Welcome to North Carolina! That’s how you will feel here, welcomed. Situated between the Neuse and Trent rivers, Craven County is much more than a pass-through or pit stop on the way to North Carolina’s heralded beaches less than 30 miles away. For history buffs, it’s a jackpot of “firsts” (first postal service, printing press and fire department, among others) and fine 18th-century homes as well as the new, interactive North Carolina History Center. For families, it’s a haven of affordable, livable neighborhoods and miles of waterfront playground. For retirees, the county boasts an ideal climate and a bevy of golf, arts and recreation opportunities. And for all residents — young and old, Craven County natives and newcomers alike — it is a friendly community with over 103,000 residents, where life’s pace takes a go-with-the-flow cue from the prominent rivers: fast enough to keep things moving, slow enough to savor all that the region has to offer.
Craven’s county seat, New Bern, is the original state capital. It boasts a pedestrian-friendly downtown, dotted with mom-and-pop restaurants, quaint storefronts and a popular river walk. Just to the south of New Bern, the small village of Havelock is home to Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, and in the 157,000-acre Croatan National Forest you can find rare Venus flytraps, bears, plenty of alligators and other wildlife.
There are also shopping, dining and nightlife opportunities for residents to explore: Annual events and festivals celebrate everything from the Coastal Christmas Flotilla, with everything from small boats to large yachts all decorated in bright lights and dazzling decorations, to Mumfest, a combination of family fun, entertainment, attractions, exhibitors and great food.