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New Bern, NC Event Planning

Key Highlights

Hotels 9
Total Sleeping Rooms 1,818
Committable Sleeping Rooms* 170
Committable Meeting Rooms* 8
Convention Center Space 45,000 Sq. Ft.
Largest Exhibit Space 12,000 Sq. Ft.
Largest Ballroom 12,000 Sq. Ft.
Average Hotel Room Rate USD $90
Average Daily Meal Cost USD $46
Average Weekly Car Rental USD $438
*Maximum for a single hotel

New Bern, NC Meeting Planning Overview

Welcome to Cvent's Meeting and Event Planning Guide to New Bern, a city guide for meeting professionals. Perfectly melding historic charm, natural beauty and state-of-the-art facilities and group services, New Bern is a coastal North Carolina destination positioned for business travel and meetings business. Known as the state's first Colonial capital, New Bern is a picturesque riverfront town situated along the scenic Trent and Neuse Rivers and centrally located along the North Carolina coast. With its convenient location and New Bern Riverfront Convention Center sitting within walking distance of lodging, dining and major attractions, New Bern is a first-class convention destination for groups of history buffs, outdoor recreation lovers and fun-seekers.

New Bern's central coastal location puts delegates within easy reach of a number of major North Carolina destinations, as its sits 50 miles from Greenville, 100 miles from Wilmington, 120 miles from Raleigh and 175 miles from Greensboro. Delegates can reach New Bern via Coastal Carolina Regional Airport, which is located within the city and just one block off of U.S. 70. The airport serves North Carolina's Crystal Coast region and flies passengers to East Coast hubs that connect to more than 300 destinations worldwide.

Situated less than three miles from Coastal Carolina Regional Airport, New Bern Riverfront Convention Center is located in downtown New Bern and features spectacular views of the Neuse and Trent Rivers. The 45,000-square-foot center is connected via river walkway to 271 guest rooms and in close proximity to another 600 rooms. Meeting and event spaces include the 12,000-square-foot Colonial Capital Ballroom, which accommodates up to 1,350 delegates; 8,000-square-foot Heritage Hall for up to 800 delegates; and 3,740-square-foot Riverfront Veranda for up to 400 delegates, among other spaces. What's more, the New Bern Riverfront Convention Center is set within walking distance of a number of shops, restaurants, historic homes, gardens and such major attractions as Tyron Palace, the Historic Trolley Tour, Birthplace of Pepsi and New Bern Firemen's Museum.

In addition to the New Bern Riverfront Convention Center, the city is home to a variety of unique venues and group-friendly attractions that not only serve as event spaces, but also immerse delegates in New Bern culture and natural beauty. Regarded as the state's premier historical site, New Bern's Tryon Palace and North Carolina History Center brings the past to life with its immersive encounters, learning adventures, guided tours and interactive exhibits. The site of North Carolina's first Colonial and state capital, the historic site offers a variety of indoor and outdoor event spaces ranging from gardens designed in the 18th-century, British style to modern theaters. Groups of up to 300 delegates can reserve the New Bern Civic Theatre for events, as well as gather amid mature shade trees, Carolinian ornate wrought-iron gates and a 1910 brick patio at the downtown Isaac Taylor Garden.

Other fantastic New Bern unique venues include the 157,000-acre Croatan National Forest, which is nationally recognized for its extensive trails system and recreational activities. Groups can reserve day-use and picnic areas, as well as boat, fish, bike, camp or simply enjoy Croatan National Forest's pine forests, saltwater estuaries, bogs and raised swamps. Groups can take in all of New Bern's historical sites and stunning architecture aboard a private, custom or charter tour, courtesy of New Bern Tours. Aside from its group tours, New Bern Tours offers a signature 90-minute historic downtown tour, as well as such specialty tours as the Christmas Trolley Tour and Civil War Trolley Tour.

About New Bern, NC / Additional Info

From its status as the Colonial capital of North Carolina to its downtown shopping and dining, riverfront attractions, lively entertainment and outdoor recreation, New Bern is a destination bursting with history, culture and beauty. The riverfront city in Craven County is home to more than 150 sites listed on the National Register of Historic Places, a 157,000-acre national forest, marinas, museums, nearby golf courses and much, much more.

New Bern was founded as a Swiss and German settlement in 1710, making it the second-oldest city in North Carolina. Named in honor of the founder's home of Bern, Switzerland, New Bern served as the first state capital before Raleigh became the capital of North Carolina in 1794. New Bern has enjoyed its share of firsts in the state, including the first chartered fire department, motion picture theater, Roman Catholic church and parish, Presbyterian church and organization, postal service, printing press, public banking institution and bookstore. New Bern is also the birthplace of Pepsi-Cola, which was invented and first served by local pharmacist Caleb Bradham in 1898. New Bern resident Nicholas Sparks set his novel The Notebook – the first novel in the country to be on both the hardcover and paperback bestseller lists for over a year – in the picturesque setting of New Bern.

Today, many of New Bern's most popular attractions celebrate the city's past. The Birthplace of Pepsi welcomes visitors to the site of Pepsi-Cola's invention to learn about its history and even enjoy a glass at the recreated soda fountain. The New Bern Firemen's Museum allows visitors to step back in time to the era of horse drawn steam engines and take a look at the state's first chartered fire company in a series of steam pumpers, early firefighting equipment, rare photographs and Civil War relics.

New Bern hosts a number of cultural and educational activities, as well as such annual festivals as the Spring Historic Home and Garden Tour and MUMFest. Visitors have their choice of a variety of self-guided heritage walking tours that focus on such topics as Nicholas Sparks landmarks, African-American heritage, the Civil War, historic homes, architecture, the Revolutionary War and historic churches and cemeteries. Additional tour activities include New Bern Boat Tours, which offers two-hour fully narrated tours along the historic waterfront, as well as the Ghosts of New Bern Walking Tour, which takes a look at the city's mysteries, myths and legends.

New Bern is also home to a rich dining scene of casual eateries to fine-dining restaurants serving local, regional and international fare. Persimmons Waterfront Restaurant incorporates local farmer and fishermen products in its inventive cuisine, while 247 Craven focuses on fresh, local and seasonal creations. Housed in a 1912 drugstore, The Chelsea serves new American cuisine with international flavors, while Captain Ratty's Seafood & Steakhouse boasts rooftop dining and Morgan's Tavern & Grill features a true tavern interior with exposed wood beams.

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