What are some of the best things to do in New Bern, North Carolina?
After all, when we think about the city of New Bern in North Carolina, what typically comes to mind?
Well for starters, the city of New Bern is a place that is located at the confluence of the Neuse and the Trent rivers, near the North Carolina coast. It lies 112 miles east of Raleigh, 80 miles northeast of Wilmington, and 162 miles south of Norfolk.
The city of New Bern is actually the second oldest European settled colonial town in the state of North Carolina, after Bath. It served as the capital of the North Carolina colonial government, and also briefly as the state capital. It is a booming city that is slowly growing. According to the 2010 census, it had a population of around 29,524 people living inside it.
But aside from that however, the city of New Bern is also a really fantastic place for people to visit.
Being as how the city has over 300 years of experience to its name, you can definitely expect there to be all sorts of cool things for you to see and do.
For example, did you know that the city of New Bern is actually the birth place of Pepsi? How cool is that!
The city is also home to a variety of different cultural and historical sites as well. From things like the “Tryon Palace” or even the “New Bern Fireman’s Museum” are all great places to visit. Plus, with an abundance of parks, museums, galleries, restaurants and more, this city has it all.
Which is why if you are wondering exactly what you are able to see and do here when visiting the city of New Bern, then you are in luck.
In this post, we’ll be detailing all the best things to do in New Bern, North Carolina.
So if you’re ready, lets get started!
- Things To Do In New Bern, North Carolina
- Visit The North Carolina History Center – Tryon Palace
- Explore The New Bern Fireman’s Museum
- Hang Out At Latham-Whitehurst Nature Park
- Drink Some Coffee At Trent River Coffee Shop
- Check Out The New Bern Academy Museum
- Have Fun Playing In The Rivers
- Explore The Carolina Creations Fine Art & Contemporary Gallery
- Attend The New Bern Farmers Market
- Cruise Around On The Neuse Pontoon Boat Tours
- Eat At Morgan’s Tavern & Grill
- Explore Around New Bern Historical Society Civil War Battlefield Park
- Buy Some Candy At Bear City Fudge Company
- Play Around Union Point Park
- Visit The Birthplace Of Pepsi
- Go Fishing In The Nearby Rivers
- Plan A Day Trip To Croatan National Forest
- Go On A Bear Hunt Tour
- Drink Some Brew At Brewery 99
- Eat Some Delicious Food At Baker’s Kitchen
- Tour Around New Bern In A Trolley
Things To Do In New Bern, North Carolina
In no particular order, here are the best things to do in New Bern, North Carolina.
Visit The North Carolina History Center – Tryon Palace
One of the best things to do in New Bern, North Carolina is to simply pay a visit to one of the most historical sites in the state.
Known as “Tyron Palace“, it is located right in the center of the city of New Bern and plays a large role in how this city came to be.
In fact, when this city was established as being the first capital of the “New” colony of North Carolina, it was Tryon Palace that was the place where the oaths of office were taken by the first state governor, Richard Caswell. Not only that, but this was also where George Washington visited during his 1791 Southern Tour.
In todays age however, this amazing brick mansion has since been transformed into a historical place where visitors can come tour around and see exactly what life and politics was like back hundreds of years ago. For instance, some of the things you might see includes a collection of corresponding historic buildings that are open to the public, as well as a garden that spans 22 acres wide and features nearly three centuries of regional gardening history.
From beautiful rooms decorated with ancient and valuable antiques to a host of costumed interpreters who will teach you all there is to know about that particular area, this place is a paradise for all things history.
Which is why if you ever find yourself visiting the city of New Bern, North Carolina, then the famous “Tryon Palace” should definitely be on your list of places to visit. It will be an experience unlike any other.
Explore The New Bern Fireman’s Museum
One of the most unique places to visit here in the city of New Bern, North Carolina is the “Firemen’s Museum“.
The Firemen’s Museum is located in the heart of the downtown area of the city and is a place where visitors can see and learn so many different kinds of things.
For instance, inside this amazing museum visitors can find a collection of unexpected stories that highlight the oldest fire company in the state of North Carolina. Visitors who come here will be able to learn things like the Great Fire of 1922, which destroyed over a thousand buildings in the New Bern downtown area, as well as admiring many ancient fire equipment and memorabilia, which includes the many different kinds of fire trucks used throughout the decades of operation.
