Williams, Arizona is situated on America’s renowned Route 66, one of the first national highways to cross the nation. Unlike today’s modern Interstates, Route 66 originally passed through the Main street of most cities and towns along it’s route. Williams was the last American town on Route 66 to be bypassed by the Interstate, mainly due to court challenges and lawsuits that tried to prevent it. In 1984, progress won out and Interstate 40 was opened around the Williams.
Like a number of small cities and towns situated on remaining sections of Route 66, Williams takes advantage of the nostalgia associated with this famous historic route. You will see many references to the route in signs and businesses. Many display décor and artefacts going back to the day when the route was in it’s prime. One of the city’s annual events is the Historic Route 66 Car Show where owners show off their painstakingly preserved automobiles from back in the day when Route 66 was a major route.
All of this makes Williams a great town to experience. In the historic downtown area you’ll find historic hotels, diners and many shops offering gift shops.
it would be remiss not to bring up the Grand Canyon in conjunction with Williams. Less than a one hour drive north, this natural wonder of the world is an absolute must see if you are this close. Indeed, Williams is a perfect place to stay when you want to explore the Grand Canyon’s south rim. It is an easy drive to the Canyon and accommodation prices are much lower than in Grand Canyon Village.
Williams is also home to the famous Grand Canyon Railroad, a popular tourist attraction that offers day trips by train to the Canyon. A variety of packages are available, some with luxury overnight accommodation and fine dining in Williams. During the winter the railway operates as the Polar Express based on the well known children’s story. At the very least, you will want to stop by the station and checkout the old steam locomotive.
Williams also has many recreational activities both in town and nearby. There are several parks and the Aquatic Center has an indoor public swimming pool. Several hiking trails can be accessed from a trailhead at Buckskinner Park. It also features a small stocked lake. During the winter months you can enjoy alpine and cross country skiing along with other winter sports.