New Bern is an old southern town lying at the juncture of two rivers, the Neuse and the Trent. It has a vibrant downtown filled with interesting shops, art galleries, restaurants, good hotels and lovely B&Bs. With a population of around 30,000, and in a county of 100,000 people, New Bern has just the right balance: it provides everything we need and avoids the congestion and crowding of larger towns.
New Bern celebrated her 300th birthday in 2010 with a year-long party. The town has a proud history as the first capital of North Carolina. It is the county seat of Craven County. A beautiful Victorian courthouse centers the lovely historic district which includes some colonial-era homes. Tryon Palace, located along the Trent River, is a favorite visitor attraction surrounded by old homes and gardens. Every summer the North Carolina symphony plays there in an ourdoor performance highlighted by fireworks.
Although we do have four distinct seasons we enjoy fine weather all year. We have easy access to beautiful beaches with the Southern Outer Banks (just an hour away) and the more famous Outer Banks, easily accessible by highway or ferry. Boating is a major factor in many folks' decision to relocate here. The wide Neuse River meets the Pamlico Sound just a few miles downstream, and gives onto the Intracoastal Waterway. Golf is another favorite pastime; there are a number of private and public courses in the area. Fishing is very popular and there are several fishing clubs. Hiking, bird-watching, kayaking and canoeing all appeal to many area residents.
Most things cost less here. Real estate prices are among the lowest anywhere on the east coast. Taxes are very low. Craven County's tax rate is just 47 cents per hundred dollars of valuation. The city of New Bern adds a bit more for city taxes. Having fun is less expensive too: Golf is a small fraction of the price one might pay 'up north.' Marina charges for docking a boat are low, and many homes have backyard docks. There are hundreds of acres of state and national parks and seashore nearby.
New Bern has a new and modern airport served by both U.S. Airways and Delta, with connections through Charlotte and Atlanta, respectively. We have a large, modern hospital which recently dedicated a new Heart Center. The number of physicians and other medical professionals is large and all specialties are well represented. In addition, there is easy access to a major university teaching hospital just 50 miles away in Greenville NC. Two of the finest hospitals in the world are three hours west of us, at Duke University and the University of North Carolina.
People are moving here from many regions of the country so it's easy to make friends and to quickly find your 'niche.' The county-wide Newcomer's Club sponsors many clubs and activities. Retirees find much to do and easily make new friends who share their interests. They enjoy the lack of traffic jams and the slowed-down pace of southern living. Families come here for the child-centeredness of this community. We have good public schools, a large YMCA with a new community swimming pool, as well as many sports and educational programs for kids. The well-known writer Nicholas Sparks and his family make their home here. Mr. Sparks has been instrumental in the creation of a new K-12 private school called The Epiphany School of Global Studies.
New Bern is home of Craven Community College which offers courses to students pursuing the first two years of college-level work as well as to adults learning new job skills or interested in the active Lifetime Learning Center. The center provides non-credit courses and activities for adults. The community college is home to eastern North Carolina's public radio station, broadcasting two streams, classical music and news, 24 hours a day. We have a good local library, part of a three-county system.
Military families coming to the two nearby Marine Corps bases (MCAS Cherry Point and Camp Lejeune) often remain here when they retire or separate from the military. We are a quiet, peaceful, faith-centered community. In addition to many Protestant churches, we also have a synagogue and a large Catholic church with its own school.
Come explore and investigate our friendly small southern town, New Bern, and surrounding Craven County. We think you will like what you find here and may want to become part of our southern surprise.
* Rebates are not allowed in all states. In some states, a gift card or commission credit at closing may be provided in lieu of the Cash-Back bonus. You must register with U.S. Military on the Move® before contacting a real estate agent and be represented by the assigned real estate firm at closing to qualify. All real estate transactions are negotiable. Other terms and conditions may apply.
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