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Did you know that traveling fun and healing go hand-in-hand? It’s true. Embarking on a journey to kid-friendly destinations like Williams, Arizona, isn’t just about creating joy for children. Rather, it holds the key to unlock fun and healing for trauma survivors seeking to connect with their inner world.

For a person who endured trauma in childhood, joy and fun were stolen. It’s true, we can’t change the past. The trauma happened and the suffering was real. However, vowing to reclaim the innocence that was stolen by living a delightful life today is powerful self healing.

What Does Traveling Fun And Healing Look Like?

Learning to play and have fun is empowering. The intention is to give yourself permission to be playful and imaginative, silly and mischievous, solely for the purpose of giving back to yourself what was wrongfully taken from you as a result of the trauma.

This can be a transformative experience of self-discovery. Among the whimsy of family-friendly activities, the scenic beauty offers a serene backdrop for introspection and self-care, and personal growth.

Embrace the adventure, connect with the enchanting surroundings, and let the spirit of Williams be your excuse for healing from past traumas. Engage your inner cowgirl. Foster a harmonious blend of fun and welcome the magic of new beginnings.

Williams, Arizona is a small town with a big personality. Nicknamed “Gateway To The Grand Canyon,” it can become your own personal ‘Gateway To Solo Travel‘. If you’re new to traveling mindfully to heal trauma, or have been at it for years, Williams, Arizona is the getaway for you!

Welcome to Williams!

Located in the northern heart of the state, Williams, Arizona is a true hidden gem. Perfect for the young and young-at-heart, Williams has hospitality you won’t soon forget. The town’s personality is evident as soon as you arrive. Immediately entering the town boundary a picturesque wrought iron arch greet you. Totally reminiscent of a historic Southwestern Ranch. This true small town is easy to navigate, and you may feel step back in time of the Wild West.

Williams, Arizona is easy to access this town from Phoenix International, only a 2.5 hour drive. It’s situated close to the Grand Canyon and surrounded by stunning mountain scenery. Moreover, Williams offers a wide variety of attractions, including the Grand Canyon Railway.

There are so many ways to experience Williams, Arizona and the majesty of the Grand Canyon! Although many visitors take the train and return same-day, I combined my stay in Williams with a 3 night stay in the National Park to maximize my itinerary. Continue reading for the logistics and fun filled details!

I spent one night in Williams, Arizona at The Canyon Motel which gave the flexibility to relax and take in the historic sites of Route 66. Their address is 1900 Rodeo Rd, Williams, AZ. Their location is minutes from downtown Williams where all attractions and events take place.

cottage in Williams, Arizona
Cozy Cottage at The Canyon Motel & RV Park

This friendly and well-maintained RV and Motel Park is nostalgic and budget friendly! They offer unique lodging choices with historic motel feel. But I loved the combination RV Park, tent camping and cottages which provided ample opportunity for sitting outside, enjoying the Southwest air, and enjoying the atmosphere. Rooms have small patios, mountain views and they even had a pool.

Diner in Williams, Arizona

Why not start your with a fun meal at Goldies Route 66 Diner? Located at 425 E Rte 66, Williams, Arizona, Goldies offers breakfast lunch and dinner for old fashioned prices. The interior is 1960’s style diner, and there is even a perfect instagramable photo op Route 66 sign out front to showcase your trip online.

Williams is known for its fun-loving feel, and includes everyone in their vibe. Free entertainment is offered in the center of town showcasing the world famous Cataract Creek Gang, performing each and every night in Williams. The locations change, but this free event is a delight for anyone who has ever wished to see a real gunfight in the streets of a western town — or at least as real as it gets. On the night we went there was quite a crowd, but still easy to see and hear the action.
Gunfights begin each night at 7 p.m., look along Route 66 for the Cataract Creek Gang’s billboard or check schedule here for daily changes and additional information.

When you’re ready to venture off the city limits, why not take an unforgettable train ride to the Grand Canyon National Park? Make memories that will last a lifetime, experience being kidnapped by outlaw cowboys on a locomotive, listen to a cowpoke play his fiddle and tell stories, or enjoy songs of a pretty maiden. All cast is costumed and in historical character to capture the imagination of every passenger aboard. Featuring western musicians and cowboy characters on vintage rail cars, you will feel like a kid again!

train in Williams
All Aboard! Williams, Arizona Train cars heading for GCNP

Grand Canyon Railway & Hotel In Williams, Arizona

Operating since 1901 and offering various train cars for every style and budget, the GC Railway is a must. There are so many to choose from, including the Pullman Class, Coach Class, First Class, Observation Dome, Luxury Dome and Luxury Parlor. We booked a Pullman Class, and it was wonderful! I liked the authentic feel of the old west, and I liked that it fit my budget! In addition, even though we visited in June, the train was comfortable with the windows open.

Wild West Show in Williams
Pre-boarding show at Grand Canyon Railway in Williams, Arizona

As if that’s not enough gunslinging shenanigans, Grand Canyon Railway even offers a free pre-boarding show for passengers on the exterior grounds. Show themes and cast varies, so check the schedule here.

Once you’ve enjoyed the antics of the cast, you can turn your attention to the calming scenes outside your window. As it changes from prairie to desert, you’ll be lulled by gentle swaying of the train car and beauty outside your window. If you’re lucky you may even spot a coyote, jackrabbit or roadrunner.

Watch as real working cowboys and ranchers move the herd across sweeping landscapes. You can also combine your booking with Tours of the Grand Canyon National Park by making a reservation here. If you choose to extend your trip with a stay inside the park, you can check for availability here. We stayed in Bright Angel Lodge and Cabins, and it was lovely and quite affordable.

mule deer
Mule Deer roam freely outside Bright Angel Lodge

Some other points of interest, Grand Canyon Railway stowed my luggage and delivered it to my accommodation in the National Park. The train will deliver you to the entrance of the Grand Canyon, which is currently $35 per private vehicle. Please visit the National Park Service for the most current fee information. This fee is waived with a valid National Park pass or an America the Beautiful pass, which is recommended if you frequent more than one park per year. Are you looking for Arizona beauty and adventures? Why not check out the spiritual side of Sedona?

Wrapping Up Williams, Arizona

Williams, Arizona is easy to navigate and budget-friendly. Entering the Grand Canyon by rail removes driving stress and crowds, and provides jaw dropping sights. Don’t pass up this chance to combine good old fashioned fun and a chance to see one of the Seven Wonders of the World.

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