Top 5 Things to Do at Tryon Palace

Palace-EntranceLocated along the heart of the downtown New Bern riverfront, Tryon Palace brings colonial and early American history to life every day at the first permanent capitol of North Carolina. With the luxurious Governor’s Palace, 16 acres of breathtaking gardens, distinguished historic homes, and interactive exhibits at the North Carolina History Center, Tryon Palace has something for everyone.

  1. Take a guided tour of the Governor’s Palace: Let one of our historical interpreters from the 18th century guide you through the first permanent capitol of North Carolina that Royal Governor William Tryon built in 1770, while learning about the centuries-old artifacts and furnishings that fill its three floors, and the governors who lived there.
  2. Experience Living History: Tryon Palace is home to a variety of living history reenactors. Visit the Kitchen Office for a lesson in 18th-century cooking and see a spinster create thread using a period spinning wheel. After that, watch the blacksmith hammer out all manner of tools and decorative pieces in the Blacksmith Shop.
  3. Explore 16 acres of gardens: Tryon Palace’s gardens range from the decorative and patterned Latham Garden, to the bountiful Kitchen Garden, and everything in between. There is always an interesting or rare plant blooming around every corner at Tryon Palace. Look out for seasonal plantings that take over the gardens, such as tulips in spring and mums in fall.
  4. Latham-GardenLearn about New Bern life by touring historic homes: Tour three different historic homes situated around the Governor’s Palace in downtown New Bern to learn what life was like for the Stanly, Dixon and Hay families. The architecture and furnishings of the homes are as varied as the stories of the families that inhabited them, from the stately Stanly House to the modest Hay House.
  5. Take a trip back in time at the North Carolina History Center: In addition to the immersive Regional History Museum and the Duffy Exhibition Gallery, the North Carolina History Center is home to the interactive Pepsi Family Center, where visitors travel back to 1835 in our time machine and experience life as it was in Eastern North Carolina. Sail a ship, harvest turpentine, cook a 19th-century recipe, knit a quilt or help produce the town newspaper all before returning to the 21st-century!
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