12 Best Places to Live in Delaware (By Quality of Life)

by Jem
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Delaware may be compact, but it’s brimming with charm and possibilities. From the tranquil beaches of Rehoboth to the historic streets of Wilmington, the First State offers a unique blend of experiences. Though small, finding the right place to settle in Delaware can still be a challenge. To assist you, I’ve crafted a guide to the best places to live in Delaware.

Having journeyed through Delaware’s landscapes, I’ve witnessed its enchanting variety firsthand. The quiet shores of Bethany Beach contrast with the bustling cultural scene of Wilmington, while the quaint, cobblestone feel of New Castle provides a different flavor compared to the student-filled buzz of Newark. Delaware’s range may be less vast than California’s, but it’s just as rich.

So, where should you begin your Delawarean adventure? The perfect locale is different for each person. Some may seek the serenity of coastal living, others the vibrancy of a city rich in history, and for many, affordability is key.

Join me as I delve into the finest cities and towns to call home, tailored to what you cherish the most. As a seasoned explorer of Delaware’s hidden gems, I’m here to navigate you through the best places to live in this charming state. I’ve poured over data, analyzed trends, and engaged with the local vibe to create a list that suits a variety of preferences and budgets. Let’s get started!

The top places to live in Delaware for all

The Best Places to Live in Delaware      

Eager to uncover the most picturesque places to call home in Delaware? This East Coast gem offers a locale for every preference. Continue on to unearth the top living spots in Delaware.

Searching for your ideal haven in Delaware? Whether it’s coastal charm or city convenience you’re after, Delaware’s East Coast setting has a place that’s just right for you.

  • Best for suburban living: Bear
  • Best for historic charm: Bellefonte
  • Best for community events: Brandywine Village
  • Best for green spaces: Canby Park
  • Best for waterfront views: Edgemoor
  • Best for diversity: Elizabeth Area
  • Best for affordability: Elsmere
  • Best for families: Glasgow
  • Best for professionals: Green Hill
  • Best for urban living: Hilltop
  • Best for small-town feel: Milton
  • Best for accessibility: Wilmington Manor

Here are the prime locations in Delaware that deserve your attention.

1. Bear

Delaware’s charm shines brightly in Bear. This is a community that strikes a delightful balance between tranquility and convenience. Here, the best place to live in Delaware isn’t just a tagline; it’s a lifestyle embraced by the locals. The streets are lined with a mix of modern amenities and serene parks. As such, it offers a slice of suburban life with the added benefit of nearby city facilities.

Families thrive in Bear due to its excellent schools and the plethora of activities that cater to all ages. From the sprawling landscapes of Lums Pond State Park to the bustling corridors of the Governor Square Shopping Center, there’s an ease to life here that’s hard to find elsewhere.

Bear’s real estate market is as diverse as its landscape. It features homes that cater to a range of preferences and budgets. Whether it’s the community events that bring neighbors together or the quiet evenings that end with sunsets over the pond, Bear is a great place to live in Delaware for those seeking a harmonious blend of nature and community.

This town’s allure isn’t just in its amenities but in the warmth of its residents. Bear showcases Delaware’s friendly spirit, making it a top contender for anyone looking to plant roots in the First State.

Bear is a brilliant example of Delaware's charm.
Bear is a brilliant example of Delaware’s charm.

2. Bellefonte

A stroll through the historic streets of Bellefonte offers a glimpse into a community where the past and present merge seamlessly. This town is a canvas painted with Victorian architecture, local artistry, and a vibrant community spirit that makes it one of the coolest places to live in Delaware.

The air here carries a creative buzz, thanks to the local artisans and shop owners who are the heartbeat of the town. Bellefonte’s appeal is its unique blend of cultural heritage and modern-day charm. This makes it an ideal spot for those who appreciate the arts and a close-knit community vibe.

With its eclectic mix of galleries, boutiques, and cafes, life in Bellefonte is never dull. The town’s calendar is dotted with events that transform the streets into a celebration of local talent and community. It’s a place where neighbors know each other by name and where the sense of belonging is palpable.

Living in Bellefonte means embracing a lifestyle that’s laid-back yet full of character. It’s a place that doesn’t just offer a home, but a niche in a community where every face is familiar. It’s no wonder it’s considered one of Delaware’s best cities to live, where life’s pace is just right, and the welcome is always warm.

