Williams, AZ; gateway to the Grand Canyon, and a Route 66 favorite!

Old Rt. 66 is the heart of quaint, walkable downtown Williams, AZ!

Several blocks of William’s old Rt. 66 are home to shops specializing in all mode of Rt. 66 memorabilia!
The Grand Canyon Railroad departs Williams, headed north to Grand Canyon Village on the park’s south rim.

We were in route to Grand Canyon Park’s south entrance, and stopped first in the town of Williams, AZ, 50 miles south of the park. Williams is on both the new Interstate 40, and the old Route 66, and offers a cute, walkable old downtown, with several blocks dedicated to the Route 66 mantra. We stopped at an Italian bistro, had a delicious pizza and a drink and stocked up at the Safeway before heading into the park.  The Grand Canyon Railroad also departs Williams and drops you, about 60 miles later, right at the quaint rail station in Grand Canyon Village.

Heading north on Hwy 64 from Williams, and just outside the park entrance is the small town of Tusayan, home to the Grand Canyon Airport and a number of motels (we stayed recently in the Red Feather, a very nice place); the Grand Hotel also is another nice option. The town has a McDonald’s, several souvenir shops, the National Geographic IMAX theatre and more.

Where to stay (including camping): Williams and Tusayan offer lodging and dining options outside the park.  Grand Canyon Village and Desert View (further east on south rim) offer a host of lodging and dining options.  Camping is offered at a number of sites within the park; we camped at Mather Campground our last visit.

For more info: Grand Canyon National Park, PO Box 129, Grand Canyon, AZ 86023; www.nps.gov/grca; or phone  928.638.7888 for insights into the park as well as hiking and camping. Camping can be booked through www.recreation.gov, or by calling 877.444.6777.

For additional travel destination inspiration, see my blog: http://blogs.eSanJoaquin.com/Valley travel; or contact me, tviall@msn.com.  Next week, we will return to California’s national parks with a feature on Sequoia National Park, until then, happy travels in the west!  Coming this Friday, our Grand Canyon update; watch for it!


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