A Travel Price Comparison for North Carolina New Bern vs. Wilmington for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit New Bern or Wilmington?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

Should I visit New Bern or Wilmington? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which city has activities that align with your interests along with knowing which is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the details and the data, which all comes from actual travelers.

Where Should I go: New Bern or Wilmington?

New Bern

New Bern is a town in the coastal region of North Carolina. The town, which has a population of about 30,000, is the county seat of Craven County. It sits at the confluence of the Trent and Neuse Rivers close to the North Carolina coast, although there is no coastline in town. The town makes a nice daytrip from Raleigh, which is 112 miles away, and Wilmington, which is 87 miles away. It's also 162 miles from Norfolk, Virginia.


Wilmington is a port city in southeastern North Carolina. It's a great city to visit for it's nearby beaches, large historic district, and quaint atmosphere. The city has a population of about 115,000 and it's the eighth largest city in the state.

Wilmington is also home to the University of North Carolina at Wilmington as well as the EUE Screen Gems Studios. This is the largest domestic television and movie production facility outside of California. The studio, which opened in 1984, helped grow Wilmington into a major base for film and television production. The city has been the backdrop for many movies and tv shows including Iron Man 3, Sleepy Hollow, One Tree Hill, and Revolution.

Which place is cheaper, Wilmington or New Bern?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in New Bern is $140, while the average daily cost in Wilmington is $204. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for New Bern and Wilmington in more detail.

  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    New Bern $76
    Wilmington $120
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    New Bern $152
    Wilmington $240
Compare Hotels in New Bern and Wilmington

Looking for a hotel in New Bern or Wilmington? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in New Bern

Hotels in Wilmington

Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.

Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: New Bern Hotel Prices and Wilmington Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    New Bern $34
    Wilmington $47

Is it cheaper to fly into New Bern or Wilmington?

Prices for flights to both Wilmington and New Bern change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.

  • Food Meals for one day
    New Bern $41
    Wilmington $56

  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    New Bern $26
    Wilmington $17

Tours and Activities in Wilmington

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Wilmington.

  • Scavenger Hunt Adventure Self-Guided City Game: $10
  • Southport, NC Walking Tour : $20
  • Scavenger Hunt Adventure in Wilmington by Zombie Scavengers: $20
  • Eagles Island 50 minute Narrated Boat Cruise: $21
  • History and Architecture Walking Tour : $25
  • Wilmington History and Architecture Tour: $25
  • Spirit of the Holidays Catamaran Adventure: $25
  • Ghosts of the Port City Haunted Walking Tour: $26
  • Craft Beer and History Crawl Shared Experience in Wilmington: $30
  • Black Water Adventure Cruise: $33
  • Wilmington Ghosts: Phantoms of Pirates and Patriots Tour: $33
  • Wilmington Running Tour: Highlights of Historic Downtown: $45

  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    New Bern $30
    Wilmington $39

Sample the Local Flavors in Wilmington

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Wilmington:

  • 3 Hour Wilmington E-Bike Bar Crawl Ride: $50
  • 3 Hour Wilmington E-Bike Dive Bar Crawl: $50
  • Private and Custom Brewery Tour in a '72 VW Bus : $92

When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between New Bern and Wilmington, we can see that Wilmington is more expensive. And not only is New Bern much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to New Bern would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in New Bern and be able to afford a more luxurious travel style by staying in nicer hotels, eating at more expensive restaurants, taking tours, and experiencing more activities. The same level of travel in Wilmington would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Wilmington than you might in New Bern.

Which is Bigger, New Bern or Wilmington?

Wilmington is bigger, and its population is about 3.9 times larger than the population of New Bern. When comparing the population of New Bern vs. Wilmington, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit and the activities that interest you.

When is the best time to visit New Bern or Wilmington?

Both places have a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. As both cities are in the northern hemisphere, summer is in July and winter is in January.

Should I visit New Bern or Wilmington in the Summer?

Both Wilmington and New Bern during the summer are popular places to visit.

New Bern is around the same temperature as Wilmington in the summer. The daily temperature in New Bern averages around 80°F (27°C) in July, and Wilmington fluctuates around 81°F (27°C).