A walk down Bellefonte's old streets provides an insight into a city where the past and current coexist peacefully.
A walk down Bellefonte’s old streets provides an insight into a city where the past and current coexist peacefully.

3. Brandywine Village

There are echoes of history in the cute town of Brandywine Village, where cobblestone walks and old trees tell the story of a different time. For those looking for the best places in Delaware to live, this area is a treasure trove of historical sites and modern conveniences.

The Brandywine River, a calm strip, makes a beautiful background for the village. People often find peace and quiet along its banks, where the sounds of running water drown out the noise of the outside world. This peaceful setting is a break from everyday life and draws people who are looking for a quiet place to stay.

The village’s community events are its crown jewels. They bring people together in a way that’s hard to find in cities. The weekly get-togethers at the local market, which sells fresh food and handmade goods, add to the village’s beauty.

Brandywine Village stands out as a nice city to live in Delaware for those who enjoy the allure of history and community. Not only is it a place to stay, but it’s also a place to grow in the midst of the stories of yesterday and the possibilities of tomorrow.

The charming town of Brandywine Village has historical echoes, with its cobblestone walkways and ancient trees telling tales of bygone eras.
The charming town of Brandywine Village has historical echoes, with its cobblestone walkways and ancient trees telling tales of bygone eras.

4. Canby Park

Imagine a place where green spaces blend with cityscapes, where the community gathers to enjoy the simple pleasures of life. Canby Park offers this idyllic setting, making it one of the good places to live in Delaware. The park itself is the heart of the area, a lush expanse where trails, playgrounds, and picnic areas invite families to create memories.

The surrounding neighborhood mirrors the park’s welcoming spirit. Homes with character, from cozy bungalows to stately colonials, line the leafy streets. Residents enjoy the convenience of city living without the commotion, as local businesses and eateries provide a bounty of options just a stone’s throw away.

Seasonal events in the park serve as the community’s pulse, from summer concerts under the stars to winter festivities that light up the chilly evenings. It’s a place where every season brings its own charm, and neighbors come together to celebrate the passage of time.

Canby Park isn’t merely a location. It’s a lifestyle choice for those seeking a where to live in Delaware that offers both the vibrancy of urban life and the tranquility of nature. It’s a neighborhood that promises a balanced life, with the park as its centerpiece and community as its soul.

Canby Park is a great spot to reside in Delaware because it provides this beautiful environment.
Canby Park is a great spot to reside in Delaware because it provides this beautiful environment.

5. Edgemoor

Tucked away just moments from the bustling city, Edgemoor offers a retreat for those who cherish a quieter lifestyle. This enclave is celebrated as one of the best areas to live in Delaware, where the pace slows and the community takes center stage. The neighborhood’s charm is amplified by its proximity to the scenic Delaware River, providing residents with picturesque views and a waterfront that’s perfect for leisurely strolls or morning jogs.

Homes in Edgemoor reflect the diversity of its residents, ranging from quaint cottages to expansive estates, each with its own story. The local garden club’s efforts are evident in the beautifully manicured landscapes that add a splash of color to every corner.

The sense of community here is tangible, with neighborhood gatherings and annual events that foster strong bonds among residents. It’s a place where people don’t just live alongside each other; they connect, share, and build a life together.

Edgemoor isn’t just a nice part of Delaware; it’s a slice of paradise for those who find solace in a tight-knit community surrounded by natural beauty. It’s a neighborhood that offers more than a home—it offers a place where life’s moments are savored.

For those who value a more sedate way of life, Edgemoor is a haven nestled within a short distance from the busy city.
For those who value a more sedate way of life, Edgemoor is a haven nestled within a short distance from the busy city.

6. Elsmere

Nestled within the heart of New Castle County, Elsmere is a gem that exudes a small-town feel with all the perks of city proximity. This spot is often lauded as a great place to live in Delaware, where community events fill the calendar and local parks brim with life. The town’s beating heart is the Elsmere Park, where families gather for picnics and children’s laughter rings through the air.

The residential streets of Elsmere are a showcase of architectural diversity, with homes that tell tales of different eras. The local eateries and shops have a personal touch, often owned by locals who are passionate about their community.

Safety and camaraderie are the pillars of this town, with neighbors looking out for one another, creating an environment where everyone feels at home. It’s this sense of security that adds to the town’s allure, making it a coveted spot for settling down.

