Discover New Bern, North Carolina

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Tryon Palace

The gardens at Tryon Palace in New Bern.

New Bern is a treasure trove of attractions, offering something for everyone, especially history buffs.

Visit Tryon Palace – the state’s first capital – to explore 16 acres of renowned gardens, English antiques and the North Carolina History Center. The history center allows visitors to experience an 1835 river village, with interactive exhibits on everything from 19th-century cooking to distilling turpentine from pinesap. In the fall, the English gardens feature an elaborate mums display, while spring brings daffodils, tulips and more. Stop by the Kellenberger Garden, which reflects the Colonial era with marigolds and celosia, plus cool-season vegetables.

The Civil War Battlefield Park, where the 1862 Battle of New Bern took place, invites visitors to walk in soldiers’ footsteps. It remains pristine – trenches and all – more than 150 years after the battle. Guided tours of the battlefield are $5 per person and are given by a trained guide. For more information, call (252) 638-8558.

Tryon Palace

North Carolina’s Croatan National Forest draws outdoor enthusiasts to its 160,000 acres for canoeing, fishing and camping. The coastal forest has diverse wildlife ranging from from deer and black bears to ospreys and alligators. As one of only four National Forests in the state, Croatan National Forest is the only true coastal forest in the East. The forest features great campsites, fishing spots, biking and hiking trails, and much more.

And each October, New Bern hosts the annual Mumfest, now in its 34th year. The city-sponsored event which is enjoyed by more than 90,000 festival-goers,features family fun, tasty treats, entertainment and, of course, a plethora of chrysanthemums. Mumfest 2014 takes place Oct. 11-12. For more information, call (252) 638-5781.

– Christina Vinson

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