Plus, one of the best things you can probably do here is to meet the on-site greeter whose name is “Fred”. Fred is the city’s beloved and heroic fire horse that has worked at this station for many many years.
With so many cool and amazing things for you to see, ranging from exhibits to displays or even memorabilia that spans over many centuries = this is a place where you and your entire family will be able to have fun for many hours on end.
So if you have the time to spare and really want to learn more about the history of the city, then a visit to the “Firemen’s Museum” is definitely one of the best things you can ever do.
Hang Out At Latham-Whitehurst Nature Park
If you’re looking for some peace and quiet while also getting away from all the prominent city life, then one place you can visit is “Latham-Whitehurst Nature Park”.
Latham-Whitehurst Nature Park is a nature park located on the eastern part of town of New Bern and is a popular place where visitors can come do many recreational activities or even outdoor adventures.
For instance, visitors who come to this park can do things like hiking on the bountiful trails, biking around, or even go birdwatching for some really beautiful birds. Plus there is also a large body of water nearby which means that visitors can also do many types of water related activities as well.
But the best part about this park is that it features a 2,000 foot boardwalk that winds around through the park and offers some of the most beautiful views of the wild Broad Creek. Visitors who walk around this boardwalk will even find that there is an on-site dock with a fishing area, and even a canoe or kayak launch. Meaning it is the perfect place to get out onto the waters and enjoy a relaxing day paddling around.
Plus, with more than 16 miles of hiking and biking trails, picnic shelters with tables and benches for you to use, and an abundance array of natural scenery nearby, this place is a paradise for those who want to be one with nature.
So if you ever find yourself tired or stressed and just want to surround yourself in a peaceful atmosphere, then the Latham-Whitehurst Nature Park is the perfect place to be.
Drink Some Coffee At Trent River Coffee Shop
Do you like coffee?
If so, then one place you might like to visit is a place called “Trent River Coffee Shop”.
Trent River Coffee Shop is the local neighborhood coffee shop and café that serves a variety of things for customers to eat and enjoy. In fact, it is also a really popular place to visit as they also serve as a popular hang out spot for many locals and tourists alike.
For instance, visitors who come to this amazing place will find that they serve a variety of freshly baked bread and pastries, sandwiches, and even light snacks for people to munch on. Not only that, but since they are also a coffee shop, visitors can find that they also serve some really delicious house-roasted coffee.
Also, during the hot summer months, you can even find them serving things like cold milkshakes and Italian cream sodas which makes the entire experience so much more enjoyable.
The shop also offers free WIFI internet as well as being a pet friendly environment, which means everybody from anywhere will be able to feel comfortable being in this shop. Plus, all throughout the year, they will also be host to a wide range of things like live music, book signings, and even small parties.
So come on by and buy some coffee, sit down and relax, and overall enjoy your peaceful day.
Check Out The New Bern Academy Museum
If you love learning about history as well as seeing how places came to be, then one place you will definitely love visiting is that of the “New Bern Academy Museum”.
New Bern Academy Museum is where visitors can come and learn about the history of the New Bern City as well as seeing how things have changed throughout its long 300 year lifespan.
The museum is located in the heart of the New Bern’s historic residential district and is actually housed in a historic building. This building was once a schoolhouse that dated back to the year of 1809. In the past, this building also served as a hospital during the time of the Civil War and later transformed into a school where classes were being taught until the year of 1871.
Today however, visitors can come to find that this building has since been transformed into a museum where visitors can come and see an array of outstanding exhibits that tells the glorious history about this beautiful town. Inside this building, visitors can find that there are currently four significant exhibitions being on display that are managed by the staff from the nearby Tryon Palace.
These exhibits include: Civil War Sketches & Stories, the Architecture Exhibit, the Civil War Military Occupation Exhibit, and the History of Education Exhibit.
So if you have the time to spare and want to see and learn about some really cool historical things, then the New Bern Academy Museum is definitely worth the visit.
Have Fun Playing In The Rivers
As you know, the city of New Bern, North Carolina is situated right next to two big rivers.
For instance, because the waters in the river are all relatively calm, it makes the conditions perfect for anybody wanting to kayak or canoe around the river. In doing so, you’ll be able to explore all the beautiful scenery that surrounds the area as well as taking in all that the area has to offer.
