This New York Town Is the Perfect Place to Buy an Affordable Lake House — and It's Just 2 Hours From NYC

·3 min read
Boats docked on Kauneonga Lake, NY
Boats docked on Kauneonga Lake, NY

Jerry Cohen/Courtesy of Sullivan County Tourism

Summertime is here, which means you're likely dreaming about a waterside getaway as much as we are. And as interest in vacation homes continues to surge, perhaps you're even fantasizing about a lake home of your very own.

Real estate website Trulia looked into the 20 most-searched zip codes for lakefront real estate, honing in on communities where at least 25% of the housing market is affordable vacation homes. This includes spots like Streetman, Texas, a tiny town about an hour outside Dallas; Wedowee, Alabama, an idyllic spot about 90 minutes from Birmingham; and Ellston, Iowa, a quaint community 90 minutes away from Des Moines.

But one of the cutest spots to make the list is Kauneonga Lake, New York, a town just two hours outside New York City.

The main town in Kauneonga Lake, NY
The main town in Kauneonga Lake, NY

Jerry Cohen/Courtesy of Sullivan County Tourism

"In Kauneonga Lake, a hamlet in the artsy town of Bethel (famous as the site of Woodstock), you'll find flower-filled gardens surrounding White Lake," Trulia shared in a blog post about its findings. "The Children's Peace Garden is a lovely place for families to enjoy, and there's a variety of local cafes, bars, and bistros along Kauneonga Lake's small restaurant row."

In Kauneonga, visitors, part-time, and full-time residents can explore places like the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, located about a 10-minute drive from the lake. There, everyone can visit the museum, which celebrates the 1960s, with a special emphasis on the 1969 Woodstock festival. Guests can also plan a visit around the events at the center, including guided tours, concerts, and more.

Park bench surrounded by art in Kauneonga Lake, NY
Park bench surrounded by art in Kauneonga Lake, NY

Jerry Cohen/Courtesy of Sullivan County Tourism

There are plenty of magical outdoor spaces to explore nearby as well, including Walnut Mountain Park, which is a 15-minute drive north of the lake. There, visitors can explore more than 260 acres of verdant land, including 13 miles of hiking and biking trails.

And, as Trulia mentioned, there are several restaurants worthy of your dining time along the town's "restaurant row," including The Local Table and Tap, which specializes American fare made with locally sourced ingredients, and Benji & Jakes, a pizza shop serving up both classic and innovative pies.

Winter over Kauneonga Lake, NY
Winter over Kauneonga Lake, NY

Jerry Cohen/Courtesy of Sullivan County Tourism

So, how much does it cost to own a vacation home in this little dream town? According to Trulia, "while a two-bedroom, two-bathroom home located near restaurant row will set you back $599,000, you can also find a three-bedroom cabin near the water in the White Lake Homes subdivision for $174,900."

Right now, you can snag everything from an $82,000, 5.2-acre property that's ready to build on, to a $190,000 three-bedroom cabin or a $499,000, three-bed, two-bath home on 3.18 private acres. Want to try before you buy? Book this adorable two-bedroom cottage on the lake on Airbnb now for a taste of Kauneonga Lake life.