It’s not often you can find a town like Cave Creek, Arizona that has preserved its wild west character so well after more than 100 years especially when its located so close to rapidly growing cities like Scottsdale and Phoenix. But Cave Creek, established as a gold mining town and stopping point for the U.S. Cavalry in the mid 1870s, is not like most other towns. While most of the buildings built in the 1800s are probably gone, many that are standing have been there longer than anyone can remember and are reminiscent of what things looked like in the Wild West so long ago.
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The numerous saloons in Cave Creek thrive on activity as establishments such as Harold’s and the Buffalo Chip, and offer almost nightly events from live bands, poker tournaments, trivia, and charity casino events – all with a wild western flair and small town hospitality. The crowds are diverse with visitors and residents alike enjoying all that is unique in Cave Creek. Other notable eateries in Cave Creek include Rancho Manana’s Tonto Bar and Grill which is part of the well known Rancho Manana Golf Club and Resort. Tonto is located in an original building from the 1940’s Rancho Manana Dude Ranch. During much of the year, the large, partially covered patio is nearly always full during lunch and dinner as the views are as good as the food. The owner's of Tonto also operate the highly rated Cartwrights on Saguaro Hill located just a mile or so down Cave Creek Road. The Horny Toad Restaurant has some of the country’s best fried Chicken while the nearby Indian Village boasts some of the worlds best tacos although El Encanto Mexican Restaurant are mighty delicious as well and offer a unique patio surrounding a small pond with lots of ducks and turtles. Big Earls Greasy Eats is popular as well.
Once you’ve eaten, you can stroll around and visit any one of Cave Creek’s numerous galleries or seek out many of the town’s unique shops featuring southwestern gifts, clothing, furniture and house wares. The Town Dump has one of the largest assortments of pottery, rustic antiques and numerous other unique items that can probably only be found in Cave Creek.
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