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New Bern


North Carolina History Center at Tryon Palace | New Bern, NC


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Tryon Palace and more!

You’ll feel as if you’ve stepped back in time when you tour the Tryon Palace Historic Sites, North Carolina History Center and gardens.  It’s so much fun, with interactive exhibits, entertaining and very knowledgeable guides sharing stories about the past.  There’s plenty of technology behind the scenes to make it all appear seamless – and very authentic.

Start at the North Carolina History Center to purchase tickets, and visit the Orientation Center.  It will help you plan your time here, and everything is close to New Bern’s downtown riverfront.  The luxurious, three-story Governor’s Palace sets the tone with living history interpreters.  Very family friendly, the review sites are filled with stories of how all ages enjoyed their visits.  

The Kitchen Office is filled with the aromas of 18th century dishes and the apple pies will make you hungry for more.  Blacksmiths work their craft, and the scene bustles with activity – and realism.

Two more historic homes can be toured, helping visitors capture the way life was for local families. Take the guided tours, and don’t hesitate to ask questions.  These interpreters know their history.  (One reviewer on Trip Advisor suggests asking about the plagues that visited New Bern in its early days – proving that life wasn’t always a bed of roses in the big houses.)

And speaking of flowers, take plenty of time to enjoy the gardens, patterned after the formal garden style of 18th century Britain.  In the fall, mums add remarkable color, while springtime brings tulips to brighten the scenery.

WOW Factor:  It all depends on your preference. History enthusiasts will love the old homes, and the Pepsi Family Center, where visitors travel back to 1835 in a time machine and sail a ship, harvest turpentine, cook an old recipe, knit a quilt or help produce the town newspaper.  

Budding botanists will swoon over the gardens – from the perfectly patterned Latham Garden, to the bountiful Kitchen Garden where you can inhale the same aromas that were found on dining tables so long ago.

Hint: Grab a strawberry lemonade and light lunch at Lawson’s Landing Café at Tryon Palace.  Plan for being both indoors and outside.  You can easily spend a half day visiting the History Center, buildings and gardens.  Don’t leave the children behind.  It really works for the entire family.

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