Elsmere stands out as a place where the question of where is the best place to live in Delaware finds an answer. It’s a town that doesn’t just offer a house but a home, a community, and a lifestyle that’s hard to replicate.

One of the best places to live in Delaware, Elsmere has all the benefits of being close to the city yet still feels like a tiny hamlet.
One of the best places to live in Delaware, Elsmere has all the benefits of being close to the city yet still feels like a tiny hamlet.

7. Glasgow

With its lush scenery and wide open skies, Glasgow is a haven for people who want the best of both worlds: the comforts of living in the suburbs and the ease of city life. With its large parks and community-focused lifestyle, it is known as one of the most livable cities in Delaware and offers a break from the busy life.

The spirit of the town is best felt at its lively events and when people wave to each other. People in the area love Glasgow Park, which is a busy place with playgrounds and trails that run through trees. People go there on the weekends to watch soccer games or check out the farmers’ markets.

There are a lot of different kinds of homes in Glasgow, from cute single-family homes to modern flats, so there is something for everyone. The good schools in the area add to the town’s image for being family-friendly.

There’s something appealing about Glasgow that makes it a great place to live if you’re wondering “where are the best places to live in Delaware?” The town is known for its friendly people and roots that are strong while also looking to the future.

For those seeking the conveniences of city living combined with the amenities of suburban living, Glasgow offers a paradise.
For those seeking the conveniences of city living combined with the amenities of suburban living, Glasgow offers a paradise.

8. Green Hill

As a patchwork of trees and people, Green Hill is a place that captures the heart of Delaware’s charm. The pace of life there is set by the seasons and the friendly greetings of the people who live nearby. This town is one of the best Delaware towns to live in because it has both natural beauty and friendly neighbors.

With their well-kept gardens and the odd lemonade stand, the residential streets make for a beautiful scene. The local schools are the heart of the area because they provide a great education and help young people get started in life.

There are lots of fun things to do for fun. Parks and community centers are great places to work out, have family meetings, and hold social events. In this place, people look forward to the weekends not because they want to relax after a hard week, but because they love getting involved in their community.

Green Hill is a desirable option for those looking for places to move in Delaware. This place is more than just a mark on the map; it’s a neighborhood that welcomes everyone who wants to live there.

Green Hill embodies the essence of Delaware's allure, a patchwork of people and trees.
Green Hill embodies the essence of Delaware’s allure, a patchwork of people and trees. | Image Credit: Zillow

9. Hilltop

The view from Hilltop is stunning, and the area is more than just a place to live; it’s a community that thrives on its high location. The skyline is just as inviting as the people who live there. This makes this area one of the top cities in Delaware to live in.

There is a mix of old-fashioned charm and new-fashioned energy on the streets of Hilltop. In this place, the shops are not just places to buy things. They are also important parts of a thriving society, and each one has a story to tell. The bars are full of people talking about the latest news in town, and the shops show how creative and diverse the people who live there are.

Hilltop is all about education, and the schools are just as much a part of the community as the parks and fields. This is a spot where learning goes beyond the classroom, with the help of a group that values progress and growth.

What makes Hilltop appealing is that it weaves together community, culture, and convenience into a tapestry that draws people looking for the best Delaware cities. This area gives you a wide view of not only the city but also everyday life.

Hilltop is a neighborhood that thrives on its elevated location rather than just a place to live.
Hilltop is a neighborhood that thrives on its elevated location rather than just a place to live. | Image Credit: Homes

10. Milton

Find out what makes Milton so appealing. It has the beauty of the past and the ease of modern life. One of the best towns to live in Delaware, this community is perfect for people who want a slower pace of life but still want the conveniences of the modern world.

The streets of Milton are lined with old homes, and every one of them has a porch where you can relax for a while. The town center is a busy place where events honor the culture and history of the area and the farmers’ market is a treasure trove of fresh, local food.

People in this town are very close to each other and care deeply about its future and deep appreciation for its long past. The library is more than just a place to find books. It’s a place where people meet and share stories and make friends.

Milton stands out as a place to live in DE for those looking for a mix of peace and community. A warm welcome and the promise of a good life can be found in this town. Days are not measured by hours but by moments of happiness and connection.

Discover why Milton is so alluring, it combines the conveniences of modern living with the splendor of the past.
Discover why Milton is so alluring, it combines the conveniences of modern living with the splendor of the past.

