Long before Europeans arrived, the Tuscarora tribe of Native Americans lived here in their village, Chattoka, which was also at the confluence of the Trent and Neuse Rivers. In 1710, Swiss and Palatine German immigrants settled here and, after defeating the Tuscarora in skirmishes, established the town of New Bern, which they named after the capital of Switzerland. The second-oldest town in North Carolina, New Bern served as the capital for a brief period in the late 18th century. After the Revolutionary War, the city’s rapid economic and cultural development, escalating political power, and scenic setting led to it being called “The Athens of the South.” Both the Masonic Temple and the Athens Theater, which were part of the rich culture then, are still very active now.
One of the most interesting landmarks to visit is Tyron Palace, the finely restored 1770 home of British governor William Tryon. A fascinating hub of North Carolina history, this historic mansion offers guided tours, live reenactments, costumed staff, hands-on exhibits, and interactive games for all ages. Another museum that the whole family will enjoy is the New Bern Fireman’s Museum, where you can view the actual fire engines that were used in the 1922 fire that destroyed one-third of the city. There are four different districts in New Bern that are listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and there are more than 164 buildings and homes listed on the Register that are within walking distance of the waterfront. Art galleries, theaters, live music, heritage tours, festivals, and stores all welcome you to linger and enjoy yourself. And at the end of a long day, a variety of restaurants, cafes, and taverns invite guests in for a delicious meal and a refreshing drink.
Embrace all there is to do in the lovely town of New Bern! Hotels allow you to stay conveniently close by to where you want to be. When you stay at Choice Hotels, you enjoy affordable rates, many amenities, and friendly service. We look forward to hosting you soon! Reserve your room today!
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