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Why New Bern, NC Is a Great Place to Live

Lost of living doesn’t keep New Bern residents from enjoying the highest quality of life.

By Teree Caruthers on July 20, 2016

New Bern, NC
New Bern / Courtesy of Zach Frailey under a CC 4.0 license.

Nestled between the Neuse and Trent Rivers in eastern North Carolina, the town of New Bern is a perfect blend of historic charm and modern amenities. Affordable housing choices, top-notch schools, a vibrant arts and cultural scene as well as a wide range of outdoor recreation opportunities help lure both families and retirees to this waterfront town.

Historic Charm

As the second-oldest town in North Carolina, New Bern boasts four historic districts – including downtown – listed on the National Register of Historic Places and more than 160 homes and buildings dating back to the 18th and early 19th centuries. A perfect example of New Bern’s historic legacy is the Tryon Palace and Gardens. The museum, which is also home to the North Carolina History Center, is a replica of the mansions built for the Royal Governor of the Province of North Carolina in the late 1760s back when New Bern was the capital of the colonial province. Many of the town’s neighborhoods also have homes listed on the National Register, as well as several downtown buildings.

Retirees Welcome

A low cost of living, affordable housing, a moderate climate, an abundance of outdoor and cultural recreation options and access to quality health care are just a few of the many reasons retirees are flocking to New Bern. New Bern offers seniors a full calendar of activities – from festivals, concerts and plays at the Civic Theatre to golfing, fishing, fitness classes and volunteer opportunities. Craven Community College’s Lifetime Learning Center offers seniors courses and experiences in areas, such as art, music, film appreciation and travel.

Water Works

Water is at the center of New Bern’s outdoor recreation options. New Bern is surrounded by water. Downtown lies at the convergence of the Trent and Neuse Rivers, which makes the town a popular destination for boaters and anglers. In fact, the town boasts a dozen marinas, including two downtown. Downtown’s Union Point Park features waterfront biking and walking trails as well as boat launches and picnic areas. The park is also a great place for crabbing, people watching and listening to live music during the summer. In addition to the rivers, New Bern is home to several creeks and lakes perfect for canoeing, kayaking and fishing, and the town is only 35 miles from Atlantic Beach on Carolina’s Crystal Coast.

The 5 Most Affordable Cities in North Carolina

Curb Appeal

New Bern’s neighborhoods offer affordable and diverse housing options, ranging from expansive waterfront properties to downtown condominiums. Walkability, bike paths, and parks make the town’s communities appealing to New Bern’s diverse residents – from young professionals and families to retirees. Most of the town’s communities are within a short walk or drive of downtown, which is bustling with upscale restaurants as well as local dives, art galleries, museums and shopping, and most have easy or direct access to one of the town’s many waterways. New Bern’s housing market also has the advantage of being affordable. The median home price is just over $100,000.

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