20 Things To Do In Williams AZ

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Set on the Historic Route 66 and less than an hour from Grand Canyon National Park, Williams is a town that thousands of people pass through or stay in each year. Yet as one of the least populous towns in Arizona, with around 3,000 permanent residents, it isn’t often a place people set out to visit.

Yet, Williams is full of charm, character, and unique sights and attractions, and even those who visit often don’t make the most of them. As it’s a small town in rural Arizona, very little is known about Williams besides its convenient location. So, here are some things to do in Williams. If you’re planning to visit the Grand Canyon, drive Route 66, or just fancy exploring a unique little town, hopefully, after reading this, you will consider stopping at Williams in the future.

Williams, Arizona

20 Things To Do In Williams, Arizona

things to do williams az wide view of Grand Canyon
The top thing to do near Williams Arizona is to visit the Grand Canyon.

1- Get Acquainted With The Area At The Williams Visitor Center

The Williams Visitor Center is the best place for first-time visitors to get the lay of the land and uncover a little bit more about their destination.

Friendly, well-informed staff and fabulous displays will educate you on everything from the history of Williams to the ins and outs of all of the town’s best attractions and establishments.

They can even help you book one of Williams’s various excursions.

Throw in the souvenir shop full of keepsakes dedicated to Williams, Route 66, and the Grand Canyon, and the Williams Visitor Center is truly your one-stop shop.

Williams Visitor Center is at 200 West Railroad Avenue, Williams, Arizona, 86046.

2- Hop Aboard A Train At The Grand Canyon Railway Depot

The Grand Canyon Railway Depot is a destination that perfectly combines the past and present of the area.

For history fans, the depot boasts a collection of classic trains and traditional architecture, giving you the chance to get a taste of the old west railroad.

You can also jump aboard classic and modern trains heading to the Grand Canyon.

This allows you to visit it in style while seeing the landscape that isn’t visible from the road.

It even hosts special seasonal events throughout the year, such as “Polar Express” trips themed after the movie in the winter.

The Grand Canyon Railway Depot is at 280 North Grand Canyon Boulevard, Williams, Arizona, 86046.

3- Have A Wild Ride On The Route 66 Zipline

The Route 66 Zipline is the perfect attraction for adrenaline junkies.

Riders can sit in seats suspended beneath models of classic cars and fly down a zipline that runs right along the side of Route 66 itself.

Suspended 110 feet (33.5 metres) in the air, running for 1,400 (427 metres), and travelling at speeds around 30 miles per hour (48 km per hour), you can choose to travel facing forwards or backwards to experience this exhilarating ride and iconic location in style.

Route 66 Zipline is at 200 North Grand Canyon Boulevard, Williams, Arizona, 86046.

4- Enjoy A Visit To Pete’s Route 66 Gas Station Museum

Located on Route 66, Pete’s Route 66 Gas Station Museum is a classic American gas station that has been converted into a museum.

Housing a fabulous collection of vintage vehicles and petrolania, it is a must-visit attraction for any car enthusiasts stopping at Williams while driving the legendary route.

Pete’s Route 66 Gas Station Museum is at 101 East Route 66, Williams, Arizona, 86046.

5- Learn About The Town’s History At The Welcome And History Park

Located at the east end of town, the Welcome And History Park is a great place to get a little taste of everything Williams is known for.

With vintage train cars, Route 66 signs, a pavilion filled with information and photographs covering both Route 66 and the Grand Canyon, and beautiful panoramic views, it is a great place to stop for a minute and get educated on and acclimatised to the town.

Welcome And History Park is on East Bill Williams Avenue, Williams, Arizona, 86046.

6- Go For A Walk Along The Great Western Trail

The Great Western Trail is a legendary trail established in 1776 for horses and has since been used by hikers and drivers of recreational motorised vehicles.

It runs from Canada to Mexico and passes through the U.S. states of Wyoming, Utah, Montana, Idaho, and Arizona.

At 4,455 miles (7,170 km) long, only hardened explorers will traverse the trail in its entirety.

