Delaware County Pennsylvania
Distinguished historic sites, beautiful gardens and great dining and theater are just a few of the reasons why Delaware County residents feel such a strong sense of loyalty to the county that is affectionately referred to as "Delco." Nestled between Philadelphia and New Castle counties, Delaware County spans 190 square miles in southeastern Pennsylvania. More than 555,000 people make their home throughout Delco and many commute to jobs throughout the region. Extensive bus and rail lines connect Delaware County directly with Center City while major highways, like Interstates 95 and 476 (the Blue Route) and Routes 1 and 3, make regional car travel a breeze. If you desire comfortable suburban living just a heartbeat away from Center City Philadelphia, you've come to the right place.
Only six miles west of Philadelphia is the snug Borough of Lansdowne, an old-fashioned, small-town community where neighbors are friends and downtown is within walking distance. Over 11,000 people live in this close-knit community and homes are generally affordable ($169,950 median sale price in 2008). Public transportation makes commuting easy, with Center City Philadelphia just a 20-minute ride away.
Northwest of Lansdowne in the northernmost portion of the county is Radnor Township, one of Greater Philadelphia's prestigious Main Line communities (named for their location along the region's main rail line). Homes are lovely and it's no surprise that population figures are on the rise. Real estate, which varies from townhouses to large luxury homes, reached a median selling price of $585,000 in 2008. The school system in Radnor is also exceptional — in 2008, the average SAT score for Radnor High School students was 1709, the highest in the county.
Parks and playgrounds are a common site in Haverford, another Main Line residential township overflowing with character and charm. Residents often stroll through, play sports or even feed ducks on the scenic campus of Haverford College, where bushy oak trees, grassy knolls and walking trails encircle a beautiful rippling pond. Homes in Haverford range from modest homes to stunning estates and had a median price of $284,000 in 2008. Small shops and restaurants line Lancaster Avenue (Route 30), and the R5 rail line stops close by Haverford, making commutes to and from Center City a piece of cake.
Follow Route 3 from Philadelphia and you'll come across Newtown Square, an attractive community that borders Radnor to the southeast. More than 11,000 people make their home in Newtown Square's 10.2 square miles, and about 70 percent of the households are families. Many of the homes are relatively new, with most having been built during the last 25 years. The median sale price in 2008 was $370,000. West Chester Pike (Route 3) runs east/west through Newtown Square and makes Center City Philadelphia, just 15 miles away, easily accessible.
Many consider Media, the county seat, to be the heart of Delaware County. Residents call Media "Everybody's Hometown" because it's the kind of place where strangers greet each other as they pass on the street. It is the quintessential community with inviting homes, flowering trees and a downtown complete with red brick sidewalks and unique shops. There's even a trolley that runs along Media's main street. And theater lovers don't have to venture into the city for a great show. The award-winning Media Theater offers a Broadway series, concerts and shows for kids. There are many restaurants nearby to make a great night out for dinner and a show!
Crave a small-town residential environment that's not too far from the city's action? Swarthmore Borough, with its strong emphasis on community, might be just what you're looking for. Swarthmore is mostly residential with stunning Victorian houses. Homes tend to be beautifully landscaped and had a median value of $339,500 in 2008. Downtown you'll find unique shops frequented by residents who share in a distinct kinship with each other. This cozy community, which is also home to Swarthmore College, is 12 miles outside of Philadelphia.
The landscape of Delaware County's largest city, Chester, which is situated along the Delaware River, has recently improved due to an onset of revitalization projects in the area. One glowing achievement is University Technology Park, conveniently located between two of the county's top employers: Crozer-Chester Medical Center and Widener University. Chester's revitalization plans promise to bring new economic developments to the city. Most notably, the city recently opened Harrah's Chester Casino and Racetrack in the fall of 2006 and plans to open a major league soccer stadium in the next few years.
For those in touch with the great outdoors, Delaware County offers much to please. The John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum, located in the easternmost portion of the county near Philadelphia International Airport, is the largest freshwater tidal marsh in the state. Throughout the refuge, you'll find a variety of wildlife, plants, insects and birds. You can also head west across the county and spend an afternoon exploring Ridley Creek State Park's 2,606 acres. The park has 12 miles of trails, five miles of which are paved, making it the perfect place to enjoy hiking, biking, jogging, horseback riding, cross-county skiing and sledding. Tyler Arboretum, the oldest arboreta in the northeastern United States, is next to the park and contains 650 acres of horticultural attractions. Trails and paths take visitors through uncultivated, naturally beautiful areas. For a contrast, consider stopping by Chanticleer Garden, a "pleasure garden" in Wayne (near Radnor), where gorgeously cultivated gardens are literally artwork.
Delaware County is a wonderful place to call home — when you're a Delco resident, you're close enough to Philadelphia to enjoy the excitement of city life yet far enough to appreciate the many pleasant aspects of suburban living. Small boroughs, big townships, close-knit neighborhoods and spacious suburbs contribute to its appealing character. Events like the annual Riverfront Ramble, a huge end of summer celebration complete with concerts, fireworks, boat races, craft shows, car shows and ice cream sundaes, continue to unite residents of Delaware County. It's easy to see why people love to live in Delco.