There’s a lot to see and do in New Bern, NC but Tryon Palace is one attraction that should be near the top of almost everyone’s list. Tryon is a reconstructed, colonial era Governor’s Palace, living history museum, and much more.
A Royal Governor’s Palace
The original, Georgian-style structure, designed by London architect John Hawkes, was completed in 1770 for Royal Governor William Tryon. When the American Revolutionary War began just a few years later, the Governor fled and rebels seized the palace for their own.
Tryon Palace was the first capitol of North Carolina and also served as North Carolina’s first Governor’s Mansion. This all changed when Raleigh became the state capital in 1792, however. Shortly afterwards, in 1798, a tragic fire destroyed most of the grand structure.
The Governor’s Palace was all but forgotten for the next 150 years. Then a local ran across John Hawkes’ original plans for the palace and started a movement to rebuild the historic structure.
The monumental task took nearly 20 years. Almost 50 buildings had to be moved and a major US highway had to be rerouted! Still, by 1959, Tryon Palace reopened to the public.
Living History – and So Much More
Today, Tryon Palace offers a living history experience like no other. The grounds include not just the Governor’s Palace but also historic homes, stunning gardens, the North Carolina History Center, and more.
Tours of the the Governor’s Palace are led by a historical interpreter. All the costumed guides, working craftspeople, and colonial characters will make you think you stumbled into a time warp.
Visit the seven historic buildings and soak up 16-acres of fantastic, sculpted gardens. Circle the grounds with a relaxing stroll along the riverwalk.
The North Carolina History Center is also here with a variety of attractions, including two museums, waterfront dining, and shopping.
529 S. Front Street
There’s so much to do and see that you should plan on spending half a day here – at least!
Best of all? It’s all less than a five minute walk from the front door of our New Bern inn, The Aerie! In fact, our convenient location downtown puts you within easy distance of most of the best of New Bern!