11. Wilmington Manor

The area around Wilmington Manor is a great choice for people looking for the best city to live in Delaware because it has both the peace and ease of the city. This neighborhood is a picture of community life, with friendly get-togethers and joy in the area.

There are a lot of different types of homes here, from mid-century gems to brand-new builds. They are all tucked away on streets that are filled with the sounds of kids playing and neighbors talking. The nearby parks are lush places where you can have a picnic in the afternoon or just relax in the shade of the trees.

The community is built around education, and schools are dedicated to both building minds and making people feel like they belong. Learning and life go hand in hand there, thanks to a network of families and teachers who help each other out.

It’s not enough to just live in Wilmington Manor; it’s a place to do well. Every day is a chance to make things, meet with others, and enjoy the journey of life in one of Delaware’s best cities to live.

Delaware's Wilmington Manor and surrounding communities are great places to reside.
Delaware’s Wilmington Manor and surrounding communities are great places to reside.

12. Elizabeth Area

It’s clear that the Elizabeth Area is one of the best places to live in Delaware because it’s full of different cultures and a lot of history. This neighborhood is a lively example of how people can work together to make their community better. It’s where the sounds of history and current life meet.

As you walk through the Elizabeth Area, you’ll see amazing buildings that tell stories of the past. At the same time, you can hear the noise of today in the busy shops and bars. The area’s diversity can be seen in the food, which has flavors from across countries and encourages people to try new foods.

You can really feel the pulse of the community at one of the many events that happen there. Art, music, and tradition all come together to show off the lively spirit of the neighborhood. The parks are green havens that give people in the city a taste of nature in the middle of the city.

This is the best place to live in Delaware because every street corner has a story to tell and every face has a friendly smile. It’s not just a neighborhood; it’s a living, moving picture of what it’s like to live in Delaware.

The Elizabeth Area is a desirable hometown in Delaware due to its diverse population and rich traditions.
The Elizabeth Area is a desirable hometown in Delaware due to its diverse population and rich traditions. | Image Credit: Zillow

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About the Best Places to Live in Delaware   

Want to know more about Delaware’s prime living locations? Here are some questions that come up often regarding the best neighborhoods.

What is a nice area to live in Delaware?

Delaware boasts a variety of areas that cater to a range of preferences. This is true whether you’re seeking a peaceful suburban retreat or a vibrant coastal lifestyle. Here are some highlights:

  • Pike Creek: Known for its excellent schools and community parks, it’s ideal for families looking for a suburban setting.
  • Hockessin: Offers a mix of rural and suburban living, with community events and local businesses that enrich residents’ lives.
  • Lewes: Appeals to those who love the coastal life, with its historic downtown, beaches, and a strong sense of community.
  • Rehoboth Beach: A popular choice for its lively boardwalk, sandy beaches, and an array of dining options. It offers lots of things to do, perfect for those who enjoy a tourist-friendly atmosphere.
  • Middletown: Growing rapidly due to its affordable housing, good schools, and community spirit. It’s becoming a favorite among new Delaware residents.

What is the most beautiful part of Delaware?

Delaware may be modest in size, but it’s rich in picturesque landscapes that can captivate any onlooker. The most beautiful part of the state is often considered to be the coastal region, where natural beauty and relaxed living converge:

  • Coastal Towns: Places like Lewes, Rehoboth Beach, and Bethany Beach offer stunning ocean views. They also offer charming boardwalks and serene sunsets over the Atlantic.
  • Brandywine Valley: Known for its rolling hills, lush gardens, and grand estates. This area is steeped in natural and man-made beauty.
  • Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge: A sanctuary for wildlife enthusiasts. It provides a mosaic of tidal marshes and is a prime spot for bird-watching and photography.
  • Cape Henlopen State Park: With its majestic dunes, historic lighthouses, and expansive beaches, it’s a natural gem. This spot truly showcases Delaware’s diverse ecosystems.

Is Delaware good to raise a family?

