Lewes : Delaware

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What Lewes is like for active adults

Lewes, Delaware is a small town of about 3,100 people on the southern coast of Delaware, just above Rehoboth Beach, Bethany Beach, Dewey Beach, and Fenwick Island. Originally a whaling town, the area was the first town in Delaware be settled, in this case by the Dutch. It is considered an ocean resort.  The area is the fastest growing region of Delaware.

The main street (Second St.)  has many shops, restaurants, and historical attractions. Fisherman's Wharf is a dock that stretches along the Rehoboth Canal.  It features multiple restaurants and the dock is a great place to inspect hundreds of boats in season. Cape Henlopen State Park is nearby and offers great birding among other attractions. A recent visitor to Lewes described it this way: "It was very quaint and a much more calm, civilized alternative to the other Delaware beaches like Dewey and Rehoboth, which are pretty trashy and big party towns". Photo of downtown courtesy of Wikipedia and Tim Kise.

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Where to Live & Real Estate Values

A great many active adult communities are in the region. (Look for Active Communities using link at top right).
The median home price in mid 2013 was about $340,000 according to City-Data, although there are many homes selling for much more in the region.

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What is special about this retirement community

This is a top tourist area because of its beaches, proximity to Cape Henlopen State Park, and the shopping malls of Rehoboth Beach. Lewes is one of the oldest towns in America and dates back to 1631.The Ryves-Holt House, built in 1665, is the oldest house in Delaware. The 1926 Harbor of Refuge Lighthouse stands presides over Lewes Harbor. The Cannonball House is another attraction.  Lewes is a very walkable community.

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What is not special about this retirement community
Some people might not like Lewes living because it is so far from any city - it is like living in a resort. It is also on the expensive side.
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What kinds of people like retiring here
The people who like living in Lewes tend to be those who want to live near the ocean or who want to be far from suburbia and an urban environment. The average age is quite high, about 56.
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Local economy is driven by
Tourism and retirees are 2 of the bigger industries in Lewes.
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Climate and Physical Environment

Lewes is on the southern Delaware coast just above Rohoboth Beach near the terminus of the Delmarva Peninsula.

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Restaurants & Cultural Scene
Lewes is proud of its Zwaanendael Museum, which features exhibits about the history of Delaware. There are a lot of tourist oriented things to do in Lewes, including dining out.
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Crime
The crime rate is about half the national average.
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Medical facilities

Beebe Medical Center is the primary hospital located in Lewes. Beebe also operates six remote healthcare facilites conveniently located throughout Sussex county. Healthgrades® named Beebe one of America's 100 Best Hospitals for overall Orthopedic, Joint Replacement, and Spine Surgery 2012-2013.

Nanticoke Hospital, also in Sussex county, is located in Seaford, DE, about 30 miles west of Lewes.

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Transportation

The town is the terminus of the Lewes-Cape May (NJ) ferry. Salisbury-Ocean City Airport is about 40 miles. The Delaware Transit Authority (DART) operates buses on fixed schedules in Sussex county. DART also operates free buses to/from a park and ride and the beaches, the boardwalk and the shopping outlets. 

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Valuable Links
Guide to Delaware retirement
City Guide to Lewes
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What people are saying about Lewes

DEL WEBB IN DE
This is a late response to your question - but I have looked at the two mentioned above and also Spring Arbor. Spring Arbor is a small community but very very nice. Close to shopping and already has a clubhouse built. Homes are lovely. I am planning a second trip to that development in March.
Posted by kmoyer on February 21, 2013
DEL WEBB IN DELAWARE
Just went on the Del Webb website and didn't see anything about a new community coming into Lewes. Would love information on that. The tax structure for retirees in DE is nice. I saw Independence and Heritage Shores a few weeks ago. Independence is pretty expensive but very nice. Heritage Shores if further from shopping, etc. Anyone else know of any other developments in DE that they have seen?
Posted by ktmoyer on May 29, 2012

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Facts about LEWES
  • State: DE
  • Environment: Coastal,Small Town,Boating Community,Resort Community,
  • City Population: Less than 10,000
  • Median age of Population: 45-64
  • Avg Jan Temperature: 21-40
  • Avg July Temperature: 60-80
  • Median HH Income: 60,001-80,000
  • Average Home Price (MLS): $300,001-$500,000
  • Annual Property Tax on a $200,000 house: Less than 2000
  • Total Crime Index: <80 (Very low)
  • Cost of Living Index: 111-120 (high)
  • Culture Index: 81-90 (low)
  • State Sales Tax: No
  • State Income Tax: Yes
  • Name of the Guide: Catrina

Can you add to or correct these Facts? Or do you have a photo of this community we could use? If so, please click on Edit these facts

Lewes retirement communities
Vote on the Ratings for Lewes
Update Your Ratings
1. Overall Retirement Ratings Discuss

1. Rating: 3.3/5 ( 13 votes cast)

2. Expense:
Inexpensive to Luxury Discuss

2. Rating: 3.0/5 ( 8 votes cast)

3. Taxes:
Inexpensive to Expensive Discuss

3. Rating: 2.3/5 ( 7 votes cast)

4. Culture:
None to Cosmopolitan Discuss

4. Rating: 3.1/5 ( 7 votes cast)

5.Recreation:
None to Summer camp Discuss

5. Rating: 3.3/5 ( 7 votes cast)

6. Transportation:
Boondocks to World Hub Discuss

6. Rating: 1.9/5 ( 7 votes cast)

7. Security:
Dangerous to Ft. Knox Discuss

7. Rating: 3.1/5 ( 11 votes cast)

8. Medical Facilities:
None to Excellent Discuss

8. Rating: 2.9/5 ( 11 votes cast)

9. Political Situation:
Conservative to Liberal Discuss

9. Rating: 2.6/5 ( 9 votes cast)

10. Environmental:
Oblivious to Ultra-Green Discuss

10. Rating: 3.1/5 ( 7 votes cast)