Home to the Grand Canyon Railway, Williams, Arizona is a major hub of transportation to and from Grand Canyon National Park. Historic Route 66 runs through the heart of this great city, and on both sides of it remain the Americana-style restaurants and shops that date back to the 1900s. From the Bearizona Wildlife Park to Pete’s Route 66 Gas Station Museum, visitors will enjoy a town filled with unique history, lots of charm, and plenty of opportunities for adventure.
1.Grand Canyon Railway
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Since 1901, Grand Canyon Railway has been taking passengers on a legendary journey through Arizona’s countryside and into the heart of the Grand Canyon. The train departs from the Williams Depot at 9:30 a.m., and arrives at the Grand Canyon at 11:30 a.m. The returning train leaves the Grand Canyon at 3:30 p.m., and arrives back at the Williams Depot at 5:45 p.m. There’s a second train schedule during periods of high volume that runs one hour later than the regular posted times. Passengers will be treated to entertainment in the form of musicians, attendants with regional and historical knowledge, and an old-fashioned train robbery. During the trip they’ll enjoy breathtaking views, world-class comfort, light snacks, and tasty libations.
233 North Grand Canyon Boulevard, Williams, AZ, Phone: 928-635-4010
2.Bearizona Wildlife Park
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Containing approximately 160 acres of land, Bearizona Wildlife Park is situated in the center of northern Arizona, nestled in the breathtaking Kaibab National Forest. As visitors drive through the park’s Ponderosa Pine Forest, they’ll have the opportunity to view North American animals within their natural habitats. Fort Bearizona provides more of a traditional “zoo” type of setting, with a beautiful walk-thru area that’s 20 acres in size. Some of the animal species visitors can expect to find here include black bears, Bobcats, otters, prairie dogs, reptiles, and ferrets. Visitors will also be treated to live Ambassador Animal Shows where keepers train the park’s program animals.
1500 East Route 66, Williams, AZ, Phone: 928-635-2289
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Williams Depot is a historic, privately-owned train station situated in the heart of Williams, Arizona. In 1882, the first railroad to travel through the city of Williams was built by the Atlantic and Pacific Railroad Company, part of the transcontinental railroad – western division. On September 17th of 1901, the first passenger train ran from Williams to Grand Canyon South Rim. Now the headquarters and southern terminus for Grand Canyon Railway, Williams Depot contains a restaurant, ticket counter, restroom facilities, a coffee stand, and gift shop. The original building that housed the Fray Marcos Hotel still remains, and is Arizona’s oldest poured-concrete structure. Visitors will have the chance to check-out classic railroad cars and learn all about western railroad history.
233 North Grand Canyon Boulevard, Williams, AZ, Phone: 928-635-2367
4.Grand Canyon Deer Farm
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For over four decades, Grand Canyon Deer Farm has been favorited by animal lovers from all over the country and world. Visitors will have the rare opportunity of getting an up close, “hands on” experience with a variety of beautiful creatures. These special moments of intimate human contact are only possible by raising the animals from infancy to adulthood. Some of the animal species visitors can expect to find during their trip here include camels, reindeer, mule deer, mini horses, elk, pot belly pigs, goats, wallabies, and more. The farm’s trainers and staff work tirelessly to take care of, and maintain the animals so visitors can capture memories that will last them a lifetime.
6769 East Deer Farm Road, Williams, AZ, Phone: 928-635-4073
5.Planes of Fame Air Museum
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Planes of Fame Air Museum is an airplane museum featuring over 150 aircraft on display, with at least 50 of them still capable of flying today. The museum is located just off of Arizona State Route 64, approximately 30 miles north of downtown Williams, Arizona. From flying and static aircraft and restoration projects to military vehicles and the 475th Fighter Group collection, visitors will have the opportunity to travel back in time as they explore the museum’s historic collection of aircraft and more. Plane buffs will be heaven here, as they’ll see everything from a Curtiss Warhawk P-40N to a Lockheed Starfighter F-104G to a Douglas Skyraider AD-4N.