Wilmington gets a good bit of rain this time of year. It rains a lot this time of the year in New Bern. New Bern usually gets less rain in July than Wilmington. New Bern gets 6.6 inches (169 mm) of rain, while Wilmington receives 8.1 inches (207 mm) of rain this time of the year.

  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    New Bern 80°F (27°C) 
    Wilmington 81°F (27°C)

Should I visit New Bern or Wilmington in the Autumn?

The autumn attracts plenty of travelers to both New Bern and Wilmington.

In the autumn, New Bern is around the same temperature as Wilmington. Typically, the autumn temperatures in New Bern in October average around 65°F (18°C), and Wilmington averages at about 65°F (18°C).

In October, New Bern usually receives more rain than Wilmington. New Bern gets 3.4 inches (85 mm) of rain, while Wilmington receives 2.7 inches (68 mm) of rain each month for the autumn.

  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    New Bern 65°F (18°C) 
    Wilmington 65°F (18°C)

Should I visit New Bern or Wilmington in the Winter?

The winter brings many poeple to New Bern as well as Wilmington.

In January, New Bern is generally around the same temperature as Wilmington. Daily temperatures in New Bern average around 44°F (7°C), and Wilmington fluctuates around 45°F (7°C).

New Bern receives a lot of rain in the winter. New Bern usually gets around the same amount of rain in January as Wilmington. New Bern gets 4.1 inches (105 mm) of rain, while Wilmington receives 3.9 inches (98 mm) of rain this time of the year.

  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    New Bern 44°F (7°C) 
    Wilmington 45°F (7°C)

Should I visit New Bern or Wilmington in the Spring?

Both Wilmington and New Bern are popular destinations to visit in the spring with plenty of activities.

New Bern is around the same temperature as Wilmington in the spring. The daily temperature in New Bern averages around 62°F (16°C) in April, and Wilmington fluctuates around 63°F (17°C).

In April, New Bern usually receives around the same amount of rain as Wilmington. New Bern gets 2.9 inches (74 mm) of rain, while Wilmington receives 2.9 inches (73 mm) of rain each month for the spring.

  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    New Bern 62°F (16°C) 
    Wilmington 63°F (17°C)

Typical Weather for Wilmington and New Bern

New Bern Wilmington
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 44°F (7°C) 4.1 inches (105 mm) 45°F (7°C) 3.9 inches (98 mm)
Feb 46°F (8°C) 3.8 inches (97 mm) 47°F (9°C) 3.7 inches (94 mm)
Mar 54°F (12°C) 3.9 inches (99 mm) 55°F (13°C) 3.9 inches (99 mm)
Apr 62°F (16°C) 2.9 inches (74 mm) 63°F (17°C) 2.9 inches (73 mm)
May 69°F (21°C) 5.1 inches (129 mm) 70°F (21°C) 4.4 inches (113 mm)
Jun 76°F (25°C) 5 inches (126 mm) 77°F (25°C) 6 inches (152 mm)
Jul 80°F (27°C) 6.6 inches (169 mm) 81°F (27°C) 8.1 inches (207 mm)
Aug 79°F (26°C) 7.6 inches (192 mm) 80°F (27°C) 6.9 inches (176 mm)
Sep 75°F (24°C) 5.1 inches (129 mm) 75°F (24°C) 5 inches (128 mm)
Oct 65°F (18°C) 3.4 inches (85 mm) 65°F (18°C) 2.7 inches (68 mm)
Nov 56°F (13°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm) 56°F (14°C) 3.1 inches (79 mm)
Dec 48°F (9°C) 3.8 inches (96 mm) 49°F (9°C) 3.6 inches (92 mm)

Budget Your Trip is all about finding out how much everything costs so that you can travel cheaper and longer. Created by avid travelers Laurie and Bryan, our goal is to help you plan your next trip on the right budget. With average daily travel costs that are calculated from the budgets of real travelers, plus an analysis of hotel and tour prices, you can find out how much money you need to plan your next adventure. We also have plenty of travel advice, accommodation reviews, and activity suggestions.
Share This Page
Pin This Page
New Bern vs. Wilmington Travel Comparison

Some of the links on this website are sponsored or affiliate links which help to financially support this site. By clicking the link and making a purchase, we may receive a small commission, but this does not affect the price of your purchase.