But not only that, swimming is also a really popular thing to do here as the rivers provide a natural space where visitors can come swim as much as they want. And depending on how far you decide to venture out, the depth of the river can range anywhere from six feet to as much as 30 feet and more!
Plus, even if you don’t decide to jump into the waters, there are also plenty of other things to do as well. With many hiking trails and biking trails nearby as well as some parks, this place is a paradise for all things fun and nature.
So if you have the time to spare, see if you are able to partake in some fun with the rivers. You will definitely not be disappointed.
Explore The Carolina Creations Fine Art & Contemporary Gallery
Do you love art?
If so, then you’ll be happy to know that there is a place here in the city of New Bern, North Carolina that has all you can ever imagine.
Known as the “Carolina Creations Fine Art & Contemporary Gallery“, it is an art gallery that overlooks the Neuse River. This art gallery focuses on artworks from over 300 local and international artists from all around the world.
The shop is opened by Virginia Spencer, and does its best at trying to make customers happy. Inside this shop, visitors will be able to find all kinds of different artworks done in all kinds of mediums. For instance, some of the things you can find here includes stuff like paintings, drawings, ceramics, sculptures to glass items, jewelry, pewter and bronze pieces, furniture, and home decor.
Plus, aside from being an art gallery, occasionally throughout the year they will also be host to a wide range of classes as well for people to join and learn. For instance, one previous class that they had in December was that of a “Kohlmeier Class”.
It’s the perfect place to visit where you can see and learn so many different things about art. And also, since they are a shop as well, you might even be able to find some interesting souvenirs or gifts to bring back home.
Attend The New Bern Farmers Market
As you know, almost every city you visit in the United States will always have their own style of Farmers Market.
And here in the city of New Bern, North Carolina, you can also find a farmers market here for you to enjoy.
For those that never heard about what a farmers market is or does, well it is basically a weekly market that sells a variety of items including things like fresh produce, fruit and vegetables, baked breads and sweets and more. Plus, they also sell things that are not food related too like handmade arts and crafts as well as other specialty items too.
The New Bern Farmers Market was established back in 1984 and has played a huge part in helping the community get whatever items that they may need. Inside this market, visitors can find a diverse group of vendor members that offer many different things for customers to see and buy.
For instance, they are a creative hub where local artisans and producers can come and gather together to sell their wares ranging from fresh eggs, fruits, dairy products, and grass-fed beef to handmade clothing, artworks, and even fresh flowers.
And unlike some other farmer markets who are only open for certain months, this farmers market is actually open year-round. Visitors who are wanting to come here will find that the market is typically open on Saturdays from 8 in the morning till 2 in the afternoon. They are also open Tuesdays from 8 am till 2 in the afternoon during the months of April and December only.
Overall, if you want to come and support the local community of New Bern, then this farmers market is definitely the place to be.
Cruise Around On The Neuse Pontoon Boat Tours
Did you know that the city of New Bern, North Carolina is actually situated right next to two big rivers?
Both the Neuse River as well as the Trent River actually intersects right next to the city of New Bern. Which means that one of the most popular things to do in this city is to simply go out onto these rivers and have some fun.
The most popular way in order to have that fun is definitely by boat. As visitors who come here will soon find out that there are an assortment of different companies in the region that offers boating tours and adventures here on these rivers.
For instance, one of the biggest companies is called “Cruise The Neuse“, which is a company that offers cruises up and down the Neuse River. Going on this cruise, you’ll be able to see all the surrounding areas in a more beautiful manner as well as having a whole lot of fun in doing so.
The cruises that they provide are typically on a 24-foot pontoon boat that departs from the DoubleTree Hilton in downtown New Bern and goes up and down the river for a beautiful 1 to 1 and a half hour trip. The tours are typically led by expert guides who will share you with many details about the surrounding places as well as telling you the history and essential facts about the area.
Overall, going on this pontoon boat adventure is a really fun filled experience which everybody has to try.
Eat At Morgan’s Tavern & Grill
If you are ever in the mood to try out some really delicious foods here in the city of New Bern, North Carolina, then one place you definitely have to visit is a place called “Morgan’s Tavern & Grill”
Morgan’s Tavern & Grill is a restaurant that specializes in Seafood, Pubs, and American style type of foods. It is a place that is always recommended by people to visit for how good their food is. In fact, according to Yelp, they are one of the highest rated as well as being most reviewed places in the city for you to eat at.