755 Mustang Way, Williams-Valle, AZ, Phone: 928-635-1000
6.Pete’s Route 66 Gas Station Museum
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Visitors will be transported back to a time where they’ll relive the glory days provided by one of the nation’s most iconic highways, Route 66. Pete’s Route 66 Gas Station Museum is a combination gift shop and museum for people who appreciate the history around Route 66. The gas station museum is conveniently situated in the heart of downtown Williams, Arizona. The carefully restored gas station houses several antiques that include vintage oil, tire, gas, travel, and product signs, gas pumps, and vintage cars. Visitors will appreciate all of the great information they’ll receive from the proprietors, the free admission, and accessibility – open 9:00am to 9:00pm daily (subject to change).
101 East Route 66, Williams, AZ, Phone: 928-635-2675
7.Williams and Forest Service Visitor Center
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The Williams and Forest Service Visitor Center is located in the heart of downtown Williams, Arizona, just off of Historic Route 66. The center’s friendly and knowledgeable staff is there to assist visitors, and help them make the most out of their Northern Arizona experiences. Visitors will find that this old railway depot is more than just another information center, it’s equipped with a large selection of educational items and books, regional maps, and Forest Service maps. The center even provides a concierge service that makes reservations for visitors and offers detailed information regarding tours. This center proudly promotes the Grand Canyon, Williams, and the surrounding Northern Arizona communities.
200 West Railroad Avenue, Williams, AZ, Phone: 928-635-4061
8.Colors of the West
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Colors of the West is a wonderfully charming gift shop that’s been situated at the corner of Bill Williams Boulevard and 2nd Street since 1991 – currently 201 West 66. The store has been owned and operated by the same family from its very beginning. Every customer that makes their way into the shop is greeted by large smiles, warm hospitality, and treated just like family. The shop carries specialty food items, hundreds of different hot sauces, apparel, western home décor, and 40 different kinds of delicious, salt water taffy. Visitors looking for a unique shopping experience with a personal touch should look no further than the Colors of the West.
210 West Route 66, Williams, AZ, Phone: 928-635-4310
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Sycamore Canyon is Arizona’s second largest canyon within Red Rock Country, and stretches an impressive 21 miles in length. Comparable in size and beauty to the nearby Oak Creek Canyon, Sycamore boasts several colorful rock formations, lush flora, and several different species of fauna. Unlike Oak Creek, Sycamore has no road winding through the canyon, and can only be approached from Kaibab National Forest’s dirt tracks. The canyon is a popular hub for outdoor enthusiasts, here they can enjoy camping, fishing, hiking, and mountain biking. With no artificial lights around to pollute the nighttime sky, visitors camping at, or exploring the canyon at night, will be treated to breathtaking views of the twinkling stars above.
Williams Ranger District, 742 South Clover Road, Williams, AZ, Phone: 928-635-5600
10.Grand Canyon Wine Company
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Situated in downtown Williams, Arizona, Grand Canyon Wine Company provides visitors with a unique and awesome tasting room experience. They have the distinct honor of being the only winery in Arizona that also produces craft beer. Visitors will have the opportunity to try local craft beer and wine tasting flights within a casual setting. This family-owned and operated winery is committed to producing locally crafted wine using only the finest ingredient available. Visitors can sample the sensational craft beer and wine selections in the winery’s charming tasting room, complete with earth-tone colors, bistro-style tables, blue barstools, chalkboard menus, an L-shaped bar, and stylish décor.
138 West Route 66, Williams, AZ, Phone: 928-635 5232
11.Bill Williams Monument Park
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In an attempt to honor Bill Williams, (the man responsible for the inspiration of Williams, Arizona) the city created a statue in his likeness to commemorate him. Erected in 1980, the statue was first introduced in front of Senator Barry Goldwater and a group of excited Williams residents. The statue resides within the picturesque Williams Park, situated along Historic Route 66. The park draws in thousands of visitors each year that come to photograph the famed statue and its surrounding area. The park and statue are well-known to be the most photographed locations in all of Williams, Arizona. The magnificent statue was created by local Arizona artist, Bill Pettit.
