Wilmington might not be the first place you’d think of when looking for a vibrant, exciting city to spend your 20s and 30s. However, a revitalized riverfront and urban core, proximity to other major metro areas, affordability, and a whole list of other pros are increasingly drawing young professionals to this Mid-Atlantic city. If you’re looking for an exciting Wilmington neighborhood teeming with other young professionals, consider the options below. And if you’ve already decided that Wilmington is the place for you, be sure you get moving quotes from trusted Wilmington movers ahead of your relocation.
Living in Downtown puts you at the heart of Wilmington, close to the central business district and in the middle of some of the most diverse dining, shopping, and entertainment offerings the city has to offer.
Downtown is a small area directly in the center of the city, reaching from North Pine Street in the east to Shipley Street in the west and from East 11th Street in the north to West 8th Street in the south. Downtown is located 31 miles, or 35 minutes’ drive, southwest of Philadelphia. Downtown’s population is 1,442, over 80% of whom rent apartments or condos in this densely settled urban area. The median home price is $123,575 and the median rent is $930.
The greatest appeals to living in Downtown are the vibrant nightlife, variety of shopping, and diverse dining, including some of the best global cuisines in the mid-Atlantic. Downtown is also home to the Grand Opera House and only a few blocks from the Delaware Theatre Company and the Delaware Contemporary Museum.
Two blocks north of the waterfront, Lower Market—or LOMA, to the locals—was designated a national historic district in 1980 and just a glimpse at it makes it clear why. Walking the streets here is like walking in a time machine on a journey from the mid-18th to early-20th century, featuring some of the most important building styles of the past three hundred years, including Federal, Classical Revival, and Art Deco architecture.
Lower Market reaches from Market Street in the south to Fourth Street in the north and from Shipley in the west to King Street in the east. It’s located 30 miles, or 34 minutes’ drive, southwest of Philadelphia. An estimated 500 to 700 people live in LOMA. All the residential housing in the neighborhood is attached to or above commercial establishments. The median condo price is $236,000 and the median rent is $1,173.
Living in LOMA means living in a historic district, surrounded by unique shops, eclectic dining, and beautiful architecture. In LOMA, there’s no shortage of things to do. Nearby are art galleries, cafes, and The Queen, one of Wilmington’s most beloved music venues.
North of downtown, on the shores of the Brandywine, sits Midtown Brandywine. With its blend of shopping, dining, and townhouses, and proximity to downtown, this urban neighborhood has long been one of the city’s most desirable communities for young professionals.
Midtown Brandywine starts in the north at South Park Drive and reaches south to West 11th Street. It stretches from Washington Street in the west to North French Street in the east. The neighborhood is located 30 miles, or 34 minutes’ drive, southwest of Philadelphia. The population of Midtown Brandywine is 735, with nearly 90% renting condos, apartments, or townhouses. The median home price is $273,100 and the median rent is $1,020.
Residents of Midtown Brandywine enjoy several great restaurants, bars, and cafes, or they can head a few blocks south into downtown. The area is home to H. Fletcher Brown Park and just across the creek is Brandywine Park, with its playgrounds, sports fields, zoo, gardens, picnic areas, and trails.
North of the city center, along the Brandywine and centered on Conaty Park, Trolley Square is an intimate urban community becoming increasingly popular with young professionals who work downtown.
Trolley Square runs from North Scott Street in the northwest to Rowan Street in the southeast and from Delaware Avenue in the southwest to Lovering Avenue in the northeast. From Trolley Square, it’s 29 miles, or 33 minutes’ drive, northeast to Philadelphia. Approximately 263 people call Trolley Square home, with two-thirds renting their homes. The median home price is $306,018 and the median rent is $1,307.
The proximity of Little Italy means that there are plenty of great Italian eateries in the area. Just across the Creek is Brandywine Park and Baynard Stadium, and in Trolley Square itself, Conaty Park is the home of the Delaware Center for Horticulture.
Union Park Gardens
The historic neighborhood of Union Park Gardens, west of downtown, was designed in 1918 as a community for the city’s shipbuilders during World War I. Today, the neighborhood is a mix of urban and suburban housing around a string of parks running along the central South Bancroft Parkway.
Union Park Gardens is bordered to the north by Lancaster Avenue and the south by South Union Street, which also forms its eastern border. In the west, the neighborhood is bordered by Cathedral Cemetery. Union Park Gardens sits 33 miles, or 39 minutes’ drive, southwest of downtown Philadelphia. The population of Union Park Gardens is 945 people, about 60% of whom own their single-family houses and townhouses. The median home price is $199,466 and the median rent is $1,152.
Several restaurants are in the Union Park Gardens area, and nearby you can find the Wilmington Turners function hall for a variety of events. The neighborhood is home to the Fraim Center for Active Adults, a recreational fitness club.
South of downtown, Riverfront meanders along the Christina River, with over two miles of shoreside walks and great places for dining and drinking. While most of the area is commercial, there are some residential pockets.
Riverfront is bordered to the north by MLK Jr. Boulevard and East 4th Street and to the south by the Russell Peterson Wildlife Refuge. The Christina River forms the eastern border and Route 95 its western border. Riverfront is 33 miles, or a 40 minutes’ drive, southwest of downtown Philadelphia. The residential population of Riverfront is estimated to be less than 100 people, with most renting condos or apartments. The median home value is $78,100 and the median rent is $1,143.
Seafood dining in Riverwalk is some of the best in the city. Riverfront is home to numerous parks, walks, and historic sites, as well as some of the most popular sites in Wilmington, including the Delaware Theatre Company, Opera Delaware, the Delaware Children’s Museum, the Chase Center, and Frawley Stadium.