New Bern is a town of firsts. It was North Carolina’s first capital, and the home of the state’s first printing press, as well as its first publicly chartered school, its first motion picture theater, and was also the first town to hang electric Christmas lights above city streets. It is also the birthplace of Pepsi-Cola. Be aware that New Bern residents are quick to point out that Caleb Bradham’s soda pop has a better kick than the “other” brand.
From the downtown marinas you can walk along the streets of New Bern's historic downtown of New Bern, which is filled with beautiful homes and buildings from the 18th and 19th centuries. Spread among the houses and businesses are splendidly dressed fiberglass bears–a nod to the town founder who was from Bern, Switzerland, which has a bear on its Coat of Arms. The 300-year-old town is also home to a haunted history, which you can "see" for yourself on a ghost walk tour, which takes you through the city's most haunted spots. Don't feel like walking? Consider a guided trolley tour that takes you through the Historic District and other important landmarks.
New Bern hosts several festivals throughout the year, including the MumFest, a two-day event held in October with music, food and the New Bern ArtWalk, a self-guided tour of local art galleries.
The Waterway Guide Team has gained extensive boating knowledge over the years, and now we are sharing all of the tips, skills and tools we’ve picked up along the way!