Contributor: Valerie Gallagher
A Quick Getaway to Northern Arizona
Have you ever just felt like you wanted to get out of town, you just need a change of scenery?
Arizona is my favorite place when I feel the need to escape.
Williams, AZ is only a short three and a half-hour drive from Las Vegas. With offerings such as Bearizona, the Deer Farm and The Grand Canyon Railway – there is plenty to do in this small town to keep a family entertained.
Bearizona is a drive-through wildlife experience, offering a glimpse of wildlife through the windows of your car. You can see wolves, bison, and bears, among other animals. Outside of your vehicle experience a wild birds show, river otters (my personal favorite) and jaguars. The staff are extremely knowledgeable in conservation efforts and why the animals are residing at Bearizona.
The Café in the back of the park offers gluten-free, vegan and vegetarian options, as well as a fully stocked bar. The food is great, and well priced for the portions received. In the front of the park there is a coffee bar and a snack shop as well.
Bring souvenir money for the expansive gift shop. The kids will want to bring home their very own junior bear
The Grand Canyon Railway is located near Route 66 in Williams. There is a stationary steam engine for kids to take photos in front of. Depending on the season, trains to the Grand Canyon will run one time per day or more. The ride is 4.5 hours round trip, so bring a book and a fun eye-spy game for the kids to have them be on the lookout for parts of nature that they wouldn’t ordinarily get to see
When you get back to town after your ride on the rails, my favorite restaurants are Station 66 for Italian, or the attached Grand Canyon Winery. These restaurants serve AMAZING food. The Grand Canyon Winery has a tasting room attached to it. Both are family-friendly and serve a wide variety of local Arizona wine and beer. I recommend the wine or beer flights with lunch or dinner and then once you choose a favorite, you can purchase a couple of bottles or a growler to go.