I live near there and grew up near there. It's a nice place to live.
Edwardsville has a biggish state university, so it's pretty liberal. There's a very good Montessori school (primary - 6th) nearby (15 minutes away in Pontoon Beach). The Edwardsville public school system is pretty good. My friend raves about it.
The YMCA is huge and is sort of the center of a lot of stuff that goes on in town. They have an active swim team and child care program and gymnastics team.
The public library is nice.
There's a pretty active arts scene.
There is a hippie grocery store called "Green Earth" and a Whole Foods/Trader Joe kind of place called "Market Basket." They're both in the LeClaire neighborhood.
More food: Wasabi has good sushi, too. Bella Milano has great Italian food. Bully's has good BBQ but fussy presentation. Reds' has good BBQ and plain presentation.
Sacred Grounds is more of a coffee and muffin kind of place to me, but I have friends who like their menu. There's a very cool, hip shopping area around that area.
You're about 45 minutes from St. Louis and can find all kinds of awesome ethnic food there. I highly recommend Pho Grand for cheap Vietnamese. Thip's in O'Fallon is 30 minutes away and has good Thai. Sen has good Thai in downtown St. Louis Annie's Frozen Custard has really great ice cream.
Edwardsville is not a GLBT mecca, but it's tolerant and tolerable. There's an active GLBT community in St. Louis and the annual Pride Festival is very family friendly. I take my kids and I'm straight.
Edwardsville has a really cool Halloween parade and downtown trick-or-treat, too.
EDIT: And Illinois will have gay marriage pretty soon, it seems. The Illinois House and the Illinois Senate passed a civil unions bill, which amends the Civil Practice Act to include "partner to a civil union" everywhere it says "spouse," "family member," or "next of kin" in the Illinois statute books. It provides a method for getting a civil union certificate, having the civil union solemnized by a judge or clergy-person, and getting divorced. It provides that a party to a civil union has all the rights and privileges and responsibilities as a party to a marriage. It also recognizes any marriage or civil union between a same sex couple from another state as valid in Illinois. The governor is supposed to sign it pretty soon. I think they're just trying to get a signing celebration together.
Edited by RiverTam - 12/7/10 at 7:15am