2 minute read

New Bern, North Carolina is a small city on the east coast situated at the confluence of the Neuse and Trent Rivers. This past weekend we took a long weekend get-away with friends and stayed at a quaint guesthouse on Linden street. A short walk down the street opens to a harbor view lined with old victorian houses. This town is home to the most friendly and proud people I have ever met. We were stopped multiple times during our walks and adventures to chat, ask where we were from, and given some recommendations of places to visit during our stay. One gentlemen was so knowledgeable, he went into a detailed account of the history of the beautiful cemetary we were admiring. Apparently, New Bern was an opulent city gaining much of its wealth from the pine industry and shipping (not discussed was the slave and plantation history). The pine sap was boiled down to create chemicals such as turpentine and pitch.

image of new bern harbor New Bern Harbor View image of a big white house with tall columns New Bern Fancy Houses

All the shops in town are walkable stretching less than 10 blocks in either direction. There are beautiful historic churches surrounded by Spanish moss draped trees as shown below.

image of historic church New Bern Historic Church image of spanish moss hanging on a large tree New Bern Spanish Moss

The city also creates space for art. Below is an image from an outdoor art garden and an image of clay artwork found in one of the local shops we visited.

image of feet for hands statue New Bern Feet for Hands Statue image of an artistic clay bowl New Bern Clay Artist Coral Bowl

For those who like to combine history with “Pop” culture, New Bern is home to the birthplace of Pepsi. We went inside this corner store for an ice cold Pepsi in a glass bottle while looking at souvenirs around the store.

image of birthplace of pepsi sign New Bern Birthplace of Pepsi

Finally, one of my favorite spots to patronize was a small coffee shop on the edge of town called Crema Brew. Of the many interesting aspects of this place is the 3-ring binder full of pictures showing the conversion of the building from a derelict autobody shop into a modern coffee shop with natural old-wood architecture. The husband, wife, and daughter team are seen in the album and behind the counter greeting the customers. Again, one of the friendliest spots around. Here is me enjoying the rhubarb pie (I hoped it was made with vegetable oil and not butter).

image of me eating rhubarb pie Me in Coffee Shop

I had to call in some help to describe the food scene since my palate is limited. Here is what Star had to say:

“The New Bern food scene is a perfect mish mash of high-end seafood and southern comfort food while being inclusive to those who have dietary restrictions. More importantly the restaurant staffs we encountered were the perfect mix of professionalism and accidentally going into a restaurant where your best friend from highschool works and they treat you like an old friend. We felt totally comfortable asking “what should we order” knowing the answer would be the best dish and not the most expensive on the menu. Stand out meals included shrimp and grits with a hit of spice and crumbled bacon, excellent calamari that was prepared in house with great accompanying sauces and mouth watering burgers and sandwiches if you want to play it safe. We were pleasantly surprised by the bill at the end of each meal, wondering what they forgot to charge us for. Luckily they were just great dishes at a great price.”