On the Waterfront: New Bern and Oriental Professional Review and Guide
"From Raleigh, New Bern is 113 miles east, an easy day’s drive there and back, with sufficient time for touring the sites and for soaking up the charm of this historic river town. The drive is pleasant across the Neuse River Basin, as the road makes its way past tin-roofed farmhouses under broad leafy oaks sitting in expansive green fields. The highway continues through small towns where folks still shop for groceries at the local Piggly Wiggly. In New Bern, you’ll visit historic Tryon Palace, stroll the pleasant downtown, and drive along the picturesque waterfront, where you will find fine Southern homes with broad wraparound porches that look out on the Neuse and Trent Rivers.
Along the riverfront, be sure to look for the historical marker depicting the birthplace of Bayard Wooten, one of the South’s first professional female photographers. As with many North Carolina towns, New Bern’s city center fell into decline in the 1970s, when the sprawl of shopping malls and suburban housing drew citizens away from the business district. But in 1979, a nonprofit corporation of civic leaders was charged with breathing new life into the downtown, and their efforts have been successful in attracting art galleries, specialty shops, antique stores, restaurants, and other businesses."