Delaware, USA

Living in Delaware

Iyna Bort Caruso

What Delaware lacks in size, it makes up for in scenery. Coastal towns, countryside chateaus and historic districts fleck the landscapes of America’s second smallest state.

It is an affluent state with the ninth largest number of millionaires in the U.S. per capita. Kiplinger named it the most tax-friendly in the U.S. calling it “a low-tax oasis amid high-tax states along the Eastern Seaboard.” Delaware real estate taxes as a percentage of home values are among the lowest in the nation, and sales tax is nonexistent. That’s a particular draw for retirees. However, Delaware is much more than a state with a favorable tax status.

Delaware has three counties, New Castle, Kent and Sussex.           

New Castle, the northernmost county, features historic towns with cobblestone streets and National Historical Landmark districts. Wilmington is the state’s large city and cultural capital with a growing high tech startup scene. The city, dubbed America’s corporate capital, is situated been New York City and Washington, DC and close to Philadelphia International Airport.  Northwest of Wilmington in the Brandywine Valley is Delaware’s most affluent environs with grand mansions and thousands of acres of protected lands.  The DuPonts made their fortunes here and many of their homes have been turned into museums. Residents of Greenville, near the Brandywine River, have Delaware’s highest per capita incomes in the state.

The nearby village of Centreville is Chateau Country. Founded in 1790, the community has 15 buildings on the National Register of Historic Places.

The state capital of Dover is in Kent, the central county with a small-town atmosphere, waterside communities, farmlands and parklands where active residents enjoy a myriad of recreational activities like birding, biking, hiking and canoeing.

Sussex County is considered “slower, lower Delaware.” It’s not unusual for summer beach visitors to become year-rounders. Rehoboth Beach is Delaware’s most popular resort town. Older buildings now house art galleries, shops and restaurants. Historic Lewes is a popular spot with crowds from the Washington, DC area, just a couple of hours south while desirable Bethany Beach and Fenwick Island, bordering Maryland, bill themselves as the “quiet resorts.”