In the foothills of Phoenix, Arizona is the truly easy-going town of Carefree. Featuring attractions like desert gardens, cigar lounges, art galleries, and lake adventures, the town is the perfect place to escape from the hustle and bustle of a big city while still experiencing the scenery, art, and history of Arizona.
1. Carefree Desert Gardens
Located along Easy Street in downtown Carefree is one of only two botanical gardens located in the Valley. Open year-round, the garden is home to 18 garden areas and over 50 desert plants. Sculptures are also placed throughout the garden, including the largest sundial in America, located on the East side of the garden. While at the gardens, be sure to bring a change of clothes so you can enjoy the Kiwanis Splash Park, open April 1 through October 1. With several water spouts and a scorpion that comes to life when you least expect it, the Splash Park is the perfect place to cool down after spending the afternoon exploring the gardens.
Carefree Desert Gardens
Address: Carefree Desert Gardens, 101 E Easy Street, Carefree, AZ 85377
Website: Carefree Desert Gardens
2. Enchanted Pumpkin Garden
The Carefree Desert Garden may be open all year, but during the week leading up to Halloween, it transforms into a fall wonderland, perfect for the whole family. Pumpkins are displayed throughout the garden, alongside scarecrows, hay bales, and other fall decorations. Pick out the perfect pumpkin to take home and learn how to carve the perfect Jack-O-Lantern from a pumpkin carving artist. Other events like a pumpkin pie-eating competition are held throughout the week, ensuring a fall-tastic good time.
Enchanted Pumpkin Garden
Address: Carefree Desert Gardens, 101 E Easy Street, Carefree, AZ 85377
Website: Enchanted Pumpkin Garden
3. Boulders Resort Golf Club
For a truly Carefree experience, check out the Boulders Resort Golf Club. Set among massive granite rock formations, the Boulders resort is simultaneously a luxurious spa and golf destination with two championship courses. You don’t have to be a member to enjoy a game of golf, and if you’re just passing through, non-resident memberships are available to help you enjoy all of the club’s amenities.
Boulders Resort Golf Club
Address: Boulders Resort & Spa, 34631 N Tom Darlington Dr, Carefree, AZ 85377
Website: Boulders Resort Golf Club
4. Explore Carefree's art scene
Adding to Arizona’s art scene, Carefree is home to multiple galleries including M & E Stoyanov Fine Art Gallery, Ted Phillip Denton Contemporary Art, Wild Holly Gallery, Grey Wolf Fine Art Gallery, Art Qwest, Zischke Gallery, and Easy Street Galleria. Each gallery features work from different artists, with an array of mediums being used. M & E Stoyanov Fine Art Gallery is the perfect place to find a Southwest scene to take home. Ted Phillip Denton has added nothing but beauty to the contemporary art scene, a fact you can witness for yourself at his studio.
Featuring art from over 95 American artists, if you can’t find a piece that you like at the Wild Holly Gallery, you probably don’t like art. At the Grey Wolf Fine Art Gallery you’ll find the work of Colorado master artist Lee Lester, the base artist of many collections worldwide. Art Qwest caters to businesses and corporations and Zischke Gallery is home to Jeff Zischke’s sculptures and paintings, as well as art from other local artists. Finally, Easy Street Galleria is more than just an art store, but a consignment shop with furniture, home décor, handmade culinary and home goods, and a second-hand boutique.
Carefree Art Galleries
5. Cave Creek Trail Rides
You can't beat the sunset rides at Cave Creek Trail Rides! Call us today so that you can ride into the sunset on one of our gentle mountain horses! 623-742-6700.Posted by Cave Creek Trail Rides- Phoenix, AZ Horseback Riding on Wednesday, 8 March 2017
If you’re looking for a way to explore Arizona’s wilderness, head to Cave Creek Trail Rides. Located about 10 miles (16 kilometers) away from Carefree, Cave Creek Trail Rides will take you around the foothills of Arizona, with some of the best guides in the business—horses. Each horse is gentle and experienced, trained to take care of each guest, so that you and your family will have a safe and fun adventure. Offering the best horseback rides in the Phoenix area, Cave Creek Trail Rides will take you on trails where you can see the Go John Mountains and the Phoenix Valley below—a view you’re not likely to forget anytime soon.
Cave Creek Trail Rides
Address: Cave Creek Trail Rides, 37019 N 32nd St, Cave Creek, AZ 85331
Website: Cave Creek Trail Rides
6. Sticks Cigar Lounge
When you’ve had your day of adventures and are just looking for a place to relax, look no further than Sticks Cigar Lounge. At Sticks Cigar Lounge, as the name implies, you can lounge back and enjoy a luxurious cigar out of the Arizona heat. The lounge provides an enclosed cigar lounge, perfect for you to smoke and read, socialize with other guests, or just hang out and watch a game.
At Stick Cigar Lounge, only the finest cigars are sold, and all are kept in a walk-in-humidor for optimal enjoyment. While at the lounge, be sure to check the store for quality humidors, cutters, ash trays, and other fine cigar equipment perfect for a classy birthday gift for a friend, or to keep for yourself. Featuring brands like La Gloria, Cohiba, La Flor Dominca, Rocky Patel, and more, Sticks Cigar Lounge is the ultimate destination for every cigar enthusiast.
Sticks Cigar Lounge
Address: Sticks Cigar Lounge, 7202 E Ho Rd, Carefree, AZ 85377
Website: Sticks Cigar Lounge
7. Cave Creek Museum
During your Carefree visit, be sure to check out the Cave Creek Museum. With a collection of artifacts and antiques from the Carefree and Cave Creek area, the museum is a historical gem waiting to be explored. The Cave Creek Museum features indoor exhibits like the Archaeology Wing, providing a dramatic display of human culture and activities from the year zero to now. Outdoors you will find a garden with an array of desert flora, an old stamp mill, the first church of Cave Creek, and a Tubercular Cabin where patients sick with Tuberculosis were quarantined to recover. All this and more are just waiting to be discovered at the museum.
Cave Creek Museum
Address: 6140 E Skyline Dr, Cave Creek, AZ 85331
Website: Cave Creek Museum
8. Bartlett Lake
Finally, if you’re looking for an easy day-trip during your Carefree vacation, head to Bartlett Lake. Located 20 miles (32 km) out of Carefree in the heart of Tonto National Forest, this lake is perfect for water activities like swimming, boating, water skiing, and fishing. If you forgot your boat at home, or didn’t include it in the plans for traveling through Arizona, don’t worry. Boat rentals are available at the lake. And if you enjoy your day on the lake and want to keep the adventure going, never fret: you can spend the night under the stars, listening to the sounds of the lake with shoreline camping.
Address: 40202 North Cave Creek Road, Scottsdale, AZ 85262
Website: Bartlett Lake
In Carefree, Arizona, your experience will surpass just the art, history, and Arizona outdoors. Thanks to a community dedicated to bringing people together and attractions perfect for the family, you’re sure to enjoy your time in the Arizona town.
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