New Bern Nc Sites To See

Summary: New Bern, NC is known for its beautiful waterfront, rich history, and southern charm. With its numerous attractions, this coastal city is a perfect destination for both tourists and locals alike.

1. Historic District

New Bern’s historic district is a must-visit attraction for history buffs and anyone who appreciates charming, southern architecture. The district features over 150 buildings that date back to the 18th and 19th centuries, including the Governor’s Palace, which was rebuilt in the 1950s on its original foundation. Additionally, visitors can take self-guided tours of the district and learn about the city’s long history that dates back to colonial times.

A definite highlight of the historic district is Tryon Palace. Built in 1770 as the first permanent capital of NC, Tryon Palace was the home to the state’s royal governor. Today, visitors can tour the Palace and its gardens for an unforgettable glimpse into the past. No visit would be complete without seeing the impressive stables and kitchen, also located on the palace grounds.

Another must-see in the historic district is the New Bern Firemen’s Museum. The museum is housed in the old fire station and filled with antique fire equipment. Visitors can see the inner workings of the station, and get to learn about the heroic firefighters who served the community at the risk of their own lives.

2. Union Point Park

Union Point Park provides stunning views of the Neuse and Trent Rivers converging to form the wide open waters of the Pamlico Sound. This park is equipped with a mini-amphitheater, picnic areas, and playgrounds for fun-filled family outings. Waterfront benches provide the perfect spot for watching boats from the benches or taking a leisurely stroll by the marina.

The park’s highlight is the New Bern Riverfront Convention Center which not only hosts exhibitions and conferences but also offers an executive retreat for those with business in mind. The state-of-the-art facilities are perfect for hosting weddings, receptions, and corporate events. Live music can frequently be heard outside the convention center during the warm months.

Adjacent to Union Point Park lies the Boat Launching Facility and Fishing Pier, which makes it easy for water enthusiasts to launch their boats and try their luck at catching coastal fish.

3. North Carolina History Center

This attraction is adjacent to Tryon Palace and provides a comprehensive view of NC’s history from its founding to modern-day. Visitors can learn about North Carolina’s native people, African Americans, and early European settlers, as well as experience the tactical immersion exhibit that showcases one of the Civil War’s more unrecognized battles. There is also a history-themed scavenger hunt that encourages everyone in your group to stay engaged throughout your visit.

The North Carolina History Center’s main attraction is undoubtedly the Pepsi Family Center, where visitors can try their hand in “discovering” NC by examining artifacts and traversing through historical settings via interaction with informative exhibits on interactive digital boards.

The Firehouse Museum, located within the complex, offers an insightful look into the New Bern Fire Department’s past and showcases fire fighting equipment from throughout the years. As well, the Museum houses the Pepsi Cola/Cheers exhibit, where visitors can get a taste of the drink’s origins within NC.

4. Croatan National Forest

Croatan National Forest spreads across three counties and offers over 160,000 acres of land for outdoor enthusiasts to explore. The forest is home to many species of wildlife, including black bears and white-tailed deer. Visitors can hike the various trails, take a dip in the lake, fish for a variety of species of bass, or hunt for game during the designated seasons.

The recreation opportunities don’t stop with land-based activities; visitors can kayak along the river and waterways that cut through the forest’s heart or enjoy the water from the special swimming areas bordered with white sand beaches. Additionally, four campgrounds within the forest allow visitors to stay overnight and immerse themselves wholly in the natural beauty of the area.

Whether you are looking for an afternoon of hiking or a weekend of camping, Croatan National Forest offers it all.


New Bern, NC is a city of southern charm, rich history, and beautiful scenery. The attractions mentioned above, along with many others not listed here, make it obvious why one shouldn’t overlook this gem on North Carolina’s coast. Plan a trip to New Bern today and experience all these things for yourself!

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