Go West! Learn Eagle County’s towns and neighborhoods
It might be hard to leave the glitz of the resorts, but if you take the time to venture west of Vail, you’ll be rewarded with getting to know some of the county’s towns and neighborhoods.
Technically part of Edwards, Cordillera is a secluded-feeling oasis less than 10 minutes from downtown Edwards. Situated on more than 7,000 pristine acres, Cordillera provides residents and visitors with exceptional Rocky Mountain experiences year-round. Rising from 7,200 to 9,400 feet, Cordillera is surrounded by 1 million acres of the White River National Forest, making it a perfect summer retreat for golfing, hiking, horseback riding, private fishing, tennis, pickleball and swimming. Winter activities at Cordillera include cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, ice skating, sledding and horse-drawn sleigh rides.
About 30 minutes away from Vail — and only 5 minutes from the local airport — Eagle is an old ranching community that’s kept its historic charm while focusing on today’s Vail Valley lifestyle. With extensive bike and walking paths, it’s easy to park your car in the garage and leave it for a week, as the town is easily navigated by bike or on foot. It’s a destination for mountain bikers and trail runners, too, who love the town’s mountainous singletrack year-round.
A community pool and ice rink, bike skills park, pump track and a golf course keep the population active. Shopping and dining are popular, too, and the town has not one but two local breweries.
It’s easy to wile away a full day at Riverwalk in Edwards thanks to the dozen restaurants/bars, grocery store, movie theater, liquor store, two banks and multitude of shops that each have a unique vibe with everything from local crafts to active wear. It’s home to the area’s only bookstore, The Bookworm, which hosts author events, story time for kids and has a cafe with a robust menu. Wander through the outdoor-mall-like area to find mountain fashions, homewares, top-of-the-line bikes and even several popular workout studios. Settle in to one of several outdoor cafes, hit an afternoon matinee, or pack a lunch and enjoy time right beside the creek. Riverwalk offers several fun events throughout the year including Vail Jazz concerts in the back amphitheater, holiday-inspired afternoons and an annual Pumpkinfest.
Just 10 minutes from Vail and five minutes from Beaver Creek, Avon residents call it the heart of the Vail Valley. The town is thriving, creating a special place to visit, work, grow a business, raise a family and play in a spectacular outdoor setting. The town has an extensive network of hard- and soft-surfaced biking and walking paths. A Zagster bike-share program makes it easy and affordable to borrow a bike for a few hours, and Avon Transit’s free bus service runs throughout the town core from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Harry A. Nottingham Park is the crown jewel, with 48 acres of open space, including grassy sports fields, sand volleyball courts, and basketball, pickleball and tennis courts. Nottingham Lake, dotted with pedal boaters and stand up paddleboarders, sits with views of Beaver Creek; the beach is a hot-spot to be from spring through autumn (rentals are available). The lake is also well stocked and open to fishing with a fishing license (available for purchase at many Avon retail stores). The Avon Recreation Center is a spacious multi-use facility that offers activities for the entire family: the aquatics area includes a 5-lane lap pool, lazy river, zero-depth entry kids pool, 140-foot water slide, Aquaclimb climbing wall, diving well, hot tub, dry sauna and steam room. The workout facility has tons of cardio equipment and drop-in fitness classes from yoga to strength training.
From running races to skiing and golfing all in one day, here are a few ways to pass the time during an off-season weekend.