FAQ

How should I begin my visit?

Come to the North Carolina History Center (529 South Front St., New Bern, NC) for information, to purchase tickets, and to visit the Orientation Theater.

What can I see and do at Tryon Palace?

There are seven major buildings, three galleries and 14 acres of gardens for you to discover. There are historical craft demonstrations to watch, and historical characters to meet. An orientation video will tell you more about the people who once lived here, the history of Tryon Palace and its historic homes, and give you further information about the North Carolina History Center. 

Are the tours guided or self-guided?

Tours in the Governor’s Palace and historic houses are guided, however, tour schedules for the historic homes may vary throughout the year. Call before your visit to learn the schedule for guided tours in the John Wright Stanly House and the George W. Dixon House.Two of the buildings, the Kitchen Office and the Stable Office, are always self-guided. The three galleries in the North Carolina History Center and the gardens are also self-guided.

How much time should I allow?

To fully enjoy your visit, plan to spend at least half a day at Tryon Palace. Here is an estimate of the time for each area:

  • Orientation video: 10 minutes
  • The Governor’s Palace (guided tour): 45 minutes
  • Kitchen Office (self-guided tour): 15-30 minutes
  • John Wright Stanly House (guided tour): 30 minutes
  • George W. Dixon House (guided tour): 30 minutes
  • Gardens (self-guided): 20-60 minutes; guided tours are available to group tours
  • Robert Hay House (only open for special events)
  • Regional History Museum (self-guided): 15-30 minutes
  • Pepsi Family Center (self-guided): 60-90 minutes
  • Duffy Exhibit Gallery (self-guided): Varies with special exhibits held throughout the year
  • Gateway Gallery (self-guided): 15-30 minutes
  • New Bern Academy Museum (self-guided, open Sat. and Sun.), 30-45 minutes

You may visit the buildings and gardens in any order you wish. While at the History Center, be sure to visit the Museum Store and enjoy a relaxing meal at Lawson’s Landing, the riverwalk café.

Am I allowed to take pictures?

Photography is permitted in the gardens, Governor's Palace, most historic buildings, and galleries. Flash photography, selfie sticks, and tripods are not allowed. Professional photographers wishing to do a commercial session are required to make an appointment. See our Professional Photography Agreement for details.

What areas are accessible?

There are designated handicapped parking slots in both the Eden Street Lot and the North Carolina History Center, where you can check in at the ticket desk for assistance and guidance about touring the site. Reduced rates are also offered to special needs visitors and their assistants to compensate for areas which may not be accessible. The following first-floor areas are wheelchair accessible: Governor's Palace, Kitchen Office, Stable Office, and all of the North Carolina History Center. The gardens are accessible to all visitors, but surfaces may be uneven. Wheelchairs are available in the North Carolina History Center and the Waystation.

If you call at least two weeks in advance, we will make every effort to accommodate hearing- or visually-impaired visitors and others with special needs. We have a “hands-on” policy for persons with visual impairments. A sign language interpreter is available for hearing-impaired visitors with advance notice.

For visitors who cannot or choose not to tour the second floor of Tryon Palace, there is a photo album available with photographs of the second-floor rooms and historical information.

Are there activities for children?

Children of all ages (and adults too!) enjoy time traveling back in time to a 19th-century village located in the Pepsi Family Center. Tryon Palace also offers numerous events and camps held throughout the year for all ages. For parents with younger children, strollers may be parked in the covered walkways by the Governor's Palace, at the front entrance of buildings, or in the North Carolina History Center. Restrooms with changing tables are located in the North Carolina History Center, the Waystation, and next to the Stable Office.

Do You Offer Discounts for Seniors or Members of the Military?

Discounted admission is offered on most passes for seniors 62 and over, and members of the military. The standard discount is $2 off the regular price and proper identification is required. 

How can I help preserve these historic sites?

Donations to the Tryon Palace Foundation are always welcome. And during your visit, please remember that one of the easiest ways to help preserve our site is to not touch or lean on furnishings, or bring food, drink, candy or gum into the historic buildings.