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Kent County Living


State Street, Dover

Property tax rates, expressed as the total per $100 assessed value, come from the Delaware Economic Development Office Property Tax Report. Median home cost is from Sperling’s Best Places. Crime rates are from Sperling’s Best Places. (The numbers represent violent crime and property crime, respectively, on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 representing a lower violent crime rate and 10 a higher rate.) Commute times are from Sperling’s Best Places. Ratings for arts and culture, shopping and dining, and nightlife are as follows: 5 outstanding, 4 excellent, 3 good, 2 fair, 1 poor. 

Kent County



Caesar Rodney | Taxes: 3.1352 Median home cost: $110,700 | Commute: 22 Safety: 7-9 | Arts and culture: 2 Shopping and dining: 2 | Nightlife: 1

Like neighboring Wyoming, the railroad community of Camden offers lots of small-town charm in one of the state’s better school districts. Proximity to Dover means easy commuting to work, state and county government, and the city’s shopping, dining and culture.



Caesar Rodney | Taxes: 2.0530 Median home cost: $135,200 Commute: 24 | Safety: 7-7 | Arts and culture: 4 Shopping and dining: 3 | Nightlife: 1


Capital | Taxes: 2.6840 Median home cost: $135,200 | Commute: 24 Safety: 7-7 | Arts and culture: 4 Shopping and dining: 3 | Nightlife: 1

The largest city in the state by area, Dover has never totally lost its small-town heart. Loockerman Street still beats, thanks to places like33 West Ale House and Grill, Bel Boutique and the Schwartz Center for the Arts, though a lot of the shopping-dining-entertainment action happens out on U.S. 13, at Dover Mall and Dover Downs Hotel & Casino, a main street within itself. Also downtown, the Delaware State Visitor Center, and the Biggs Museum of American Art boost the history and culture factor. The mix of Victorian and Queen Anne styles makes for beautiful historic housing in Dover’s original core. The central location means easy access to upstate attractions and the beaches.



Lake Forest | Taxes: 2.6271 Median home cost: $108,500 Commute: 29 | Safety: 2-2 | Arts and culture: 1 Shopping and dining: 2 | Nightlife: 1

On the edge of the marsh around the Murderkill, a small cluster of streets along Del. 12 near Del. 1 defines little Frederica. It’s famous for Barratt’s Chapel, the birthplace of American Methodism (though it’s not properly situated in the corporate limits). The reputation of Frederica Pizza has grown enough to lure southbound travelers off the highway.



Lake Forest | Taxes: 2.3041 | Median home cost: $97,000 | Commute: 30 Safety: 8-5 | Arts and culture: 2 Shopping and dining: 2 | Nightlife: 3

Harrington scores with the state fairgrounds—where better to celebrate our agricultural roots?—and the Harrington Raceway & Casino for nightlife. The library is a hub of personal enrichment and family activities. So are parks-and-rec programs. Part of the town’s self-improvement, along with repaving of the streets, is the new Freedom Park.



Caesar Rodney | Taxes: 2.1152 Median home cost: $179,100 Commute: 28 | Safety: 2-2 | Arts and culture: 1 Shopping and dining: 1 | Nightlife: 1

Magnolia’s uniquely circular boundary contains 126 acres and fewer than 300 souls. It is famous for the John B. Lindale House, built in the early 1900s by one of the last great peach barons in Delaware. A sign outside the house announces: “This is Magnolia, the center of the universe around which the earth revolves.”


Milford (Kent)

Milford | Taxes: 2.1912 Median home cost: $163,600 | Commute: 24

Milford (Sussex)

Milford | Taxes: 4.6520 Median home cost: $163,600 | Commute: 24 Safety: 9-8 | Arts and culture: 3 Shopping and dining: 3 | Nightlife: 1

We’ll blow the secret: Milford rocks. Community groups like the Mispillion Art League and Second Street Players thrive, as does the local branch of the Music School of Delaware. The riverwalk and Walnut Street offices, stores and restaurants define a “walkable downtown.” Milford Memorial Hospital offers convenient, excellent health care. Waterfront homes, whether on the Mispillion or a local pond, can be found at reasonable prices. Silver Lake Park is a gem.


Smyrna (Kent)

Smyrna | Taxes: 2.0512 Median home cost: $174,900

Smyrna (New Castle)

Smyrna | Taxes: 2.1570 Median home cost: $174,900 | Commute: 34 Safety: 6-5 | Arts and culture: 3 Shopping and dining: 3 | Nightlife: 2

Programming at the renovated Smyrna Opera House may not rival that at Wilmington’s Grand, but it is very good just the same, attracting some national talent. The nearby Four Corners still serves as a commercial center, making for a walkable community that offers the best of small-town living. Home styles span the gamut, with some real bargains to be had in the newer communities close to Del. 1, which speeds you to points north and south in short order.



Caesar Rodney | Taxes: 2.8152 Median home cost: $112,600 Commute: 23 | Safety: 3-3 | Arts and culture: 2 Shopping and dining: 2 | Nightlife: 1

Even in newer communities, you can still see and feel Wyoming’s farming roots. Fifer Orchards is a major destination for shopping and events. Locals gather at Hall’s Family Restaurant. Town Pride Day and the annual fishing derby in Wyoming Pond express civic spirit. The welcome sign at Camden-Wyoming and Caesar Rodney avenues honors the late Rose Chatto, a leading light in the town for 87 years.

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