Williams Park, Route 66 and South 9th Street, Williams, AZ
12.White Horse Lake Campground
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White Horse Lake Campground is an incredibly popular camping and recreation area situated approximately 20 miles southeast of Williams, Arizona. The lake’s campground area is conveniently located just an hour from the Grand Canyon National Park’s South Rim. Surrounded by the diverse and breathtaking scenery of Kaibab National Forest, visitors will enjoy a wonderfully picturesque backdrop during their time at White Horse Lake. The area around the lake provides excellent opportunities for mountain biking, hiking, and wildlife watching. The lake is teeming with fish, from channel catfish to brown trout to rainbow trout. Campers will often see elk, deer, and a few other animal species down by the lake’s shoreline.
FR 109, Kaibab National Forest, Williams, AZ, Phone: 877-444-6777
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Arizona is packed with excellent, family-friendly parks and scenic vistas, with Buckskinner Park in Williams, Arizona, being part of that elite collection. The park is available for use daily and equipped with bathroom facilities, fire rings, two picnic armadas, and barbeque pits. The park has several miles of trails perfect for mountain biking, running, hiking, and walking with the dogs. Also featured is a shimmering lake stocked full of different kinds of fish; anglers will be happy to know the park allows fishing. For visitors looking to enjoy a little outdoor recreation, the park provides a basketball court, volleyball court, and horseshoe pits. Buckskinner Park offers the perfect setting for a fun-filled day under the Arizona sun.
South 6th Street, Williams, AZ, Phone: 928-635-1418
14.Bull Basin Road
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Bull Basin Road is a stretch of wonderfully scenic road winding through north/central Arizona, just east of Williams. The mountainous setting offers breathtaking views all throughout the 17-mile roundtrip. Because of the elevation, and therefore harsh elements during the winter, the scenic road is only accessible from spring through fall. As the road winds through the Kaibab National Forest, visitors will see flora that consists of oak, juniper, blue spruce, aspen, Engelmann spruce, Douglas fir, and ponderosa pine. It’s also very common to spot wildlife while traveling along the road, some of which include turkey, pronghorn, elk, mule deer, and white-tailed deer. The roundtrip takes approximately an hour, and is sure to leave visitors with beautiful, lasting memories.
I-40 East, Exit 178, (east of) Williams, AZ, Phone: 928-635-5680
15.Valle Travel Stop
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Valle Travel Stop is a gift shop within a travel services complex located at the junction of Arizona State Route 64 and U.S. Route 180 in Williams, Arizona. The complex also includes the Native American Art & Jewelry Gallery, Grand Canyon Inn, Southwestern Gift Store, a cocktail lounge, and restaurant. Grand Canyon National Park is just 23 miles north of the complex, making this an ideal place for people visiting the park to stay, shop, and dine in one location. In the shop visitors will find items that include pottery, artwork, apparel, footwear, headwear, jewelry, antiques, vintage signs, accessories, and more.
317 South State Route 64, Williams-Valle, AZ, Phone: 928-635-2008
16.Beale Wagon Road Historic Trail
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Beale Wagon Road Historic Trail is a 1,240-mile route that stretches from Fort Smith, Arkansas, to the winding Colorado River. Part of this historic trail traverses through 23 miles of beautiful terrain within the Kaibab National Forest. The trail offers several different access points so visitors can enjoy hikes of varying difficulty and lengths. The trail is the perfect place for people seeking outdoor recreation, here they can enjoy camping, trail running, hiking, walking, and horseback riding. Along the trail visitors may see old artifacts that include antique bottles and cans, debris left over from stone tools, arrowheads and dart points, and pottery sherds.
I-40 Parks exit, FR 141, Williams, AZ, Phone: 928-635-4707
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17.Elk Ridge Ski & Outdoor Recreation Area
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Elk Ridge Ski & Outdoor Recreation Area is a family-oriented tubing, skiing, and snowboarding recreation area open all year round in Williams, Arizona. This 37-acre property is nestled near Grand Canyon National Park’s southwestern entrance, within the Kaibab National Forest, on Bill Williams Mountain. The mountain is equipped with a certified tubing hill (the only one in the area), two surface lifts, and 12 incredibly scenic alpine trails. Additional amenities include a newly renovated day lodge, complete with a kitchen, bar, and dining facilities. Whether it’s a group of friends, the whole family, or even solo adventurers, everyone will have the time or their lives on the Elk Ridge slopes.
