Indeed, in addition to the 2 rivers, a number of meandering creeks are in New Bern’s vicinity, and boating, fishing, canoeing and kayaking are all popular pastimes for locals. If the state’s sandy Atlantic shores are more up your alley, New Bern lies less than an hour from the coast. Outdoors fans will also enjoy the hiking and bicycling trails at Croatan National Forest.
New Bern’s history runs deep; North Carolina’s second oldest town is more than 300 years old.
In New Bern’s walkable waterfront district, when retirees aren’t perusing the marina’s vessels or wandering through the park, they can explore Tryon Palace, historic churches and houses, unique shops and the North Carolina History Center.
Con: Small town without multiple medical centers
Best For: Water lovers
Cost of Living: 14% lower than national average
Median Home Cost: $141,500
Top State Income Tax: 7.75%
Crime Rate: 47.8% higher than national average
Shopping enthusiasts will find an array of stores to meet their needs, from large chain stores to locally-owned boutiques, antiques shops, art galleries and artisan jewelry stores. Meanwhile, culture lovers will find themselves attending performances at venues such as the New Bern Civic Theatre.
New Bern serves as an affordable retirement destination, with a cost of living 14 percent below the national average, and a median home price of $141,500. While some retirees choose to buy and renovate the town’s historic homes, others prefer a less “hand-on” approach, living in one of the many retirement communities in the area. Some of these communities are rich with amenities, including golf courses, tennis courts and even marinas.
While New Bern is no doubt a charm-filled enclave, it does lack some of the greater amenities of a large city, such as a variety of hospitals (there is only one medical center in town).