Bethel Woods: A Weekend Getaway from NYC
September 7, 2021
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Looking for a fun, easy weekend trip from NYC? Why not consider a trip to the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts. Located just a short drive from NYC, the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts has a bit of everything: live music concerts, an interactive museum, history-filled grounds to explore, and a weekend festival! Read on to find out everything you need to know about planning your weekend getaway to Bethel Woods.
We arrived in the area for the Old Dominion concert, but we stayed for a full weekend of fun!
Bethel Woods Center for the Arts
Bethel Woods Center for the Arts is a non-profit cultural center located at the site of the historic 1969 Woodstock festival. For many music lovers, that in itself is enough of a reason to visit this epic spot. However, Bethel Woods actually has so much to offer – even if you’re not visiting for a concert. The center has something for everyone in the family to enjoy.
Where is Bethel Woods located?
The Bethel Woods Center for the Arts is located in Bethel, New York. Bethel is located in Sullivan County, 90 miles northwest of NYC in the Catskill Mountains. By car, you can reach the venue in approximately 2 hours. Unfortunately public transportation is limited, so if you do not own a car in NYC I recommend renting one. Luckily, visiting by car is super easy, with a quick scenic drive from the city.
If you’re planning a weekend trip, I recommend checking out some of the nearby towns as well.
The Museum at Bethel Woods
Visiting the Museum at Bethel Woods was by far my favorite part of visiting the center. The interactive museum takes you through the history of the 60s, culminating in the famous Woodstock Festival in 1969. There was so much that I didn’t know about this iconic festival, that gave me an even greater appreciation for this slice of iconic music history. Whatever you do, don’t skip the short 20 minute film at the end! I promise you it will be a highlight.
The museum is open daily from 10am-5pm. Standard adult admission costs $17 online, and $19.69 if purchase in person. This pricing includes the main exhibit and the special exhibit.
The Harvest Festival
The Harvest Festival will be taking place every Sunday from now until October 3rd at Bethel Woods. It will definitely need to be added to my guide to the best fall getaways from NYC.
From 11am-4pm you can experience live music, food trucks, over 80 local vendors with handcrafted goods and local produce, and fun games like a corn maze (my first time in a corn maze!!). The Harvest Festival at Bethel Woods is completely free to visit, with just a $5 parking fee. While many stands do accept credit cards, with a small additional fee, I recommend bringing along some cash. Trust me, you’re going to want to buy things!
I got some of the freshest produce, cheese and baked bread during my visit, that I assembled into the most delicious sandwich. But they also have tons of food trucks with tortas, fried chicken, and more! You’ll also want to make sure that you bring some cash to purchase some local goods.
Once you’ve had your fill of shopping and eating, make sure to take some time to enjoy some live music. We absolutely loved the band that was planning. It is honestly shocking that it is completely free to visit this festival!!
Where to Stay when Visiting Bethel Woods from NYC: Hotel Darby
There are a number of accommodation options nearby to Bethel Woods, however I recommend stay at Hotel Darby. Hotel Darby just opened a few months ago, and is already a big hit in the area, attracting tons of guests from NYC. I stayed at their sister property, Kenoza Hall, earlier in the year, so I was super excited to check out this new spot! Hotel Darby is part of Foster Hospitality Supply, a network of hotels and restaurants in the Western Catskills. Unlike the other hotels, however, Hotel Darby is actually located just over the border on the Delaware River in Pennsylvania.
The interior design at Hotel Darby is fabulous! From bright colors to muted woods, it had such a stylish but cozy feel. Each room of the hotel, from the lobby to the pool room feels completely unique. The old school salon was my fave – with original pieces still in place!
Our room at Hotel Darby – the King suite – was definitely something to write home about. Safe to say I spent a lot of time soaking in that luxurious tub!
y blogs for a while then you already know that I love to hike. And one of my favorite things to do as a New Yorker is hiking in upstate New York. One of my favorite parts of staying at Hotel Darby was the access to great hikes nearby! There are some short easy trails directly on the property if you just want to take a short stroll. Otherwise, I recommend taking a short drive to Tunsten Mountain just 7 mins away. This 1 hour hike is a great moderate trail, with some decent elevation gain to get your heart pumping! You’re going to want to make sure to take advantage of the free coffee and pastries before you head out.
Once you’ve tired yourself out, breakfast at The Tusten Cup just over the bridge in Narrowsburg is a must. You can’t go wrong with anything on the menu, but I definitely recommend grabbing one of their oat milk chai lattes. You won’t regret it!
However, if hiking isn’t your vacation speed, don’t worry! Hotel Darby has something for everyone from their pool table to their outdoor fire pit for s’mores making.
1969 Woodstock Festival
I think it is safe to assume that you’ve heard of the 1969 Woodstock Festival. I myself had heard about Woodstock my entire life, but I realized that I didn’t actually know much about it. After diving into so much of the history at the Museum at Bethel Woods earlier in the day, it was incredible to walk to site of this historic event.
Visiting New York? Here are some other guides that you should check out:
- 10 Best Hikes in Upstate NY
- Siamese Ponds Wilderness: Camping in the Adirondacks
- A Local’s Guide to NYC
- Best Cheap Eats in NYC
- The Best Instagram Spots in NYC