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Bethel Woods: A Weekend Getaway From NYC


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Noell Hufford



Welcome to Bethel Woods, a charming retreat nestled in the serene countryside just a short distance from the bustling metropolis of New York City. Situated in Sullivan County, New York, Bethel Woods offers a peaceful escape from the urban jungle, allowing visitors to unwind and rejuvenate in a picturesque setting surrounded by nature’s beauty.


Known for its historic significance and cultural attractions, Bethel Woods provides a perfect weekend getaway for those looking to immerse themselves in art, music, and outdoor adventures. Whether you are a history buff, a music enthusiast, or an outdoor explorer, this destination has something for everyone to enjoy.


Getting to Bethel Woods is a breeze, as it is conveniently located just 90 miles northwest of New York City. You can take a leisurely drive through scenic routes, or hop on a bus or train for a stress-free journey to this tranquil oasis.


Once you arrive in Bethel Woods, you’ll find a variety of accommodation options to suit your preferences. From charming bed and breakfasts to cozy cabins and luxurious resorts, there is something for every budget and style.


So, what are you waiting for? Let’s dive into all the amazing things you can do in Bethel Woods for a memorable weekend getaway from NYC!


Getting to Bethel Woods

Getting to Bethel Woods from New York City is a seamless journey, allowing you to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and immerse yourself in the tranquility of the countryside. Here are a few ways to reach this idyllic destination:


By Car: If you prefer the freedom and flexibility of driving, Bethel Woods is just a 90-mile drive from NYC. Take the I-87 North and I-17 West, following signs for Liberty and Monticello. The scenic drive will treat you to picturesque views of rolling hills and lush green landscapes.


By Bus: Several bus companies offer convenient transportation options from NYC to Bethel Woods. You can catch a bus from Port Authority Bus Terminal, and in just two hours, you’ll find yourself amidst the serene beauty of Bethel Woods. Check the schedules and book your tickets in advance to ensure a smooth journey.


By Train: If you prefer a more relaxed mode of transportation, the train is an excellent choice. Take the Metro-North Port Jervis Line from Penn Station to the Port Jervis Station. From there, you can arrange for a taxi or rideshare service to take you the remaining distance to Bethel Woods.


Once you arrive in Bethel Woods, it’s easy to explore and navigate the area. Having a car will offer you flexibility and convenience to travel to various attractions and nearby towns. However, if you prefer not to drive, there are local transportation services available, such as taxis and rideshare options.


Bethel Woods is a year-round destination, but it truly comes alive during the warmer months when outdoor events and festivals take place. Plan your visit accordingly and check for any road closures, traffic updates, or detours that may impact your journey.


Now that you know how to get to Bethel Woods, it’s time to dive into all the incredible experiences and attractions that await you in this idyllic countryside setting.


Where to Stay

When it comes to accommodations, Bethel Woods offers a range of options to suit every traveler’s preferences and budget. From cozy bed and breakfasts to luxurious resorts, you’ll find the perfect place to rest and relax after a day of exploration. Here are a few highly recommended options:

  1. Bethel Woods Center for the Arts Lodging: If you want to stay in close proximity to all the action, consider the lodging options provided by the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts. Located right on the grounds, these accommodations offer convenience and easy access to the museum, concerts, and events.
  2. Charming Bed and Breakfasts: For a more intimate and cozy experience, choose one of the charming bed and breakfasts in the surrounding area. These historic properties offer comfortable rooms, homemade breakfast, and warm hospitality. You’ll feel right at home in the countryside setting.
  3. Cozy Cabins and Cottages: If you prefer a rustic retreat, opt for one of the many cozy cabins or cottages available for rent. Tucked away in the serene woods, these accommodations provide a peaceful and private getaway, perfect for reconnecting with nature.
  4. Luxurious Resorts: If you’re seeking indulgence and relaxation, look no further than the luxurious resorts in the nearby area. Experience first-class amenities, spa treatments, and stunning views, all while enjoying the tranquility and beauty of the surroundings.
  5. Campgrounds and RV Parks: For outdoor enthusiasts or those on a budget, there are also campgrounds and RV parks in the vicinity. Set up your tent or park your RV and immerse yourself in the natural beauty of Bethel Woods.

No matter where you choose to stay, you’ll be greeted with warm hospitality and the opportunity to unwind in a serene and picturesque setting. Plan ahead and book your accommodations in advance, especially during peak seasons or if you’re visiting during a popular event or festival.


Now that you know where to stay in Bethel Woods, it’s time to explore all the exciting activities and attractions that this destination has to offer.