For instance, their menu is quite big with many amazing things for you to choose to eat. Some of the food items you can find on the menu includes things like shrimp tacos, cajun chicken pasta, char-crust salmon, tuna lettuce wraps, baked crab dip, reuben, Carolina fried oysters, triple cheese buffalo fries, and lots more all made fresh for you daily.
Plus, the best thing about this restaurant is that all the portions are actually pretty big. Many of the dishes can even be shared with another person. The only thing to note is that they might not be the cheapest place around the city, but they also aren’t the most expensive. However what they do provide is quality.
So in the end, if you are ever feeling hungry and want a bite to eat, definitely come visit Morgan’s Tavern & Grill for some of the best foods you have ever seen.
Explore Around New Bern Historical Society Civil War Battlefield Park
One of the most interesting and coolest place you can ever visit here in the city of New Bern, North Carolina, is at a place called the “New Bern Battlefield Park”.
The New Bern Battlefield Park is a truly historic site that includes over 30 acres of the original battlefield used during the “Battle of New Bern”, which took place between the Confederate and Union forces during the date of March 14, 1862.
Visitors who come here will find that there is a “History Walk” of sorts where there is around 35 interpretive panels that tells the story of the battle and the impact it has on the city of New Bern. There is also a gateway plaza featuring a large concrete map that defines the details of the battle and serves as a starting point for guided and self-guided tours.
With so many things for people to see and do here, it is a place that is really amazing. It allows people from all over to visit and get a grasp of what life was like as well as the events that took place here in this park many years ago.
Overall, it is a really fun place to visit as you’ll be able to see and learn so many different things about the battle that took place here in this city.
Buy Some Candy At Bear City Fudge Company
Do you have a sweet tooth?
If so, then you might just want to head on down to “Bear City Fudge Company” for some delicious snacks.
After all, Bear City Fudge Company is the local confectionary store that produces and sells a variety of different sweets. They are located in the downtown area of the city and is the prime location for all things sweet and tasty. In fact, many locals and tourists alike all make it a point to stop by this place for a truly unique experience.
Visitors who come here will find that this store offers so many things for them to see and buy. For instance, it is here where you can find things like cakes, candy, and any other sweet thing you can imagine. Just by roaming around this store, visitors will find that there are so many things lined up for them to buy. From things like sweet Southern pralines to decadent fudge of many different varieties, beautiful little truffles and caramels, and also a huge assortment of different flavors of ice cream.
Best of all is that everything is all really cheap here so you can buy as much as you want, eat as much as you want, and leave here a happy camper.
So in the end, if you happen to be in the mood for some tasty sweets, then the Bear City Fudge Company is definitely the place for you to visit.
Play Around Union Point Park
One of the best things you can ever do is to simply visit a park. After all, who doesn’t like a bit of peace and quiet?
Fortunately for visitors, there is a park here in this city called “Union Point Park” that is absolutely amazing and definitely warrants a visit from anybody in the area.
Union Point Park is a park that spans about six acres wide, and is located at the point where both the Neuse River and Trent Rivers meet. This creates an atmosphere and a backdrop that is unlike any other and is absolutely stunning to see.
Plus, the park is filled with grassy areas for people to relax on as well as having a wide range of wooden benches, picnic tables, and grills for people to use. It’s the perfect place for people to come and relieve their stress from a hard days work and just entwine themselves with the peaceful nature of this park.
This park also features some playground facilities for those with younger children who would like to play. Not only that, but there is also a popular fishing pier and boat launch areas. It makes it convenient for kayaking, canoeing or any other boating vessel to paddle down into the waters around.
But the best feature of all has to be the newly constructed gazebo with a white picket perimeter and a forest green rooftop. In fact, this gazebo has become a venue of choice for many popular musical performances and events, including seasonal performances by local brass bands and other local musicians. Best of all is that all these performances and events are free to watch!
Union Point Park is a fantastic place to visit and definitely a place where the entire family can relax and have a whole lot of fun.
Visit The Birthplace Of Pepsi
Did you know that the city of New Bern is actually the birthplace of one famous drink maker?
That famous drink maker happens to be “Pepsi”!
