With 2022 now in full swing, we are well on our way to the next major holiday event: Valentine’s Day. For those blissfully in love, it is another opportunity to celebrate. For those who are unattached, it can be a reminder of being just that–single. Regardless of your relationship status, here are three ways to enjoy the holiday with lots of heart emojis:

Valentine Stop #1 – “Bearly” There

Living In New Bern North Carolina

Bearon de Graffenreid was the first bear I encountered in New Bern. Thank goodness!

If you want to fall more in love with New Bern, simply walk around to check out the ceramic and plaster bears scattered around town. The Bear Town Bears (Bern is German for bear) truly illustrate the community pride in New Bern. What I love most is how each bear has a special theme tie-in to the business it represents. From “Flag Bearer” at City Hall to “Harvest Bear” at the Farmer’s Market, you can barely pass a street corner without coming across a bear. I am not going to call out any favorites, as they all deserve “a-paws.”

Valentine Stop #2 – Appetizer Crawl

With all the craft brew places in town, you can surely enjoy a beer crawl. In New Bern, you can also enjoy an appetizer crawl. With too many restaurants to list here, I must give a special shout-out to three eateries with one-of-a-kind appetizers. First, the candied bacon at Beer Army is so incredibly scrumptious, you will stop in and order even when not hungry. A stop at Captain Ratty’s means orders of cannonball shrimp and fried green tomatoes are a given. Cap off this fried deliciousness with an order (or two) of Persimmons’ sweet corn and pimento hushpuppies. You will be full of love for your very full stomach after this crawl. No hangover, but you may be in a food coma.

Valentine Stop #3 – Will My Heart Go On?

New Bern Civic Theatre, you had me at the title, “The Last Five Years.” This musical is about two New Yorkers in their twenties who fall in and out of love over the course of five years. What makes it so creative is the show is told from two perspectives: Jamie’s story is told chronologically, while Cathy’s version is told in reverse. The characters meet only once, at their wedding. I am so excited about seeing this intriguing format, and who can pass up the opportunity to witness true love that spans years? You have the option of three performances the weekend of February 11. Get your tickets here.