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Why Everyone Should Visit This One Town In North Carolina

North Carolina has some of the most amazing small towns in the country. Some that are (literally) straight out of a movie. I think it’s safe to say the heart of North Carolina lies in its small towns. Here, all the history came to be and the North Carolina culture originated.

While I’ve written quite a bit about the small towns of North Carolina, a two-sentence description won’t always suffice. For the first installment of covering small towns in North Carolina, I want to talk about the beautiful, historic town of New Bern.

New Bern was founded in 1710 and today, has over 300 years of history. In 1770, Tryon Palace was completed and New Bern became the first official capital of North Carolina.

New Bern survived ravaging events such as the Revolutionary War and Civil War, with much of the remaining architecture and buildings still intact. New Bern is also the birthplace of Coca-Cola’s biggest rival, Pepsi. Today, you can explore a wide range of historical, beautiful, and beachy sites.

Start by…

Exploring the historic districts of New Bern such as the Ghent, downtown and Riverside. You can see some amazing turn of the century homes as well as the quaint, historic downtown…scenery that inspired the famous novelist Nicholas Sparks. While New Bern was somewhat damaged during both wars, many homes and buildings have been renovated to their former beauty. Which means New Bern is perfect for the architecture lover.

See Queen Anne style architecture at the Blades House.

Marvel at the enchanting City Hall.

And the historic churches are simply breathtaking.

Like Christ Episcopal, built in 1848 and listed on the National Register of Historic Buildings. It has a beautiful outdoor chapel.

But don’t forget the cemeteries. You’ll find some of the most peaceful and historic cemeteries in the state here.

But if you really want to immerse yourself in history…

Catch a reenactment of the Battle of New Bern. Or, you can choose to peacefully stroll the original, 30-acre battleground yourself.

Tryon Palace gets in on the fun too, for both the Revolutionary and Civil War reenactment.

But in the midst of all this action, you can’t forget…

To have a Pepsi where Pepsi was born! You can get your delicious, carbonated refreshment from a recreated soda fountain while you browse the shop and pick up neat souvenirs. Kids and families will also love the Pepsi Family Center.

And while you’re downtown, browse the amazing shops, cafes, and museums. If you’re feeling adventurous you can take a variety of walking tours. From a spooky ghost tour to a historic house tour, or even a gardens tour – there’s something for everyone to see here.

But you must be parched by now, so grab a bite at the Historic Harvey Mansion. This restaurant and inn is one of the last remnants of the thriving seaport New Bern once was. It was built in 1804 and the original building still stands and is great condition. As an added bonus, the food is delicious!

If you’re looking for an excuse to visit New Bern soon, the 35th annual Tryon Palace Candlelight Christmas Celebration happens December 12th and 19th!

Oh, and best of all, this gorgeous town is located right where the Neuse and Trent River meet, and the beach is not too far. Hop on a sailboat, take a boat along the river, or simply just stroll by the two.

New Bern is one of the most charming towns in North Carolina, and if you haven’t visited now you have a great excuse to!

Have you been to New Bern? Do you live there now? What would you add? Tell us in the comments!

Emory Rakestraw
Emory was born and raised in North Carolina. She enjoys writing, photography, filmmaking, travel, wine and cheese. You can find more of her work on emoryrakestraw.com