Best Things To Do in Williams (Arizona) – Williams, a small town in northern Arizona, is best known for serving as the entrance to the Grand Canyon. Making Williams your base and staying a few extra days in the region if you do decide to travel to the Grand Canyon allows you to have a nice vacation which combines outdoor adventure, historical components like Route 66, and an understanding of the Old West.
The Kaibab National Forest, which Williams is surrounded by, is a wonderful place for a day of hiking as well as other outdoor activities. Likewise nearby are the Sycamore Canyon and Bill Williams Mountain, which will soothe your senses with their picturesque views, rustic trails, and scenic waterways. For those boarding the Grand Canyon Railway or traveling along Route 66, which passes through Williams, the town is an intriguing epicenter.
Williams is one of those small-town unforgettably treasured places with some fantastic sentimental attractions to explore on your own, both on and off the main thoroughfare. Make time to stop by the Pine Country Restaurant, which offers 55 different kinds of fresh homemade pies.
The town of Williams, which is tucked away in northern Arizona, is a true hidden gem. The Grand Canyon Railway, Bearizona Wildlife Park, and also the Route 66 Museum are just a few of the attractions and historic sites available to visitors in Williams, which is close to the Grand Canyon and surrounded by breathtaking mountain scenery. A special way to appreciate the Grand Canyon’s beauty is through the Grand Canyon Railway.
Visitors can board a train in Williams and travel to the South Rim of the canyon before returning in the evening. A great place to see a wide range of animals, such as bears, wolves, or even bison, is the Bearizona Wildlife Park. It’s also worthwhile to visit the Route 66 Museum. The museum recounts “The Mother Road’s” history and how it influenced American culture.
Williams is one of the most visited tourist destinations in Arizona because there is so much to see and do there. For history buffs, nature lovers, and adventurers alike, this quaint mountain village is a must-visit. Check out our list of the best things to do in Williams (Arizona) for more suggestions on what to see and do.
Disclosure: Due to new safety regulations, some of the information regarding the attractions and sites listed below may have changed. For the most up-to-date information, please contact the location.
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What are the Best Things To Do in Williams (Arizona)?
1. All-Star Grand Canyon Tours
The Grand Canyon is without a doubt one of the most stunning natural wonders in the world. Although there are many ways to see it, nothing compares to going on an All-Star Grand Canyon tour. With knowledgeable tour guides who know all the best places to see, these adventures provide a close-up view of the canyon, making it one of the best things to do in Williams (Arizona).
An All-Star Grand Canyon tour is the ideal way to experience this incredible location, from the bright red rocks of the South Rim to the well-kept secrets of the North Rim. And there are undoubtedly a number of different tours available that will be ideal for you. Why are you holding out? Set up your tour today and get ready for a once-in-a-lifetime adventure.
Address: 2420 N. 3rd St., Flagstaff AZ 86001
2. Bearizona Wildlife Park
The Bearizona Wildlife Park ought to be on your list of the best things to do in Williams (Arizona). You can interact closely with animals like black bears, wolves, bison, as well as mountain goats at the wildlife and conservation park in a special way. You can either drive through the park on your own vehicle or take the Bearizona shuttle bus. On the other side of the park, you can stroll around the grounds and observe the daily activities of otters, foxes, and jaguars thanks to the animal enclosures there.
To learn more about the great horned owl and hawk, make sure to attend one of the Birds of Prey demonstrations. As the handlers demonstrate the hawks’ stealthy flight patterns, feel the wind of a wing brushing above your head. With a day ticket, you are allowed unlimited access to the park’s premises by foot or vehicle.
Address: 1500 E. Historic Route 66, Williams, Arizona
3. Stroll Route 66
Williams’ historic Route 66 runs directly through the city, making it simple to park the car and walk to the many gift shops, eateries, and historical sites. Keep an eye out for the brass plaques that describe what it used to be on the sides of some of the structures. The former post office, grocery store, fire station, bank, and other buildings have been transformed into interesting shops.
With vintage neon signs on the businesses as well as music from the 1950s blaring out of old diners, the town comes alive, especially at night. Williams has a two-mile route that loops around it, so parking on one end and walking to the end of the strip are the best options.
4. Grand Canyon Deer Farm
While Williams has many historic attractions along Route 66, families particularly enjoy visiting the Grand Canyon Deer Farm. The 10-acre deer farm has been in business for over 50 years. Deer and other hand-raised animals that are accustomed to human contact can be seen up close.
As you stroll through the park, you’ll see bison, llamas, wallabies, camels, peacocks, goats, and Mozart the cockatoo, one of its well-known residents. Some of the deer can even be fed by hand. It’s possible to see some local wildlife at the Grand Canyon Deer Farm that you might not otherwise have the opportunity to see in their natural habitats. This is without a doubt one of the best things to do in Williams (Arizona).