2467 South Perkinsville Road, Williams, AZ, Phone: 928-814-5038
18.Route 66 Zipline
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Route 66 Zipline is an adrenaline-pumping thrill ride situated just off of Historic Route 66 in Williams, Arizona. The Zipline first opened its doors in June of 2013, and has been one of the city’s top attractions ever since. The ziplines are a simple, safe, and fun way to have fun with friends or the whole family. As visitors soar through the sky over the city of Williams, the screams and shrills can be heard reverberating throughout the streets below. The ziplines are very unique, riders will be flying down the lines in side-by-side seats, rather than harnesses. This added feature of the ziplines makes it easier for younger children to enjoy the attraction as well.
200 North Grand Canyon Boulevard, Williams, AZ, Phone: 928-286-3400
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19.Big Toy Playground
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Big Toy Playground is a uniquely entertaining heavy equipment adventure located in the high-desert city of Williams, Arizona. For everyone that’s grown up with Tonka Trucks, it’ll feel like a dream come true the first time they bulldoze a mountain of dirt, or dig a giant hole. Visitors over the age of 14 will have the opportunity to operate heavy machinery in the form of skid steers, backhoes, and excavators. A few of the fun activities that visitors will enjoy with the various machinery include playing backhoe basketball, stacking enormous towers of tires, and maneuvering through a large obstacle course. The sessions typically last 90 minutes long, with a minimum of 60 minutes spent operating equipment.
287 South Garland Prairie Road, Williams, AZ, Phone: 928-212-8004
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20.The Inner Canyon Tour from Williams
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For travelers wanting to experience the magnificent Grand Canyon from bottom to top while staying on solid ground, they’ll want to check out The Inner Canyon Tour from Williams, Arizona. During the tour, visitors will have the opportunity to enjoy Arizona’s unique living history from its north and south rims to the Colorado River, and everything in between. The journey starts aboard a comfortable van or coach that bounds down Historic Route 66, headed for Peach Springs, Arizona. Upon arrival visitors will descend into the canyon’s deep chasm, marveling at the towering canyon walls, unusual desert plants, and spectacular landscape. At the bottom visitors will have the chance to rest, have lunch by the river, and take photos.
395 State Route 64, Williams, AZ, Phone: 928-779-3163
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21.South Rims Wine & Beer Garage
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South Rims Wine & Beer Garage is one of northern Arizona’s premier lounge and tasting rooms. The wine bar can be found along Historic Route 66, in the Grand Canyon’s gateway city of Williams. South Rims offers several different Arizona wine and craft beer selections, unique specialty souvenirs and gifts, as well as Native artisan collectibles. Visitors can relax in the intimate wine bistro, or experience the main bar’s casual atmosphere, or enjoy the sprawling patio and courtyard. Guests will appreciate South Rims’ sensational menu items, ranging from Crab Cakes to the Route 66 Salad to an Eggplant Portabella Sandwich to Key Lime Tart. One of the wine bar’s highlights is the classic 1967 Pontiac GTO parked inside.
514 East Route 66, Williams, AZ, Phone: 928-635-5902
22.Red Raven Restaurant
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Red Raven Restaurant offers a fine dining experience within a casual setting, in historic downtown Williams, Arizona. The restaurant is conveniently situated near Grand Canyon Railway and Grand Canyon National Park. Diners will appreciate the restaurant’s delicious, artfully-prepared cuisine, selection of quality beers and wines, and comfortable atmosphere. The interior features light-colored brick, beige walls with forest green bases, a red-painted ceiling, exposed HVAC ducting, a charming bar-top corner, bistro-style tables and chairs, and some scattered artwork. Guests will enjoy the mouthwatering Grilled Salmon – served charbroiled over a bed of greens, tossed in ginger sesame dressing, and topped with red onion, cilantro, grape tomatoes, and pine nuts.
135 West Route 66, Williams, AZ, Phone: 928-635-4980
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23.Kicks on Route 66
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Nestled among the mountains and tall pines of Northern Arizona, visitors will find Kicks on Route 66 in the historic city of Williams. The restaurant offers innovative fare prepared by the highly talented Chef Shawn Burns. The owners pride themselves on making sure the restaurant is always using the freshest, locally sourced ingredients whenever possible. They really wanted to emphasize the “farm-to-table” movement that’s been sweeping the nation’s trendiest restaurants. From salads and appetizers to grilled-to-perfection steak to seafood and ribs, the menu has a little something in there for everyone. Diners will appreciate the large variety of draft beer selections, the full bar, and live, local entertainment.
