Want to see the Grand Canyon but fear the mounds of traffic (international people driving on American Roads?) relax and take the train. The Grand Canyon Railway!! Brilliant idea!! And when you see how easy your trip will be, you will send me a thank you letter. I except donations too.
Below at the bottom are links to all the 5 locations I suggest to do in and see in and around Sedona.
First on the list: The Grand Canyon Railway (train) to see the Grand Canyon!
Why? I’ve traveled to the Grand Canyon by car. It’s a seriously long drive and BORING. Specially as a kid in the back seat. Snoozeville. Hence the reason I almost dropped my coffee when I heard you they have now created a option to get to the Grand Canyon by train! And it’s not just a train, they have ‘happenings too…’ (keep reading… and see the video below if reading is boring for you!)
The Grand Canyon Railway is a train that takes you from Williams, Arizona straight to the Grand Canyon. You can travel first class (not worth the money -my opinion – but it IS an option), super upper snobby class (that’s not what they call it but it didn’t seem worth it to do that either) or basic coach (now we are talking!). They even have seating in this thing I call “The Bubble” where NOTHING obstructs your view as the train rolls along. (The bubble is really cool – if they charge extra to sit up there on the trip you are booking – sitting up there is worth it!)
Once the train drops you off at the Grand Canyon, you can sit, watch, eat, look at shops, run on the grass, take a mule to the bottom, or even try to hike yourself. (You are free to play and do what you want. You can head back down anytime on any train before a certain time – when the last train leaves.)
We did none of the activities I listed above. We were so dang hungry we immediately bee-lined to this bar/restaurant El Tovar Hotel which as it says right there, was also a hotel. The food was delicious and the views were okay (haha) (that is a joke) (the view was the GRAND CANYON!).
Unfortunately it did rain the day we were there and I was glad it did! Watching the clouds roll in, the rain come down, and then suddenly the darkness left and all of wetness disappeared leaving a crystal clear sky that was beyond beautiful to witness with my California children who never seem to see rain! It was an education for my kids that no text book could truly explain! FYI: Getting rained on at home is annoying – getting rained on while on vacation is hilarious!
The other reason you may want to take the train is because there is entertainment on the board. Meaning on they way back, the train suddenly stops and the train conductor annouces something has happened. People get curious and look around…till they see these dorky ‘bad guys’ outside the train on horses with guns just standing staring near the train on this vast empty (no police) Arizona land. Yes, my friends (keep this a secret if you do decide to do this tour AND are bringing your family – don’t tell them about this. I told my kids and honesly feel my hubby and I lost a lot of the fun magic that would have happened had I not spilled the beans about the surprise bad guys “hold up.”
Once the ‘robbers’ aka coybows arrived on the train they are not unlike the Three Stooges, so clearly your kids will not be scared as it is actually intended to be rather funny.
Then back where you waited to pick up the train is exactly where you get dropped off on the way back….right in front of a hotel. Yes, the Grand Canyon Railway also has a hotel (in Williams) so if you decide you don’t want to get in the car and drive anywhere or want to stay longer in the town and and enjoy everything cozy Williams, Arizona has to offer, give them a call to book a room!
Also – below I’ve listed the other things my family did while we were in and around Phoenix – but mostly in Sedona, AZ. Each one of the items listed below has a link so you can click to read the article I’ve written about each location. There is also a video to go along with all of them…so if you don’t want to read – or if you’d rather show your kids the video – they are awesome! And do please subscribe here and on my youtube channel to be sure not to miss any videos I create!
- Bearizona (click that link to take you to the article I wrote about Bearizona – and a video I made with an adorable bear!) Bearizona is a drive through wild Animal Park, located two miles from the Grand Canyon Railway train.
- Slide Rock State Park. Click here to see another article I wrote as well as a killer video that will show you how much fun this place really is! Once you watch the video – you will not believe a place like this exists that you can go visit – FREE. Well, it does cost money to park but the acutal park to see is free!
- Out of Africa. Kinda like a Zoo but WAAAY cooler. Again – click the link to see the video and the article.
- Blazin’ M Ranch. Another fun place – with lots to do. Weird things. Meaning, things that make you connect with your family and do fun things together that you normally would not do.
For summer travel: Be sure to see the town’s nighttime cowboy shoot-out where you just may see the city mayor as one of the cowboy performers!
For Christmas travel: The Grand Canyon Railway even dresses up for the holidays as The Polar Express! Call or check out their website for more information: http://www.thetrain.com/
The Grand Canyon Railway
235 N. Grand Canyon Boulevard
Williams, AZ 86046