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Tour of Cave Creek Arizona

Updated on August 25, 2014

What's Happening in Cave Creek, Arizona

If you have a vacation planned in Arizona and want to taste a little of that rustic, cowboy flair, consider a day visit to Cave Creek. Cave Creek is a small town full of Arizona's Western history and ambiance, and just a short 30-minute drive Northeast of Phoenix, As you reach the town limits, you'll think you've gone back in time to the Wild West. You almost expect to see two outlaws shoot it out at the O.K. Corral at any given moment! Warning to visitors: Be sure to slow down or you might meet up with the Sheriff!

Cave Creek Road is lined with quaint shops filled with eclectic and rustic furniture and decor, each item an imperfect treasure full of character and charm. If you are an art lover, look for the galleries which offer paintings and sculptures. There are also lots of restaurants serving delicious food, some with sawdust on the floor and mason jars on the table.

During the week-end nights you'll find the town bustling with a variety of party-animals; twenty-somethings doing shots at an outdoor bar in shorts and flips flops, Harley bikers in leather and bandanas, and cowboys in wranglers and boots.

If you visit Phoenix, be sure to save an afternoon or evening to visit the Town of Cave Creek. It will be worth the gas to experience this small Arizona town in the Southwestern desert. Be sure to take your camera!

Cave Creek: A Short Drive Back in Time

Cave Creek is a short 30-minute drive from Phoenix.
Cave Creek is a short 30-minute drive from Phoenix. | Source

Western Ambiance Surrounds the Smokehouse

In the center of the town of Cave Creek, you'll find a shopping area unlike those you'll find in the big city. It resembles a small town you might have seen in the 1800s.

Surrounding the Cave Creek Smokehouse (formerly Satisfied Frog and Silver Spur) are little shops, a bar and interesting western paraphernalia and landmarks. On your way to the restaurant from the parking area, you'll pass a hanging tree, a teepee, wagons and life-sized replicas of old-Western era animals.

The Hanging Tree in Cave Creek, AZ
The Hanging Tree in Cave Creek, AZ | Source

Browse the Shops

Take an unhurried stroll through the shops in this area too, where there is no doubt you'll find something you'll want to take home as a souvenir even if you live in Phoenix! You'll find everything from candles, soaps, jewelry, clothing and magnets to some of the hottest salsa you've ever put on a tortilla chip. Following is just a sampling of shops you'll find in Cave Creek.


Goat Milk Soaps
Goat Milk Soaps | Source
Cave Creek Mercantile
Cave Creek Mercantile | Source
Suzanne's Hot Stuff
Suzanne's Hot Stuff | Source
Even the restaurants have great photo shot opportunities.  This on the patio of the Cave Creek Smokehouse.
Even the restaurants have great photo shot opportunities. This on the patio of the Cave Creek Smokehouse. | Source
Hungry for Mexican Food? El Encanto is a restaurant perfect for a nice outdoor lunch.
Hungry for Mexican Food? El Encanto is a restaurant perfect for a nice outdoor lunch. | Source

Hungry? Cave Creek has Rib-Sticking Food

Take a break from your diet when you visit Cave Creek, because you'll want to indulge in some calorie-laden, finger-licking food while you are there. You'll find barbequed ribs, pulled pork and steaks at spots like the Cave Creek Smokehouse, Black Mountain Barbeque and the Horny Toad. If you're up for Mexican Food, check out El Encanto, where you can eat on a shady patio by a pond filled with ducks. Prefer Italian? There's Alberto Italian Restaurant. Bring your appetite whichever place you choose.

The Cave Creek Smokehouse doesn't skimp on their "Smokehouse Platter" which is a generous meal for two priced reasonably at $25!
The Cave Creek Smokehouse doesn't skimp on their "Smokehouse Platter" which is a generous meal for two priced reasonably at $25! | Source
Have a brewski at the Pour House
Have a brewski at the Pour House | Source
There's even a hitching post out front of the Buffalo Chip Saloon!
There's even a hitching post out front of the Buffalo Chip Saloon! | Source

Feel Like a Brewski or Some Boot Scootin'?

If you've got a hankering to tip a few under the desert stars, you can have a few beers on the Pour House Patio which sits right outside The Cave Creek Smokehouse, or toast a couple shots of whiskey with the Harley bikers at The Hideaway Grill.


Up for a little country dancing? Plan to spend the evening in Cave Creek at an Arizona saloon such as Harold's Corral or the Buffalo Chip Saloon (locals call them just "Harolds" and "The Chip") . These two country bars are within walking distance from each other and the regulars get a little Arizona dust on their boots walking back and forth between them every Friday and Saturday night.

Buffalo Chip's dance floor fills up on the weekends.  This is one of Cave Creek's best night spots to listen to  live  music by great country musicians.
Buffalo Chip's dance floor fills up on the weekends. This is one of Cave Creek's best night spots to listen to live music by great country musicians. | Source
Wouldn't a Rustic Dino look great in your garden?
Wouldn't a Rustic Dino look great in your garden? | Source

Shop for Rustic Decor and Treasures

Along Cave Creek Road you'll see many opportunities to shop for all things Western, Rustic and Unique. One of the first stores you'll find along the route is Buffalo Bill's Trading Post. You'll have a hard time passing Buffalo Bill's without stopping if you are truly ready to experience shopping in Cave Creek!

Try your hand at a little negotiation, because bargaining is always an option at these spots if you buy multiple items.

Rustic metal art
Rustic metal art | Source
Pottery, wind chimes, twig furniture
Pottery, wind chimes, twig furniture | Source
Rustic Western  signs and decor
Rustic Western signs and decor | Source
The Town Dump is a must see in Cave Creek
The Town Dump is a must see in Cave Creek
Need a rustic gate or a metal rattlesnake? Check out the inventory at The Town Dump.
Need a rustic gate or a metal rattlesnake? Check out the inventory at The Town Dump. | Source

The Town Dump, Cave Creek Arizona

One of my favorite spots to browse in Cave Creek is The Town Dump, but Warning...you might get lost there for a few hours! This store is packed with affordable, rustic items full of character, all perfect for your home or garden. The merchandise is not really second hand as you might have thought, although you can concoct some made up Arizona history to tell your friends, if you'd like!

Tip from This Local: Visit Cave Creek in the Spring or Fall

Cave Creek definitely has the Western flavor that most people associate with Arizona. If you haven't visited this quaint, fun, Arizona town, plan to do so soon. The best times to visit would be spring or fall, however, as the Southwestern desert does get hot during the summer months. See you there!

Cave Creek, AZ Map - (Be sure to zoom in to see where each tour spot mentioned is located)

Have You Visited Cave Creek, Arizona?

5 out of 5 stars from 1 rating of How you would rate Cave Creek, Arizona?

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    • point2make profile image

      point2make 

      6 years ago

      What an interesting little town. I loved your photos. The unique buildings and settings make Cave Creek a must see. It's on my list when the RV heads south in the fall. Thanks for a great hub and a new destination to visit. Voted this hub up!

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 

      6 years ago from Massachusetts

      What a throw back to yesteryear. Great job taking us through Cave Creek. Love the name. That barbeque platter is making me hungry. If we make out to the Phoenix area we'll be sure to allocate some time to pay a visit to this unique spot. Thanks for sharing with us.

    • Johan Smulders profile image

      Johan Smulders 

      6 years ago from East London, South Africa

      On mu bucket list! Thanks

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      What a quaint and fun looking town! Thanks for all of your descriptions and photos. Gave this a 5 star rating + voting this up, useful and interesting. Also sharing with my followers!

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