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Things to do in Williams Arizona - Route 66 Neon

Things to Do in Williams

Williams may be the Gateway to the Grand Canyon, but with so much to do in the city, you may find it difficult to break away and visit the national park. Skeptical? Williams has something for everyone, from Route 66-themed shopping and dining to animal encounters at a 160-acre wildlife park, and even a new mountain coaster. Be sure to include time to visit these top attractions on your next visit.

Grand Canyon Railway

Arguably the area’s most popular activity, the Grand Canyon Railway transports passengers daily from the depot in Williams to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon and back again. The adventure begins with a Western shootout near the tracks before the train departs and continues when you arrive at South Rim at 11:45 a.m. Once there, you’ll have more than three hours to walk along the canyon’s edge and explore the Historic Village.

What the trip lacks in scenery—you won’t see the canyon until you arrive at the Grand Canyon Depot—it more than makes up for in entertainment, especially on the journey back. Singers, storytellers, and actors make the two-hour ride each way memorable.

Route 66

Historic Route 66 serves as the main street in downtown Williams, and you can spend hours walking its length. Start at the Route 66 Museum and Gift Shop to learn more about the Mother Road and see vintage gasoline and oil memorabilia. Then, continue along the street, popping in stores like Cruise’n on Route 66, Colors of the West, and Old Glory Gifts. When you work up an appetite, fuel up at a Route 66-themed diner like Cruiser’s Café 66. Or grab a beer at one of the area breweries.


Don’t let the name fool you. Bearizona has more than just bears. On a visit, you’ll see bighorn sheep, bison, wolves, and reindeer, to name a few, as you navigate the three-mile drive-thru section. The wildlife park’s 20-acre walkable area showcases bobcats, jaguars, elk, and smaller animals, many of which have been deemed unable to live in the wild by state or federal agencies.

In addition to its drive-thru and walk-thru experiences, Bearizona gives you the opportunity to meet its animals up close during scheduled animal encounters. You can also book a VIP Experience that takes you to meet a porcupine and fox, feed a bison, and watch the park’s wolf training sessions.

Grand Canyon Deer Farm

Can’t get enough animals in your life? The Grand Canyon Deer Farm lets you feed deer, pet mini horses, and donkeys, and take a selfie with a wallaby at its 10-acre park. Open for more than 50 years, the Grand Canyon Deer Farm also features llamas, coatimundi, bison, peacocks, camels, bison, and a zonkey. Since the animals have all been raised by hand, they’re gentle and friendly.

For a personal encounter, book a 15-minute interactive experience in the wallaby or porcupine enclosure, where you can pet the animals and take all the pictures you want. Or go behind the scenes with a zoo keeper for two hours, helping to feed and take care of all the animals.

Canyon Coaster Adventure Park

One of the newest area attractions, Canyon Coaster Adventure Park serves up year-round fun. In the summer, board The Canyon Coaster. The alpine coaster has sled-like seats and handbrakes that allow you to control your speed as you twist and turn through the pines. Or try summer tubing. The warm-weather version of the popular winter sport replaces snow with plastic runs. Not sure about summer tubing? Come back sometime from November to April when you can tube down the snow-covered slopes

Route 66 Zipline

A fixture in Williams since June 2013, the Route 66 Zipline flies over Williams in style. Riders buckle into tandem bucket seats and travel backward to a point 110 feet above the ground before zipping back to the starting point. Purchase a single or back-to-back ride that lets you go twice without disembarking. It’s a great introduction to ziplining for first-timers and a hit with families. However, kids must be at least 42 inches tall to ride.


Surrounded by the Kaibab National Forest, Williams offers many opportunities for outdoor adventure, from mountain biking and fishing. One of the most popular ways to enjoy the area’s natural beauty is on a hike. While the 7.3-mile, out-and-back Bill Williams Mountain Trail offers incredible views of the forest, you can see the Grand Canyon at the highest point of Kendrick Mountain Trail on a clear day. For an easier adventure, try the 1.3 Keyhole Sink Trail through pine trees to a box canyon with 1,000-year-old petroglyphs.

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