Grand Canyon National Park received more than six million visitors in 2018 and rightfully so. The iconic canyon is a once-in-a-lifetime destination. Skip fighting for a parking space, keep your car off the road and spend more time exploring the canyon’s mysteries and beauty by basing your stay in Williams, Ariz.
The Wild West meets Route 66 Americana in this charming town an hour south of the park’s Tusayan entrance. Check in to the Grand Canyon Railway Hotel located right next door to the depot of the Grand Canyon Railway. After a hearty breakfast buffet, which includes a made-to-order omelet station, at the Fred Harvey Restaurant just across the street, hop on the train to Grand Canyon’s South Rim to spend the day exploring the park. The ride features a staged train robbery and cowboy sing-alongs. Book one of several packages with the hotel to save on your lodging (including overnight stays in the park), meals and train tickets. Once in the park, take the free park shuttle to explore trails, viewpoints and visitors centers.
“The Wild West comes to life here,” says Hinch Knece, western director of marketing for Xanterra, the company that owns the hotel. “There’s a true historic vibe at the hotel and on the train.”
In the hotel, enjoy a cocktail in Spencer’s Pub, which features a beautiful 1800s imported bar top from the United Kingdom. Sit on the patio to enjoy a beautiful evening and pub-style food.
When it’s time for your head to hit the pillow, you have several choices at the Grand Canyon Railway Hotel. For the ultimate experience, book the Rail Baron Suite, which was originally designed to be the home-away-from-home of Max and Thelma Beigert, who bought and restored the railroad in 1988. Or, choose from standard or deluxe rooms or a suite that includes a kitchenette. An RV park is also available on site.
Traveling with your pet? The hotel and train, as well as most of the national park, don’t allow dogs or cats with the exception of ADA service animals, but the Grand Canyon Railway Hotel has a pet resort to make sure your furry friend is comfortable. With separate wings for cats and dogs, there are two different air systems so your cat won’t get stressed smelling dogs or vice versa.
Learn more or book your stay by calling 1.800.THE.TRAIN or visiting thetrain.com.