History Buff’s Guide

New Bern’s rich history can be the backdrop for your own. Experience the self-guided African American Heritage Trail tour and recharge with an ice-cold Pepsi at Caleb Bradham’s Birthplace of Pepsi-Cola.

Day 1

french toast, eggs, bacon, and grits on a plate

Stop #1:

Kickoff your day at Bella’s Cafe. Conveniently located on Middle Street, the coffee shop is known for its extensive list of syrup flavors. These include but are not limited to almond, irish cream, cinnamon, hazelnut, and even root beer. Try the chorizo breakfast burrito. It is a local favorite.

Stop #2:

Just in time for the 11 a.m. tour, hop aboard the New Bern Trolley. This comprehensive 90-minute adventure takes guests through three centuries of history and architectural beauty. Notable stops include the New Bern Academy, Cedar Grove Cemetery, and Christ Episcopal Church.

man pouring drink for couple sitting at bar

Stop #3:

Fresh off the trolley, mosey over to Morgan’s Tavern and Grill for lunch. The downtown staple is housed in a building that was built in 1911 and was once home to the New Bern Garage Company, Inc. You cannot go wrong with a Big Quesadilla salad topped with fresh tuna.


Stop #4:

Your first day in New Bern is not complete without a trip to the Birthplace of Pepsi. It was here in 1893 that Caleb Bradham invented Pepsi-Cola in what was then Bradham’s Pharmacy. Today, the Birthplace offers guests the opportunity to learn more about the history of its inventor, enjoy a fountain Pepsi, and browse through a variety of gifts and souvenirs.

Day 2

family of three playing a game at a coffee shop

Stop #1:

Positioned in the heart of Five Points, Mayte Sweets is family-owned and operated. This coffee shop and bakery fosters both French and Italian influences.

couple enjoying a meal on a restaurant rooftop

Stop #2:

Part of the long-term efforts to uncover New Bern’s African American experience is the African American Heritage Trail. Sixteen panels at ten sites explain and interpret significant historic events, people, and places that pertain to African American heritage.

Southern fried chicken with collard greens, mac and cheese and biscuit

Stop #3:

Based in the Five Points district, Broad Street Takeout offers business and leisure travelers alike a quick and convenient takeout option. The menu carries the names of several prominent black leaders in the New Bern community, as well as items named after some of the great historical neighborhoods.

plate of shrimp with steam rolling off of it

Stop #4:

tryon palace logo

Royal Governor William Tryon hereby invites you to finish off your trip to New Bern with a tour of Tryon Palace. The Palace was the site of the first sessions of the general assembly for the State of North Carolina following the revolution and housed the state governors until 1794.