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Old 06-25-2020, 10:09 AM
 
39 posts, read 44,317 times
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Before planning a retirement home search, we're interested in getting a feel for the Scottsdale 'suburbs' of Cave Creek and Carefree versus the Tucson 'suburbs of Oro Valley/Marana. If you're familiar with both areas and can reply with a summary of the differences in terms of scenery, hiking, quality of life, friendliness of people, services and general vibe, it will be very helpful to start to get a feel for what's what. Thanks.
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Old 06-25-2020, 12:27 PM
 
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I live a stone's throw away from Oro Valley in the unincorporated area in between OV and Marana. My take is that if you want to retire to play golf, you move to the Phoenix area. If you want to retire for outdoor pursuits, you move to Oro Valley.

My Tuesday morning running group has two guys well into their 70's that still crank out 9 minute miles on the trails around Catalina State Park with us. The circle of acquaintances and friends I've made since moving here two years ago that live around my house tend to be outdoorsy guys from Colorado, Wyoming, and other mountain states that want to be able to hike, run or cycle all year round.

From my house I'm 10 minutes away in either direction to two Targets, two Home Depots, one Lowes, one Costco, 5 grocery stores, our locally owned alternative to REI called Summit Hut and more.

It's a bit cooler in the summer, so quite possible to get out at the crack of dawn for a 2-3 hour hike before it gets miserable. I can get down to Madera Canyon in 50 minutes on the weekend to climb up to the alpine meadows of Mt. Wrightson.

The only big complaint I have is the lack of locally owned watering holes and restaurants. Really tough for a local food or beverage place to survive on 5 months of business from snowbirds. If you do go to a local joint, expect that they will always be 1-2 people shy of a full staff and service is slower. When we go to our favorite local restaurants we just know that it will be a leisurely affair.
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Old 06-25-2020, 01:11 PM
 
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Thanks for the reply. Don't know if you've been to Cave Creek but there is certainly a lot of excellent hiking available locally (e.g. Spur Cross and Cave Creek Regional Park) so there's more than just golf.
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Old 06-25-2020, 03:33 PM
 
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I think they're both on fire, or very close to it.
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Old 06-25-2020, 03:44 PM
 
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They’re both very comparable. The quip about golfing has little practical meaning because each has several courses and each is full of outdoor pursuits. The desert around each is almost the same too.

What is different about them is the general culture of each. Cave Creek/Carefree will be more conservative and is popular with the biking crowd. Oro Valley will be more liberal with less amenities.
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Old 06-25-2020, 03:49 PM
 
39 posts, read 44,317 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JGMotorsport64 View Post
Oro Valley will be more liberal with less amenities.
Hey, I thought liberals love their amenities (Starbucks, Whole Foods)? These Oro Valley liberals must be a unique bunch. (PS: An attempt at humor, so don't freak out now...
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Old 06-25-2020, 04:15 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ejalciti View Post
Hey, I thought liberals love their amenities (Starbucks, Whole Foods)? These Oro Valley liberals must be a unique bunch. (PS: An attempt at humor, so don't freak out now...
OV is considered the conservative part of Tucson. Lots of retired military, cops and Raytheon employees up here.

When I lived in Phoenix I was downtown, west valley and north central. All I know about Cave Creek is going hiking up there a few times and spending an afternoon or two walking around the downtown with my wife. But the topography will be pretty similar. Even my geographically challenged wife commented that Cave Creek and Carefree looked a lot like parts of OV other than not having a 9000 foot mountain to look at.
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Old 06-27-2020, 01:27 PM
 
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I'd choose Catalina/Oro Valley. I'ts a tad cooler in summer and the Catalinas look more like a real mountain range as apposed to those pidley little hills up in town of Cave Creek.

The other thing is that Cave Creek is a madhouse during Arizona Bike Week. Thousands of leathery skinned drunks on their POS Harleys...no thanks.
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Old 07-03-2020, 04:42 PM
 
Location: Martinez, CA
50 posts, read 56,904 times
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I too am interested in these towns, although Carefree seems a little above my budget. But Oro Valley and Cave Creek are on my radar. I've recently retired from the military and looking to make a move out of the Bay Area soon, these towns and St George, UT all look like contenders.
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Old 07-04-2020, 02:00 PM
 
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Just on my block there are three retired military guys here in (almost) Oro Valley. Popular place for ex-military.
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