May 24th to June 1st, 2023
Williams, AZ is a wonderful place to stay when you are visiting the Grand Canyon. It is about an hour from the park but if you are staying near Grand Canyon for more than just a couple of days, Williams gives you a delightful town to explore on the days you are not at the national park.
Williams sits on historic Route 66 and was the last city to be bypassed by Interstate 40. The state fought to keep the interstate near the city and to get three Williams exits which helped to keep the city viable.
Most of Williams’ economy is fueled by tourism. The city calls itself the Gateway to the Grand Canyon and the downtown has an adorable old west/Route 66 theme.
You get on the Grand Canyon Railway right in the middle of the city and according to our host on the train many of the full-time residents work for Xanterra, the company that runs the railway and attached hotel and RV park.
The shops are filled with fun Route 66 and Grand Canyon items for tourists to take home.
We enjoyed three Williams restaurants while we were there. Cruiser’s Route 66 Cafe was a highlight. We were able to sit outside with Reba and enjoy live music on the patio. One day there was a father and sons band that was delightful.
We got pie to go from the Pine Country Restaurant and it was very good! And for a more upscale dinner I’d recommend the Red Raven Restaurant. It was pricey, but very, very good.
We stayed at the Williams KOA Holiday just outside of Williams and it was a nice, family friendly campground. The sites were a bit un level, but the staff had boards ready.
Reba would give the dog park a B. It was a decent size and usually had dog friends and/or kids to play with.
There is also a KOA Journey nearby if the Holiday is full. We were originally booked to stay at the Railway RV park, but after seeing it we are glad we moved to the KOA. It sits right on the tracks and can be quite noisy.