If you’re someone that loves to hike and appreciates the sound of birdsong out your window, then Bedford may be for you. “It’s an area that is focused on land and nature,” says Harriet Libov, a broker with Houlihan Lawrence in Northern Westchester. There’s Westmoreland Sanctuary, which offers a range of nature-focused programs for kids, as well as family-friendly trails. The Mianus River Gorge Preserve and Ward Pound Ridge Reservation is a favorite for serious hikers. Not to mention the Bedford Riding Lanes Association, whose members maintain a 100-mile+ network of contiguous trails through the town and neighboring Pound Ridge. “The system is one of the most unique in the Northeast,” says Libov.
Homes are tucked down country lanes, some on large lots, some on small. While you can find a starter home here in the $400,000 range, the average price for a home in 2017 thus far, is $975,519. But don’t be fooled: the price tag doesn’t reflect the culture of the community, which is monied, sophisticated and fairly glamorous. Call it the Southampton of Westchester. Bedford is home to sprawling estates and stunning horse farms that have long drawn celebrities looking for a quiet respite. Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds live in Bedford, as does Martha Stewart, Richard Gere, Ralph Lauren, and Bruce Willis. People may wear flannels to the store, but they’ll wear them with designer riding boots.
But that’s part of the charm of Bedford — it brings lots of different types of people together who share a passion for the beauty of where they live. The town is comprised of 3 hamlets – Bedford, Bedford Hills and Katonah. Bedford Green, at the center of the historical district often hosts antique fairs, and is surrounded by a few gourmet cafes and a couple of boutiques. The beloved Bedford Playhouse, an old fashioned movie house, recently closed, but the community is working together to makeover and reopen the playhouse again. Katonah’s charming downtown is comprised of picture book victorian-style shops where merchants know their customers by name.
While Bedford Central Schools are top-rated, as are the Katonah-Lewisboro schools, which some Bedford residents attend, it isn’t uncommon for folks here to send their kids to nearby private schools. Still children here are raised with an appreciation of natural beauty that is unmatched in Westchester. There’s also an appreciation of the arts. At the Katonah Museum of Art, there’s weekend art projects for children; Caramoor Center for the Arts, which offers a range of live music events, offers musical concerts for families all summer long.
Most Bedford residents are used to driving farther distances since the houses are more spread out, and there’s limited shopping in town. Chain stores are 15 minutes away in Mt. Kisco. Still, it’s the quiet that draws people here and makes them stay.