The Grand Canyon is easily one of the most popular tourist destinations in the United States. Its majestic beauty is due to the fact that it’s out in the desert–waaay out in the desert.
If you’re looking for a place to stay while you explore Grand Canyon National Park, you’ll be glad to know that nearby towns and cities do exist! Or perhaps you’re looking for a few additional places to visit while you’re on your Grand Canyon road trip.
In either case, look no further! This post will help you discover 10 unique towns/cities that are located close to the park and worth checking out.
Each of these cities near Grand Canyon National Park has something unique and interesting to offer visitors. So let’s get into it and start helping you plan out your Grand Canyon travel itinerary!
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1. Tusayan, Arizona
Tusayan, Arizona is one of many great towns located near Grand Canyon National Park. In fact, Tusayan is the closest town to the South Rim Grand Canyon National Park, located just 15 minutes away from the southern park entrance and Grand Canyon Village.
This makes it an excellent place to stay when visiting the southern end of the park!
There are a number of shops, hotels, and restaurants in the area, so that all your creature comforts are met. The town is also home to a number of museums and historical sites.
Tusayan is where a lot of Grand Canyon tours depart from, including some of these must-do tour options:
- Grand Canyon Signature Hummer Tour with Optional Sunset Views
- 45-minute Helicopter Flight Over the Grand Canyon
- Grand Canyon Tour from Tusayan
You can also explore the Tusayan Ruins and the Hopi House within the national park. If you’re interested in picking up gifts to bring home, look no further than the Tusayan General Store.
If you’re looking for a place to call home base for your Grand Canyon vacation, be sure to consider Tusayan, Arizona.
WHERE TO STAY: The Grand Hotel at the Grand Canyon
2. Flagstaff, Arizona
The Grand Canyon National Park South Rim is about 80 miles (or a 1.5-hour drive) from Flagstaff, Arizona.
Flagstaff is a great place to visit if you’re looking for an outdoor adventure. There are plenty of hiking and biking trails in the area, as well as opportunities for camping, fishing, and more.
If you’re a history buff, this place is also for you–there are tons of museums and national monuments in the Flagstaff area!
The one very unique thing about the city of Flagstaff was that it was named the world’s first “International Dark Sky City”, which is a designation awarded by the International Dark Sky Association.
This means that due to its extremely low-light pollution, it’s perfect for nighttime stargazing!
You can visit the Lowell Observatory for epic stargazing or the Museum of Northern Arizona to get that dose of Arizona history. If you’re looking for a place to eat, there are many restaurants and cafes in downtown Flagstaff.
Other exciting things to do in Flagstaff include the following:
- If you’re traveling in the wintertime, Flagstaff is a true winter wonderland. The Arizona Snowbowl is the best ski resort in all of Arizona.
- In the spring, beautiful flower blooms take over!
- Walk around Historic Downtown Flagstaff. This 12-block area hosts an assortment of interesting boutiques, restaurants, and gift shops.
- Check out the ruins at Walnut Canyon National Monument, where you’ll find ancient Sinagua cliff dwellings lining the steep canyon walls.
- If you’ve ever wanted to walk on a volcano, Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument is the place to go.
- Wupatki National Monument is home to some very fascinating and well-preserved American Indian ruins. (pictured below)
- Curious about the history of Flagstaff? The Pioneer Museum features the history of Flagstaff from 1880 to 1960.
Jam-packed with culture, beauty, history, and recreational activities, Flagstaff is a diverse town perfect for any type of traveler. So if you’re looking to extend your Grand Canyon road trip, Flagstaff is a great option.
3. Williams, Arizona
Williams is a small town located about 60 miles (1-hour drive) south of the Grand Canyon National Park (South Rim).
This town is perfect for those who want to experience the true Wild West! There are a number of western-themed activities and attractions in the area, including horseback riding, mock gunfights, and more.
Most travelers find their way to Williams because it is one of the main gateways to the Grand Canyon, and one of the best ways to experience the town is by taking the Grand Canyon Railway to the South Rim.
