- P. T. Barnum (1810–1891) was born in Bethel at 55 Greenwood Avenue.
- The Dean of American Cartoonists, Henry Arthur Young, lived in Bethel from 1904 – 1942 and had an art gallery from 1928 – 1942.
- Pitcher for the Boston Red Soxs, Matt Barnes, grew up in Bethel and played baseball for Bethel High School.
- Allan J. Kellogg, who was a Medal of Honor recipient, was born in Bethel.
- Actress Meg Ryan was raised in Bethel.
- UFC Fighter Dan Kramer is from Bethel.
- The Palmolive Lady, Madge, grew up in Bethel.
- Greg Sutton, a professional soccer player, played soccer for Bethel High School. He played for the New York Red Bulls, Montreal Impact and the Canadian National Team.
- Maria Parloa, philanthropist and culinary expert, is considered the Martha Stewart of her time. She also donated the land for Parloa park.
- The Rev. John Ely House was built in 1792 and housed several significant residents including two ministers and three businessmen, including Oliver Shepard.
- The Seth Seelye House was built in 1842 and is now the Bethel Public Library.
- The Daniel Hickok House is, according to urban legend, the house that Benedict Arnold slept in when the British were burning Danbury.
- Sybil Ludington rode down the top of Hoyts Hill and warned Danbury that the British were coming.
- The Civil War Monument built on May 30th, 1892, stands at over 14 feet tall and weighs over 17 tons.
- Duracell is headquartered in Bethel.
- The hall above Greenwoods Restaurant was once a rolling rink, a dance hall, a high school gym and an opera house and is now apartments.
- Putnam House used to be a lookout for trains carrying valuables to banks and ensured they were not hijacked.
- An American Indian canoe was found in Mountain Pond.
- The movie starring Leonardo Dicaprio and Kate Winslet, Revolutionary Road, was shot in Bethel in 2008.
- In 1934, Rudolph Kunett started the first vodka distillery in the U.S. after purchasing rights to the recipe from the exiled Smirnoff family.
- Wild Hogs with John Travolta and Rachel Rachel with Paul Newman were both shot in Bethel.
- The PT Barnum Fountain at PT Barnum Square was melted down in WWII after it cracked during winter.