What’s the best suburb south of Philly for a single/late 30’s something?
June 12, 2014 10:05 AM   Subscribe

I’m thinking about relocating for a job around Wilmington DE. My first thinking is to find a place to live somewhere between Wilmington & Philadelphia. The commute would be south to work, north for arts/culture and other nice things…

Right now I live in NYC, but would like to get away from the keyed up lifestyle, but still have some access to the niceties of city life (music/meetups/etc). Here are some things I would really like in a town:

•Quiet, laid back place… maybe some rentals off the beaten trail.
•One or two pleasant bars/coffee shops/cultural happenings place…etc. (negotiable point, will have a car)
•No-hassle commute to my office, just south of Wilmington.

I do have some opportunities to explore the area during business travel, but I’ve found it tough to know when to get off the main streets. Near Wilmington may be ok too, feel free to add ideas I haven’t thought of.

posted by shimmer to Society & Culture (12 answers total)
No-hassle commute to my office

It isn't clear if your commute will be by car or by public transportation. You want to live north of Wilmington (closer to Philly) but your office is south of Wilmington. What that means is that your commute will involve going over bridges and through a city to get to the other side, each way. That can be really problematic from a traffic point of view and smaller cities like Wilmington can have traffic problems every bit as brutal as larger places. That is just something to consider if your commute will be by car.
posted by Seymour Zamboni at 10:28 AM on June 12, 2014

Commute will likely be by car, thanks.
posted by shimmer at 10:28 AM on June 12, 2014

The commute question will really vary by where south of Wilmington you are commuting to. Elsmere? Pike Creek? Newark? Middletown? In other words do you have to go down I95 which makes Delaware County easier or is it farther west and you can get there more easily from Chester County.

Also hope they fix the 495 bridge before you start!
posted by interplanetjanet at 10:54 AM on June 12, 2014

I know almost nothing about the area, however:

1) I live in Maryland.
2) I have family in the Tri-State Area near NYC, so I'm often driving through Delaware and up toward and through NYC.
3) On very rare occasions I need to travel to central New Jersey for work.

Given this, I know from experience that I-95 from the Maryland state line to the split-off for the New Jersey Turnpike is ALWAYS a traffic nightmare. If you can at all avoid using 95 on your commute, DO IT.
posted by tckma at 11:09 AM on June 12, 2014

Hey, think about Media, PA. It's got a downtown, restaurants, it's close to Wilmington, it's a train ride from Philly, and it's got a nice all-around quality of life.
posted by Mister_A at 11:23 AM on June 12, 2014

Here's the borough webpage. Wanda Sykes lives there!
posted by Mister_A at 11:25 AM on June 12, 2014

I would suggest:

Chadds Ford
Ridley Park
West Chester

But which would be most convenient depends on where you are working.
posted by interplanetjanet at 11:33 AM on June 12, 2014

Thanks all. The workplace is newcastle de.
posted by shimmer at 12:06 PM on June 12, 2014

The historic part of New Castle is very nice. It's probably expensive though.
posted by interplanetjanet at 6:10 AM on June 13, 2014

The more I think about it the more I would be sure to check out old New Castle. It's walkable, has historic colonial houses, a couple of restaurants, a coffee shop, a used bookstore, and a nice park on the river where you can go for walks and look at ships. Maybe it isn't what a young guy from New York would call exciting but I go down there to walk around a lot. I have no idea what the rentals are like though or even if there are any. It's also convenient to I95 in case you want to drive up to Philly.
posted by interplanetjanet at 6:30 AM on June 13, 2014

I would look into living in either Wilmington or New Castle. Commuting by car in the whole region around here is a freking nightmare if you have to work typical office times. being 5 minutes late to the road can mean the difference between a 30 minute commute and an hour. Live close to work, leisure is still close enough that it's not a hassle to go out on the weekends. Philadelphia is exponentially more drivable than NYC so if it's just going there for entertainment, I wouldn't be too concerned about being able to reach it easily via public transit.
posted by WeekendJen at 6:44 AM on June 13, 2014

Some nicer neighborhoods in the city of Wilmington are Trolley Square/Forty Acres/Cool Spring. They are putting up a lot of new apartments down at the riverfront. That area has always looked very sterile to me because there wasn't much down there but it is getting more lived in looking.

One of the problems with living in the city of Wilmington is lack of parking, especially if you need a car to get to your job in the suburbs. So be sure to investigate the parking situation when you look at rentals.
posted by interplanetjanet at 7:32 AM on June 13, 2014

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