Williams, AZ: Gateway to the Grand Canyon

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Known as the gateway to the Grand Canyon, Williams, AZ is a small town with big appeal.

Williams, AZ: Gateway to the Grand Canyon

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Located on historic Route 66, Williams has a nostalgic Western aesthetic.

Williams, AZ: Gateway to the Grand Canyon

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The Grand Canyon Railway transforms into a magical Polar Express experience during the holiday season.

Midweek Getaway to Williams, Arizona

This three-day itinerary is the perfect way to explore the gateway town to Grand Canyon National Park without all the fuss of the busy season. Live like a local AND see all of Williams, Arizona’s favorite attractions when you visit during the off-season midweek.
Prepared By:

Shannon Lowery

Adventure & Storyteller

Get to Know Williams, AZ

Start / End

Williams, Arizona

States Covered
Total Distance

32 miles / 52 km

Suggested Days

Three

Suggested Seasons

Spring through Fall

#ThisIsMyRoute

Overview

This itinerary was developed in partnership with Williams, Arizona.

Williams is a hub of Western culture, history and natural beauty. Combine that with the fact that Williams is the gateway to the Grand Canyon and it’s clear to see why this little town is a popular place to visit. Williams can be crowded during summer months and especially packed with visitors on summer weekends. Avoid the crowds, high in-season rates and summer heat by visiting during the off-season. For an even more relaxed experience, book a midweek getaway. You’ll thank us later.

Preparation

This road trip itinerary will require you to have a vehicle. Bring your own or rent one at your arriving airport. The nearest airport to Williams is Flagstaff Pulliam Airport, which is about 45 minutes away. You can also fly into Phoenix International Airport, which is less than a three hour drive. Whichever way you’re coming from, you’ll make your approach to Williams via Interstate 40, which is where our journey begins.

Itinerary

DAY 1: DOWNTOWN WILLIAMS & ROUTE 66

A neon sign and a steam engine in downtown Williams, Arizona

Williams, Arizona, is conveniently located along I-40 and historic Route 66. Once you arrive, start by exploring the charming Western-themed downtown area.

Step back in time strolling along shops and storefronts that scream of Americana nostalgia. Neon lights buzz above old-style gas stations and Western saloons. Admire classic cars or hop on the Grand Canyon Railway to Grand Canyon National Park.

Downtown Williams perfectly blends classic Western frontier and mid 20th century aesthetics. These scenic streets can become suggested on summer wekeends. But a midweek getaway is a great way to avoid the crowds!

Old West Experience

Wild West Junction

Classic Roadside Diner

Jeff’s Place at Goldie’s

DAY 2: WILD ADVENTURES

The alpine coaster at Canyon Coaster Adventure Park in Williams, Arizona

Hold onto your hats because your second day in Williams will take you on a wild ride (or two)! Compared to the quaintness of old Route 66, these activities will test your wits.

Canyon Coaster Adventure Park is one of Williams’ newest amusement attractions. The park features a mile-long alpine coaster track, the first and only ride of its kind in Arizona. In the summer months, visitors can also zip down inflatable tube slides, which become snow tube hills in the winter. The park also features a restaurant and lounge, so the whole family can stay fueled up for an entire day of outdoor play. You can even reserve various spaces in the park for groups, making it an awesome outing for reunions and family gatherings.

Looking for something more extreme? Williams also has skydiving and ziplining!

Walk With Wildlife

Bearizona Wildlife Park

Take a Coffee Break

Brewed Awakenings Coffee Co

DAY 3: EXPLORE OUTDOORS

A Gift Shop in Williams, Arizona and a field of wildflowers

Don’t leave Williams without exploring the surrounding natural beauty of the Arizona landscape. While nearby Grand Canyon National Park gets most of the attention, it’s not the only place to enjoy Southwestern beauty. Instead, head to Sycamore Falls for equally stunning and significantly less crowded trails. Hike your way to an impressive cascade of water that gathers in a pristine greenish-blue pool. Visit during the spring season for the most impressive waterfall views. During a midweek getaway, you might even get lucky and have the trails to yourself!

A Meal to Remember

Red Raven Restaurant

Take Home a Souvenir

Citivan Thrift & Trading Company

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