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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That quality of life is enhanced by an active parks and recreation department that organizes an annual Halloween party for kids, the Riverwalk Freedom Festival after each Labor Day (fireworks), and busy soccer and field hockey leagues for kids. Public parks such as Bicentennial and Marvel offer plenty more recreational opportunities. The Delaware Nature Society manages nearby Abbott’s Mill Nature Center.

Gwen Guerke, a lifelong Milford resident, lives on Walnut Street, downtown’s main artery. She lauds the town’s outdoor options, especially the Riverwalk. “I like to get out and run, to see the changing of the seasons,” she says.

Guerke, editor of the weekly Milford Chronicle, says an invigorated arts community, town festivals, a renovated library, and active parks and recreation programs make Milford an ideal spot for families with young children. Though the town is comprised of many lifers like Guerke, Milford has also become an attractive retirement destination.

“I think a lot of people have recognized there’s a lot quietly going on here,” she says.

In addition to employers committed to remaining here, the presence of a Perdue poultry facility, Bayhealth Medical Center and 50 new small businesses, “Milford is also a magnet for out-of-state retirees because of its proximity to the Delaware beaches, but with lower housing costs,” says Jo Schmeiser of the Milford Chamber of Commerce.

Your home choices range from ranches on neatly gridded streets where you can safely ride a bicycle to sprawling ramblers on Haven Lake Avenue, a wealth of mature trees on the shore of Haven Lake.

While 55-plus communities are still a few years away, Milford’s Heartstone Manor, with its villas, condos and single homes with small lawns nevertheless attracts retirees looking for low-maintenance living. The contemporary Dogwood Meadows and Southfield developments offer more traditional single-family homes with half-acre lots priced from $190,000 into the mid-$200,000s.

Young entrepreneurs, this is your town. The city is selling commercial lots along Airport Road—all infrastructure already in place—for as little as $125,000. A little luck and hard work will make you a member of Shawnee Country Club.


Forward Thinking About the Past

Most first-timers to historic Lewes compare it to a New England maritime town like Nantucket. “We are surrounded by the bay, have homes dating back to the 17th century, and a floating lightship [Overfalls] stands guard as well,” says Betsy Reamer of the Lewes Chamber of Commerce.

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