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Bill Leslie's Carolina Conversations

Weekend Getaway: New Bern

Posted September 22, 2006

A co-worker asked me to recommend a weekend getaway to New Bern recently. Good choice, I thought! Here's why. New Bern is rich in history. It is North Carolina's second oldest town right behind Bath. New Bern is situated at the junction of the Neuse and Trent rivers. In just four years New Bern will celebrate its 300th birthday. The town got its name from Bern, Switzerland. New Bern was the colonial and state capital of North Carolina long before Raleigh. New Bern boasts 150 historic landmarks including Tryon Palace where Royal Governor William Tryon lived beginning in 1770. This weekend at Tryon Palace you can enjoy a historic Punch and Judy Puppet Show. Tryon Palace bills itself as the place "where governors ruled, legislators debated, patriots gathered and where George Washington danced!" You will thoroughly enjoy your tour of the palace and the beautiful grounds and gardens.
For dinner I hear good things about the BearTown French Bakery and Bistro and Harvey Mansion. There's a very nice Hampton Inn in New Bern but there are plenty of more historical lodging options including the Meadows Inn Bed & Breakfast.
Other thoughts about New Bern. This was the birthplace of Pepsi in its original form as Brad's Drink concocted by a local pharmacist. New Bern was also the site of North Carolina's first printing press. And New Bern was the third city in the United States to celebrate Independence Day. Have a great weekend!

Bill
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