Historical Downtown New Bern, NC

There is a place that I like to go to at the end of Highway 70 where time is frozen. It is a town once build by the Swiss, named for their beloved homeland, bearing its shield, and revealing its artistry in rooftops.

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An old church surrounded by dogwood blossoms and Spanish moss remembers the times George Washington visited its doors.

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Gravestones in its yard tell stories of valiant men, women, and children who died in a period of illness that swept the town.

Across from this, an old soda shop remembers when Pepsi Cola got invented there, and it still makes you floats with local ice cream and Pepsi at its bar.

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Commercialization creeps in–that’s to be expected. There are Pepsi company products at the soda shop, tours of the old church, and dozens of shops along the streets. But none of this bothers me. I am just excited to see downtown New Bern, NC alive and thriving.

Take a drive a little further down these downtown streets, and you’ll reach the inlet. Anxiously moving cars rush across criss-crossing bridges over water.

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Sailboats are often docked at fancy hotels along the water. A simple open park gives a patch of grass for paused reflection. A walkway around the grass leads to odd concrete steps into the water.

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Walk in and get your toes wet. Feel the water lap around your ankles. Feed bread crumbs to the gulls circling around you. But don’t jump in for a swim. Though the waterway is wide open for wading and one could easily jump into the deeper water from there, you can’t trust the current–or anything living in the water–from there.

It isn’t hard to love the culture of downtown New Bern. Whether for water, history, or shopping, there’s something in this little spot for everyone. Enjoy!

8 thoughts on “Historical Downtown New Bern, NC

  1. The part that stands out to me about the title of the blog is where it talks about how all the history of New Bern has basically been unchanged. I don’t know much about New Bern so everything it talks about is something new I’m learning about it. I like the fact that it tells you about all the old shops that are still in business. I wouldn’t mind visiting it, and trying out the Pepsi shop they have there. I can tell that the author seems to have been there before from the information I read. I would have probably talked about festivals or activities they have down there, so in that case more people would want to visit New Bern. You can probably get brochures and compare the information between the blog and the brochures. But the best person to talk to about it would more then likely be a tour guide because they’ve probably lived there their whole life.

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    • Thank you, Alex, for the excellent feedback! I had not considered talking about tours or festivals, but that definitely would add to the piece. Thank you for giving me a good idea for a sequel to this blog. 😉

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  2. there is really something to be said for taking a break from the rush of life to see the old sights and apreciate a simpiler time. i would love to visit the old pepsi shop. all the times i been to new bern i never new it was there. my grandpap use to go fishing there back when he was in good health, it was his little getaway. its nice to see other people take the time to see the little things.

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  3. I didn’t know that New Bern has a lot of history. I though this blog was interning, I learned That Pepsi was invented in New Bern. If I visit New Bern I would like to get an ice cream float, visit the shops, and bird-watch.

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    • Thank you for reading this and for your feedback, Dexter. I am curious where you went fishing. The only place that comes to mind is right off the park into the intercoastal waterway. I’ve never seen anyone fish there though.

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