Aboard a vintage train, you’ll travel through beautiful plains and canyons, enjoying live entertainment, including musicians and a Wild West shoot-out reenactment!
This is by far the best way to see the Grand Canyon if you’d rather not deal with the logistics of driving around yourself. Getting to the park via the vintage train is effortless, and a ton of fun!
Once the train arrives at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, you have several hours to either take a narrated motor coach tour or explore the rim trails, overlooks, gift shops, and the iconic El Tovar Hotel on your own.
Back in Williams, there’s plenty to keep you busy, whether you’re a nature lover, history buff, or just looking to relax. Here are some of my top picks:
- Hike the scenic trails at Kaibab National Forest – the Keyhole Sink Trail will take you to impressive ancient petroglyphs.
- Take a scenic drive or stroll down Historic Route 66 – Route 66 goes right through the heart of Williams, so it is easy to park your car and see to the many gift shops, restaurants, and historic buildings on foot.
- Explore an old-school gas station filled with vintage cars at Pete’s Route 66 Gas Station Museum.
- Catch the old-timey robber reenactment outside the Williams Depot – this is where the Grand Canyon Railway departs from.
- Relax at Cataract Lake, a beautiful spot for swimming, fishing, and picnicking.
- Take a wildlife safari tour through Bearizona
- Take the kids to the Grand Canyon Deer Farm
4. Sedona, Arizona
Sedona is a beautiful resort city located in the desert about 2.5 hours away from the Grand Canyon. This must-visit-at-some-point-in-your-life town is known for its iconic red rocks and absolutely stunning views.
Aside from its postcard-perfect views, there’s something else very unique about Sedona, AZ. Sedona has also been long regarded as a place that’s both sacred and powerful due to its vortex phenomenon. You’ll see and hear lots about it once you arrive in town!
There are plenty of hiking and biking trails in the area, as well as opportunities for shopping, dining, and more!
A Jeep tour of Sedona is a great way to get acquainted with the town. These family-friendly adventure tours will take you through the rugged terrain of Sedona in a 4WD vehicle. And it’s not slowly chugging along–it really is quite an adventure!
You’ll be bouncing along and hanging on to your seats, all while your guide is telling you stories, pointing out important landmarks, and taking you to various vistas / photo ops among the red rock formations.
If you’re looking to learn more about Sedona’s vortexes, take a vortex tour by Jeep!
Looking to do a hike? Devil’s Bridge is one of the most scenic hikes ever.
For those of you who’ve never heard of Devil’s Bridge before, this geological wonder stands as one of the greatest and most beautiful formations in Sedona Red Rock County. This 4.2-mile hike definitely tops the “must do” hikes in Sedona.
Other great hikes include Fay Canyon, Cathedral Rock, Bell Rock, and Boynton Canyon.
You can also spend a day out at Oak Creek Canyon, dine at the Village at Oak Creek (Butterfly Burger serves up the best upscale burgers in town), shop at Tlaquepaque Arts and Shopping Village, and stroll through the bustling Uptown Sedona!
All in all, I’d recommend staying in Sedona for at least 2 days–there’s so much to do, see, and hike here. I’ve been to Sedona twice and still have barely scratched the surface!
5. Prescott, Arizona
Prescott is a small town located in central Arizona about 2 hours and 17 minutes away from the Grand Canyon. This is another town perfect for those who want a taste of the Wild West.
If you’re looking for things to do in Prescott, Arizona, you won’t be disappointed. There are plenty of activities to keep you busy, whether you’re a nature lover, an adventurer, or just looking to relax. Here are some ideas to get you started.
If you love the outdoors, Prescott is a great place to hike, bike, or just enjoy the fresh air. The area is home to many trails, including the famous Thumb Butte Trail, which offers breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains.
For those who like a little adventure in their life, Prescott has plenty to offer as well. There are several companies that offer jeep tours of the area, which is a great way to see the sights and get some fresh air.
