New Bern is a city in Craven County, North Carolina, United States. It is the county seat of Craven County and the principal city of the New Bern Metropolitan Statistical Area. It is located at the confluence of the Trent and the Neuse rivers, near the North Carolina coast. It lies 112 miles east of Raleigh, 87 miles northeast of Wilmington, and 162 miles south of Norfolk. New Bern is the birthplace of Pepsi Cola.
New Bern has four historic districts listed on the National Register of Historic Places; their numerous contributing buildings include residences, stores and churches dating back to the early eighteenth century. Within easy walking distance of the waterfront are more than 164 homes and buildings listed on the National Register. Also nearby are several bed and breakfasts, hotels, restaurants, banks, antiques stores and specialty shops.
The historic districts contain many of the city’s 2,000 crape myrtles—its official flower—and developed gardens. New Bern has two “Local Historic Districts”, a municipal zoning overlay that affords legal protection to the exteriors of New Bern’s irreplaceable historic structures. These areas provide much of New Bern’s unique charm, appeal to retirees and heritage tourism, and contribute to the city’s economic success. The Local Historic Districts, while vitally important to New Bern, comprise only 2.43% of New Bern’s 27-square-mile area. There is considerable area available for new development.