Travels With Ernie — Ernie Spends the Holidays in Historic and Picturesque Williams, Arizona

Contributed by Ernie on . Posted in Northern Arizona

So, add to this the excitement and energy, the holiday season, and you have an indelible memory and a must–see experience. Williams has a special charm, even from the standpoint of a dog, with it’s picturesque snow-covered peaks, the holiday lights along Route 66, the Polar Express, and the hustle and bustle of the bundled-up shoppers strolling along the sidewalks. Dogs have a tremendous advantage during this time of the year, because people are an easy target for a handout. Cookies, burger bites, French fries, and all of those things that dogs shouldn’t eat. But what the heck! Just like the peoples, I will diet after the holidays, and get back to my boring diet of dog food and biscuits.

Williams was the last section of Route 66 that was bypassed by the construction of Interstate 40. This occurred in October 1984. While many other small communities along Historic Route 66 faded away after being bypassed, this did not happen to Williams. The town has not only survived, but has thrived, and has become a major tourist destination for those drawn by the nostalgia of Route 66. Local parades throughout the year, reenactments of gun fights, horse buggy rides along the main street of Route 66, and many other activities have helped Williams transform into a unique year-round experience for its visitors.

But that isn’t all that Williams has to offer. Another very popular tourist attraction is the Grand Canyon Railway. Each day, twice a day, the tourists board the train for a ride to the Grand Canyon Village Train Depot, in front of the historic El Tovar Hotel. Tourists then have a few hours to enjoy lunch, and visit galleries and shops, including the historic Kolb Studio, constructed in 1904. And of course, the big star of the show on this trip is the amazing Grand Canyon itself!

During the holidays, the Grand Canyon Railway transforms into the Polar Express, and most evenings, takes parents and children on a special hour-long holiday journey to the “North Pole.” Santa Claus and his reindeer greet passengers with treats of cookies and hot chocolate, and other special holiday surprises. It is very common to see parents and children alike wearing their pajamas and walking around Williams or eating in restaurants as they wait for their special evening train ride to the “North Pole.” You can imagine that, as a dog, I find this very amusing.

From the standpoint of this dog, Williams is a must-see for any canine that is looking for lots of cool sniffing opportunities. The peoples are really nice, the handouts are tasty and plentiful, and I guarantee that the peoples will want to scratch your ears to your hearts desire.

The peoples need to make sure this is on their itinerary when visiting northern Arizona, and not just during the holidays—Williams and nearby places along Route 66 offer a year-round wonderland of adventure and fun!