What It's Like to Live in New Bern, N.C.

This historic town blends convenience with small-town charm.

Old and New: Where to Live

New Bern's riverfront historic district encompasses 56 square blocks of tree-lined streets with an intriguing mix of palatial Colonial homes, brick Georgians and a smattering of Victorian homes, many with manicured gardens. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places and home to more than 200 architectural landmarks, the district offers a combo of commercial and residential properties. Many have been immaculately restored while others still need a little TLC, making the neighborhood ideal for those who love character, appreciate history and enjoy working on older homes.

The Ghent neighborhood, an early trolley car "suburb" dating from the early 1900s, is also listed on the National Register. While a bit more eclectic and affordable than downtown, its old-fashioned street lights, cute cottages, bungalows and much-used sidewalks give it ample appeal. Families love that Ghent is nestled between two popular parks with access to baseball fields, fishing and nature trails, as well as proximity to the YMCA. Homes here tend to be larger than in some of the newer subdivisions, with prices ranging from $170,000 to the $400,000s. Along the Neuse River, Riverside neighborhood is similarly a pleasant mix of sturdy pre-World War II homes, including everything from brick ranches to tidy bungalows to Victorian manses with wraparound porches.

And for those who prefer newer construction and subdivision amenities, New Bern offers numerous golf course communities, such as Greenbrier, which is only two miles from town and popular with young families as well as retirees. There's also Trent Woods, which boasts spacious lots, large homes and waterfront properties as well as a yacht club.

Further outside of town along the Neuse River, Fairfield Harbour is a sprawling 3,000-acre resort development with a mix of condominiums, townhomes and single-family homes that attracts boaters and snowbirds as well as year-round residents.

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