Just under one million people call Delaware home. Thin and long, Delaware is located on the mid-Atlantic coast, where the Delaware River reaches the Atlantic Ocean. As such, there are countless beaches, bays, and coves to explore in Delaware. From Rehoboth Beach to Cape Henlopen State Park, if you want to breathe in the sea air, Delaware is the place to come.
Delaware is a beautiful part of the world to live in. Whether you’re looking to find a family home or escape to the countryside, we have narrowed down the 15 best places to live in Delaware. Away from the alluring coastal areas that the state has to offer, there are buzzing and bustling suburban neighbourhoods that have a thriving community feel.
We have looked at criteria like quality of public schooling, crime rates, and job opportunities to establish where are the most desirable places in the state to find a home. Delaware is a state steeped in history, whether that’s from a military perspective or 18th-century colonial landmarks.
Although there are no national parks in Delaware, there is still a lot of outdoor activities in the state. That said, if you really are keen on being close to nature, perhaps Alaska or even Wyoming would be a better starting point.
Let’s take a look at the 15 best places to live in Delaware:
1. North Star
Coming in a gallant first place is North Star. Voted the best place to live in Delaware for very good reasons; quality of schools, nightlife, and job opportunities all surpass other neighbourhoods in the state.
North Star provides residents with great commuting options. With Philadelphia just an hour to the northeast there are job opportunities aplenty in the big city. In light of this, North Star is the perfect all-rounder in Delaware.
Although the cost of living in North Star is reasonable, it is the house prices that may sting many families. With median home value being 2.4 times greater than the national average, at $433,400. Unsurprisingly, 98% of residents in North Star live in owned homes.
Home to just 7,596 people, North Star is very much a tight-knit community despite its suburban appearance.
2. Pike Creek
A very close second place is Pike Creek, ranked as the best place to raise a family and the second best place to buy a house in the state.
House prices in Pike Creek are significantly more affordable than North Star, at $316,000. Considering that Philadelphia is still only an hour away from here, there is a lot to be said for this second place suburb.
For those who want to get outdoors then there is plenty of opportunities to do so here. With the White Clay Creek State Park and the Middle Run Valley Natural Area right on your doorstep, moving to Pike Creek warrants investing in some hiking boots!
Public schools in Pike Creek operate well above the national average, with the top three schools all boasting solid A-rankings.
With a population of 13,230 people, Hockessin is a safe and happy place to live. Residents say that the town has been a great place to raise their families and the community atmosphere in and around the local shops is most endearing.
We must mention median rent in Delaware is way above the national average. Here in Hockessin for example, tenants are paying $1,720 a month, on average. That said, the quality of housing and value for money here in Delaware is significantly better than in other parts of the country.
Hockessin is a great place to raise a family, if only for the 14 public schools on offer. From specialist arts schools to those that have a strong science focus, there are some outstanding education options in this neighbourhood.
4. Rehoboth Beach
Rehoboth Beach is a small but highly sought after suburb, mostly due to the superb sunsets residents get to experience throughout the year. Although Rehoboth Beach is right on the Atlantic coast, the weather is amicable, most of the time!
Quaint and charming, there is a strong community feel here. In the centre of town there are a number of family-friendly restaurants and cafes, The Pond is a particular favourite with locals.
There are no two ways about it, Rehoboth Beach is one of the most expensive areas to buy property in the state. The median home value currently lies at $826,500, but in reality, you’ll need to cough up a seven-digit sum to put roots down in Rehoboth Beach.
Technically a suburb of Philadelphia city in Pennsylvania, Greenville is very much in Delaware state. Ranked as the best suburb in the state for Millennials, we can expect to see Greenville developing and growing to meet the demands of its youth population over the next decade.
To the north of Greenville, you can find Wilmington Country Club, a popular hangout for local business people and socialites; that said, the club welcomes people from all over the state regardless of economic background.
Although house prices here are rather steep compared with the rest of the country, it is value for money that needs to be focused on when looking at property in Delaware. $629,000 may seem like a lot of money in other states but here it gets you a 5-bedroom, 4-bathroom home with an expansive garden, encompassed by evergreen trees for added privacy.
Middletown is small, homely and charming. The focal point of the neighbourhood is Saint Anne’s Church. With its bright red door and blue clock face, this is a pillar of the community. With ample stores, restaurants and entertainment venues, there is little to complain about in Middletown.
Moreover, Middletown has the best public schools in Delaware. For parents, this neighbourhood should be high on your list of considerations. Crime rates are low too; combine this with good cost of living and commuting distances, Middletown really is as good as it seems on paper.