2550 West Route 66, Williams, AZ, Phone: 928-635-2052
24.Marvelous Marv’s Grand Canyon Tours
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Marvelous Marv’s Grand Canyon Tours is a tour operator located in the Gateway to the Grand Canyon – Williams, Arizona. Being that the Grand Canyon is one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, and the only one located within the continental United States, it’s easy to see why it is such an intriguing, and popular international travel destination. Visitors on the tours will be entertained with various facts and figures regarding the Grand Canyon, covering bio-diversity, biology (flora and fauna), anthropology, geology, physical history, cultural history, and more. During the excursion patrons will have the chance to do a little shopping within the South Rim’s village, or partake in a short hike along Bright Angel Trail.
200 West Railroad Avenue, Williams, AZ, Phone: 928-707-0291
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25.Grand Canyon Brewing Company
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Grand Canyon Brewing Company is a brewery, distillery, tap house, and restaurant located in downtown Williams, Arizona. This family operated craft brewery got its start in August of 2007, and has been steadily gaining popularity ever since. The brewery’s recent success and rising demand have led to an expansion, as well as a larger reach beyond Arizona, to markets in Nevada and South Korea. After a long day of rafting, climbing, or hiking through the Grand Canyon, visitors can head to the tap room for a refreshing craft beer. They’ll enjoy favorites that include Black Iron IPA, American Pilsner, Sunset Amber Ale, and Grand Canyon Expeditions Wheat Ale.
301 North 7th Street, Williams, AZ, Phone: 928-635-1911
25 Best Things to Do in Williams, Arizona
- Grand Canyon Railway, Photo: Courtesy of whiteadamas - Fotolia.com
- Bearizona Wildlife Park, Photo: Courtesy of Dottie - Fotolia.com
- Williams Depot, Photo: Courtesy of anghinet - Fotolia.com
- Grand Canyon Deer Farm, Photo: Courtesy of Olesia Bilkei - Fotolia.com
- Planes of Fame Air Museum, Photo: Courtesy of tzuky333 - Fotolia.com
- Pete’s Route 66 Gas Station Museum, Photo: Courtesy of mr_ptica - Fotolia.com
- Williams and Forest Service Visitor Center, Photo: Courtesy of Boris - Fotolia.com
- Colors of the West, Photo: Colors of the West
- Sycamore Canyon, Photo: Courtesy of Alan - Fotolia.com
- Grand Canyon Wine Company, Photo: Grand Canyon Wine Company
- Bill Williams Monument Park, Photo: Courtesy of Sarah.Camille - Fotolia.com
- White Horse Lake Campground, Photo: Courtesy of daseaford - Fotolia.com
- Buckskinner Park, Photo: Courtesy of Fotolia.com
- Bull Basin Road, Photo: Courtesy of jcomp - Fotolia.com
- Valle Travel Stop, Photo: Courtesy of vellot - Fotolia.com
- Beale Wagon Road Historic Trail, Photo: Courtesy of wade - Fotolia.com
- Elk Ridge Ski & Outdoor Recreation Area, Photo: Courtesy of snedorez - Fotolia.com
- Route 66 Zipline, Photo: Route 66 Zipline
- Big Toy Playground, Photo: Big Toy Playground
- The Inner Canyon Tour from Williams, Photo: Courtesy of Boris - Fotolia.com
- South Rims Wine & Beer Garage, Photo: South Rims Wine & Beer Garage
- Red Raven Restaurant, Photo: Courtesy of Alex Tihonov - Fotolia.com
- Kicks on Route 66, Photo: Kicks on Route 66
- Marvelous Marv’s Grand Canyon Tours, Photo: Courtesy of Boris - Fotolia.com
- Grand Canyon Brewing Company, Photo: Grand Canyon Brewing Company
- Cover Photo: Courtesy of travelview - Fotolia.com