You’re out for your morning walk. The morning sun slowly turns every quiet street a vivid orange as you round a garden-lined corner. Suddenly a familiar face of an old friend greets you warmly, and after a brief exchange, you decide to take a detour through Brew Ha Ha together for a cup of coffee. After catching up with your friend, they invite you to dinner with a few of your other neighbors. You say farewell and finish your day’s activities, picking up a game at the tennis courts or stopping through the Greek Fest to pick up a delicious dessert for tonight. At every turn, friends and warm greetings from every walk of life abound. Later, as you walk to your friend’s house for dinner, you pass friendly faces on well-let brick sidewalks and a warm breeze carries the savory scents of dinners cooking along every street. You take a deep breath and realize you’re a part of this neighborhood, a vibrant community of connected people who love where they live.
There are neighborhoods where you don’t need to feel like a stranger. Where people meet up in passing and take an unplanned detour to a coffee shop or creekside park bench. Where the every local sports league plays at the community field down the road, and hobby meetups are only a couple blocks away. If this is the type of place you want to live, you’re in luck! We’ve highlighted our top picks for the best neighborhoods with a sense of community northwest of Wilmington. If you’re not in the market for a new home, a short trip to these neighborhoods will change your mind quick!
The walkability of Trolley Square offers a small-town atmosphere coupled with a lifestyle of convenience that is unmatched by the suburbs. A series of village-style shops make it possible to do all your shopping in one place. And why not be within walking distance of the finest selection of taverns, gastropubs, fine dining, and food from nearly every culture within a few square blocks?
As you walk northwest of Trolley Square, you’ll notice apartment buildings give way to the single houses and pleasant row homes of Forty Acres. The old sycamores lean over familiar brick sidewalks, roots gently push against and spill over the worn red blocks. A unique feature of Forty Acres is the feeling one would expect of a European neighborhood - where quiet restaurants, diners, and boutiques nestle in between houses. No expansive parking lots, no rumble of impatient traffic. Just the ambiance of a cheery town going about its day.
Bordering Rockford Park, the Highlands neighborhood is close enough to Trolley Square and Forty Acres to enjoy all of their perks while delivering a family-centered atmosphere removed from the nightlife. Free-standing homes, each displaying a garden or lawn, abound down every tree-lined street. Kids play with their dogs in front of yards hedged with picket fences. It’s easy to wonder if Norman Rockwell drew inspiration from a trip to the Highlands.
Rockford is a neighborhood of sprawling brick homes and creeping ivy, brilliant green lawns, and high, windowed gables. The wide streets and pristine sidewalks skirt the boundary of Rockford Park, its large canine recreation area and the nature trails beyond. You’ll find a more restrained atmosphere among the ornamental gardens and short stone walls of Rockford’s home fronts. Every passerby is held rapt by its charm. Amid the beautiful architecture lies a peaceful haven under tall tree canopies, removed from the bustle of Trolley Square, but not too far away to enjoy it regularly.
Mid-Town Brandywine combines the accessibility of city life with the safety of small town insulation as it borders Trolley Square, Brandywine Park, and Wilmington’s cultural center on Market Street. Sidewalks adhere the quiet village of Mid-Town Brandywine to its shaded streets, lined with protective sycamores over dual-family and rowhouses. You wave a friendly greeting to your neighbors as you pass. In Mid-Town Brandywine, the community here feels like a rebirth of an old idea: a tight knit tapestry of eclectic peoples from all walks of life, thriving and free of the crime so often associated with the city.
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