Strolling around Historic New Bern, North Carolina, the Birthplace of Pepsi

Sometimes we get so busy wanting to get “to and from” our destinations that we don’t take a few minutes to stop and explore new things along the way.  As I’ve mentioned before on this blog, I think travel is like an open classroom, and it’s important to seek and discover. 

Historic New Bern, North Carolina
On the way to visit my father-in-law in Beaufort, North Carolina, I made the family stop in historic New Bern. This charming town, which is the second oldest town in North Carolina, was founded where the Trent and Neuse Rivers join together.  We didn’t spend a lot of time here, but just enough to know that I would like to go back.

And if you have ever tasted a Pepsi, you may enjoy learning that the drink was created right here in New Bern. Originally known as “Brad’s Drink,” which Caleb Bradham created in a pharmacy on Middle Street, it was marketed as Pepsi-Cola after 1898.

The birthplace of Pepsi-Cola, Bradham's Pharmacy

New Bern, established by German and Swiss colonists in 1710, is named after Bern, Switzerland.  Today, the historic area reminds me of a European village filled with restaurants, shops, and beautiful churches.

We enjoyed strolling around the area of the grand Tryon Palace, the official residence of the Royal Governor William Tryon in 1770.  We didn’t go inside the palace on this visit but walked around the property and ventured into nearby gardens.

Tryon Palace
I loved the look of the Stanly House and Gardens.  President George Washington spent two nights in the home in 1791 on his Southern tour. 

Stanly Home. The home was actually empty when President  Washington visited. Residents put
their own furnishings in the home so he could stay there. 

In 1794, North Carolina’s state capital was moved to Raleigh, where I currently live, and space was rented in the palace for various purposes.  Unfortunately, the original palace burned in a fire in 1798 and was not restored until 1959. Today, Tryon Palace is an anchor for cultural arts and history in the community.

We didn’t have time to explore the new N.C. History Center, which is adjacent to the palace. It sounds great with a lot of interactive exhibits. The Pepsi Family Center will immerse your entire family in an amazing venture back in time to an 1835 virtual village.

I think New Bern is a destination that invites you to grab a Pepsi and explore.  I’m putting this destination back on my list for another time when we visit this guy. 

We celebrated Tractor's 71st birthday while in Beaufort. 

For more information on New Bern, visit

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