There are also several rafting companies that can take you down the turbulent waters of the Prescott River.
Besides museums chock full of Native American history/culture and galleries dedicated to cowboy artwork, there is a lovely historic district to stroll around as well as the famed Whiskey Row (don’t miss the Palace Restaurant and Saloon, the oldest operating bar in all of Arizona, dating all the way back to 1877).
There are also many restaurants and cafes in the area that offer a taste of the local flavor. Whatever your interests, Prescott has something to offer everyone!
6. Jerome, Arizona
Jerome makes a great off-the-beaten-path town to visit, especially after experiencing the more touristy towns that play host to expensive galleries, spas, and cafés.
Not only is Jerome fun and quirky, but it also offers a healthy dose of culture and history. If you’re looking for a ghost town-like experience in Arizona, you’ll get pretty close with Jerome (though it’s not actually an abandoned town).
Jerome was once home to the wealthiest mine in the world. In the 1920’s, this town was the largest producer of copper, gold, and silver in Arizona! At its peak, it was the third-largest town in Arizona, consisting of 37 bars, 13 bordellos, and four churches.
The mines closed in 1953, became a near ghost town of 50 inhabitants for many years, and was eventually declared a National Historic Landmark in 1967.
If you want to learn more about the significant history of the town, head to Jerome State Historic Park.
If you’re looking for an unconventional adventure, Jerome is perfect for you. This town has a fascinating history and is even known for potentially haunted buildings (so much so that many ghost tours are offered)!
Today, Jerome has been revitalized as an arts community, featuring multiple art studios and galleries and even a monthly Art Walk. Here, you’ll find a wide selection of wine tasting rooms, unique specialty shops, art galleries, restaurants, hotels and B&B’s.
WHERE TO STAY: The Clinkscale
Road Trip Pro Tip: Jerome is close to Sedona and in the vicinity of both Flagstaff and Prescott. If you’re looking to add destinations to a Grand Canyon road trip, you can easily visit the towns of Williams, Flagstaff, Sedona, Jerome, and Prescott within a few days’ time.
7. Kingman, Arizona
Kingman is a city located in northwestern Arizona about 1.5 hours from the West Rim Grand Canyon (and 2 hours 45 minutes away from the South Rim).
The town is brimming with Americana history and is actually well-known for its historic Route 66 heritage! There are a number of museums and attractions in the area that focus on the history of this iconic road.
Kingman is a great place to explore and there are plenty of things to do. Here are just a few ideas to get you started:
- Visit the Kingman Army Airfield & Historical Society Museum to learn about the history of this important World War II training site.
- Check out the Mohave Museum of History and Arts to see exhibits on the area’s native people, pioneers, miners, and ranchers.
- Stroll through Bonelli House, a beautiful Victorian home that is now a bed and breakfast.
- Take a scenic drive or hike along the historic Route 66.
- Visit one of Kingman’s many parks, such as Hualapai Mountain Park or Cerbat Cliffs Golf Course.
- Visit the Locomotive Park, home to the famed Steam Engine #3759.
Whether you’re interested in history, the outdoors, or just want to relax, you’ll find plenty to do in Kingman, Arizona.
WHERE TO STAY: La Quinta by Wyndham Kingman
8. Oatman, Arizona
Oatman is a small town located in western Arizona along an old stretch of Route 66 about 45 minutes southwest of Interstate 40. It’s about 2 hours 10 minutes from the West Rim, and just about 50 minutes from Kingman, AZ.
This town is so unique in that it’s home to a number of burros, or wild donkeys, that roam the streets!
If you’re looking for things to do in Oatman, Arizona, there are plenty of options. Aside from snapping a million photos of the burros, you can explore the town’s history by visiting the Oatman-Goldfield Ghost Town or taking a scenic drive/walk down Route 66.
From there, head to the Oatman Mine Museum, where you can walk a short distance into an old mine shaft, tour a replica Wild West saloon, and browse the various open-air shops.
