These days, most people coming to Williams are here to board the Grand Canyon Railway, Williams Depot, 233 N. Grand Canyon Blvd. (tel. 800/843-8724 or 303/843-8724; www.thetrain.com), which operates vintage steam and diesel locomotives between Williams and Grand Canyon Village. Round-trip fares (not including tax or the national park entrance fee) range from $70 to $190 for adults, $40 to $110 for children 2 to 12. Although this is primarily a day-excursion train, it's possible to ride up one day and return on a different day -- just let the reservations clerk know that's what you want to do. The same company that operates the train also manages the hotels in Grand Canyon Village. If you can't get a reservation at one of the hotels inside the park, you'll end up having to take a shuttle bus or taxi out of the park to your hotel, which can be inconvenient and add a bit to your daily costs.
Route 66 fans will want to drive Williams's main street, which, not surprisingly, is named Route 66. Along this stretch of the old highway, you can check out the town's vintage buildings, many of which house shops selling Route 66 souvenirs. A few antiques stores sell collectibles from the heyday of the famous highway.
Both east and west of town you can drive more sections of the "Mother Road." However, with the exception of the section that begins at exit 139, these stretches are not very remarkable and are recommended only for die-hard fans of Route 66. East of town, take exit 167 off I-40 and follow the graveled Old Trails Highway (the predecessor to Route 66). A paved section of Route 66 begins at exit 171 on the north side of the interstate and extends for 7 miles to the site of the Parks General Store. From Parks, you can continue to Brannigan Park on a graveled section of Route 66.
West of Williams, take exit 157 and go south. If you turn east at the T intersection, you'll be on a gravel section of the old highway; if you turn west, you'll be on a paved section. Another stretch can be accessed at exit 106. If you continue another 12 miles west and take exit 139, you'll be on the longest uninterrupted stretch of Route 66 left in the country. It extends from here all the way to Kingman, and along the way, passes through the town of Seligman, which has several interesting buildings.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.