Delaware is indeed a commendable choice for raising a family, and here’s why:

  • Education: The state has a number of highly rated schools, both public and private, offering strong educational foundations for children.
  • Community: Many Delaware towns boast tight-knit communities that organize family-friendly events, sports, and activities. They foster a sense of belonging and togetherness.
  • Safety: With its relatively low crime rates, especially in family-oriented neighborhoods, parents can find peace of mind.
  • Cost of Living: Compared to its neighboring states, Delaware’s cost of living is reasonable. There’s also the added benefit of no sales tax.
  • Outdoor Activities: The state’s parks, beaches, and nature reserves provide ample opportunities for outdoor family fun and learning experiences.
  • Location: Delaware’s proximity to major cities like Philadelphia, Washington D.C., and New York City makes it ideal for educational trips, cultural experiences, and family outings.
Whether you like the tranquility of the beach or the bustle of the city, every location in Delaware has something distinctive to offer.
Whether you like the tranquility of the beach or the bustle of the city, every location in Delaware has something unique to offer.

Is Delaware a good place to live in?

Delaware is often praised as a good place to live for several reasons:

  • Tax-Friendly: With no sales tax, low property taxes, and favorable tax conditions for retirees, it’s financially appealing.
  • Location: Delaware has a strategic position on the East Coast. As such, it offers easy access to major cities like Philadelphia, New York, and Washington, D.C.
  • Beaches: The state boasts some of the East Coast’s most beautiful beaches. This includes Rehoboth and Bethany Beach, which are great for relaxation and recreation.
  • Cultural Attractions: From the historic sites in New Castle to the art scene in Wilmington, enjoy the rich culture here.
  • Community Diversity: There’s a place for everyone, from bustling urban areas to quiet rural communities.
  • Healthcare: Delaware has reputable healthcare facilities, with specialized centers and hospitals that are easily accessible.

What is the nicest city in Delaware?

One city that is famous for its charm and quality of life is Lewes. Here’s why:

  • Historical Significance: Lewes is steeped in history, known as “The First Town in The First State.” It’s proud of its well-preserved architecture and museums.
  • Beach Life: Lewes offers beautiful beaches that are less crowded than some of its more famous neighbors. This makes it a tranquil coastal experience.
  • Community Feel: It has a strong sense of community with friendly locals. The town center hosts various events throughout the year.
  • Natural Beauty: The proximity to Cape Henlopen State Park provides residents with stunning natural landscapes and outdoor activities.
  • Dining and Shopping: Lewes also boasts a vibrant dining scene and unique local shops that add to its appeal.

What are the benefits of living in Delaware?

Living in Delaware comes with a variety of benefits that make it an attractive place to call home:

  • Tax Benefits: Delaware is known for having no sales tax, low property taxes, and tax-friendly policies for retirees.
  • Beaches: The state offers some of the most beautiful and family-friendly beaches on the East Coast. This includes Rehoboth Beach and Lewes.
  • Proximity to Major Cities: Its location is ideal for those who want quick access to major urban centers. This includes Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington D.C., and New York City.
  • Cultural Richness: There’s a wealth of cultural experiences. It features everything from the Grand Opera House in Wilmington to numerous festivals throughout the year.
  • Outdoor Recreation: Delaware’s state parks, wildlife refuges, and trails provide ample opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts.
  • Community and Diversity: The state has a diverse population with a sense of community. It truly offers a welcoming environment for new residents.

Final Thoughts on the Best Places to Live in Delaware

We’ve looked at different places to live in Delaware, from the quiet neighborhoods of Pike Creek to the historic spots in Lewes. Each place in Delaware has something special to offer, whether you love the calm of the beach or the energy of city life.

Delaware is great for saving money because there’s no sales tax and the property taxes are low. This makes living in its varied communities even more attractive. You can choose from family-friendly suburbs to relaxed beach towns, all within reach of big cities but still peaceful.

Delaware is a great choice if you want a good life without spending too much. It has good schools, healthcare, and lots of culture. Plus, its beautiful beaches and parks make it a lovely place to live.

Delaware shines as a hidden gem, offering a mix of adventure and tranquility. It’s a state where life can be as exciting or as peaceful as you want it to be. With its beautiful beaches and charming towns, life in Delaware is about enjoying the simple pleasures.

The state is perfect for those who want a good life without the high costs. It has great schools, hospitals, and plenty of culture, all within easy reach. Delaware’s natural beauty is a perfect setting for anyone looking to create a happy life.

In short, Delaware is more than just a place to live; it’s a place to thrive. If you’re thinking about where to settle down, Delaware is worth a look. It’s a place that could turn into the home you’ve always wanted.

The top places to live in Delaware right now
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