Local Activities & Area Attractions

Town of Carefree

  • The Carefree Sundial is the most popular, historic tourist attraction in the area. Designed by architect Joe Wong and solar engineer John I. Yellott, it was built in the Sundial Circle Plaza in 1959. This beautiful landmark is one of the largest sundials in the US.
  • Carefree Desert Gardens makes for an amazing desert oasis to visit. Couples and families can stroll through and enjoy rare, fascinating desert plant species, all while connecting with nature’s beauty. The Historic Spanish Village remains as the main cultural art hub.
  • MacDonald’s Ranch, just south of the Town of Carefree, offers western hayrides, cowboy cookouts, and guided horseback rides.
  • Annual Fairs, Weekly Markets, and Events are happening often in the Town of Carefree. Check the Official Website for more details.

Cave Creek

  • The Town of Cave Creek is known for its western lifestyle, rural development patterns, and dramatic views.
  • Horseback Riding Tours, exploring "Cave Creek Regional Park, and delicious dining are top picks when visiting.
  • Cave Creek’s Historic Spur Cross Ranch is a popular conservation area, which includes fascinating archaeology sites.
  • Visitors to the area also enjoy hiking the Black Mountain Trail during the cooler months of the year.


  • Town of Carefree – 10+ Stores & Historical Shops – 3 miles
  • Cave Creek – 3 miles
  • Outlets at Anthem – 20 miles
  • Kierland/Scottsdale Quarter – 15 miles


  • Cave Creek Museum and see the restored 16th century old stone mill
  • M.I.M Musical Instruments Museum – 15 min away
  • Heard Museum – downtown Phoenix


  • Tonto National Forest
  • Bartlett Lake – Within the Tonto National Forest and approximately 18 miles from the resort. It also has 2,815 acres of boatable surface area.
  • Cave Creek Regional Park
  • McDowell Regional Park
  • Sonoran Desert Preserve

Hiking Trails

  • Black Mountain – 2.2 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Cave Creek, AZ features beautiful wild flowers and rated as difficult. Enjoy a number of activity options and access year-round. Dogs on leashes are also able to use the trail.
  • Go John Trail – 4.8-miles, good for hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding. Guided horseback trail rides are available late autumn through spring. Rangers provide a variety of guided hikes and activities for all ages throughout the year.
  • Spur Cross Ranch has several trails from an easier, flat trail to a more strenuous hike up Black Mountain. Many are open to mountain bikers and horseback riders.
  • Seven Springs Recreation Area is home to several hiking trails, and a popular destination since early 1900s. Hiking trails lead from the desert floor to higher elevations within the mountains.
  • Sears Kay Ruin offers visitors a glimpse of a distinctive lifestyle that existed before Columbus. Self-guided 1-mile loop trail will take you through Hohokam Ruins. The site was first occupied about 1500 AD. The ruin is a point of interest along the Great Western Trail. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Biking Trails

  • McDowell Sonoran Preserve – Minutes from the Resort, McDowell Sonoran Preserve offers 195 miles of Mountain Bike trails, hiking, trail running and horseback riding over a 31,000-acre area. The trails are open from sunrise to sunset and parking is free in designated areas.
  • Cave Creek Regional Park – sits on 2,922 acres and offers mountain biking, as well as hiking and horseback riding.
  • Road cycling is abundant in this area with miles of bike lanes throughout Carefree, Cave Creek, and Scottsdale.


Carefree is adjacent to several golf courses accessible to our guests; Rancho Manana, Legend Trail Golf Course, The Boulders, Tatum Ranch, and Dove Valley.

Desert Botanical Garden

The winding paths of this 50-acre desert garden showcase a fantastic variety of arid plants, from towering saguaros to delicate blooms. This beautiful landscape is also the backdrop for the garden’s seasonal events. On Thursdays and Saturdays in the summer months, bring a flashlight for cooler evening exploration along the garden’s trails during Flashlight Tours.

1201 N. Galvin Parkway, Phoenix – 480.941.1225

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Phoenix Art Museum

Groundbreaking exhibitions that will fascinate, entertain, and educate. From the four corners of the world, from ancient to modern, from masters to rising stars, see what the Phoenix Art Museum has on display now.

Central Avenue & McDowell Road, Phoenix – 602.257.1222

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Phoenix Zoo

Home to more than 300 animals and many endangered and threatened species, the Zoo is dedicated to providing experiences that inspire people and motivate them to care for the natural world.

455 N. Galvin Parkway, Phoenix – 602.273.1341

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Odysea Aquarium

Spanning 200,000 square feet, this multi-level, state-of-the-art facility holds more than 2 million gallons of water. With over 50 exhibits and 500 different species, there are more than 30,000 animals that call OdySea Aquarium home. OdySea Aquarium offers an educational, interactive and entertaining experience for guests of all ages.

9500 East Vía de Ventura A-100, Scottsdale – 480.291.8000

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Butterfly Wonderland

Discover the amazing life of the butterfly, from caterpillar to chrysalis — then to the moment it spreads its wings for the first time and takes flight into the world. And discover more amazing creatures in our new Rainforest Reptile exhibit.

9500 E. Via de Ventura, Scottsdale – 480.800.3000

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Gila River Arena

Gila River Arena is home to the Phoenix Coyotes NHL ice hockey team. The arena also offers concerts, family shows, boxing and wrestling. Located west of historic downtown and Northwest of Sky Harbor Airport, Gila River Arena has convenient access from Loop 101.

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State Farm Stadium

Home of the Arizona Cardinals NFL football team, the 2008 & 2015 Super Bowls – the perfect choice for traveling fans, alumni and sports enthusiasts. Maryland Avenue and Bethany Home Road between the Loop 101 and 91st Ave, Glendale.

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Talking Stick Arena

Home of the Phoenix Suns, Arizona Rattlers arena football team and Phoenix Mercury, The arena hosts more than 200 diverse sports and entertainment events each year.

201 E. Jefferson Street, Phoenix – 602.379.7800

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Chase Field

Home of the Arizona Diamondbacks. From its signature swimming pool to its retractable roof, Chase Field has become one of the game’s most recognizable landmarks. Since the air-conditioned facility first opened its doors to a regular-season game on March 31, 1998, nearly 17.5 million baseball fans have enjoyed the opportunity to watch the Arizona Diamondbacks without worrying about Phoenix’s summer heat or monsoon storms.

401 E. Jefferson, Phoenix – 602.462.6409.

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Spring Training Baseball

As Greater Phoenix plays host to 13 major league baseball teams each spring as part of the Cactus League. The San Francisco Giants, Seattle Mariners, Oakland Athletics, Chicago Cubs, San Diego Padres, Milwaukee Brewers, Texas Rangers, Kansas City Royals, Cincinnati Reds, LA Dodgers, Chicago White Sox, Cleveland Indians and the Anaheim Angels conduct their spring training here in the Phoenix area while the Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies train in Tucson.

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College Football Bowl Games in Arizona

If you’re a college football fan, the month of December is one of the most exciting times of the year. The Bowl games are announced and if you’re one of the passionate and lucky fans traveling to see your team play for the final time this season, you must act fast and plan ahead.

Each year, Arizona hosts three or four bowl games. Our team can help you schedule the best things to do in Arizona before and after the big game.

Motorsports Racing

Phoenix is also home to many different types of motorsports. Included on the annual calendar are Indy Car and NASCAR events at nearby ISM Raceway, drag racing at Manzanita Speedway and boat racing at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park.

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If you have any questions, please connect with our Guest Experience team at gx@civanacarefree.com or at the front desk.