Family Fun in Williams, Arizona


When planning a short fun-filled local vacation, Williams Arizona came up on my radar. Williams is considered the “Gateway to the Grand Canyon” with a mix of modern and past railways and trains along with  the charm of old Route 66. This adorable town is just 30 minutes west of Flagstaff and easy to get to off the I-40. Even in just a two day stay we were able to fit in some of the coolest things to do. 


Williams has a variety of hotels and places to stay. We rented an adorable Airbnb that matched the town with an old school rustic train vibe. Another great option is the Grand Canyon railway hotel. This hotel has a blast from the past vibe but is the place to stay if you plan on taking one of the neat train ride options you can choose from.


There are many great options but I have to sing praises for Cruisers Café 66. This darling café has the Route 66 theme oozing from its pours. The food and service were great. A massive smoker sits on the patio wafting mesquite smoke into the air enticing you to come in and dine. The BBQ does NOT disappoint. I highly suggest the ribs and sausage! There is a great kids menu and you can end your meal with a delicious ice cream treat. If you children get restless or you have to wait, there are a few arcade games and a gift shop attached. 


A short 10 minute drive from downtown Williams brings you to Bearizona. Bearizona has a cool drive thru wildlife park featuring bears, goats, wolves, bison, and much more. You stay in the comfort of your car to view many of the animals in the park. This place does a great job organizing the drive and feeding stations so you can really see the animals up close. During our trip we even saw bears climbing in their trees or slumbering across the road to reach food. There is also a nice big area after you drive through to walk around and view jaguars, racoons, beavers, bears, and much more. You can also enjoy shopping in the massive gift shop or eating at their restaurant.

Grand Canyon Deer Farm

Another short drive to see more animals is the Grand Canyon Deer Farm. This 10 acre farm boasts many animals but the deer are the main attraction. Once you enter the main areas you are greeted by group of sweet and curious deer who get up close and personal, especially if you are carrying the purchased deer food from the shop. Touching and feeding these adorable deer is a great highlight before you walk around to view camels, reindeer, donkeys, porcupines, and other cool animals. I will warn you, I have small children and they were smaller than the deer  so their size was a bit intimidating and took some getting used to.

Canyon Coaster Adventure Park

The main attraction that is worth every penny is the alpine coaster. This 1 mile long track brings you to the top of a mountain and sends you on a thrilling ride down the track as you control the speed of your car while taking in the beautiful view and scenery of the surrounding town. Even small children 38 inches and taller can ride with an adult to experience the thrill. This venue also offers summer and winter tubing. There is also a gift shop and bar and grill to meet your hunger and shopping needs.

Polar Express Train Ride

A magical holiday experience for the family is the Polar Express Train Ride offered through the Grand Canyon Railway. This event runs November though January each year and is something you need to book in advance. The sooner you can book the better. This 90 minute Polar Express themed train ride offers hot cocoa and cookies and your trip to the North Pole to see Santa Claus and his reindeer. The hotel does give you the option to bundle your stay with the Polar Express Train ride or purchase just the ride.


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