Great Places to Live

There’s more to a great neighborhood than great homes. Include top-notch schools, easy transportation, stellar shopping, cultural and recreational diversions, and a palpable pride of place. Here are 11 areas that stand out.

(page 7 of 13)

Retirees from Dover Air Force Base and state employees make up a large share of the residents, according to Realtor Ed Hammond, and there is a good number of New Castle County transplants. Residents are drawn by a true small-town spirit and lifestyle—your backyard on Camden-Wyoming Avenue may abut a soybean field—as well as affordable housing. Townhomes range from $130,000 to $170,000. Single-family homes start at $170,000. The upper end is in the low $300,000s. Examples of civic pride: Camden’s fire house—the local country club—and the brand-new town hall-municipal building, a three-story edifice built in the Federal style.

“We’re accessible to the major cities and the beach, and if the children are still up in New Castle, seniors looking for that affordability here know they will still be close to their kids,” says Hammond.

The reputation of the Caesar Rodney School District in both academics and athletics attracts families with school-aged children. Shopping in Dover is a short hop up New Burton Road or U.S. 13.

Andy Nowak and wife Jen purchased and renovated majestic Buckson Mansion in Camden in 2006. Now named Spruce Acres, the building is rented as elegant office space. “The town still has that old, real Colonial feel,” Andy Nowak says. “It’s done a good job maintaining the overall structure of the historical district while at the same time gaining growth.”

Still, that old-time charm is inescapable, he says, pointing to places like famed neighborhood butcher and deli Witt Brothers, and Rural Route 10, where cornfields line the road.

“It’s definitely a unique part of the state,” says Nowak, a New York transplant. “I could pick up on that as an outsider.”

Also up New Burton Road: office and industrial parks with major employers such as Kraft Foods, Procter & Gamble and Playtex. Dover proper is home to Bayhealth Medical Center and, of course, state government. Camden-Wyoming’s proximity to the capital means rural living with easy access to attractions such as the Biggs Museum of American Arts and The Johnson Victrola Museum.

Milford resident Gwen Guerke enjoys the town’s scenic Riverwalk. Photograph by Jared CastaldiMILFORD

A River Runs Through It

The largest town in Sussex, Milford is home to three districts listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The Mispillion River, which runs through this maritime village, was the main highway for transportation to cities as far away as Philadelphia.

Two trails, the Mispillion Greenway Walking Trail and the Historic Loop, connect residents and visitors with Milford’s parks, natural areas, historic sites, cultural centers and open spaces. The Milford Riverwalk may not rival the size of Wilmington’s Riverwalk, but it is every bit its equal in beauty. As testament to the charm and attractiveness of Milford, Baltimore Air Coil scrapped plans to move away when officials decided the quality of life for its workforce here was too vital to give up.

Page 8: Great Places to Live, continues...