That said, hiking the section around the town while visiting Williams is a great way to immerse yourself in the region’s history while soaking in its landscape, which includes beautiful canyons and forests.

The Great Western Trail is on Circle Pines Road, Williams, Arizona, 86046.

7- Enjoy The Views From Bill Williams Mountain

things to do in williamz az bill williams mountain
Enjoying the view of Bill Williams Mountain is one of the things to do in Williamz az.

Located just 3.5 miles (5.6 km) south of Williams, in the San Francisco Volcanic Field, Bill Williams Mountain is one of the taller peaks in the area, standing 9,259 feet (2,822 metres) tall.

Known for its beautiful forests and hiking trails, it will help you explore the natural side of the area while taking in some of the best views of Williams and its surrounding area you will find anywhere.

Bill Williams Mountain is at 200 West Railroad Avenue, Williams, Arizona, 86046.

8- See The Iconic Route 66 Sign

things to do in williams arizona
Taking a photo of the iconic Route 66 sign is one of the iconic things to do in Williams Arizona.

Located along the historic route, the Route 66 Sign is a large rendition of the iconic black and white design.

While only a short stop, you simply have to snap a photo with it when visiting Williams.

Route 66 Sign is at 216 West Route 66, Williams, Arizona, 86046.

9- Pay A Visit To The Route 66 Museum And Gift Shop

The Route 66 Museum And Gift Shop is a destination that perfectly combines history and tourism.

The museum itself boasts a collection of historical displays, exhibits, and statues, while the gift shop sells a range of handcrafted Native American products and souvenirs themed after Route 66 and the Grand Canyon.

This makes it the perfect combination to teach you about your destination and ensure you never forget it.

Route 66 Museum And Gift Shop is at 811 West Route 66, Williams, Arizona, 86046.

10- Pass Through The Gateway To The Grand Canyon

free things to do in williams az Gateway to the Grand Canyon
Snapping a selfie at the ‘Gateway to the Grand Canyon’ arch is one of the fun things to do in Williams AZ that will remind you of the town’s importance.

The Gateway To The Grand Canyon is a historic metal arch over Route 66 that was erected in 1881 to signify that, for many, Williams was the last town they passed on the way to the Grand Canyon itself.

Whether you drive through the gateway on your way to the canyon or just stop for a picture, you simply can’t pass up seeing it when you come to visit Williams.

The Gateway To The Grand Canyon is at 800 Historic Route 66, Williams, Arizona, 86046.

11- Be Amazed By The Legendary Grand Canyon

things to do in williams
Spending time exploring the Grand Canyon is one of the things to do near Williams, AZ, and one of the top reasons to visit.

The fourth most-visited US national park, Grand Canyon National Park, centres around the iconic Grand Canyon itself, one of the most famous canyons on the planet.

At 277 miles (446 km) long, 15 miles (24 km) wide, and 1 mile (1.6 km) deep, it is truly a sight to behold.

Carved by the Colorado River over millions of years, its breathtaking panoramic vistas go on for miles and display rocks of all different colours.

Home to a rich array of different birds and animals, you can spend days exploring this legendary destination and still not get bored of its incredible beauty.

12- Sleep Beneath The Stars In Kaibab Lake Campground

Kaibab Lake is a 45-acre lake northeast of Williams that boasts various picnic spots, hiking trails, and a fishing pier and boat ramp.

The Kaibab Lake Campground provides benches, BBQ facilities, fire pits, and tent pitches, making it a great place to enjoy a longer stay.

Bask in the area’s beauty and enjoy boating, fishing, hiking, picnicking, kayaking and swimming.

Kaibab Lake Campground is at Forest Service Road 47, Williams, Arizona, 86046.

13- Study The Memorials In Monument Park

Located on the western edge of Williams, Monument Park is a beautiful little park and garden full of statues.

It is a great place to stroll and unwind with monuments to veterans, statues of the local wildlife, and even a sculpture of mountain man Old Bill Williams, after whom the town was named.

