5 Reasons to Bring the Family to Edwards, Colorado This Summer

Summer vacations were made for making memories. The Rocky Mountains in Colorado are ideal to visit during the summer months, with long, warm days hovering around 70 to 80 degrees. The landscape shows off with lush, green forests dotted with colorful wildflowers and a plethora of outdoor activities to choose from. Many people head to the higher elevation to escape the heat - and the crowds. If you look just beyond the world-famous ski resorts of Vail and Beaver Creek, you will find Edwards, Colorado, a family-friendly town that is the perfect home base for your summer vacation. Here are the top five reasons why you and your family should visit Edwards, Colorado this summer:

1. Edwards is close to the adventure, yet away from it all

Located just minutes from Colorado’s world-famous ski resorts and surrounded by National Forest, Edwards, Colorado is a laid-back mountain town along the Eagle River. Local restaurants and shops line the downtown Riverwalk, and access to mountain activities like hiking, mountain biking, fishing, is just one of the town’s claims to fame. Centrally located in the Vail Valley, Edwards is where you can experience the beauty and serenity of the mountains without the crowds and commotion.

2. Edwards has a lively dining scene

Edwards has a vibrant culinary scene, with restaurants ranging from quick and casual to fine dining. Most restaurants are locally-owned and feature sustainable ingredients from Colorado farms, and provide a high-quality and low-key dining approach. Whether you’re looking for a family-friendly dining spot or your next date night, there are fantastic restaurants in Edwards to choose from.

One of the best new additions to Edwards is the Mountain Fish House & Oyster Bar, located in the lobby of The Inn at Riverwalk. Serving fresh seafood daily, the Mountain Fish House’s menu includes overstuffed lobster rolls served three ways, crispy crab cakes made with lump crab and a cilantro lime aioli, and fresh soups, including a hearty fisherman stew. A rotating selection of oysters on the half shell are available daily. Check out their daily happy hour from 3:30-5:30pm for daily food and drink specials, including $1.50 oysters. 

The best breakfast and baked goods are found at local spots in Edwards. Hovey & Harrison | Cafe, Bakery & Market has arguably the best baked goods in the Vail Valley, with a rotating selection of freshly baked sourdough loaves, muffins, and cookies. Their full cafe menu, featuring ingredients from local farms, doesn’t disappoint either. Head to Village Bagel for a traditional East Coast style bagel or bagel sandwich. Or grab a coffee and a crepe at The Bookworm, an independent bookstore, cafe, and coffee shop on Main St.

Lunch options range from fresh grab and go sandwiches at The Boardroom Market & Deli to a sit-down meal at The Drunken Goat, with small tapas, cheese-focused sandwiches, and build-your-own cheese boards. Main Street Grill’s extensive menu includes burgers, sandwiches, and wings, but they are most well-known for their Cajun and Creole dishes.

For dinner, Zino Ristorante is a casual contemporary Italian trattoria known for their wood-fired pizzas and fresh pastas, which are made in-house. Craftsman Brew Co, with a recently-expanded space and menu, offers interesting small plates and a unique twist on classic sandwiches, such as the Mushroom “Pastrami” or a Green Chile Philly. If you’re looking for an elevated experience, Juniper’s delectable seasonal menu is perfect for date night. The fine-dining restaurant is a local’s favorite, with a dimly lit interior and a back patio that overlooks the Eagle River. 

3. Edwards has plenty of kid-friendly activities

Edwards is the perfect family-friendly destination because there are numerous indoor and outdoor activities for kids. Here are some of the best places to explore with your family in Edwards, Colorado:

Freedom Park is the perfect destination for kids to enjoy in the summer. A brand-new playground was installed in the spring of 2023. The large, modern park has mountain-inspired features that accommodate kids of different ages. Adjacent to the park is a small splash pad and a large skate and bike park. For rainy days, head inside to the Edwards Field House, located across the parking lot, for rock climbing walls, Tumble Tots open gym for kids under 5, and indoor basketball and pickleball courts. 

Another great place to romp is the Lower Homestead Park. This small park is in a residential neighborhood best suited for younger kids. In addition to a playset, there's a sandbox filled with trucks.

Budding artists will love the Alpine Arts Center. They offer numerous classes and camps for kids (and adults), such as painting, clay art, and more. 

Riverwalk Movie Theater prides itself on digital movies with analog vibes. Their large screens offer a mix of new movies and old favorites that cater to all age groups. In addition to serving classic buttered popcorn, families can treat themselves to soft-serve ice cream and a selection of specialty snacks.

4. Edwards has easy trail access

National forest territory and scenic terrain surrounds Edwards, making it easy to find your way into nature. Located behind The Inn at Riverwalk, a bike path parallels the Eagle River. Flat and wide, the bike path connects Edwards with the rest of the Vail Valley, with Vail Village to the east and the town of Eagle to the west. Numerous benches overlook the river for a relaxing place to stop. 

If you’re looking for some dirt paths, head to the Miller Ranch Open Space, where an easy 2-mile round trip trail through protected land has off-shoots down to the river. The calm eddies are perfect for your pup to swim, kids to throw rocks, or fishermen to cast a line. On the other side of the street from The Inn, the Eagle River Preserve offers short, well-maintained dirt trails along the river. Want to gain some vert on your hike? The East Lake Creek Trail meanders through tall, dense aspen groves and eventually back down to the valley floor where it crosses a river. The West Lake Creek Trail is a dirt service road that follows a creek for the first couple of miles as it climbs through a mix of pine and aspen forest. On the west side of Edwards, in Cordillera, the Squaw Creek Trail has a few short switchbacks before the trail mellows out to a rolling singletrack and follows a small stream through a steep, lush valley. 

5. Edwards is a dog-friendly town

Your four-legged family members are welcome in Edwards, which caters to dogs as much as it does locals. The Inn at Riverwalk offers pet-friendly rooms for dogs of all sizes and breeds. Many patios in Edwards allow dogs, at least on the perimeter of the patio, while you enjoy a meal. On the west side of Freedom Park is an off-leash dog park, where dogs can run and roam through the grassy fields and doggy-paddle through a small lake in the middle. Additionally, dogs are not required to have leashes on trails, so long as they are voice-trained. 

Where is the Best Place to Stay in Edwards, CO?

The Inn at Riverwalk is an independent hotel located in the heart of Edwards. With the Eagle River rambling out the back door and local restaurants, shops, and services out the front door, it’s the ideal location for your mountain vacation. With dog-friendly rooms and a complimentary gear garage stacked with games, pool toys, and more, The Inn is the perfect spot for your family getaway. In the lobby, the 24-hour Lavazza coffee bar keeps parents fueled with caffeine for the adventures that lay ahead.

Spacious one- and two-bedroom rooms or condos are stocked with modern amenities and luxurious bath products for a stay that feels like home. Settle into plush, feature-topped mattresses and wake up feeling refreshed with rooms that offer either mountain or river views. With a variety of room types to accommodate couples, families, and their furry best buds, The Inn at Riverwalk offers guests a homebase for adventure and a peaceful place to rest their head.