I was first introduced to New Bern, North Carolina about 9 years ago, when my parents started the next chapter of their lives – retirement! Now living in Raleigh, we see a trip to New Bern as a fun weekend away from home with lots of character and things to do.
Originally from New Jersey, we were no strangers to North Carolina with many vacations to the Outer Banks and trips to Western North Carolina to enjoy the mountains during the winter. After I decided to attend North Carolina State, my parents decided to buy a lot within a new community for retirement in Eastern North Carolina and they settled on New Bern.
We’ve made many visits to the historic small hideaway and even more since relocating back to Raleigh three years ago. The official mascot is the bear and you can’t miss it when you drive in to the area on Highway 70. The area is only about a two-hour drive from the Triangle and is a straight shot toward the coast. Here’s a quick lowdown of some fun things to do for family fun and date nights alike.
- North Carolina History Museum at Tryon Palace
- Tryon Palace Tour at Christmas
- Segway Tour of Downtown
- Pepsi Store/Museum
- Cow Cafe (fun place for ice cream)
- Hiking in the Croatan National Forest
- Drinks at Bruin Craft Beer and Wine
- Dinner at Morgan’s Tavern and Grill
- MJ’s Raw Bar and Grille* (Oysters are amazing!)
- Drinks or a Meal at Permissions* (Located right on the Neuse River, this is especially fun in the summer!)
- Day Date:
*I recommend visiting these during the spring/summer months.
If you are willing to venture out a bit further to the coast, New Bern is only about 40 minutes away from the Crystal Coast of North Carolina and some amazing beaches. Atlantic Beach and Topsail Island are great options! You can also head down to Beaufort for great restaurants and options for boat tours.