Located at the junction of the Trent and Neuse Rivers (in the coastal area) 100 mi/160 km southeast of Raleigh, New Bern, North Carolina, has a wealth of historic buildings dating from its settlement in 1710 by Germans and Swiss. Named for the capital city of Switzerland, it was North Carolina's first colonial and state capital (1746-92).
Among New Bern's historic sights are Tryon Palace, the state's first governor's mansion and the home of Royal Governor William Tryon. Tryon Palace Historic Sites and Gardens is open-year round and offers guided tours of the palace, the gardens and historic homes on its grounds. http://www.tryonpalace.org.
Once you've finished your tour of Tryon Palace, peruse the shops of historic downtown New Bern with its beautiful waterfront views. http://www.visitnewbern.com.
Don't miss the birthplace of Pepsi-Cola at 256 Middle St., where pharmacist Calem Bradham invented the famous soft drink. http://www.pepsistore.com.
The annual Chrysanthemum Festival in New Bern (October) includes a street festival, arts-and-crafts exhibitions, and palace tours. http://www.mumfest.com.
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