Things to Do

When it comes to things to do in Bethel Woods, you’ll be spoiled for choice. This charming destination offers a delightful blend of art, history, music, and outdoor adventures. Here are some of the top activities and attractions to include in your itinerary:

  1. Explore the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts: A trip to Bethel Woods wouldn’t be complete without visiting the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts. This iconic venue is where the legendary Woodstock festival took place in 1969. Attend a live concert, stroll through the beautifully landscaped grounds, and immerse yourself in the rich musical history of the area.
  2. Visit the Museum at Bethel Woods: Dive deeper into the history of Woodstock and the 1960s counterculture at the Museum at Bethel Woods. Explore engaging exhibits, interactive displays, and artifacts that tell the story of this iconic event and its impact on music, culture, and society.
  3. Enjoy Outdoor Activities: Bethel Woods is surrounded by natural beauty, making it the perfect destination for outdoor enthusiasts. Spend a day hiking the scenic trails, picnicking by the tranquil lakes, or fishing in the pristine rivers. You can also go boating, kayaking, or canoeing for a peaceful and refreshing experience.
  4. Explore Nearby Towns and Attractions: Beyond the boundaries of Bethel Woods, there are plenty of charming towns and attractions to discover. Take a scenic drive to the nearby town of Narrowsburg, known for its art galleries, boutiques, and riverside charm. Visit the Catskill Distilling Company and sample locally crafted spirits, or explore the stunning natural beauty of the Catskill Mountains.
  5. Attend Festivals and Events: Bethel Woods hosts a variety of festivals and events throughout the year. From music festivals and performances to art exhibitions and cultural celebrations, there’s always something happening. Check the event calendar before your visit to see if any special events align with your travel dates.
  6. Indulge in Culinary Delights: Don’t miss the opportunity to savor the local flavors during your visit to Bethel Woods. Indulge in farm-to-table dining experiences, try delicious regional specialties, and sample local wines at the nearby wineries. The culinary scene in this area offers a delightful mix of traditional and innovative dishes.

Whether you’re a fan of music, history, outdoor adventures, or simply seeking a peaceful getaway, Bethel Woods has something for everyone. Plan your trip carefully, allowing enough time to truly immerse yourself in all the wonderful experiences this destination has to offer.


Now that you have an idea of the top things to do in Bethel Woods, it’s time to start planning your unforgettable weekend getaway from the bustling streets of NYC!


Explore the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts

The Bethel Woods Center for the Arts is a must-visit destination for any art and music enthusiast. Located on the site of the historic Woodstock festival, this iconic venue offers a unique and immersive experience that celebrates the spirit of the 1960s counterculture and the power of music.


Start your exploration by taking a stroll around the beautifully landscaped grounds of the center. Enjoy the serene atmosphere as you walk along the pathways, surrounded by lush greenery and scenic views. Take a moment to reflect on the historic significance of the place and the transformative impact of the Woodstock festival.


The center hosts a variety of live concerts, featuring both renowned artists and emerging talents. Check the event schedule before your visit to see if there are any performances that pique your interest. Whether you’re a fan of rock, jazz, country, or classical music, you’re bound to find a show that resonates with you.


One of the highlights of the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts is the stunning outdoor amphitheater. With its sweeping roof and natural surroundings, it provides a fantastic setting for unforgettable performances. Experience the magic of live music as you listen to your favorite artists under the open sky.


Inside the center, you’ll find the Bethel Woods Museum, which offers an in-depth exploration of the Woodstock festival and its cultural impact. Engaging exhibits, interactive displays, and authentic artifacts take you on a journey through the turbulent times of the 1960s, showcasing the spirit of peace, love, and music that defined the era.


After immersing yourself in the museum, make sure to visit the Bindy Bazaar Trail, a recreated 1969-style marketplace. Delight in the vibrant atmosphere as you browse through unique shops, food vendors, and artisans selling handmade crafts and nostalgic memorabilia.


Throughout the year, the center also hosts a diverse range of special events, including art exhibits, film screenings, educational programs, and cultural festivities. Keep an eye on the event calendar to see what’s happening during your visit, as these events add an extra layer of excitement and enrichment to the Bethel Woods experience.


Whether you’re a music lover, a history buff, or simply seeking an immersive cultural experience, a visit to the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts is a journey to the heart of the Woodstock generation. Immerse yourself in the sights, sounds, and stories that shaped a pivotal moment in history and celebrate the enduring legacy of the Woodstock spirit.


Now, let the magic of the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts transport you back in time as you continue your weekend getaway in this enchanting destination.


