Bethel : New york


What It Is Like to Retire in Bethel

Bethel, New York, is a small town and farming community in Sullivan County, with a population of 3,959 ( 2020 census).  Many small hamlets and lakes surround Bethel which include Kauneonga Lake, Smallwood, White Lake, parts of Mongaup Valley, and Swan Lake.  This was all once a very popular vacation area from the 1930's to the 1970's, which was then known as the Borscht Belt, a colloquial term for the many summer resorts in the Catskill Mountains.  Bethel is know world-wide as the site of the original Woodstock Music and Arts Festival, held there in 1969, that drew more than 500,000 people for "Three Days of Peace and Music".  Today, a few resorts remain in the region, and there are many summer homes belonging to families from the New York City area. Photo of Peace and Music Woodstock monument with plaques by sculptor Wayne C. Saward and erected in 1984 on the festival site, courtesy of Wikipedia (public domain).


Where to Retire in Bethel and Home Prices

According to Zillow, the median home value in Bethel was $262,036 in early 2022. There are retirement communities near Bethel, see link on left.


What Is Special about Bethel

Bethel is made up of hamlets and lakes and is in the scenic Catskill Mountain Region;  New York City is just a couple of hours away if things get too quiet.


What Is Not Special about Bethel

Bethel is isolated and not a walkable community.


Who Will Like Retirement in Bethel

Those who want to live in a scenic, quiet town near lakes with fishing, boating, and a State Park may like Bethel.


Local Economy Is Driven by

Construction and Tourism are the main economic drivers, although farming is important to the community as well.


Climate and Physical Environment

Bethel is located in the Catskill Mountain Region and has an average January temperature of 21 degrees, and an average July temperature of 68 degrees.  The average annual snowfall is about 46 inches.


Restaurants & Cultural Scene

Bethel Woods is a performing arts center situated on 800 acres surrounding the site of the 1969 Woodstock Festival.  The campus features a 15,000 seat outdoor amphitheater, and since 2006, has presented hundreds of performances by musical artists including Bob Dylan, Elton John and Phish.  The center has over 220,000 visitors annually.  The Museum at Bethel Woods opened in 2008, and is home to a collection of artifacts and permanent exhibits of the Woodstock Festival along with various aspects of life in the Sixties including fashion, music and rock heros, along with political protests that occured during that era.



The crime rate in Bethel is below the national average.


Medical Facilities

Catskill Regional Medical Center



Sullivan County has an airport in Monticello, about 6 miles away;  Stewart International Airport in Newburg is the nearest large airport, about 50 miles away.


Valuable Links

Town of Bethel

Bethel Woods Center for the Arts

The Museum at Bethel Woods


What people are saying about Bethel

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