Cradled in the convergence of the Neuse and Trent rivers is the small city of New Bern, North Carolina, which seems untouched by time. The locals meander at a leisurely pace up and down sidewalks, while children dart between soda shops, ice cream parlors, and community activities. The cobblestone streets witnessed the roiling conflict of the American Revolution and the Union occupation of the city during the Civil War, but today, the most action they witness is the personal triumphs of residents and the new adventures of visitors. Though each wanderer experiences the charm of downtown’s “Old South” vestige differently, one idea rings true across every narrative — the food, scenery, shopping, history, people, and arts keep them coming back for more.
New Bern Riverfront Convention Center
On the Trent River, just across the street from its coalescence with the Neuse River, is the New Bern Riverfront Convention Center. Its facilities and quality of service are as incomparable as the views. The New Bern Riverfront Convention Center boasts nearly 30,000 square feet of rentable space, ideal for meetings or events of any variety.
Downstairs is the Colonial Capital Ballroom, which can be set up in myriad ways, separated into three ballrooms or merged into one to suit the clients’ needs. Also on the ground floor are the Riverfront Veranda and Heritage Hall, including its two alcoves. This brings the total of usable space on the first floor to 23,740 square feet. Upstairs, guests have access to the Tryon Room, which can be split into two smaller rooms or combined into a single, 2,030-square-foot space. Also found upstairs is the Berne Room and the Craven Board Room, as well as additional restrooms. The Promenade and Heritage Hall are ideal spaces to utilize as part of an event, or they can be easily converted into registration or exhibitor space by the experienced staff members, who make every event effortless for their clients.
The convention center also has an in-house kitchen facility on the ground floor, which can either prepare concession-booth-style food or full-service banquets for your participants. Well-rehearsed transitions between sessions showcase a staff dedicated to providing smooth and productive events. Regular training and team meetings facilitate a tangible sense of cohesion and order to their movements and, consequently, the events they host. Though the facilities are beautifully functional and the staff is impeccable, there are so many more reasons why New Bern is the perfect place for meetings, no matter the size.
Downtown, New Bern
New Bern has become a hub for culinary talent. The food available in New Bern's downtown area ranges from all-American to Thai, from classic-Southern with a twist to down-home eatin'. The one commonality? It's all 100% artisanal. The drunken noodles at Thai Angel, "the cheesecake" (yes, it's on the dinner menu) at The Chelsea, the burgers at The Grill at Prohibition, and the honey croissants at Morgan's Tavern & Grill (you cannot miss them) — all have New Bern's unique stamp on them.
Your mouth may be watering, but that's not even the half of it. There are also ice cream shops, too many restaurants to list, an engaging and varied nightlife, and our pièce de résistance, the Birthplace of Pepsi Cola. Throw in locally owned stores, boutiques, florists, historic architecture, and museums, all within walking distance, and you have yourself a pretty good snapshot of downtown New Bern.
New Bern Hospitality
Now that you are making a list of places to eat in New Bern, the next step is to book accommodations. Fortunately, New Bern has plenty of those as well. Our waterfront hospitality partners are The Courtyard by Marriott and The Bridgepointe Hotel & Marina. If you're coming to town solo to scout out the location, there are several delightful bed-and-breakfasts to choose from in the downtown area, including The Benjamin Ellis House, The Hanna House, and The Aerie, a favorite of both locals and visitors.
While it's certainly a perk to stay in the heart of downtown, where the only transportation you'll have to arrange is your own two feet, there are other options as well. The Candlewood Suites, Comfort Suites, and Springhill Suites by Marriott are also within the city limits, just a short drive away from the downtown experience. For information regarding the accommodations listed above — and the others we didn't have the space to brag about — go to our tourism website for a complete list, along with restaurants and much more!
A City of Firsts
New Bern is a city of firsts: the first Colonial and state capital of North Carolina, the originator of Pepsi Cola, the first in the Colonies to hold a provincial convention in defiance of British orders, the first printing press, and the first pamphlet, newspaper, and book published in North Carolina. Regardless of which part of the city calls to you, we guarantee it has some firsts for you in store as well. Isn't it time you had your first Pepsi in the pharmacy where it was invented, saw your first community theater play, or felt your first river breeze while you enjoy a cold drink on a restaurant's river-top, dock-style seating? We think you're actually long overdue.
Request a quote or personalized site visit today by contacting us online or via phone at252-637-1551. We'd love to show you around!
Written by Kaitlyn Fletcher