1 Pleasant Harbor Marina & RV Resort (40202 N. 87th Ave., Peoria) makes it easy to book a boat cruise, do some fishing or rent paddleboards or jet skis for a day on Lake Pleasant, just 20 miles west of Desert Hills.
(623) 235-6130, pleasanthrabor.com
2 The Rock Springs Café (35900 S. Old Black Canyon Highway, Rock Springs) started as an early Indian encampment, then was a cavalry post and stagecoach stop, and became a café visited since 1918 by the likes of Tom Mix and Wyatt Earp. You’ll never forget the homemade pie.
(623) 374-5794; rocksprings.cafe
3 Turf Paradise (1501 W. Bell Road, Phoenix) racetrack, just 25 minutes down Cave Creek Road, offers horse races—and betting—starting Oct. 30 and running every Saturday through Wednesday.
(602) 942-8659; turfparadise.com
4 The Buffalo Chip Saloon (6823 E. Cave Creek Road, Cave Creek)
Good times at “The Chip” in Cave Creek include live music, dancing, and even live bull riding – plus mutton busting on Friday nights for the kids.
(480) 488-9118; buffalochipsaloon.com
5 Old-Town Scottsdale is a Phoenix hot-spot for cowboy art and hand-crafted Indian jewelry that also boasts the Museum of the West (scottsdalemuseumwest.org). Dining doesn’t get better than Bandera (banderarestaurants.com), while famed bars like the Rusty Spur Saloon (rustyspursaloon.com) on Main offer daily live music.
(480) 312-7177; oldtownscottsdaleaz.com
6 Musical Instrument Museum (4725 E. Mayo Blvd., Phoenix) is rated the top attraction in Phoenix and one of the top 20 museums in the country, and offers concerts every month along with galleries and music-making labs.
(480) 478-6000; mim.org
7 Spur Cross Ranch (44000 N. Spur Cross Road, Cave Creek) is a local conservation area great for hiking, biking or horseback riding, with never-ending, high desert views and a six-mile round-trip mountain trail. Extreme Arizona (extremearizona.com) in Cave Creek will rent ATVs to your family for a half-day, self-guided excursion through the desert.
8 For Play Time, take the kids down I-17 near Loop 101 to Casey’s SportsWorld (caseyatbataz.com) for ball games and laser tag, or to Castles N’ Coasters (castlesncoasters.com) for mini-golf and thrill rides. Children also enjoy Frontier Town (frontiertown.info) in Cave Creek, complete with a gallows and boot hill cemetery, costumed performers, plus a restaurant and gift shop.
9 Thieves Market (1500 N. McClintock Drive, Tempe) is a popular flea market and auto grotto that happens the first Thursday of each month, and can satisfy your hankering for a retro bicycle, antique tool set or string of pearls.
(480) 329-6118; thievesmarketvintageflea.com
10 There are nearly 80 Golf Courses within 20 miles of Cave Creek. Book tee times in advance for local Cave Creek favorites like Dove Valley Ranch (dovevalleyranch.com) or Rancho Manana (ranchmanana.com), a stunning par-70 course almost downtown that adjoins a secluded resort and the delicious Tonto Bar & Grill (tontobarandgrill.com). n