Established in 1808, downtown Delaware is flush with history. To help make sense of it all, the local historical society offers guided tours, celebrating Delaware-born President Rutherford B. Hayes or tracing the path of the local Underground Railroad. On your own, you’re sure to notice more than 500 historic homes in a range of 19th- and 20th-century styles including Craftsman and Gothic Revival.
Residents looking for modern fun can visit the Strand Theatre, which was founded in 1916 and is one of the 10 longest-operating movie theaters in the country. A volunteer group called Main Street Delaware hosts a popular farmers’ market Wednesdays and Saturdays from May through October, as well as festive events like a community-wide “Friendsgiving” in November.
About 30 miles north of Ohio capital Columbus and home to Ohio Wesleyan University, Delaware’s 7.6% unemployment rate in June was far below the national rate at the time of 11.1%. With a median income of $78,000, Delaware beats Ohio and the nation at large too. — Samantha Sharf