My husband and I were just passing through New Bern a few years ago and spontaneously decided to move here. I often wish that my children could have grown up here. It's a quaint, historical town that embraces newcomers to the area. The beach is only 35 miles away, but there's so much to do on the water right here! New Bern is at the confluence of 2 rivers--the Trent and the Neuse, with water skiing, sailing, kayaking, and paddle boarding. While we have good public schools, many families here also look for alternatives and Parrott Academy in Kinston has been a popular choice for many years. However, The Epiphany School here in New Bern continues to amaze and astound. This relatively new school is very involved in the community, has a rigorous academic program and, from my understanding, is adding grades each year. (The school began as a high school and is working its way down to elementary school.) Whether you like the feel of a gated community, the historic district, a waterfront community or a rural home, you will find it all in this area. The advantage of New Bern is also the numerous activities for children. Our NC History Center and Tryon Palace always offer something new. Our thriving community theatres have great workshops and programs for young people. And, of course, there's always Camp Seagull and Camp Seafarer just down the road for a fantastic summer camp experience. Regardless of where you are moving FROM you are moving TO a place you can truly call home. Hope this helps!