If we go from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon (on Interstate 40, old Route 66), this is the last village we find before taking a detour to the north that will take us to the south rim of the canyon. This town has a long tradition of people stopping on Route 66. Here travelers can find everything they need for the night. There are bars, restaurants and motels. These motels are a good option if we don't find room in any of the hotels in the Grand Canyon Village). If you decide to stop in this town, be sure not to miss a bar called Twisters, that is carefully decorated like a typical American 50's bar.
It is the oldest concrete structure in the state of Arizona. It was was built in 1908 and is part of railways that runs from Chicago to Los Angeles. Today it is considered historic and on the platform of the station you can see on display the old steam locomotives that ran this route initially. Freight trains pass today endlessly, I tried to count how many cars pulling three locomotives can by (if 3) who led a formation but I found it impossible. I always coounted differently but I think there were about 100.
The first passenger train arrived at Grand Canyon from Williams in 1901, when the current railway station wasn't yet built. Service has changed considerably since those old steam engines, and is today a great tourist walk. The Grand Canyon Railway departs daily from Williams at 9:30a and will surely be dismissed by real "cowboys" from their horses, which will later be loaded to the train and there will be a simulated assault in "Far West" style, taking some of the passenger's tickets as a reward. The journey to the Grand Canyon is about 100 miles and lasts just over two hours. The ride is surrounded by pine trees in a natural setting, where you can also see local wildlife. All cars have air conditioning and large panoramic windows, but some also have a higher place called the "Observation Dome," a sort of glass dome from which you can appreciate the surrounding landscape in all its magnitude. These are the first places that sell out, despite not being the cheapest. The value of the tickets is about $70- $190 (twice that if a round trip), the most expensive includes refreshments and no children. The return trip from the Grand Canyon leaves at 3:30 pm and is back in Williams at 5:45pm.
The entrance to this souvenir shop is off Route 66 or from inside the Cruiser's Café 66, where the entry is guarded by two old gas pumps. Most of the souvenirs that you can buy here are related to the legendary Route 66, rubbings, old signs, old posters and lots of clothing. The staff are good and the prices moderate. One peculiarity to note is that the display shelves are made with old disused truck doors.