FAR OUT, MAN: According to Mayor Vincent Francia, when he first arrived in the 1970s, it was not unusual to see hippies sleeping in teepees next to luxury homes.
FAMOUS RESIDENTS: Twilight author Stephenie Meyer, Hell’s Angels Oakland chapter co-founder Sonny Barger, and until last year, hip-hop pariah DMX.
Cave Creek Regional Park
More than 11 miles of hiking, biking, and horseback riding trails meander across this 2,922-acre park. Rangers lead treks every month, including Fitness Hikes on October 4 and 18, and a Moonlight Hike to the Clay Mine on October 26. Visitors can also watch a reptile feeding on October 6. On October 20, runners and spectators are encouraged to don costumes for the Cave Creek Thriller Race, which includes three runs (50K, 30K, and 10K) on a loop around the Go John and Overton trails (entry fees run $35-$80). 37900 N. Cave Creek Parkway, 623-465-0431, maricopa.gov/parks/cave_creek
Cave Creek Coffee Company
The coffee’s hot and so is the music at this java joint/wine bar. In addition to C4’s line of heady roasts (their dark house blend, “Black Mountain,” is particularly grizzly), this self-appointed “Arizona version of Austin City Limits” hosts performances by national roots-music gurus like Janis Ian and the Bob Dylan-esque Ian McFeron. For something stronger than a coffee buzz, try one of C4’s ten specialty beers or Arizona wines. 6033 E. Cave Creek Rd., 480-488-0603, cavecreekcoffee.com
This shopping center doubles as an events space for several annual festivals. October 17-18, it hosts Taste of Cave Creek, a fete featuring samples from more than 25 Cave Creek-area restaurants, a chili cook-off, beer and wine, art, and live music from Herndon Brothers ($10). The village also provides the setting for the Fine Art and Wine Festival October 26-28, featuring local art, music from Native flutist Arvel Bird and guitarist Patrick Ki, and local wines (free admission). 7100 E. Cave Creek Rd., 480-575-6624, tasteofcavecreek.com
Running of the Bulls
What better incentive to run than 21 angry, 1,500-pound bovines bearing down on you? On October 20, thrill-seekers will attend the Running of the Bulls, a quarter-mile ass-haul through Cave Creek complete with rodeo clowns and live music. There will be seven runs. Spectator tickets cost $10-$50; runners pay $25-$35 per run. 855-480-5786, runwiththebullsusa.com
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