Vacation homes popular among local residents

BETHESDA — From time-share condominiums to quaint park cottages and seasonal lakeside camping, local residents enjoy a wide variety of options when seeking a home away from home.

A Bethesda resident, who was once an owner and subsequently a renter at the Carolina Winds Resort in Myrtle Beach, S.C., cites friends made there and the many activities they enjoy together as the reason she has been spending time there since 1998. “Snowbirds” as the mostly northern-based residents are affectionately called, enjoy game nights, discounted theater tickets, craft workshops and wine and cheese tastings while staying at the resort.

And, of course, there’s the beach.

“It’s right outside your door,” she said. “You can go for a walk whenever you want.”

While she and her late husband owned the condominium, they lived there from October to April and the properties management company rented it out on their behalf the rest of the year, which covered most of their expenses.

Another sort of seasonal residence is enjoyed locally by the cottage owners of Epworth Park in Bethesda. While the 17-acre park itself is owned by the East Ohio Methodist Church Conference, the cottages are privately owned. The 61 Victorian-era cottages are secluded in a stand of large oak trees and overlook the park’s lake, providing residents a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of the world.

The highlight of the park’s open season, which runs from April to November, is the Chautauqua Homecoming Days and Bethesda Festival held every July. The festival, which features a 5K/10K race, a white elephant sale, antique and craft vendors, a youth fishing tournament and much more, celebrates both the park and the villageás history and allows the cottage owners a chance to decorate and show off their bungalows to those attending.

Those seeking extended solace in the great outdoors have ample choices, as local lakes and state parks managed by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources offer seasonal camping rates. One such destination is Seneca Lake Park, which offers a limited number of sites where campers can stay from April through October with amenities such as Wi-Fi, a full-service marina, hiking trails, as well as shower and laundry facilities.

No matter the level or lack of opulence, those who choose to live for extended periods away from their chief residence get to experience the world, life and community from a different vantage point.


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