About Bethel / White Lake, NY Real Estate
Bethel is a township, not a hamlet or village, in the central part of Sullivan County between Monticello and the Delaware River. While Bethel isn’t a hamlet in the traditional sense, with a Main Street and services like mainline grocery, hardware and drug stores, it is one of the most widely known ‘name’ area in Sullivan County, so deserving of a page in the ‘village and hamlet’ group.
Bethel has been attracting summer vacationers for generations, and White Lake even had a reputation as the summer escape for NYC’s fast living bootleggers in the 1930’s. Bethel’s big draw is it’s lakes — there are probably more acres of lakes within the town borders than any other town in Sullivan County. The lake communities here range from Smallwood, a very affordable cottage community around Mountain Lake, to the county’s priciest enclave, the Chapin Estate, with frontage on Toronto and Swinging Bridge reservoirs.
White Lake, a busy motorboat lake, is at the heart of Bethel, and features a vibrant lakeside dining scene, from barbeque to wood fired pizza to fancier bistro fare, with most offering pull up dock space for diners. Roudning out the dining and drinking scene is the Dancing Cat Saloon a few miles further west, with live music and even its own distillery!
Bethel is also home to the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, a mostly outdoor summer concert venue that books top acts. A sell out concert can attract up to 20,000 concert goers, which can make summer traffic on Route 17B, the main road through Bethel, “challenging”.
For trivia buffs, Bethel Woods is on the site of Woodstock 1969, and a stop at the monument to have your picture taken is a must. There’s also a Woodstock museum at Bethel Woods.
Bethel is centrally located to a lot of places in Sullivan County — you can easily drive west to Jeffersonville and Callicoon, southwest to Narrowsburg, or east to the big box retail in Monticello. Surprisingly, Bethel doesn’t have much in the way of day to day services itself. The only grocery store in the town is a summer seasonal kosher supermarket.