It’s true! The city of New Bern actually has a local claim to fame as being the place where the famous drink got its start.
In fact, it wasn’t a large company that created this drink at first but actually a local drug store. The owner of the drug store “Caleb Bradham” created this new carbonated and sugary beverage that was originally called “Brad’s Drink”. It was this exact drink that has since grown into one of the largest soda brands in the world.
Today, visitors who visit this city can pay a visit to the exact area where this now famously beloved beverage was created. All they need to do is to simply take a stroll through the downtown area. It is there where visitors will be able to find the original drug store which created this drink still standing in its place. This store now serves as a museum and a gift shop where visitors can roam around looking at all kinds of different publications, photographs and memorabilia from Pepsi’s initial creation.
While you’re there, visitors can even purchase a collection of different souvenir items that pay homage to this world famous beverage. There is even an on-site soda fountain available for you to see as well. Not only that but they can even enjoy the old-fashioned Pepsi at the drug store counter.
So if you are a fan of Pepsi and have always wanted to learn about its origins, then this is one place which you definitely want to visit.
Go Fishing In The Nearby Rivers
As you know, the city of New Bern, North Carolina is situated in a place where it has two nearby rivers connecting to each other.
These rivers which are the Trent River and Neuse River allows the locals and tourists alike to do all kinds of fun and entertaining things in the waters around them.
And one of the best things to do when there is a river here is to simply go fishing. After all, these rivers are incredibly big and filled with all kinds of fish for you to enjoy.
For example, whenever you fish over here, you can find fishes that include salt water fish, such as shark, porpoise, speckle trout, grey trout, blue fish, crooker, Spanish mackerel, tarpon and more which will make its way upriver to New Bern during certain times of the year. However, the most common fishes you can find here year round includes fishes like large and smallmouth bass, strip bass, flounder, drum, brim, and catfish.
With so many fishes being available for people to fish, the area around New Bern, is considered to be a paradise for any and all fishers. Doesn’t matter if you are a new fisher or even a professional fisher who fished for many years, this is a place where everyone will be able to have a whole lot of fun fishing.
So if you have the time to spare, try to go out to these rivers and live out your fishermen dreams.
Plan A Day Trip To Croatan National Forest
Do you like day trips?
If so, then one place you might want to visit is a place called “Croatan National Forest”.
Croatan National Forest is located about 1 hour away from the city of New Bern, North Carolina and is a popular place for locals and tourists alike to visit. It is one of four National Forests in the state of North Carolina and is managed by the U.S Forest Service.
This National Forest is home to over 160,000 acres of beautiful pine forests, salt water estuaries, raised swamps, and more diverse ecosystems. In fact, it is also known as the “Only True Coastal Forest In The East”. With so many things for you to see and do here in this park, you will have the time of your life exploring everything that this park has to offer.
For example, visitors who come to this park will find that there are many beautiful water spots and beaches for you to enjoy. Not only that, but there are also many boat launch spots nearby which allows you to set out into the waters with your kayak or canoe and explore the surrounding areas.
Plus, while you’re exploring around, you might even be lucky enough to see some wildlife such as deer, black bears, turkeys, migrating and wading birds, ospreys, and even alligators.
It’s a beautiful place to visit and one where you will definitely be able to spend hours on end exploring everything that it has to offer. So if you have the time to spare, definitely see if you are able to do a day trip to this area. You will not regret it!
Go On A Bear Hunt Tour
Did you know that the city’s mascot is actually that of a bear?
Bears play a significant role in the history of this city, which is why they adopted the animal as a mascot. And during the year of 2010, to celebrate their 300th anniversary, the created 58 fiberglass and ceramic bears all throughout the city.
Because of this, one of the best things to do is to simply go on a bear hunt looking for all of these bears. Not only is it a fun filled activity to do with the entire family, it will also give visitors a chance to explore the city in a more intimate manner.
These bears were created by a nonprofit organization called “Bear Town Bears” who recruited local artists to hand-paint designs on life-size standing and walking fiberglass bears for public enjoyment during the entire year. These bears can be found in the historic downtown region as well as in outlying areas as well.
These bears are incredibly beautiful to see as everyone of them are special and unique. Some of them have hats, flags, flowers and other unusual and creative features which makes them stand out.
Drink Some Brew At Brewery 99
Who doesn’t like local brews?
