To those of you who have read my posts over the last few years, it is obvious I really, really like New Bern. I just completed the longest trip there (a total of eight days), and I can now go on the record that I am having a downright love affair with this wonderful town. The reasons are too many to include in one post, so get ready to read all about my top 12 in this and two future posts.


New Bern’s historic downtown is the epitome of Main Street, U.S.A.

Love #1 – The Downtown

You cannot get more basic than the name of the middle of downtown, Middle Street. Add in a perimeter of streets in each direction, and you have everything from quaint cafes to delicious restaurants to bridal shops to specialty stores. Speaking of cafes…

Love #2 – Coffee and Sweets

New Bern boasts more than enough cafes to go around, however they all seem to be consistently busy with tourists and locals alike. I am a little partial to Bear City Fudge, if for nothing else it has birthday cake fudge and it has bear in its name. Baker’s Kitchen, Cow Café, Bella’s Café and Crema Brew are all worth a stop.


Perhaps the best shop to pick up Sparks’ latest novel, “The Wish.”

Love #3 – Local Bookstore

When you want to physically hold a book, New Bern has a special store that caters to those seeking local authors. I can already picture New Bern’s own Nicholas Sparks popping in to say “Hi.” And, with the name of “Next Chapter Books and Art,” you just know the shop’s backstory is captivating.


New Bern’s “Cub House” and “Welcome Bear” greet visitors to town.

Love #4 – The Bears

Oh, how New Bern takes branding to a new stratosphere with its bears. These aren’t real ones (even though there are a few of those around in the woods); they are of the plaster variety. With well over 60 themed bears scattered throughout the town, it is easy to become infatuated with these creatures. You can pick up a map of the bear locations at the Cub House Visitor Center.

I look forward to sharing more of my New Bern loves in the future. If you happen to visit beforehand, I’m sure you will discover a few loves of your own!