Carefree compliments the dramatic backdrop of the Sonoran Desert as an upscale residential community incorporating the exquisite desert flora and fauna. Carefree is a charming community with a small town feel and street names like Tranquil Trail, Easy Street and Ho Hum Rd. This master-planned community was originally developed by K.T. Palmer and Tom Darlington back in the mid-50’s. Tucked within the community of Carefree is a pedestrian-friendly and alive business district containing a rich variety of restaurants, shops and galleries.
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Carefree is a quaint, small town located just to the north of Scottsdale. This town is home to a community that values the life of simplicity and luxury that the edge of the tranquil, beautiful Sonoran desert lends to the area. Carefree’s town motto is, “The Best Small Town in Arizona,” and locals often refer to it as “Home of Cowboys and Caviar, Where Old West Meets New,” which is the perfect motto for this community that loves the simple life of the small town in the west yet also appreciates the conveniences and luxuries that the modern world provides.
Room to Move, Play, and Live
Some of the features that living in the town of Carefree offer to those looking to call it their home are the things that anyone wanting a simpler life would appreciate. The homes on Carefree real estate feature 1 to 5 acres of land, keeping it from feeling congested and busy. And traffic is the same way! Carefree, unlike some of the busier parts of the Scottsdale area, has no traffic congestion anywhere on its streets. This is a perfect example of the “Old West Meets New” mindset, because the roads are paved, and everything looks clean and new. Yet, the traffic is so uncongested that the streets are also very pedestrian-friendly just in case anyone were to be in the mood to go for a stroll through the shopping district. Another feature that makes Carefree a perfect pick for buying Scottsdale real estate would be the zoning laws maintained by the town. This both protects and increases the property value of those peaceful 1 to 5 acre homesites making them easier to justify investing in and eventually re-selling, assuming you’d ever want to leave this peaceful, friendly town.
History of the Carefree Life
Today, Carefree is home to an average population of 3800 residents every year. We have to use the word average because the actual population fluctuates quite a bit from summer to winter, from 3,363 in the middle of summer to 4,000 in the winter. However, When Carefree became a town, it had just over 300 homes and a few local shops. It still had the Desert Forest Golf Club, one of the town’s main attractions, before then as far back as the 1960s. Even further back than that, the birth of what would eventually become the town of Carefree occurred back in the early 1950s when two young, daring entrepreneurs K.T. Palmer and Tom Darlington, who had worked with the city of Scottsdale for number of years, grew restless from trying to work within the restrictions of Scottsdale’s zoning regulations. They eventually decided to take the ultimate risk and start their own town, the way they thought a town in Arizona should be—a place free from the stress and the busy-ness that big cities like Phoenix were becoming.
Shopping, Food, and Things to Do
Many of the residents of Carefree share that same entrepreneurial spirit that the two founders of the town had, which is great, not only for the local economy but also for the variety of quality local restaurants and shops in the area. In Carefree, you won’t see a lot of big chain fast food places, but you will find a plethora of local cafés, restaurants, pizzerias, wine-bars, and other places where you can get terrifically authentic food and drink from local business owners.
The shopping is very much the same experience. Although there are larger stores in the area, most of the shopping comes from resident businesses who make or produce unique furniture, clothing, gifts, art, and more for their fellow residents.
The town of Carefree loves its festivals! Every month, there is at least one art festival, wine-tasting, or seasonal block party to enjoy. The large town square, complete with art and even a massive 62-foot sun-dial made by the famous architects Joe Wong and solar engineer Jon Yellot, are perfect for having events like this. It’s a big a beautiful space, but the lack of traffic congestion and the ease of pedestrian travel are what make the town so tailored to having big outdoor festivals like these.
Carefree also happens to have a spectacular botanic garden. It is the best example you could ever find of just how beautiful and full-of-life a desert landscape can be. The Carefree Desert Gardens were established in 2001 and refurbished to look even better in 2011 for their 10 year anniversary. The gardens flow through examples of plant life from the Sonoran desert while also showcasing some incredible architectural art and landscaping. It’s truly surprising to see all of the different colors and hues found on the variety of plant life native to the area. If you are among the ones who only come to Carefree during the winter months, the Desert Gardens are still operational during that times as well, making it worth a visit all year round.
The Carefree Desert Gardens and the Sanderson Lincoln Pavilion hold numerous community concerts and events, such as world class art shows, throughout the year. Carefree celebrates 54 years of history and 29 years of incorporation.
Nature Lovers Paradise
The Sonoran Desert is the most diverse of the North American deserts. The Sonoran Desert is home to 60 species of mammals, more than 350 kinds of birds, 20 amphibians, around 100 reptiles and over 2000 native species of plants. What makes the Sonoran Desert such an abundant place? The Sonoran Desert has so much plant and wildlife and a great amount of biodiversity because of two rainy seasons. Winter storms from the Pacific nourish annuals such as poppies and lupine. Summer monsoons originating from the Gulf of Mexico help both annuals and woody plants. In addition to having two rainy seasons, the desert is bordered by mountains, which receive much greater rainfall and snowfall. Water accumulated by the mountains drains into rivers that cross the desert, creating corridors of riparian vegetation even during dry times of the year.
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