What’s more, house prices here are far more affordable, coming in around $200,000.
7. Highland Acres
If you are looking to rent a property then Highland Acres is our most affordable place to do so on our list so far. Home to a small community of just under 4,000 people, Highland Acres is becoming a more popular place to raise a family.
Residents note that the mild, year-round weather is a big factor in their happiness here. It is the access to public services and excellent schools that are the real influential factors, however. That fact that you can be on the beach, or swimming in the sea, in under an hour marks another bonus point for Highland Acres.
Known for its acres of green spaces, Newark is a small city in Delaware. Rittenhouse Park is a favourite spot for locals and visitors alike. The city is transected by the creek, from which you can fish for trout.
Schools in Newark perform well above the national average but not as well, overall, as schools in North Star; something that parents will want to take into consideration.
Newark is a prime location, especially for those who have to commute to work. Wilmington is just a short 15-minute drive away. Further afield, but still accessible in under an hour, you have Philadelphia and Baltimore, Maryland.
For anyone who wants to lay low and start saving to get on the property ladder, but equally wants to continue living in Delaware, Bellefonte may be the place to do it.
In turn, Bellefonte is ranked as the best place to buy a house in Delaware so you wouldn’t have to move too far when you do get on that ladder! With median rent being near $100 below the national average, at $836 a month, a young working couple would find a nice home here in Bellefonte.
Home to just 1,318 people, this neighbourhood is cosy and welcoming. The kind of place where kids can still play on the sidewalk.
10. Pike Creek Valley
Pike Creek Valley is an up and coming area in Delaware. A popular spot for millennials, like with Greenville we can expect to see this neighbourhood really come into its own in the next decade or so.
This is a wonderfully diverse suburb, made up of just over 10,000 people. Pike Creek Valley would be great for an active and outdoorsy family. With Carousel Park just a short drive away you can access horse riding lessons, fishing and plenty of space for the dogs to run around too.
Aside from the occasional shoplifting incident, that is dealt with quickly and efficiently, crime levels here are desirably low.
Just north of Wilmington, you will find the quiet and unassuming suburb of Edgemoor. Home to 6,257 people, this is an affordable neighbourhood to live in. Considered to be a good place to raise a family and with plenty of opportunities for socialising of an evening, there is plenty to be pleased about in Edgemoor.
The first of our best places to live in Delaware to be placed on the Delaware River, for those who want to be able to get out and about, Edgemoor is the place to come. New Castle County River Park and Fox Point State Park are wonderful places to explore in your free time.
Camden is a suburb of the state capital, Dover. Just a stone’s throw away from Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge, there is plenty of nature to enjoy around here. This mid-sized suburb is homely to say the least.
With small family-run shops, restaurants serving local food and good schools to match, there is a lot to love about Camden. With a military base just 10-minutes away, there is a strong community feel here with lots of family orientated activities going on too.
Overall, residents of Camden are happy and welcome new people to the area with open arms.
Wyoming is one of the most affordable places to live in Delaware. With median home value falling below the national average at $167,600, Wyoming should be a serious contender for first-time buyers in Delaware.
What’s more, the median rent is reasonable too, at $990 a month, split between a cohabiting couple this is more than reasonable. With 33% of the population living in rented accommodation, it is fair to say that there is more choice of rental properties in Wyoming than in other parts of the state.
Wyoming is home to some of the best schools in Delaware and is attracting more and more attention from millennials too. Check back in a year or so and you may well find Wyoming deep in the top ten best places to live in Delaware.
14. Rodney Village
Rodney Village isn’t as rural as it may first seem, with a suburban feel, this neighbourhood is home to just over 1,500 people. With that in mind, there is a very village-like atmosphere to Rodney Village. Friendly, welcoming and helpful, there is a lot to like about this area.
Property prices are a little closer to ideal and with a reasonable amount of job opportunities and commuter options, it is not hard to see why Rodney Village has been ranked as the second-best place for Millennials in Delaware.
Right in the nook of Delaware Bay, you will find the small city of Lewes. With a population of 2,887 people, Lewes is a far cry from inner-city Philadelphia. Although considered a city on paper, Lewes very much has the small town vibes going on.
Although house prices are pretty steep, considering the proximity to picturesque Delaware Bay, the median rent is only $20 above the national average.
Crime rates are a little higher than ideal but residents can confirm that overall Lewes is a safe and cheery place to live.
As you would expect of a small town, the grocery store is at the heart of the community. The Lemon Tree Restaurant is the dining out choice for many local people. With a nice influx of tourists throughout the year, Lewes comes in a fair 15th best place to live in Delaware.