Cave Creek has a small-town charm, as well as access to the larger cities of Phoenix and Scottsdale. With over 170 miles of hiking trails, the preserve, and nature trails, this small community is an ideal place for anyone to live. It is only about 30 minutes from Sky Harbor Airport in Phoenix depending on traffic.
The population of Cave Creek is just shy of 5,000 and has a high concentration of residents who own their homes. Cave Creek real estate offers many different subdivisions and areas with different home styles and lot sizes, including horse properties.
Living in Cave Creek offers numerous advantages. Here are some of the benefits of small-town living:
1 Town, 1 Zip Code
What's the big deal about that? Unlike it's much larger neighbor of Scottsdale with 20 zip codes, this small town of about 31 square miles offers so much in a smaller package. There is less traffic but many amenities, and you can find just about everything you need in Cave Creek from shopping to entertainment. Although you can do almost anything here, cross the border to the east to Carefree or Scottsdale to the south for more.
Small Town Feel
Cave Creek has a small-town feel and its slogan is "Where the Wild West Lives". The population numbers in the low thousands, as opposed to a big city like Phoenix, which has a population of over 1.2 million. When you drive down Cave Creek Road to the western-themed "main drag", you'll get a feeling you just can't get with larger towns.
You might see horses waiting for their owners at the local American Legion. You'll be able to stop in for a drink, snack, or a full dining experience at the many bars and restaurants just on Cave Creek Rd. There is shopping for art, beauty products, clothing, jewelry, indoor and outdoor furniture, home decor, souvenirs, and so much more.
Enjoy Scenic Surroundings
The town of Cave Creek is located in the northern area of Maricopa County. The community enjoys the proximity of both breathtaking mountains, desert views, and the flora and fauna of Arizona.
When driving on some of the larger local roads like Cave Creek Rd, Tatum Boulevard, and Scottsdale Rd., you can see mountains, including Elephant Mountain and Black Mountain. You just don't get these kinds of driving views in the larger, more developed areas. You'll see the beauty of Cave Creek surroundings just by taking a trip to Walmart, which isn't visible from the road and you can miss it if you're not paying attention.
Be a Tourist in Your Own Town
The main drag is a tourist destination and can get crowded, although you can avoid that area if you're a resident living day to day in this wonderful town. But it's also nice to be able to visit the "downtown" section on Cave Creek Rd when you're in the mood.
Stop in the many western-themed stores. Have you seen the flavored olive oil and balsamic vinegar stores in Scottsdale and Sedona? You don't have to leave Cave Creek for the same experience, including being able to taste them at the Cave Creek Olive Oil Company.
The last time we visited Sedona the guys purchased some mead. Do you want to know what mead tastes like? Have a tasting at The Meading Room in Cave Creek.
There are events happening throughout the year like the recent Classic Car Show, Wild West Days, Hidden in the Hills Artists' Studio Tours, the annual Arizona Bike Week, a Star Gazing event, Cave Creek Rodeo Days, and more. The Cave Creek Museum is small but offers indoor and outdoor exhibits, including one of the last known Tubercular Cabins in Arizona.
Old mining equipment located outside the Cave Creek Museum
You don't have to leave the town to go hiking. There is Black Mountain Trail, P.A. Seitts Preserve and Trailhead, Go John Trail, and the most popular - Spur Cross Ranch Conservation and Trailhead. Just be careful, be wary of the temperatures, stay on the trails, and bring plenty of water to avoid having to be rescued or worse.
If you want to have a view "on the move", rent an ATV or dirt bike from Extreme Arizona ATV & Jet Ski Rentals (jet ski rentals are on-site at nearby Bartlett Lake Marina located in Rio Verde, AZ). Or take a scenic horse ride from Arizona Horseback Adventures, Cave Creek Trail Rides, MTM Ranch, and Trailhead Ranch. There are too many equestrian facilities, horse riding schools, and boarding stables to mention. If you're "up" for it, book a hot air balloon ride at Arizona Balloon Safaris in Cave Creek.
