Wilmington Among Outside Magazine’s ‘15 Happiest Places to Live in the U.S.’

Magazine lauds Northern Delaware location for community, quality of life and outdoor access

September 21, 2023

Outside Magazine has identified Wilmington, Delaware, as one of the “15 Happiest Places to Live in the U.S.” The publication noted that greenspace has long been valued in Wilmington and that 98 percent of Wilmington residents live within a 10-minute walk of a park.

“Situated within reach of Philadelphia (a 20-minute train ride), New York City, Baltimore and Washington, D.C., this place prides itself on outsize access to the outdoors,” said the article. “Locals love its walkability, abundance of parks (nearly 70), revitalized downtown and riverfront and proximity to Mid-Atlantic beaches.”

To compile its list, Outside examined criteria such as overall well-being, percentage of public land, affordability, climate change effects and community inclusivity. Findings were based on statistics from Sharecare, Headwater Economics, the Trust for Public Land, The New York Times, the University of Notre Dame, the Human Rights Campaign, the U.S. Census Bureau and Redfin.

Among the attractions cited in the Wilmington entry were the Northern Delaware Greenway Trail, whose more than 10 paved miles link “parks, playgrounds, historic estates, the Brandywine Zoo, museums, commercial zones and schools,” and the 5.5-mile Jack A. Markell Trail, which runs along the Christina Riverfront from the Russell W. Peterson Urban Wildlife Refuge to New Castle. Also referenced were Alapocas Run, including its 12 bolted climbing routes on Delaware’s only crag, and the access and engagement provided by free entrance and community programming at the three Wilmington State Parks: Brandywine Park, Rockford Park and H. Fletcher Brown Park. Wilmington’s promotion of inclusivity, particularly for the LGBTQ+ community, and its celebration of music through events such as the free Clifford Brown Jazz Festival were noted as well.

The other places identified on the “15 Happiest” list include Reno, Nevada; New Orleans, Louisiana; Cincinnati, Ohio; Charlottesville, Virginia; Hood River, Oregon; Minneapolis, Minnesota; Glenwood Springs, Colorado; Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; Plano, Texas; Anchorage, Alaska; Madison, Wisconsin; Frederick, Maryland; Saint Petersburg, Florida; and Tacoma, Washington.

View the full article at https://www.outsideonline.com/adventure-travel/destinations/north-america/happiest-places-to-live-us/.