Arts & Culture

Culture is thriving in Craven County, where art, theater, music and more can be found in various locations throughout the area. Enjoy art galleries, theater troupes, and countless opportunities to hear local music of all kinds.

The Craven Arts Council & Gallery ensures that artists in the community have the perfect venue for showcasing their talents. There are monthly exhibitions that showcase painting, sculpture, photography, pottery, and fiber art. The second Friday of every month, you can stroll the downtown streets of New Bern to enjoy the ArtWalk where several galleries are open late to welcome guests inside to enjoy featured artists. There is something happening every weekend that will inspire your creative side.

Craven County also offers a unique blend of casual and upscale restaurants and bars. New Bern has become a hub for culinary talent. The food available in New Bern’s downtown area ranges from all-American to Thai, from classic Southern with a modern twist to fresh, local seafood. The one commonality? It’s all 100% artisanal. The drunken noodles at Thai Angel, shrimp and grits at The Chelsea, the honey croissants at Morgan’s Tavern & Grill, and pretty much everything at Cypress Hall, including crafted cocktails — all have New Bern’s unique stamp on them.

Your mouth may be watering, but that’s not even half of it. There are ice-cream and soda shops, a vibrant nightlife, and plenty of engaging historical points of interest, including the birthplace of Pepsi and the North Carolina History Center. Throw in locally owned shops, historic architecture, extensive water activities, museums and lodgings, and you have a good picture of the downtown New Bern arts and culture.


Craven County hosts several events and festivals that bring artists, vendors and visitors to the area each year. These include MumFest in New Bern, the MCAS Cherry Point Air Show and the Chili Festival in Havelock, Tryon Palace events, and so much more. Find more things to do here!