Route 66: Williams, AZ

History was always my least favorite subject in school. I don’t know if it was because every teacher I had made it incredibly dry, or if the fact that it always managed to be my morning class and I ended up sleeping through the good stuff. Having kids has actually made me LOVE history and I now willingly research it in my spare time. When we saw that a section of Route 66 was close to the Grand Canyon, we made sure to incorporate it into our travel plans.

Route 66 isn’t the oldest highway in the US, nor is it famous for being the longest. What really made Route 66 stand out was that it allowed for travelers to cut down their travel time between Chicago and LA by over 200 miles! It sort of reminds me of the I-15. The highway really doesn’t care where it runs through as long as it makes it there faster than any other road. Even if that means getting a flat tire and having to drive almost 70 miles to the next town to get it fixed (but we wouldn’t know anything about that). Route 66 also symbolized a sort of freedom to the average American traveler. Do I need to hashtag freedom? I feel like I need to. Along with this new #freedom (okay, that definitely felt right), Route 66 gave life to many small, often struggling towns. We’ve now been to many Route 66 pitstops and while a lot of the places alongside the highway are ghost towns, many like Williams, AZ are still booming.

When we entered Williams, we fell in love. I don’t know if the excitement was due to it being our first time seeing anything Route 66 or if it was how cute the town itself was, but we just couldn’t wait to get out and explore. It felt like walking back in time with all the Americana ambiance and old cars.  We stopped for lunch at Cruisers Route 66 Café and it was everything we needed to kick off our stay. It isn’t anything fancy, but the smoked brisket was delicious and the kids loved the décor, especially the restrooms. If you are looking for an amazing meal, we later ate at Station 66 Italian Bistro and literally ordered everything off their menu. I’m so glad A and H inherited my bottomless pit stomach. These kids can really eat. The 3 of us ended up pounding back 4 desserts as Nathan and tourists watched in disbelief…or disgust?

Later that night, we really struck gold when we got to enjoy a cowboy shootout. H especially was mesmerized by all the gunfire and A kept asking if they were real guns. Later we got to take pictures with all the cowboys, and being the awesome mom that I am, I made them take a picture with the handsome one for my own viewing.

If you’re traveling to Williams, Arizona with kids, feel free to comment for any advice!