Delaware is the First State or Diamond State but is not without its disadvantages. As a small state, it lacks many of the conveniences of places like New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, and Los Angeles. For people who like a slow pace, it's the ideal place to live.
As the holder of the title First State" or "Diamond State" one gets the impression that Delaware is a historical place, and on that I stand in agreement. After all, we have Pea Patch Island, the site of some colonial battles, and Historic New Castle where George Washington is reported to have tossed a coin across the Delaware, along with its well-preserved historical homes that still exist in that town.
If you're planning to move to Delaware, one of the first things that you must be fully aware of is that you will need a car for transportation unless you plan to live right in the city of Wilmington, not recommended due to the higher rate of crime than in the suburbs. Another reason that one cannot rely on public transportation in Delaware is that many areas either don't have it at all or it runs only during rush hour and never on Sunday or holidays even to the various malls. There is no subway service, just buses, and they do not travel to the lower counties on a regular basis, though a bus from Wilmington to Dover can be found during the daily rush hours, and a beach bus to Rehoboth Beach during the beach season.
Don't expect because Delaware is a small state to find the price of things to be comparable to its size -- quite the opposite. The price of housing in comparison to the size of Delaware just doesn't compare. The median price of a three-bedroom home in any area in New Castle County is over $100,000 with most areas being well above that. Certainly a home priced at $75,000 - $80,000 can be found, but those are in the urban areas or in subdivisions in dire need of redevelopment.
The elementary schools in most of the districts provide quite a quality education, but once your children enter middle school, it becomes a different subject totally with teachers in some districts being more concerned with their salary that whether the children are learning. Because of this Delaware had to develop an accountability provision allowing teachers to be held responsible for students who failed to learn. Unfortunately this also holds teachers responsible for students who just don't try, but for the most part the plan works and makes teachers put out that extra effort.
Shopping in Delaware is plentiful, and with the lack of a sales tax, it draws people in from Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and even New York. Christiana Mall is one of the biggest malls in the state, drawing people in on buses during the height of the Christmas season. The only disadvantage to that particular mall is there are no discount stores, and it boasts of four major anchor stores: Strawbridge's, J. C. Penney, Macy's, and Lord and Taylor. Public transportation is plentiful for those who live within the city of Wilmington, but those in other areas, it's a little more difficult, and though the mall is open on Sundays, there is no public transportation on that day.
Sussex County is home to Delaware's beaches: Rehoboth, Bethany, South Bowers, Dewey, Fenwick Island, and many state parks with swimming areas such as Indian River Inlet. Rehoboth also boasts of an outlet center right on Route 1 which one passes on the way to the beach area. Rehoboth is also only about 30 minutes away from Ocean City, Maryland, a favorite of many Delawareans (myself included). Pots Neck is a campground just minutes from Rehoboth for those who like the idea of a home near the beach but not on the beach and has several other mobile home parks on the same road for a total of about five of them.
For those who like to dine out, Delaware has its share of fast food chains and family restaurants. For the more demanding diner who doesn't mind paying a little more, there is quite a selection of upscale restaurants as well, with seafood restaurants quite plentiful. Unfortunately other than nightclubs, which are sparse, nightlife in Delaware is almost non-existent, with most Delawareans taking the trek to Philadelphia, about a 30-minute ride away, for more action. Baltimore is only about an hour away, and has entertainment for those who choose more than just a night of dining and a movie. There are two major casinos for those who like the slots, Delaware Park in New Castle County and Dover Downs in Dover,
For those moving to Delaware, a major issue to keep in mind is there is a law concerning smoking in public places, and it includes every establishment except private clubs. What this means is you will not enter a restaurant or club and be asked "smoking or non-smoking" because you aren't allowed to smoke inside. This received some controversy at the beginning, but it seems to be relaxing here several years later -- I don't know about the bars, though, since I am not a bar patron, but the few times I went, the place seemed pretty crowded to me!
Also, remember, though Delaware does not have a sales tax, there is a state income tax, and in my opinion it is quite high for the size of Delaware. It also does not allow for exemptions, but instead has a "tax credit" for exemptions of $110 for each one, not a whole lot.
Employment in Delaware depends what kind of work you do. The biggest employers in Delaware are the state government and the DuPont Company, but if you are a person interested in working for a bank or credit card company, those are all over the state. The bigg4est of these is MBNA, but Bank of America has just recently moved in after buying into Fleet National Bank. Presently most of the jobs are in Dover, but based on statistics that I have seen in the years I have lived here, I expect to soon seen their name all over New Castle County.
In conclusion, let me simply say that Delaware is not a state for someone interested in a fast pace nor is it for someone who does not drive. As long as you don't fit into either of those categories, you will find our little state quite a compelling place to live with the historical features, museums, parks, shopping malls, and beach areas. Of course be ready for weather changes because our saying is "If you don't like the weather, wait five minutes and it will change." Also, be ready to find yourself with sinus problems due to all the chemical plants that surround or are in close proximity to every area of the state.