Visit Williams, Arizona on Route 66

Things to Do In Williams, AZ

Once a rough and tough wild west town. Gunslingers, bawdy brothels, saloons, opium dens, and gambling houses. Williams, Arizona is still a quaint historic western town with many of its historical buildings still occupied by bars and art galleries. It is a blend of authentic western lore and modern accommodations. The historic downtown is a great place to explore with its commercial buildings dating to the 19th century. It was once a famous stop on nostalgic Route 66 and many of its annual events and festivals still celebrate those years gone by.

Many of us have long been drawn by the unique charm and mystique of “small-town America”. Countless novels, songs, and even tourist guidebooks have sung the praises of the calm, relaxed lifestyle enjoyed by generations of rural and semi-rural citizens. The friendly and neighborly atmosphere in which individuals are known and recognized by their fellows has been the envy of many routine-driven urbanites over the years.

Williams, Arizona is a prime example of such a community. Not only has the community been able to sustain a nearly stable population (about 3,000) for most of the past eighty years or so, its citizens have learned how to profit from the natural and other resources found in and around the town.

What’s in Williams?

Not only is Williams a world-famous location along historic Route 66, but the town is also known as the “Gateway to the Grand Canyon”, the southern terminus of the popular Grand Canyon Railway, and a historic community rich in the traditions of America’s fabled “Wild West” of the 19th century.

In addition, the town is within a few minutes of thousands of acres of forested mountains containing dozens of lakes, canyons and other outdoor recreation sites.

Plenty of celebrations

Its Memorial Day Parade celebrates the arrival of spring. During the summer “gunslinging cowboys” perform nightly on Route 66. The annual “August Cool Country Cruise-In” showcases vintage and classic cars. Labor Day events include a parade, barrel races, and roping competitions. There is something going on just about all the time in Williams. This is a walking town with a wide variety of roadside diners, art galleries, bars and grills, and all-around good eateries.

Gateway to the Grand Canyon

Best known as the Gateway to the Grand Canyon. Williams AZ is only about 60 miles from the Grand Canyon South Rim. As the most active hub for tourists that plan to explore the beauty of the Canyon, Williams AZ features a wide selection of Williams hotels, motels, RV Parks, and bed and breakfast inns. It is located only about 35 miles west of Flagstaff and a short 65 mile drive to Sedona, Arizona.

Grand Canyon Railway

Grand Canyon Railway, Williams, Arizona

Home to the famous Grand Canyon Railway. Almost 200,000 tourists a year take the scenic train ride to the Grand Canyon. It’s a fun way to enjoy the Grand Canyon experience without fighting heavy traffic congestion. Trains depart daily with varying seasonal schedules and guests are entertained with cowboy gunfights daily. The Railway features its own hotel and adjacent RV Park. See the Grand Canyon Railway website for more information.


The landscape flavor of Williams, Arizona. Williams is a high elevation mountain country at a 6,800-foot elevation. Cool summer temperatures are perfect for hiking in the surrounding pine forests, fishing its small lakes, and golfing its public golf course. Enjoy its 19th-century architecture and historic Victorian homes along quaint tree-lined streets. Combined of its old west and historic Route 66 roots, Williams is a throwback to years gone by. Read more about Williams, Arizona.

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