Visit the Museum at Bethel Woods

A visit to the Museum at Bethel Woods is a must for anyone seeking a deeper understanding of the historic Woodstock festival and the cultural significance of the 1960s. Located on the grounds of the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, this museum offers an immersive and educational experience that transports visitors back to the iconic event that defined a generation.


Step inside the museum and embark on a journey through time. Engaging exhibits, interactive displays, and authentic artifacts guide you through the social and political climate of the 1960s, highlighting the challenges, triumphs, and revolutionary spirit of that era.


Start your exploration with the exhibit on the Woodstock festival itself. Learn about the visionaries who brought the event to life, the logistical challenges they faced, and the incredible crowd that gathered in Bethel, New York, for three days of peace, love, and music. Immerse yourself in the sights and sounds of the festival through multimedia presentations and firsthand accounts from attendees.


As you continue through the museum, you’ll discover thought-provoking exhibits that explore the broader social and cultural context of the 1960s. Learn about the civil rights movement, the anti-war protests, and the countercultural movements that defined the era. Gain insight into the music, art, fashion, and ideals that shaped this transformative period in history.


Interactive displays allow you to engage with the content in a hands-on and immersive way. Test your knowledge with trivia games, listen to iconic songs, and examine artifacts that offer a glimpse into the lives of the musicians and attendees who were part of the Woodstock experience.


One of the highlights of the Museum at Bethel Woods is the special exhibits that rotate throughout the year. These exhibits delve into various aspects of the Woodstock era, such as the impact of activism, the role of women, or the influence of music. Each exhibit offers a fresh perspective and further enriches the understanding of this iconic moment in history.


Take your time to fully explore the museum and make sure to visit the gift shop, where you can find unique souvenirs, books, and memorabilia related to Woodstock and the 1960s.


A visit to the Museum at Bethel Woods is both enlightening and inspiring. It provides a valuable opportunity to reflect on the past, celebrate the power of music, and appreciate the enduring legacy of the Woodstock festival. Whether you’re a history enthusiast, a music lover, or simply curious about this iconic event, a visit to the museum is a must.


Now, let the Museum at Bethel Woods transport you back in time as you continue your journey through the cultural and historical treasures of this enchanting destination.


Enjoy Outdoor Activities

Exploring the great outdoors is a must when visiting Bethel Woods. The tranquil countryside setting offers a variety of outdoor activities that allow you to connect with nature and embrace the serenity of the area. Whether you’re seeking adventure or simply want to relax and enjoy the beauty of the surroundings, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.


One of the best ways to immerse yourself in the natural beauty of Bethel Woods is to embark on a hiking adventure. Discover scenic trails that wind through forests, meadows, and along picturesque lakeshores. The Tusten Mountain Trail and the Willowemoc Trail are popular choices, offering stunning views and opportunities to spot local wildlife.


If you prefer a more leisurely activity, pack a picnic and head to one of the many peaceful spots in the area. Bethel Woods is home to beautiful lakes and rivers, perfect for a relaxed afternoon by the water. Find a secluded spot, spread out a blanket, and enjoy a delicious meal while taking in the tranquil scenery.


The lakes and rivers of Bethel Woods are also ideal for fishing enthusiasts. Grab your fishing gear and cast your line into the pristine waters. Whether you’re seeking trout, bass, or perch, you’ll find ample opportunities to reel in a catch and create lasting memories.


For those who enjoy water sports, the region offers opportunities for kayaking, canoeing, and paddleboarding. Rent equipment from a local outfitter and navigate the gentle rivers and serene lakes. Glide along the water, taking in the peaceful surroundings and enjoying the serenity that only nature can provide.


Bethel Woods is also home to several golf courses, where you can indulge in a round of golf amidst breathtaking views. Whether you’re a seasoned golfer or a beginner, the well-manicured greens and rolling fairways provide an enjoyable experience for players of all skill levels.


Additionally, the area around Bethel Woods is dotted with picturesque parks where you can relax, have a picnic, or engage in recreational activities. Spend a leisurely afternoon in the sunshine, play a game of frisbee, or have a family outing at one of the local parks.


As you explore the outdoors in Bethel Woods, be sure to keep an eye out for local events and festivals that celebrate the beauty and recreational opportunities of the area. Outdoor concerts, art exhibits, and nature workshops are just a few examples of the events that take place throughout the year.


So, whether you’re seeking an adrenaline rush or a peaceful escape into nature, Bethel Woods provides ample opportunities for outdoor adventures. Immerse yourself in the natural beauty and embrace the serenity of this picturesque destination.


Now, get ready to explore the great outdoors and create unforgettable memories in the idyllic countryside of Bethel Woods.