Big Town Amenities
Because Cave Creek is a tourist destination, you might not realize that the town offers everyday shopping like Fry's, Safeway, Sprouts, Walgreens, CVS, and fast food joints like McDonald's, Burger King, and Taco Bell. There are many coffee shops to visit from Starbucks to more local venues like Janey's Coffee Shop and Bodega, The Village Coffee Shop, Roastery of Cave Creek, and the little drive-thru Dutch Bros Coffee that always looks busy. There are all 3 of the big hardware stores - Ace Hardware, Home Depot, and Lowes. You'll find franchised and local businesses throughout the town.
I'm not sure if every small town has a designated butcher shop, but Cave Creek has two. Lil' Town Butcher has meats and has a shop selling more items, including Leila's Empanadas. They even have meat for your dog! New York Butcher Shoppe also offers more than meat - wine, specialty items, and prepared food.
Kiwanis Marketplace in Cave Creek
One of our favorite places is the Kiwanis Marketplace, which is a very nice and clean thrift store. It has everything you can imagine at all price points, from low cost to higher priced for collectibles. Check for their sale days.
If you're hungry you don't have to cross any borders, no matter what you have a taste for (unless you want Greek food, then you have to go to neighboring Carefree). There are so many full-service restaurants from casual to fine dining. You'll need to book a reservation or take your chances at El Encanto. If that's too busy and you don't want to wait, there are other Mexican restaurants like Fantastico's and the newer and more upscale Ofrenda. There are multiple pizza and Italian places and BBQ. There is even French cuisine at Le Sans Souci.
One of our favorite lunch places is The Grotto. You have many choices for breakfast. Try some fry bread and do a little souvenir shopping at Indian Village. And don't forget to visit The City Creamery for handmade, small-batch ice cream in varying flavors, some seasonal, and there's always a Flavor of the Month.
What is so nice about Cave Creek and other Arizona restaurants is that most of them offer outdoor dining. Check in advance to see if your chosen place allows dogs on their patio.
Music and Dancing
There are many bars and restaurants that offer live music. Some are Local Jonny's, Big Earl's Greasy Eats, Mountain View Pub, the Horny Toad, Hideaway, the Roadhouse, Black Mountain Tavern and Distillery, Stumblina's Cantina, and the aforementioned Janey's Coffee House and Bodega, the Grotto, and Ofrenda. If you like to dance to that live music, make your way to Harold's Cave Creek Corral, Heart and Soul Cafe, or Buffalo Chip Saloon and Steakhouse. Be sure to check each place's schedule for when they have live entertainment. Or learn to dance at the Cave Creek Fred Astaire Dance Studio.
If you want a different workout than just taking a hike, you'll have plenty of choices for fitness studios, including yoga. There is Anytime Fitness, Black Mountain Fitness, Cave Creek Fit Body Boot Camp, F45 Training, Holistic Hollow, HOTWORX, Human Equilibrium, and The Club Cave Creek. Indoor Zumba classes are held at The Fred Astaire Dance Studio.
Spas and Beauty
You can get massages, receive manicures and pedicures, and you have a great choice of hair salons in Cave Creek. Some salons offer facials and other skin care, plus eyelash/eyebrow services.
Dove Valley Ranch offers daily rates and you can also purchase an annual pass. You can also dine at the Copper Bar and Lounge.
Enjoy golf at Rancho Manana, whether you're staying at the resort or just want to play. It is open to the public but also offers a semi-private membership. While you're there, you might want to dine (or just sip on the famous Tontorias) at Tonto Bar and Grill. One of the patios looks out over the lush golf course.
If you live in the largest subdivision of Tatum Ranch, which is actually a planned community, you can join the private Tatum Ranch Golf Club and utilize all of its amenities. It is membership only.
Living in Cave Creek
Many people that have visited Cave Creek don't realize they can actually live here. They visit the touristy section and don't see the residential areas. This is truly a place where living here can feel like you're always on vacation.
Click the link to see homes for sale in Cave Creek if you'd like to compare prices of single-family Cave Creek homes and see what is currently available. You can also create an advanced search. This little town has shown some big property price increases over time, especially in the past couple of years (in excess of 30% annually).
Give Judy Orr a call at 480-877-1549 or use the contact form if you'd like to live in Cave Creek.Posted by Judy Orr on