Bill Leslie's Carolina Conversations

Noble New Bern

Posted May 11, 2010

A lot of people pass it on the way to the beach. How many of you have ever spent much time in New Bern? What did you like about it? What are your memories and recommendations?

North Carolina’s third oldest town has a rich history. This year New Bern is celebrating its 300th anniversary. Swiss-German settlers founded the town at the confluence of the two rivers – Neuse and Trent. The Craven County seat got its name from Bern, Switzerland. Royal Governor William Tryon built a palace in New Bern. You can visit the palace and beautifully manicured grounds today.

Pepsi was born in New Bern. The sugary and carbonated beverage was concocted at a local pharmacy. Caleb Bradham came up with the formula known originally as Brad’s Drink.

Novelist Nicholas Sparks lives in New Bern on the Trent River and draws creative inspiration from the natural beauty of the region. Gov. Bev Perdue once lived in New Bern. Can you name any other famous people with New Bern roots?

New Bern is currently undergoing a downtown revitalization. Have you ever been to the Firemen’s Museum here?

I only spent one night in New Bern. I stayed at a B&B in high school while visiting a sweetheart at Camp Seafarer nearby.

What would you recommend for lodging and dining in this historic city near the coast? 


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  • janice7 May 12, 2010

    New Bern one of our favorites for get-away weekends. We make a trip to New Bern at least once or twice each year and our very favorite B&B is the Aerie. Our favorite restaurant is Captain Rattys Seafood and each time we go we try to find one new thing to do. Our next trip is coming up in late June and we plan to do a carriage ride through the downtown. It's just a great little town with so much history.

  • dutchmandr May 11, 2010

    Another successful North Carolina novelist from New Bern is Andrea Ferrell. She has written two books, Autumn Seclusion and Nordic Ice. Both are excellent reads.

  • cornfused May 11, 2010

    New Bern has a lovely waterfront and Tryon palace is Gorgeous!

  • t0tAlChA0s May 11, 2010

    I am by no means famous, but I am from New Bern! I was born at the only hospital there at the time. (we won't say how long ago that was!) lol I was raised there off and on. Still have a little bit of family so I go back every now and then. It has changed soooo much, I get lost alot now. lol Still love it tho!

  • khoggard May 11, 2010

    My grandmother use to live there on the Trent River. I would spend days with her during the summer when I was a teenager. I had a great time with her there. We did lots of things, including going out on the river, visiting Tyron Palace, the Mum Fest, & lots of other stuff. My favorite restaurant is not there anymore, Clancy O'Hara's. It has been gone for a long time but I would always beg to go there to eat. The food was absolutely wonderful!! Don't know a whole lot about other restaurants or places to stay because I always stayed with her & ate at home. She has been gone from New Bern for about 20 years & I haven't really been back since she left. I know that it has changed a lot since I was last there.

  • gator nation gal May 11, 2010

    New Bern is one of my favorite cities in North Carolina. I love being near the water. I love Tryon Palace and the gardens. I love the ghost walk in October. I love the shops and restaurants. I usually make it to New Bern a couple of times a year (generally on US Power Squadron business). Always a nice friendly place to be.

  • lynneslaughter May 11, 2010

    Iv'e been to New Bern maybe 3 times. Two were for conferences related to my job, but the first was a weekend trip with hubby and kids. He was an active fireman at the time so, yes the fireman's museum was a must visit. A very sweet little town and a good vacation choice with kids.

  • elibbybh May 11, 2010

    Come on down to New Bern! I've been here since 1992 and, no offense to Charlotte, but it's a much better place to live. You've got the Cow Cafe with amazing Maola milk and ice cream. Tryon Palace is a wonderful place to visit and the gardens are beautiful. Mitchell's Hardware is not to be missed-an old fashioned store with more customer service than you'll find at the box stores. For food-try Flounder's or Sting Ray's; Sea Glass Cafe; The Chelsea. The Harmony House Bed & Breakfast. And we're now home to the spring Harley Davidson rally which comes up this weekend.

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