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.

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The Everharts and their three young ones moved to Newark because of the area’s sense of community. Photograph by Jared CastaldiNEWARK

The Place That Has it All

Newark may have started as an agricultural center, but it has matured into a place that feels laid-back and 21st-century sophisticated at the same time.

Benchmark Builders moved into the area 20 years ago in part to build starter homes for the cadres of workers flocking to now-defunct MBNA card services and other credit companies. Now Benchmark is building communities that appeal to retirees who don’t want to leave the area.

“The Village of Long Creek is an example of one of our active adult communities located in Newark and near the kinds of amenities, shopping, parks and attractions that allow residents who enjoyed those features while raising their families to continue enjoying them throughout their retirement years,” says the company’s Steve Bamberger.

Between homes for young professionals and retirement communities beats the heart of a true American small town. “I like the interconnectedness of the people here,” says resident Megan Everhart, who moved to the Fairfield neighborhood from Bear three years ago with her husband and three young children. “It’s a reminder of what is important in life: people and friends.”

Everhart enjoys what she calls Newark’s “walkability.” Its Main Street has thrived, even as main streets in other towns have lost significance as commercial centers. Main Street Newark offers everything from jewelry stores to bike shops to a variety of fine dining and ethnic fare. (There are more than 200 shops and restaurants in town.)

The final word on Newark, however, may be the university. The University of Delaware offers the cultural attractions that have the weight and dimension of those in much larger urban areas. There’s the world-class Master Players Concert Series featuring virtuoso musicians, along with internationally acclaimed artists and ensembles who perform at the university’s Center for the Arts. The Professional Theatre Training Program, one of the most respected graduate-level drama conservatory programs in the country, produces a regular schedule of classic plays, as do the Resident Ensemble Players. There are regular series of films, lectures and readings on campus for anyone’s enjoyment. And there is UD football and other sports.

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