Williams is a charming little town. We knew nothing about it until we found it after researching while in the Grand Canyon. If you read our post on our travels to the Grand Canyon, we weren’t too keen on the RV park there. We needed to find an alternative, but did not want to completely leave the area altogether. That’s how we came up with Williams. And bonus, it’s the home of the Grand Canyon Railway!
It wasn’t until we arrived in Williams that we found out about it’s history with old Route 66. It was fun going into all of the little shops on main street with the boys. They got a kick out of all the little trinkets and such that you’d expect to find in Route 66 gift shops. (Did you catch the subtle “get your kicks on route 66”?)
We took the Grand Canyon Railway back to the Grand Canyon for a little one day excursion. It’s about a 2 hour ride each way. Tickets are very expensive. But if you can swing it, do it. We did not spring for the Dome seating but did ride First-Class which was a fantastic ride. Save a little money. We highly recommend the First-Class seating. Here’s just a short clip from our ride.
Another benefit to staying in Williams is that you are only a 30-minute drive from downtown Flagstaff. We spent a Saturday there and had a nice time. Without a doubt, be sure to stop in at Lumberyard Brewing Company. Fantastic location downtown (the boys loved watching the trains go by) and the food is really good. As a brewer, believe me when I say these folks make great beers. In fact, their Red Ale is now my staple while here in Arizona and has it’s own spot in the fridge.
Here are some things we enjoyed during our visit to Williams.
- Visit the Grand Canyon Brewing Company. Great beers and very cool atmosphere. TIP: happy hour everyday 2pm-6pm, $2.00 beers.
- Have pastries and coffee at the Cowgirl Coffee Cake Co.
- Fish at Dogtown Reservior. We didn’t catch anything, but it’s beautiful. FYI, you’ll drive about 3 miles on a dirt road.
- Ride the Grand Canyon Railway.
- NOTE: The Dairy Queen is closed for the season starting in November. Come on now, seriously.
Grand Canyon Railway RV Park – REVIEW (4/5) stars
We had a great stay here at the park and regarding the RV park itself, we literally do not have one negative comment. These guys have really figured it out. It’s right in the middle of Williams which is really convenient and a really pleasant location. You also have great views of the hills to the south.
Spots were level and spacious. We had full hookups with 50A service. Their wifi is the best we’ve experienced to date at any park. 3-4 bars of LTE data with AT&T. Laundry room is brand new and very clean. There’s a great patio (pavilion) with grills. As a guest, you also have access to a children’s playground across the street owned by the park and access to the pool at the Grand Canyon Railway Hotel. They’ll give you a keycard for full access. The general store at the park is also very nice. And bonus, you are directly across the street from the Grand Canyon Brewing Company.
Now, here’s why we only gave this park 4 stars. TRAINS!! What you need to know is that you are staying right on the BNSF rail line on the I-40 corridor. The trains literally never stop coming. Never. Even at 11pm. At 1am. At 3am. And whenever else they decide to seemingly run directly through your RV blowing the whistle for a solid 10+ seconds at a time due to the loads of the traffic that must be warned of their ominous presence at 3am in the morning. It gets old fast. The city of Williams needs to fix it. Seriously, fix it. To my knowledge, Flagstaff became a quite zone in 2010. Williams should take measures to work with BNSF and the FRA (Federal Railroad Administration) to do the same.