Explore Nearby Towns and Attractions

While Bethel Woods offers a captivating retreat, there are also several nearby towns and attractions that are worth exploring during your visit. These charming destinations add an extra layer of richness to your weekend getaway and provide a glimpse into the diverse offerings of the region. Here are a few noteworthy places to include in your itinerary:


Narrowsburg: Just a short drive from Bethel Woods, Narrowsburg is a scenic town nestled along the Delaware River. Known for its thriving arts scene, Narrowsburg is home to galleries, boutique shops, and quirky antiques stores. Take a leisurely stroll along Main Street, browse local artwork, and discover unique treasures. Don’t forget to enjoy a meal at one of the charming cafes or restaurants with river views.


Catskill Distilling Company: Embark on a spirit-filled experience at the Catskill Distilling Company. Located in Bethel, this distillery is known for its handcrafted spirits, including whiskeys, vodkas, and gins. Take a tour of the facility, learn about the distillation process, and indulge in a tasting to appreciate the flavors and craftsmanship behind these fine spirits.


Catskill Mountains: Nature lovers will be delighted by the nearby Catskill Mountains, which offer a wealth of outdoor activities and breathtaking vistas. Lace up your hiking boots and explore the numerous trails that wind through lush forests, leading to breathtaking viewpoints. From cascading waterfalls to panoramic mountain peaks, the Catskills provide endless opportunities for adventure and exploration.


Bethel Woods Farmers Market: If you’re visiting Bethel Woods during the warmer months, don’t miss the opportunity to visit the Bethel Woods Farmers Market. Held on the center’s grounds, this vibrant market showcases the best of local produce, artisan crafts, and delicious treats. Wander through the stalls, sample fresh produce, and soak up the lively atmosphere of this community gathering.


Fallsburg Farm Fresh Market: Located in the town of Fallsburg, this farmers market is a must-visit for food enthusiasts. Browse a wide array of locally grown fruits, vegetables, and homemade goods. From farm-fresh eggs to homemade jams, you’ll find a variety of delectable items to take home and savor.


Bashakill Vineyards: Wine lovers should make a stop at Bashakill Vineyards, situated in Wurtsboro. This charming winery offers a serene setting amidst rolling hills and vineyards. Take a tour of the vineyard, sample their handcrafted wines, and learn about the viticulture practices that make their wines unique.


These are just a few of the nearby towns and attractions waiting to be explored during your visit to Bethel Woods. Rent a car or take a scenic drive to discover the hidden gems that surround this enchanting destination. Each place offers its own distinct charm, adding depth and variety to your weekend getaway.


Now, venture beyond Bethel Woods and immerse yourself in the rich tapestry of the nearby towns and attractions, creating a truly memorable and diverse experience.


Where to Eat

When it comes to dining in and around Bethel Woods, you’ll find a delightful array of options that satisfy a variety of palates. From cozy cafes to upscale restaurants, there is something to suit every taste and craving. Here are a few top recommendations for dining experiences in the area:


Farm-to-Table Delights: Bethel Woods embraces the farm-to-table movement, offering fresh and locally sourced ingredients that guarantee a flavorful culinary experience. Several restaurants in the region pride themselves on using seasonal produce and artisanal products to create delicious and wholesome meals. Indulge in dishes that showcase the best flavors of the Hudson Valley region.


Iconic Woodstock Eateries: Immerse yourself in the history of the Woodstock era by dining at one of the iconic eateries that have been part of the Bethel Woods landscape for decades. These establishments capture the spirit of the 1960s counterculture and offer a nostalgic atmosphere. Enjoy a meal while surrounded by Woodstock memorabilia and vibrant artwork that pays homage to the legendary festival.


Local Breweries and Distilleries: Don’t miss the chance to savor the local beverages crafted in the region. Visit one of the many breweries or distilleries nearby and sample a variety of handcrafted beers, ales, and spirits. The tasting rooms often offer a relaxed and convivial setting where you can enjoy the creations of passionate local artisans.


Ethnic Cuisine: Expand your palate by trying the diverse international flavors available in the area. From Italian and Mexican to Thai and Indian cuisine, you’ll find restaurants that serve authentic dishes prepared with care and passion. Whether you crave a comforting bowl of pasta or a spicy curry, you’re sure to find a culinary adventure that satisfies your cravings.


Classic American Fare: For those seeking familiar comforts, there are also plenty of establishments that offer classic American dishes. From juicy burgers and fries to hearty sandwiches and comforting soups, these eateries provide a satisfying and cozy dining experience.


