Young families, retirees and professionals are drawn to the small-town Americana atmosphere here, while still enjoying easy access to Newark, Wilmington, Philadelphia and Baltimore — and beyond. In fact, Central Delaware sits halfway between New York City and Washington, D.C. Wilmington is located approximately 50 miles north where you can easily catch a train to northern cities, and D.C. is just under two hours west by car or bus.
The nearby Delaware Bay with its beautiful beaches and unspoiled wildlife areas provide ample recreational opportunities and the ideal work-life balance.
Renting and buying options in Central Delaware are as varied as the rest of the state, with a median rent of $1,073 and a median home value of $130 per square foot.
Dover, the state’s capital since 1777, offers the perfect balance between past and present. This small, friendly city was established by William Penn in 1683 and plays a central role in U.S. history. On The Dover Green, Delaware became the first state to ratify the United States Constitution in 1787, giving it its nickname of “The First State.” History and culture buffs can further satisfy their yearn to learn at the Old State House — which has stood in the capital since 1791 — the stunning Biggs Museum of American Art, and the incredibly interesting Delaware Agricultural Museum.
Dover offer tons of modern-day excitement, too, as it hosts some of the biggest events and festivities in the state including NASCAR races at Dover International Speedway and the world-renowned Firefly Music Festival. Another hotspot for fun is Dover Downs Hotel and Casino, offering live harness racing, fabulous dining options, exciting concerts and events, 24-hour gaming, a AAA-rated Four Diamond hotel, unique shopping and a luxurious spa.
And don’t forget the role Central Delaware plays in our national security with the Department of Defense’s largest aerial port, Dover Air Force Base, a hub of action surrounded by peaceful small-town living. The base is approximately 3,900 acres with 6,400 total military personnel (3,900 active duty, 1,500 reservists and 1,000 civilians).
Aviation lovers won’t want to miss the Air Mobility Command Museum, which features the largest and most complete collection of restored U.S. military cargo and tanker aircraft in the eastern U.S.
Milford, which sits south of Dover, is a charming small town known for its artsy edge and welcoming downtown lined with art museums, murals and inviting restaurants. The town’s scenic Riverwalk beckons walkers and cyclists to take a stroll along the water on their way to a farm-to-table lunch, tapped off by a craft beer sampling from the local Mispillion Brewing Company. Nature lovers won’t want to miss the two nearby gems, Abbott’s Mill and DuPont Nature Centers.
Just west of Milford lies Harrington, host of the annual Delaware State Fair each July. It’s also home of the exciting Harrington Raceway and Casino with slot machines, gaming tables and award-winning restaurants.
North of Milford on Route 1 lies the town of Frederica which not only provides headquarters for NASA spacesuit engineers, ILC Dover, but also boasts the state’s largest and only all-turf sports facility, the DE Turf Sports Complex. Athletes of all ages can enjoy playing on synthetic fields year-round at this expansive complex, despite weather conditions.
North of Dover, you’ll find another small, hospitable town, Smyrna, which offers close proximity to the ocean at Woodland Beach. This quiet beach is never crowded, and it’s the perfect place to escape and do a little fishing or sea glass collecting.
Notable employers in the Central Delaware region include Bayhealth, Delaware State University, Delaware Technical Community College, Delaware State and Dover Downs. The central region is also a base for impressive companies like ILC Dover, Playtex, Kraft, Proctor and Gamble, and Miller Metal.
ILC Dover is a world leader in the innovative design and production of engineered products employing high-performance flexible materials. This is the company that outfitted the Apollo astronauts and all subsequent NASA manned missions, including present flights to the International Space Station. They are currently developing two new spacesuits for Extravehicular Activity (EVA) and Launch Entry and Abort (LEA).
Miller Metal Fabrication is a premier home-grown manufacturing company providing state-of-the-art (CAD) design, laser cutting, bending, machining, welding and assembly services to a global market.
High-quality healthcare options are just as accessible in the central region as the rest of Delaware. Bayhealth is Central Delaware’s healthcare leader with a hospital in Dover and most recently in Milford, investing over $314 million to build the new 165-acre health campus including a cutting-edge hospital and outpatient center. There is also a freestanding emergency department in Smyrna and numerous satellite facilities with employed physicians practicing a variety of specialties.