Club Wyndham Fairfield Harbour is in New Bern, NC. I love the area and enjoy any excuse to visit. So, this trip would be a great one.
Video by Dan330
Day One Travel & Arrival
My trip starts with a fast run-down route 17 from Virginia. The total drive time is only about 3 hours door to door. With that short of a drive ahead, I did not leave the area until about 12PM so I would avoid afternoon traffic, and still have time to stop for lunch before the check-in time.
The resort offers 1-2-bedroom villas that are set in a rustic cabin-like setting and may be on lakes or off in tree-lined nesting spots around the resort. They vary greatly in size from 511 sq ft to almost 1,500 sq ft. Booking here was easy, and I was able to choose the right 1-bedroom size for me.
- Cable TV
- Coffee Maker
- Ice Maker
- Iron/Ironing Board
- Whirlpool Bath
Then the resort itself offers all of these options.
- BBQ Grills
- Business Center/Fax
- Fitness Room
- Game Room
- Hot Tub
- Indoor Pool
- Internet Access
- Kid’s Activities
- Marina/Boat Launch
- Movie Rentals
- On-Site Security
- Outdoor Pool
- Golf Course (18-Hole)
- Golf Driving Range
- Catch-And-Release Pond
The nearby course is the Harbour Point Golf Club the course is a solid, impressive course. The first four holes are a good warm-up for No. 5, a par 4 with a marsh down the right side. Playing into the wind will test the mettle of even seasoned players.
The back-nine provides a respite until No. 14. Playing 446 yards with a lake all down the right, it requires a perfectly placed tee shot for a chance to reach the green in two. The green on the 17th hole has an uninhibited, panoramic view of Broad Creek and the Neuse River.
Holes: 18 // Par: 72 // Course Record: 67
I will probably play while in town, having recently picked up golf late in life. I will have to see if I can find a foursome to join, or at least another golfer willing to accept my limited experience.
I stopped on the way to the resort at Ken’s Kountry BBQ. (I did not spell that wrong that is the way they like it at Ken’s). It was great food and a little hole-in-the-wall kind of spot that locals come from miles to enjoy. It is in Vanceboro, NC, which is just a quick exit off of 17.
Next, checking in was a breeze, and finding the villa was simple with their directions. My one-bedroom deluxe villa had a water view and was updated nicely. I would not have guessed from the simple exterior how nicely appointed the villas are. Not all villas, include a washer and dryer or jetted tub, but mine had both. I also had a nice porch that was screened in and had a view of the water.
Once I was settled, I headed back out to a local grocery store since I saw the kitchen and felt I wanted to cook in some. It is nice with a perfect setting like this to at least cook a meal or two a day so you can really relax around the resort.
There is a quality local grocery Armstrong Grocery in town, which is about a 16-minute drive away from the resort. I love the town of New Bern. It has a ton of small-town charm. That includes this simple local grocer versus the big box competitors all over these days.
I grabbed some snacks and then a few items for breakfast, and maybe some lunch or dinner one day on my trip.
Day Two Golfing
I started my vacation with a round of golf. I was able to hook up with some locals for a Tee Time and joined as the 4th man in a foursome. I was the youngest in the group by a decade, but considering how short of a time I have been playing, I likely needed any advantage I can get. If you can even tell after just 10 rounds or so, I have a handicap of 10 so far. This means I am not a bad player, or that I have been lucky as heck so far today would likely inform me better.
The course here is naturally watered, so it is more brown than green, but the grass played well enough, and the group I was with had a great sense of humor and were good players. That is one thing that I did not expect when I started playing golf is that I would enjoy many that I had the chance to play with. I guess I am a bit anti-social overall in my day-to-day life. I just like to do my own thing. But with golf, you need to play with others to really enjoy it, so that little extra push for me to be more social has been a good thing.
Years ago, I used to sail for fun, and then for a short period competitively. I even tried for America’s cup team (failing horribly) but I was good enough for a short window of time to be invited to try out, so that was fun. It was the last time that a group event really pulled me out of my shell before golf. I had spent many years in Martial Arts and while you train with others, it can be so focused that it seems less social. Sailing was a team-based effort,, so it was one that required more engagement. Golf, on the other hand, is an individual, but it is the human relationships and contact that make it fun.
After the morning golf, I wanted to go into town and find a great local restaurant in New Bern. It has been a few years now since my last trip and I was not sure of where to go, so I asked my golfing pals and they recommended a few spots.
Morgan’s Tavern was recommended by all 3 fellow golfers after one mentioned it and all seconded the comment. So that is where I went for lunch. I had the French Dip, and it was spot on. Perfectly cooked with great thinly sliced roast beef. Since it was close to dinner time in the late afternoon now, I started with the baked crab dip before the meal. That too was outstanding.
I felt like playing golf again but could not easily find another group to play with in the AM. So, I headed instead to dig into and enjoy local history.
Any historical journey in the area should start with Tryon Palace. It was North Carolinas first Capital Building and also the home of the once Governor in 1770. This amazing property is well maintained and, like Colonial Williamsburg, a direct look back to the time of the Founding Fathers of our nation.
A one-day pass is only $20 and children under 5 are always free. Children from 6 to 14 have a $10 ticket price as well. I think it is so important for children to visit historic sites with their parents or grandparents that I was delighted to see that very affordable pricing for the kids.
The tour of the palace itself is about 30 minutes and a guided tour. Then you have access to the museums or galleries, gardens, and from 1-3 PM daily the military encampment which is weather and season dependent but a must-see for all history and military fans.
The tours, galleries, gardens, and military exhibits can take as little as a few hours to see or well over half a day if you really dig in.
Pepsi fans will really enjoy a visit to the birthplace of Pepsi and the Pepsi store in town. It is a neat little store and spots to visit and even capture some of the Pepsi magic in their gift shop.
New Bern is rich in history. The town was settled in 1710, making it the second oldest city in North Carolina. Home to the first state capitol, New Bern also boasts more than 150 homes and buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places. While in town, you can see much more than just the Pepsi store.
James Taylor Fans
James Taylor fans who love the music of the very talented artist might be interested in learning more about the Isaac Taylor House which is a local historic home that was owned by his great-great-great-grandfather. Now you know why he is gone to Carolina in his mind.
Maintained by the local historical society, this home dates back to 1790 and was a home for a former member of the continental army Samuel Chapman.
At one point Isaac Taylor owned the home that he purchased for his daughter after Samuel Chapman’s death.
The House is open for self-guided touring by appointment only during business hours, Monday – Friday, 10 am – 4 pm (from Memorial Day through Labor Day, the House closes at 1 pm on Friday). Please call 252-638-8558 to arrange for entry.
After a full day of local history and architecture in I was ready for dinner back at the villa and sometimes looking out over the water as the sun went down. Tonight, I was making my own spaghetti with a thick meat sauce, so once I had enough of that in my stomach I would surely be out like a light. Tomorrow I was leaving to head to another resort on this trip, but sad to leave such a nicely located resort.