Wander. Explore. Dine.

Williams Arizona

Why Williams Arizona Should Be On Your To-Do List!

For those who are planning a trip to the Grand Canyon, here’s three reasons you should detour to the last town on Route 66, Williams Arizona:

WILLIAMS, ARIZONA – April 19th 2012: Smoke rises from the BBQ at an American diner on the historic Route 66

For those who are planning a trip to the Grand Canyon, here’s three reasons you should detour to the last town on Route 66, Williams Arizona:

First and foremost, Williams is the last town before you reach the Grand Canyon. The drive from Williams to the Grand Canyon is a short 30-minutes away and serves as a great stop off point. In fact, many visitors stay in nearby Flagstaff and make their way there. But I have my reasons why you should pick Williams instead of Flagstaff or even Tusayan (the town right outside of the North Rim).

Secondly, one of our favorite things to do in Arizona is ride on historic trains! And Williams has its own Grand Canyon Railway that takes riders 65 miles round trip to see some stunning views along the way. There are also different historic train cars (including the Great Dome Car) that you can ride in if you’re willing to pay a little more for an upgraded ticket! We were fortunate enough to score an upgraded ticket by accident when we purchased tickets online! It was such an amazing experience riding in this car along with other travelers headed for their day at the canyon!

1. The Grand Canyon Railway Hotel was once a motel in its early days.

Williams, AZ – Sept. 29, 2021: Sign for the Grand Canyon Railway and Hotel.
  • The Grand Canyon Railway Hotel was once a motel in its early days. The hotel is actually a historic building and was once a motel built in 1891, which was the first hotel in Williams, Arizona! It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.

2. There are several places to eat with many different options for meals.

There are several places to eat with many different options for meals. There are several different types of cuisine represented, including Italian, Mexican, Chinese, American diner and fast food. There are also several different price points and atmospheres; at the lower end of the spectrum is a Burger King and McDonalds that you can enjoy in air-conditioned comfort or through a drive-thru. At the higher end of the spectrum is Beatty’s restaurant at the Grand Canyon Railway Hotel. The restaurant has been open since 1999 and offers fine dining in a formal atmosphere with excellent service.

3. You can explore via train and/or car.

  • The Grand Canyon Railway. Like the train ride, this is another item on my childhood bucket list. A 2 hour 40 minute round trip journey that departs from Williams and travels to the Grand Canyon Village, this is a beloved experience that many rave about!
  • Route 66. If you are like me and enjoy a good scenic drive then you should take advantage of the classic Route 66 which takes you through Arizona and New Mexico. This route gives you access to numerous historical sites and stops along the way as well as unique scenery that can only be accessed by car!

Williams Arizona is a great option for travelers who want to experience Route 66 or have different arrangements for their trip to the Grand Canyon.

Williams, AZ is a great option for travelers who want to experience Route 66 or have different arrangements for their trip to the Grand Canyon. You can easily make this a day trip from Flagstaff, or stay overnight and check out all the attractions in town. Grand Canyon Railway takes you right to the Canyon and back – no driving! The town itself has some great restaurants, shops, and hotels that would be fun to explore.

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