This is my second report for our 2015 southwest vacation. After visiting Mesa Verde, we drove on to Williams, AZ, the last town on Route 66 to have been bypassed by the Interstate. The downtown is full of shopping, cafes, and a great coffee shop. It was perfect for a morning of girl time window shopping and browsing with my mom, sister, and sister-in-law.
We rented a vacation cabin with my extended family. A week with 17 people, 9 of whom were children, made for fun times and lots of busyness! The family split the cost for the house 4 ways, coming to about $780 each. We would have paid more for a hotel for 7 nights without the benefit of shared living space. I would highly recommend looking at vacation rentals wherever your destination. It is nice to have a home base, especially traveling with little ones who follow their own sleeping schedule.
Our cabin had three full bathrooms, three bedrooms, a sleeping loft and pullout sofas in the basement game room. With a nice wrap around deck and an outside play area for the kids and we had plenty of space for people to have privacy or family time as needed.
On our first full day together, we explored the trails around Williams, getting in a good 2.5 mile hike to run off the energy the kids built up riding in cars all week.Meals together gave the cousins plenty of bonding time at the nice big table.
Williams, AZ is home to several attractions, including the Grand Canyon Railway and Hotel. If you start in Williams, you can ride the train right into the Grand Canyon National Park.
As a bonus, while people are gathering before the train’s departure, there is a comedy gun fight show complete with outlaws and sheriff. And let’s not forget the horses!
There is a little audience participation in the show, which just adds to the fun. In the end, as with all good western shows, good prevails and the bad guys are rousted.
After the show, the cast members are happy to pose for photos with the audience members. Best of all, this show is free whether you ride the train or not. We took full advantage, having driven to the canyon a couple of days before we visited the show.
Williams is a great place to start your journey to the Grand Canyon, whether you stay in one of the local hotels or rent a cabin like we did. You will find plenty to fill your days from hiking to shopping, relaxing and playing the tourist.