After all, one of the best things anybody can do when visiting some place new is to simply check out the local brewery that the town has to offer.
And here in the city of New Bern, North Carolina, visitors will be able to find one of best breweries around called “Brewery 99”.
Brewery 99 is a brewery that started up in 2015 by “Pete Frey”, who had a love and passion for all things brewery. Now, their brewery might not be the biggest around, in fact it might even be the smallest brewery you have ever seen. However size is not a factor here as the quality and service that they provide is bar none one of the best anybody has ever seen.
Their menu also features quite a bit of beers for you to choose from. For instance, some of the drinks you may find on the menu includes things like their flagship beer “Confignorant Pale Ale”, a seasonal “Warmer Winter Lager”, “Lunatic Gruit”, “Tasty Pants Lager”, “Smoke Wheat” and many more all brewed fresh for you to try.
Other than that, they don’t really have much else to offer in terms of what you can see or do. However the staff are really friendly and the customers are friendly as well. Which means one of the best things you can do here is to simply talk around with the people amongst you and enjoy your time.
So if you’re interested in trying out one of the best breweries in town, then a visit to “Brewery 99” is a must for any and all travelers.
Eat Some Delicious Food At Baker’s Kitchen
If you are ever in the mood for some amazingly made food that is flavorful and delicious, then you should definitely come on down to “Baker’s Kitchen“.
Baker’s Kitchen is a restaurant that specializes in breakfast and brunch type foods as well as Southern foods too. They are situated in the downtown area of the city and is a highly popular place for people to visit. In fact, according to Yelp, they are one of the highest rated as well as being one of the most reviewed restaurants in the city.
Visitors who come here will find that they carry an extensive menu full of items for you to choose from. For example, some of the foods you might find here includes things like fried shrimp basket, chicken fried steak, chicken strips, sweet potato casserole, mac and cheese, angus burger, chicken and waffles and lots more all made fresh for you to eat daily.
But the best thing about this restaurant is that all of the food dishes found here are being offered at very reasonable and affordable prices. Which means that a meal here will definitely not break your wallet.
Which is why if you are ever in the mood to eat some really good food, then the Baker’s Kitchen is definitely the place for you to visit.
Tour Around New Bern In A Trolley
Did you know that the city of New Bern, North Carolina is the second oldest city in the state of North Carolina?
Being as how it is so old, there are bound to be so many interesting things for you to see and learn about this magnificent city.
Which is why, one of the best things you can ever do if you visit this beautiful city is to simply go on a tour. And visitors who are wanting to go on a tour will be quite happy to know that there are a variety of different companies out here who specializes in these kinds of adventures.
For instance, for those wanting to learn more about the rivers surrounding this city, then they’ll be able to find tours which takes them to the Neuse and Trent Rivers for some unparalleled vistas of the local landscape as well as having a fun ride in the process. Visitors can also find things such as sailing tours, tugboat tours, pontoon tours, and even yacht tours which will take them through these waters in a fun filled adventure.
But it’s not just water tours that are available.
In fact, land tours are also quite popular as well. Visitors can choose to do anything from walking tours to bike tours or even a trolley tour. But the most popular thing to do is probably the trolley tour as the trolley will be able to take you through the entire city giving you more than three centuries worth of stories to tell.
If you’re interested in doing these tours or just want to learn more about them, all you’ll have to do is simply head on down to the “New Bern’s Visitor Center” which is located in the heart of the downtown area.
Overall, these tours provide visitors with some really amazing knowledge about the history of the city as well as showing everything that this city has to offer.
The city of New Bern in North Carolina is definitely one of the most interesting places you can ever visit. This city offers so much in what you can see and do and is definitely a must-visit place if you ever get the chance.
So hopefully this post about the “20 Best Things To Do In New Bern, North Carolina” was able to help you out in some sort of way. This way if you ever find yourself visiting the city of New Bern in North Carolina, you will know exactly what things you are able to do for some fun.
Also, if you are going to be visiting the state of North Carolina any time soon, you might be interested in some of my other North Carolina posts:
- Things To Do In Emerald Isle, North Carolina
- Things To Do In Maggie Valley, North Carolina
- Things To Do In Banner Elk, North Carolina
Or you can check out all my blog posts by click this link.
Have fun traveling and let me know how it goes~