and the EPA standards are met.)
US 70 E straight to the Atlantic Ocean. You'll turn right onto the causeway to
Atlantic Beach, one of Emerald Isles' northernmost beaches. The entire Emerald
Isle is optimal vacation land....relatively undiscovered as well. All year long, you can find beach strollers, but in December
and January they are rea-l-l-ly bundled up!
New Bern is a beach town surprisingly, summer weekends you'll find your doctor,
dentist, lawyer, grocery store clerk, yard man and the local DJ all at the beach
in shorts and flip flops. The summer style of life is celebrated
here, no one complains when their dentist opens late Monday mornings in the
summer. It's Tradition!
Other key attractions include the Civil War Museum, New Bern Academy
Museum, Attmore-Oliver House, Bellair Plantation, Bank of the Arts Gallery, many, many art
galleries, and nearby attractions such as Croatan National Forest and Blackbeard's hideout,
Beaufort, NC, a sailing town