Address: 6769 E. Deer Farm Road, Williams, Arizona
5. Pete’s Route 66 Gas Station Museum
Some of the best finds for those who adore Route 66’s nostalgia can be found in Williams, including the restored Pete’s Route 66 Gas Station Museum. The tiny gas station is jam-packed with memorabilia from Route 66 and facts about former gas stations.
Old model cars are parked in front, and there is a garage full of signs, gas pumps, and other things. Throughout the summer, it is open every day. In the off-season, it is best to call ahead rather than just drop by, though you can always look through the tinted windows.
Address: 101 E. Route 66, Williams, Arizona
6. Kaibab National Forest Petroglyphs
The more than 1,000-year-old prehistoric traces of habitation in the Kaibab National Forest are among the most breathtaking sights to see in Williams. Travel through the pine forest on the Keyhole Sink Trail as you hike to the historic petroglyphs etched into the canyon walls.
It is thought that the area’s first inhabitants, who hunted there, found this ancient method of communication useful. The petroglyphs are an amazing sight to see, and over time, visitors have respected and protected them. It takes about 20 minutes to get to the Keyhole Sink trailhead from Williams, and it’s not too difficult to find. You really need to add this to your list of the best things to do in Williams (Arizona).
Address: Kaibab National Forest, Williams, Arizona
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7. Williams Depot
Regardless of whether you intend to ride the Grand Canyon Railway, you should schedule some time in your schedule to go to the Williams Depot. The transcontinental railroad passed through the town for the first time in 1882, and the old train station is a piece of history that has been restored.
The depot now serves as the Grand Canyon Railway’s starting point, allowing people to travel from Williams to the Grand Canyon’s South Rim in the same manner as they have since 1901. Make sure to take a tour of the depot to see some of the original buildings, vintage railroad cars, and to eat lunch there.
Address: 233 N. Grand Canyon Blvd., Williams, Arizona
The Grand Canyon trails, which are about 60 miles from Williams, are the area’s top hiking attractions, but there are dozens of other hiking options close by. You have the option of going on a guided tour and hiking with a local outfitter or go alone.
The four-mile round trip Bixler Saddle Trail and the 1.8-mile Dogtown Lake Trail are a couple of the trails that are suggested. Take the eight-mile round trip Kendrick Mountain Trail for a strenuous hike to the 10,418-foot summit for unparalleled views of Oak Creek Canyon and the Grand Canyon in opposite directions.
9. Valle Travel Stop
You might initially think the Valle Travel Stop is just another travel plaza, but it’s worth a visit to check out some of the interesting gifts that are available there. Local goods like jewelry made by Native Americans, artwork, old signs, and even antiques are available. People traveling to and from the Grand Canyon frequently stop at the Valle Travel Stop.
The Valle Travel Stop is about 30 minutes north on Route 64 and quite well worth the drive, despite having a Williams address. Rare and amazing rocks, minerals, fossils, as well as jewelry are sold at the Rocks and more stores in the plaza complex. You’ll know you’re in the right spot by the massive $80,000 amethyst and boulder-sized crystal in front of the shop. You’ll quickly find out this is definitely one of the best things to do in Williams (Arizona) while you are here.
Address: 317 South State Route 64, Williams, Arizona
10. Wild West Junction
The Wild West Junction offers information on the Wild West and early 1900s life in Williams. This is a fun location to check out, especially if you don’t know much about the Old West. A restaurant, the Dover’s Inn bed and breakfast, and historical reenactments are all part of the complex. With a make-shift jail and town hall, it is set up to look like an old western town. It’s a good place to hang out, especially during the summer months when the Wild West Junction is bustling with activity.
Address: 321 E. Route 66, Williams-Valle, Arizona
11. Sycamore Canyon
In Williams, Sycamore Canyon offers another opportunity for hiking and scenic viewing. Trekking past some of the main entrances is best left to more seasoned hikers because the terrain is more wild than popular with tourists. With a length of 21 miles, the canyon is the second-largest in Arizona. For those seeking a challenge, Sycamore Canyon is a great place for rock climbers, fishing, wildlife watching, and hiking.
Dramatic vistas, unique rock formations, and breathtaking colors are the payoff for the trek into Sycamore Canyon. It is a prime example of Red Rocks in Arizona that are in their natural habitat. The Parsons Trail, which is situated in the Wilderness Area, and also the Sycamore Rim Trail, which offers breathtaking views from the canyon’s rim, are two of the most well-known trails. You should bring the necessary supplies, such as food, water, sunscreen, as well as first aid, with you since Sycamore Canyon is primarily a wilderness area.
Address: 200 W. Railroad Ave., Williams, Arizona
12. Planes of Fame Air Museum
The Planes of Fame Air Museum’s goals are to preserve aviation history and pay tribute to aviation pioneers. Historic aircraft from the beginning of aviation to the present are preserved and shown at the museum. The fact that some of the historic aircraft frequently fly in and out of the base on their way to air shows at public events is one of the aviation museum’s distinctive features. Additionally, you can discover more about the thorough restoration procedure used to preserve these aircraft. This is really one of the best things to do in Williams (Arizona).