Farmers Markets and Food Festivals: If you’re visiting during the warmer months, explore the local farmers markets and food festivals that showcase the region’s vibrant food scene. Sample fresh produce, artisanal cheeses, homemade baked goods, and much more. Interact with local farmers and food producers, and savor the flavors of the region.


With a variety of dining options available, make sure to check opening hours, reservations policies, and any current restrictions or updates before visiting any establishments. Many of the restaurants in the area prioritize locally sourced ingredients and seasonal menus, ensuring that each meal is a delicious and memorable experience.


So, whether you’re in the mood for farm-to-table cuisine, international flavors, or classic American fare, Bethel Woods and its surrounding areas have an array of dining establishments to cater to your culinary desires.


Now, get ready to tantalize your taste buds and embark on a gastronomic journey during your weekend getaway in Bethel Woods.


Plan Your Weekend Getaway from NYC

Planning a weekend getaway from New York City to Bethel Woods is an exciting endeavor. To make the most of your trip, it’s essential to plan ahead and consider the following factors:


Duration and Timing: Determine how long you plan to stay in Bethel Woods. A weekend getaway typically spans two to three days, allowing enough time to explore the attractions and immerse yourself in the local culture. Consider the time of year and any special events happening in the area when deciding on your travel dates.


Transportation: Decide on the mode of transport that best suits your needs and preferences. If you enjoy a scenic drive, consider renting a car and embarking on a road trip. Alternatively, you can opt for a bus or train ride for a more relaxed journey. Check transportation schedules, plan for any necessary transfers, and allow for ample travel time.


Accommodation: Choose an accommodation option that aligns with your preferences and budget. Whether you prefer a cozy bed and breakfast, a luxurious resort, or a rustic cabin, there are plenty of choices in and around Bethel Woods. Research and compare options, making sure to book in advance, especially during peak seasons or popular events.


Activities and Attractions: Make a list of the activities and attractions you want to experience while in Bethel Woods. Whether it’s exploring the rich history at the Museum, attending live concerts at the Center for the Arts, or indulging in outdoor adventures, planning ahead ensures you make the most of your time. Check for any special events, festivals, or guided tours that may enhance your experience.


Dining Options: Research the local dining scene and decide on the restaurants and eateries you want to try. From farm-to-table delights to iconic Woodstock-themed establishments, Bethel Woods offers a diverse culinary landscape. Consider any dietary restrictions and make reservations if required.


Weather and Packing: Check the weather forecast for Bethel Woods during your travel dates and pack accordingly. Bring comfortable walking shoes, layered clothing for varying temperatures, sunscreen, bug repellent, and any other essentials based on the season and planned activities.


COVID-19 Safety: Stay updated on the latest travel advisories, health protocols, and safety guidelines related to COVID-19. Prioritize the safety and well-being of yourself and others by following recommended precautions, such as wearing masks, practicing social distancing, and following local guidelines and regulations.


By considering these factors and planning ahead, you can ensure a seamless and enjoyable weekend getaway from the bustling streets of NYC to the serene countryside of Bethel Woods.


Now, gather your excitement, map out your itinerary, and get ready for an unforgettable weekend of art, history, music, and natural beauty in Bethel Woods.



Congratulations! You’re now equipped with all the information needed to plan an incredible weekend getaway to Bethel Woods from New York City. This charming destination offers a perfect blend of art, history, music, and outdoor adventures, providing a rejuvenating escape from the hustle and bustle of the city.


From exploring the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts and the Museum at Bethel Woods to immersing yourself in the natural beauty of the countryside, there are endless opportunities for discovery and relaxation. Whether you’re a history buff, a music lover, or an outdoor enthusiast, Bethel Woods has something to captivate your interests.


As you plan your trip, consider the logistics, such as transportation, accommodation, and dining options. Booking in advance and taking note of any special events or festivals can help ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience.


Remember to check the local guidelines and regulations in light of the ongoing COVID-19 situation to prioritize safety and well-being throughout your journey.


So pack your bags, hit the road, and prepare to be enchanted by the serene countryside, historic significance, and vibrant cultural offerings of Bethel Woods.


Whether you’re seeking a weekend filled with music, exploration, or relaxation, Bethel Woods is the perfect destination to recharge and reconnect with nature and the arts. So, leave the hustle and bustle of the city behind and embark on a memorable getaway to this idyllic countryside retreat.


Discover the magic of Bethel Woods and create lasting memories as you dive into its rich history, immerse yourself in the spirit of Woodstock, and embrace the natural beauty that surrounds this enchanting destination.


So, what are you waiting for? Start planning your weekend getaway to Bethel Woods today!