Whether you want to live in Delaware for its beaches, friendly tax environment, or affordability, here are some low-key options in the First State.

Delaware’s low taxes, low cost of living, and tax benefits for people over 65 make it a great place for active adults to live. Although a very small state, the First State is home to 32 age-restricted communities, that vary as much as the landscape around them.

Northern Delaware offers cultural attractions in Wilmington, and nearby cities like Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington, D.C. While Southern Delaware is home to the Mid-Atlantic’s best known beaches.

In between, and all over the state, parks provide great outdoor opportunities and outlets have discount and tax-free shopping. While a majority of the state’s 55+ communities are large and have resort-like amenities, smaller communities provide a more intimate setting, and residents don’t have to sacrifice amenities.

Here are the five best small communities in Delaware.

The Village of Cinderberry - Georgetown

Low $200s - High $200s

Active adults who want an intimate community near the Delaware beaches should consider The Village of Cinderberry. Homes are available to residents ages 50 and up and include resale properties and new builds in the mid $200s.

Prospective residents can choose from attached homes (resale only) or single-family homes. Floor plans range from 1,500 to 1,800 square feet and have two or three bedrooms. Although the community only includes 170 homes, residents can enjoy a number of activities, from classes, to clubs, to planned social events.

Many of these take place in Cinderberry Hall, the 6,500 square-foot clubhouse. Here, residents can socialize in the multi-purpose room and library, stay active in the fitness center and indoor pool, or learn something new in the hobby and game room. Rehoboth Beach, Bethany Beach, and the Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge are less than an hour drive, while historic Georgetown is just minutes away.

Whispering Woods - Middletown

Mid $200s - High $300s

Whispering Woods is a new community in Middletown, Delaware. McKee Builders began construction on this 55+ community in 2017. When it is complete, the neighborhood will include 178 single-family, attached, and duplex homes.

The models can have two or three bedrooms, be on a single floor or two levels, and a one or two car garage. New homes start in the mid $200s, and prospective residents can currently tour models.

When completed, the community will have a clubhouse that includes a fitness room, indoor swimming pool, and billiards. Outside, residents can stay active on the tennis and bocce ball courts, or enjoy a walk at nearby parks and wildlife refuges.

The Courtyards at Brandywine

Mid $300s - High $400s

The Courtyards at Brandywine gets its name from the beautiful Brandywine Valley. McKee Builders constructed attached homes in the 55+ community from 2009 to 2016.  The carriage homes all have two bedrooms and a den or three bedrooms, two and a half baths, and a two car garage.

The amenities at the Courtyards at Brandywine are not as extensive as some other small communities, but residents can socialize at the clubhouse’s gathering room.  

Homeowners don’t have to travel far to experience a full cultural life. The Brandywine Wine Trail, the historic home and museum at Winterthur, Longwood Gardens, and the Hagley Museum are just minutes away.

Southern Meadow

Low $100s - Low $200s

Southern Meadow is another 55+ community in Central Delaware, located in Magnolia, not far from the Delaware Bay. Made up of 120 homes, this affordable community offers single-family homes starting in the low $100s. These homes, offered for resale, have two bedrooms and two baths, and range from 1,400 to 1,750 square feet.

The community clubhouse has an exercise room, TV room, and game room for socializing and club meetings. Adults who enjoy staying active and being outdoors will be at home in Southern Meadow. The outdoor pool and patio abut the clubhouse, and residents can also fish in the stocked pond and take walks in the woods around the community, and garden.

Village of Eastridge - Smyrna

Mid $200s - High $200s

Also located in Central Delaware, the Village of Eastridge is an age-restricted community currently offering new homes only. 189 single-family homes make up this tight-knit community in Smyrna near Dover.

Prospective residents can choose from models that allow a lot of customization. Homes range from one bedroom and a den to three bedrooms, and can even have an extra floor for guest rooms. Other customizations include hardwood floors, energy-efficient construction, and vaulted ceilings.

The amenities offered at the Village of Eastridge are relative to the size of the community. The 3,300 square-foot clubhouse includes an exercise room, card room, and catering kitchen, while outside residents can enjoy playing games on the bocce ball courts, horseshoe pits, and shuffleboard courts.