Monument Park is at North 9th Street, Williams, Arizona, 86046.

14- Experience The Natural Side Of The Area In Coconino National Forest

things to do in williams az buttes
Exploring the landscapes of Coconino National Forest is one of the top things to do in Williams Az.

Coconino National Forest is a sprawling, 1.8-million-acre national forest famous for its iconic red rock formations and vast pine forests.

It’s home to the second-largest canyon in Redrock County and the highest point in Arizona, the 12637-foot (3,852 m) Humphrey’s Peak.

With a collection of different volcanic rock formations, Native American historical sites, and a stunning array of flora and fauna, Coconino National Forest is ideal for anyone who wants to experience a little bit of everything the state of Arizona is known for.

Monument Park is on Lake Mary Road, Flagstaff, Arizona, 86001.

15- Hit The Slopes At The Elk Ridge Ski Area

While Arizona is traditionally a hot destination, its higher elevations are turned into a winter wonderland each year.

Set on the northeast slopes of Bill Williams Mountain, the Elk Ridge Ski Area provides the opportunity for winter sports enthusiasts to take in the scenery while enjoying activities like skiing, snowboarding, and tubing each winter.

Elk Ridge Ski Area is at 2467 South Perkinsville Road, Williams, Arizona, 86046.

16- Discover The Natural Wonders In Kaibab National Forest

things to do in williams az nightfall
Another thing to do in WIlliams Arizona is to explore Kaibab National Forest.

While not as expansive as Coconino National Forest, Kaibab National Forest still covers a whopping 1.6 million acres.

Its landscape also has slightly different features, such as the beautiful Scholz Lake, and stretches all the way to the Grand Canyon.

Not just a beautiful hiking destination, it even boasts the Historic Spring Valley Cabin, which is available to rent.

Built in 1917, what better way to visit the Grand Canyon than hiking in from a traditional ranger cabin?

17- Hike Your Way Across Buckskinner Park

Buckskinner Park is a beautiful little park on the southern outskirts of Williams.

Centred around a reservoir, it boasts beautiful forests and hiking trails, making it a great place to enjoy the landscape and activities like hiking and fishing without travelling too far from town.

Buckskinner Park is at South 6th Street, Williams, Arizona, 86046.

18- Appreciate The Animals On Display In Bearizona Wildlife Park

things to do in williams, az longhorn sheep
Visiting Bearizona Wildlife Park is one of the things to do in Williams Arizona.

Bearizona Wildlife Park is an incredible drive-through wildlife park that features animals like bears, bison, bighorn sheep, elk, jaguars, otters, reindeer, and wolves in faithful recreations of their natural habitats.

With walk-through sections and the ability to meet and interact with some of the animals, it is a dream destination for nature enthusiasts.

Bearizona Wildlife Park is at 1500 East Route 66, Williams, Arizona, 86046.

19- Let Your Hair Down At Canyon Coaster Adventure Park

Canyon Coaster Adventure Park is an amusement park on the east edge of town that centres around the Canyon Coaster itself.

With a 1-mile (1.6 km) track 35 feet (10.5 metres) in the air, you can enjoy incredible views as you ascend up a mountain before screaming your lungs out on an exhilarating ride on the way down.

Throw in tubing slopes and a bar and grill, and Canyon Coaster Adventure Park offers the entire family plenty of fun and enjoyment.

Canyon Coaster Adventure Park is at 700 East Route 66, Williams, Arizona, 86046.

20- Drive A Section Of The Historic Route 66

Route 66 is one of the most famous roads in America, if not the world.

With it running right through the town centre, you simply have to drive down at least a portion of it during your visit to experience the incredible views and attractions it is renowned for yourself.

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Steve Burden is an avid traveller and experienced writer. As a former pro wrestler, Steve used to travel frequently for work throughout the USA and Europe. Having spent the last decade travelling all over the world in search of new sights and experiences, he has turned his love for travel into a new career helping others decide on the best places to visit, as well as what to see when they get there.