Address: 755 S. Mustang Blvd., Williams, Arizona
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13. Beale Wagon Road Historic Trail
The Beale Wagon Road Historic Trail ought to be on your list of the best things to do in Williams (Arizona) if you’re a traveler or history enthusiast who enjoys discovering obscure landmarks. The only thing to draw you in is a representation of what this primitive trail was once used for – connecting settlers from Arizona to California.
Until the late 1800s, when railroad transportation became available, settlers traveled along this unpaved dirt road. The first road built in the general area where modern Interstate 40 and historic Route 66 presently run was the Beale Wagon Road (built by Edward Fitzgerald Beale).
Address: Interstate 40, Parks exit to FR 141, Williams, Arizona
14. Bill Williams Monument Park
The Bill Williams Monument Park is a great place to learn about the town’s history because Williams serves as the entrance to the Grand Canyon and was so important in the westward migration. Although it is a small, unassuming park, it is a significant part of the region’s history.
To honor the frontiersman whose name the town bears, a bronze statue of William Sherley Williams, also known as “Old Bill,” is located in the park. You won’t need much time to visit the statue and the park, but if you want to see some of the best views in the area, you can also go to Bill Williams Mountain. There are scenic drives with lookout points and hiking trails.
Address: Sixth Street, Williams, Arizona
15. Canyon Coaster Adventure Park
The Canyon Coaster Adventure Park in Williams, located on Route 66, offers a range of year-round attractions for people of all ages. The Canyon Coaster, a mountain coaster built directly into the mountainside and spanning several acres along the mountain’s natural curvatures, is the main draw.
Between November and April, visitors to Williams can enjoy tubing down slopes covered in snow. The base lodge serves as Canyon Coaster Adventure Park’s central gathering place, where guests can grab a bite to eat to sate their appetites. When in Williams, Arizona, make sure not to miss this special experience. This is indeed one the best things to do in Williams (Arizona).
Address: 700 E Rte 66, Williams, AZ
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Where to Stay in Williams for Sightseeing
It will be necessary to travel to Sedona, which is about an hour away by car, if you want to stay at a posh resort. Williams has more modest lodging options, though there are a lot of excellent options in the mid-range and low-cost price ranges.
One of Williams’ top three-star hotels is the Best Western Plus Inn. The upscale hotel welcomes families and offers kids stay free. It has a variety of modern rooms and suites. In addition, breakfast, parking, and Wi-Fi are all free. A hot tub, firepit, heated pool, and fitness room are all on the property. Check out the restaurant, lounge, and market in the lobby area as well.
Staying at the Grand Canyon Railway Hotel will transport you back in time. It is situated right next to the train station and was created to resemble a train depot from the early 20th century. It has a variety of rooms and suites, including options for families, and is only a block from downtown. There is a hot tub, indoor pool, and exercise area among the amenities. Additionally, there are two restaurants there.
There is also the Holiday Inn Express & Suites Williams. The Grand Canyon Railway station can be reached on foot from the hotel, which offers modernly decorated rooms and suites that are spotless and comfortable. Don’t miss the famous cinnamon rolls at the complimentary continental breakfast, which is included in the rate. Additionally, there is a gym and a swimming pool on the property.
A good value is the three-star Comfort Inn Near Grand Canyon. Microwaves and refrigerators are included, and the rooms are spacious and colorful. Free breakfast, a hot tub, a pool, and a business center are available here. Also free is parking.
The best value option is Super 8 by Wyndham Williams East/Grand Canyon Area. The retro-style rooms at the two-star hotel have bright accent walls and large framed photos of the Grand Canyon landscape. Free hot breakfast items like cinnamon rolls and waffles are among the amenities. On-site amenities include a pool and free parking.
The Highlander Motel is another excellent low-cost lodging option. The motel, which was built in the 1950s during the height of the automobile industry, is situated directly on Route 66. Microwaves and coffee makers are available, and the rooms have a retro feel.
El Rancho Motel is another facility from the 1950s that is located on historic Route 66. The decor in the rooms is contemporary, clean, and comfortable. A vending machine and barbecue grills are provided as amenities.
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Williams is a small town in Arizona located in Coconino County. Despite being a small town, it has a significant tourist draw due to its location along both the Southwest Chief Amtrak train route and the historic Route 66. It goes without saying that Williams receives a lot of visitors from around the world since it serves as a starting point for those who want to travel to the Grand Canyon.
Williams, also known as the Grand Canyon’s gateway, is a charming small town that will astound you in numerous ways. This captivating mountainside town is a real treat for all kinds of tourists because it is so rich in history, culture, wildlife, and natural beauty. Williams is also home to other picturesque locations like Sycamore Canyon as well as the Kaibab National Forest. You need to plan a vacation here if you want to experience it all. Save this guide of the best things to do in Williams (Arizona) for future reference, and start planning your visit now!