Only an hour away from the Grand Canyon, many tourists use Williams as a base for visiting the National Park. But Williams, itself has much to offer. Tourists won’t be disappointed in the natural offerings of the area. Located in the heart of the Kaibob Forest, Williams has a beautiful and diverse landscape. This town is an outdoorsman’s paradise. Hiking, fishing, camping, rafting, riding, you name it, if it happens outside, it happens here.
Its heritage was founded in the draws of its natural offerings. Williams was named for trapper, Bill Williams; one of the many fur traders working in the area in the early 1800’s. Cattle and sheep ranchers were drawn to the area after the civil war and with the advent of the Santa Fe Railroad, loggers soon followed. Gold prospecting brought even more settlers to the area and Williams soon developed beyond its frontiersman reputation to become a viable city unto itself.
During the days of the Baby Boomers, Williams became a popular spot on the famous Route 66, a history still richly enjoyed by repeat visitors. Although the famous road has been bypassed by larger, more accommodating route 40, tourists can still take a loop tour of old 66 and walk down memory lane in Williams.
Today, Williams is a bustling tourist town serving a great number of Grand Canyon visitors as well as those simply looking for a beautiful spot to enjoy Arizona’s outdoor beauty. The Grand Canyon Railway leaves from here taking many tourists round trip in comfort and style to the national park. City life boasts an historic downtown with a host of shops and restaurants. Summer brings several festivals including the Taste of Williams and the Grand Canyon Renaissance Fair. With it’s rich, frontier history and so much offered by Mother Nature, herself, Williams is an excellent vacation spot for nature enthusiasts and history buffs alike.