Just north of Scottsdale, drive through the small towns of Carefree and Cave Creek Arizona. The two towns are only a couple miles apart, so it is easy to explore both towns in one trip. Beautiful drive with pretty mountains and hills.
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Carefree started as an old west mining town when gold was found there. It is now a small planned community with beautiful homes and great views. The small downtown area has some nice boutique shopping in Spanish Village.
After shopping you can walk over and see the world’s largest sundial that points to the North star. There is also a Gila Monster slide for the little kids to go on and some pretty fountains in this area.
Carefree hosts an Enchanted Pumpkin Garden every October. The carvings have incredible detail and they are often set-up in various scenes. It is one of our favorite annual events in the Phoenix area.
Cave Creek Arizona
Cave Creek just a couple miles from Carefree also has a very old west feel. You can find some unique items at the shops here. The local artisans are very creative. Cave Creek has some yummy “old west” style restaurants.
Frontier Town is an old west town recreated with shops inside the buildings.
Big Earl’s Greasy Eats is one of our favorite spots to grab a burger when we are here.
To learn about the history of Cave Creek visit the town’s museum. Just note it is not opened in the summer. Also on the property is a cabin built in the 1920’s to house people with tuberculosis. The cabin is on the national register of historic places.
Cave Creek is motorcycle friendly and has several popular bars catering to bikers. The Hideaway is our favorite biker bar in Cave Creek. They have good food too.
Cave Creek Shopping
Cave Creek Regional Park
A great day trip from Carefree is Bartlett Lake. If you’re looking for a scenic drive or want to see some pretty flowers in the spring you would enjoy visiting Bartlett Lake. It is about a 20-minute drive. Just follow North Cave Creek Road until it turns into Bartlett Dam Road.