Whether you’re looking for rural Americana, proximity to beaches and state parks, a pastoral agricultural lifestyle or convenient access to work, shopping and dining, Milford, Delaware offers it all.
A river runs through it — quite literally— as the small inland city of Milford finds its home in both Kent and Sussex counties divided by the Mispillion River. In earlier days, the river was the driving force behind Milford’s economy, powering its saw mill and making it a commercial center for ship-building. Today, in a nod to Milford’s maritime history, the Vinyard Shipyard and surrounding homes of early town craftsmen still stand as a living museum. The popular Abbott’s Mill Nature Center on the National Register of Historic Places is built around the still-functioning water-powered mill that once powered the town.
Delaware’s Route 1 bypass offers Milford residents easy access to the best of rural, small-town, seashore and city lifestyles. Job opportunities are plenty, whether in agriculture, tourism at nearby Delaware beaches, Dover Air Force Base, Dover Motor Speedway’s NASCAR Monster Mile or the brand new six-story Bayhealth Medical Center — a recognized top hospital. Plans are even underway for a new industrial business park attracting new and growing businesses and promising even more manufacturing and administrative job opportunities for the Milford area.
Threading its way through the heart of downtown historic Milford is the scenic mile-long Mispillion Riverwalk guiding residents and visitors alike through Milford’s natural surroundings and leading them on a stroll through to city’s historic district, alive with upmarket boutiques, galleries, restaurants, brewery and community theater. Fresh, locally-sourced produce abounds at the Riverwalk Farmer’s Market.
Small-town life doesn’t get much more charming than when neighbors come together to celebrate their cherished state bug (it was none other than a second grade class of Milford students back in 1973 who petitioned the Delaware State Legislature to choose the lady bug). Residents and businesses in Milford take great pride in honoring the tiny, yet majestic speckled creature thought to bring good luck not once, but twice each year — first with The Bug & Bud Festival celebrating Arbor Day, and again with the Lady Bug Festival featuring more than 40 female musical acts.
Agriculture and farming have been a way of life in Delaware ever since the first settlers arrived more than three centuries ago. Surrounding farmland is as important to Milford as the river that runs through it, and Milford’s 11,000 residents have ample opportunities for work in Delaware’s agribusiness economy with such leading employers as Perdue Farms.
Milford is a community-parade type of town, known for its annual old-fashioned yuletide Holiday Stroll, Riverwalk Freedom Festival commemorating September 11, 2001, Memorial Day Flags for Heroes observances Bicentennial Park, sponsored by Milford’s active Rotary. Summer evenings and weekends throughout the year find the community cheering on the town’s many youth sports leagues. And families active in lacrosse, soccer and flag football will surely appreciate the short commute to the new Delaware Turf Sports Complex — the largest synthetic turf sports complex in the mid-Atlantic just minutes from Milford.