Carefree / Cave Creek
Set in the high desert approximately 15 miles northeast of Phoenix, the recreational cities of Carefree and Cave Creek provide a respite from the bustling metropolitan pace below. Although these sister communities share a similar elevation just above 2,000 feet in the Sonoran foothills, Carefree is distinguished from Cave Creek in its level of affluence and sophistication. The terrain is spectacular, with massive granite boulders, imposing mountains, and delicate desert greenery. Tonto National Forest borders the area on two sides, surrounding the cities with untouched desert beauty and ancient Hohokam ruins.
Historical Cave Creek offers a traditional “Western country” environment. The small community actually began as a mining town in the late 1800s, although it waited for a hundred years to become incorporated. Carefree sprung up in the late 1950s as a premier master-planned community and incorporated in 1986. Today, these two residential havens reflect a pleasing blend of the older historical themes with upscale resort-style living. In spite of their unique and somewhat contrasting personalities, the two communities harmonize so well with the surrounding landscape that it is often difficult to determine where one begins and the other ends.
Cave Creek and Carefree have long boasted a strong tourist trade, enhanced by posh shopping centers such as the El Pedregal Marketplace, as well as an eclectic blend of shops, cafes, and restaurants. Many of the Valley’s superb recreational facilities are located in or near this area, including several of the most masterfully designed and celebrated golf courses in Arizona. The sudden appearance of a jackrabbit, quail, or deer in view of the green only adds to the magnetism of this charming area, reminding residents and visitors alike that the concrete and parking lots of the “big city” remain a delightful distance away.
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