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 13 of 13)

“But we’re finding that Worthington also appeals to active adults who are drawn by the affordability and a community that has families and children,” says builder John Long.

Young parents will appreciate Smyrna High School’s 2008 Governor’s School of Excellence Award. Principal Anthony Soligo believes winning represents the high school’s broad focus on all groups of students.

One parent who’s taken advantage of Smyrna’s excellent schools is Mercedes Rooks, who lives in the Estates of West Shore with her husband and two children.

The Rookses seek out fun and education at nearby Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge and the Delaware AeroSpace Education Foundation Environmental Outpost. They do all this while soaking in the town’s closely knit vibes. “We take advantage of all the activities the town offers, and we’re at every homecoming football game,” Rooks says. “The best part is that everything is within walking distance.”


‘The Essence of Small-Town Living’

This part of Sussex County is known as the “land of 25 jewels” for the many small towns that gush with the charm of times past. “The people may change, but the essence of small-town living does not,” says Scott Thomas of the Southern Delaware Tourism office.

From the area’s nationally renowned Punkin Chunkin contest to the Bridgeville Apple Scrapple Festival to the Seaford Heritage Weekend and the Holly Festival in Milton, local celebrations make Sussex’s small towns a real-life version of “Our Town.”

The region features several historic districts in Georgetown, Milton and Laurel. The town of Bethel, once a busy shipbuilding center, is home to the Bethel Heritage Museum. National Geographic described the museum as a “toy village come to life.”

Rural Sussex now finds itself a center for development of environmentally friendly and energy efficient homes. Two years ago Insight Homes began designing and building communities near towns such as Milton, Bridgeville, Seaford and Dagsboro that are guaranteed to be in the top 1 percent of energy efficient homes in the country, meeting requirements of the American Lung Association Health Home and the EPA, as well as the U.S. Department of Energy. Insight has built in a total of eight communities in Sussex so far.

Paula Gunson, director of Seaford’s Chamber of Commerce and a Seaford resident for more than 40 years, lauds the town’s commitment to community service and civic interaction—a trend found in many Western Sussex towns.

“Service to the community is very important to me,” she says. “As a single parent, I appreciated the support and encouragement I received from the people in the area and feel that it is important to pay back the community for that support.”