Five Must-See Attractions in New Bern
Here in New Bern, tourism greatly impacts our growing town. We are proud to be the second oldest city and the first state capital of North Carolina. New Bern is a wonderful destination full of rich history, culture, arts, and attractions that draw visitors from all over the world.
When planning a trip to New Bern, there are five “must-see” attractions to add to your list:
Tryon Palace & The North Carolina History Center
At Tryon Palace, North Carolina’s history is more than a story…it’s an experience. You can participate in a living history like no other—one that uniquely blends cutting-edge technology with events, experiences, and tools of centuries past. Immersive encounters and learning adventures abound for the whole family. Interactive, multi-person games and hands-on exhibits delight visitors young and old at the new North Carolina History Center, while guided tours, live reenactments, and conversations with costumed interpreters bring history to life in vivid detail at the Governor’s Palace, Gardens, and Historic Homes. Located at 529 South Front Street, (800) 767-1560 or (252) 639-3500, www.tryonpalace.org, Ticket Required
New Bern Firemen’s Museum
Take a step back in time where horse-drawn steam engines are brought back to life. Listen to the tales of the first Chartered Fire Department in the state of North Carolina, hear the story of Fire Horse Fred, and enjoy an educational and historical look at the City of New Bern Fire Department. Open Monday – Saturday, 10am – 4pm. Located at 420 Broad Street, (252) 636-4087, www.firemensmuseum.com, Ticket Required
The Birthplace of Pepsi
At this spot in his pharmacy in 1898, Caleb Bradham invented “Brad’s Drink,” which later he patented as Pepsi-Cola. Today, you can explore the history of The Birthplace of Pepsi, purchase a souvenir, or relax and enjoy a Pepsi float at the recreated soda fountain. Located at 256 Middle Street, (252) 636-5898, www.pepsistore.com. Free
New Bern Trolley Tour
Experience the charm of Historic Downtown New Bern in a 90-minute tour. Professional guides recount the fascinating historical and architectural details of this former royal capital of North Carolina. Tour times vary; please contact the ticket office for further information or to purchase tickets. Tickets may also be purchased on board the trolley. New Bern Tours office is located at 1311 N. Craven Street, (252) 637-7316, www.newberntours.com, Ticket Required
Bank of the Arts
This former bank building (c.1913), headquarters of the Craven Arts Council and Gallery, is both a cultural and architectural treat. Changing exhibitions of various media such as painting, sculpture, photography, pottery, and fiber art by artists of the southeastern United States are on display for viewing in the gallery area. Located at 317 Middle Street, (252) 638-2577, www.cravenarts.org, Free (some events require tickets)
Also, when visiting New Bern, you can make a quick 20-minute drive to Havelock, where you can experience the Aviation Exhibit at the Havelock Tourist & Event Center. Discover an exciting aviation exhibit, highlighting over 100 years of aviation in Eastern North Carolina. Eight restored aircraft on loan from the U.S. Marine Corps and Department of Navy are on display, along with scaled models depicting the aircraft lineage of the 2D Marine Aircraft Wing at MCAS Cherry Point from its inception in 1942. Historic photographs and artifacts from Indian settlements to Civil War history round out the exhibit. Located at 201 Tourist Center Drive behind the Havelock Hampton Inn, (252) 444-4348, www.ecaviationheritage.com, Free
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