Tryon Palace in New Berne NC is America’s only royal palace. It was first built for the colonial governor of NC in 1770, and is a great place to get a feeling for the Eighteenth Century. It really is a very nice Neo-Palladian country house with a pair of dependencies joined to the house by semi-circular colonnades. All through our tour, I kept wondering, how could it look this good after two-hundred and fifty years? At the end of the tour, it became clear. By nineteen-fifty, a road went right through the site of the main house and only one dependency was left. It was all rebuilt afterward. No wonder it looks so good. It’s only sixty years old!
Real or rebuilt, Tryon Palace is certainly worth visiting. Not just the palace and grounds, but the neighboring historic buildings are beautiful. Also the whole town of New Berne is very pretty. There is not much of a downtown, but the residential neighborhoods are spectacular. The locals are ridiculously friendly. People stopped us in the street, not content with a “good morning”, they wanted to know how we were enjoying North Carolaina, New Berne, the sights, the weather, etc.