For more adventurous travelers, there are plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy in the area, such as hiking and camping. There are also a number of shops and restaurants in the town!
WHERE TO STAY: Holiday Inn Express & Suites (Bullhead City)
9. Page, Arizona
Page is a very popular city near Grand Canyon National Park, located in northeastern Arizona. It’s about 2.5 hours from both the North Rim and the South Rim.
This town is known for a few things, including its stunning views of Horseshoe Bend, Antelope Canyon, and Lake Powell.
There are plenty of things to do in Page, Arizona! Here are just a few ideas to get you started:
- Visit Antelope Canyon – this stunning canyon is a must-see for anyone visiting the area, but booking a guided tour is required these days.
- Take a quick stroll to Horseshoe Bend – this scenic ‘hike’ offers stunning views of the Colorado River.
- Explore Glen Canyon Dam – this tour will give you an up-close look at this engineering marvel.
- Visit Lake Powell – this massive lake is a popular spot for swimming, boating, and fishing.
- Take a helicopter tour of Page with a landing on Tower Butte
10. Las Vegas, Nevada
Las Vegas is a city located in southern Nevada that truly needs no introduction. This city is known for its lavish hotels, spas, casinos, nightclubs, and top-of-the-line restaurant options.
There is absolutely no shortage of other attractions in the area, including high-production shows, museums, and more.
Whether you’re a first-timer or a seasoned Las Vegas visitor, there’s always something new and exciting to check out. Here are just a few of our favorite things to do in the city.
- Visit the Neon Boneyard – a collection of vintage Las Vegas signs from the 1930’s onward.
- Stroll around the Las Vegas Arts District, also known as “18b” – an 18-block neighborhood that’s made up of various art galleries, antique shops, local boutiques, cafés, bars, and breweries.
- See a show – whether you’re into music, comedy, or anything in between, there’s sure to be a show that will entertain you.
- Dine around the world at Resorts World
- See the Bellagio Fountain Show
- Dine at world-class restaurants like Nobu, Bouchon, SW, and more.
- Go on a food tour such as Downtown Vegas Sightseeing and Foodie Tour
Exploring Las Vegas requires a few days in itself. If you haven’t had the chance to explore, dine, and/or party in Las Vegas yet, then stay a while longer and live it up!
ARE YOU ROAD TRIP READY? YOUR QUICK CHECKLIST:
License and registration | This is a no-brainer, but always good to check you have all documents before it’s too late and you get too far away from home. Do NOT leave home without them. They are road trip essentials!
Spare Tire | In addition to carrying a spare tire with you, don’t forget to check your current tire conditions before you set off as well.
Jumper Cables / Car Jump Starter | A must-have for any road trip! If you’re looking to invest in something exponentially more powerful/convenient than simple jumper cables, get the NOCO Boost HD Car Battery Jump Starter Box. This tool was sent from heaven and serves as a car jump starter, portable power bank, LED flashlight, and 12-volt portable power–all in one!
iOttie car mount | This is my partner in crime on any road trip. It’s got an amazing grip and popping your phone in and out of the mount could not be easier. If you’re renting a rental car and you’re not sure if it has a navigation screen, bring a phone mount with you. The iOttie attaches by suction, so it’s easy to transport from car to car.
Roadside Emergency Kit | You never know what kind of car trouble you may encounter on the road. This convenient little kit contains 42 roadside emergency components, including jumper cables, an aluminum flashlight and batteries, 2-in-1 screwdriver, duct tape, poncho, cable ties, bandages, towelettes, and zipper-lock bags.
Trunk Organizer | With any road trip comes lots and lots of stuff to pack. Keep your road trip essentials organized with a trunk organizer. Not only will this make it so much easier to find what you need, but it will also lead to more space in your trunk for you to pack other necessities.
Portable Cooler | Coolers are a must for any road trip. Not only will you be able to keep beverages cold and refreshing, but you will also be able to keep perishables fresh. A portable hard cooler will allow you to pack picnic lunches, bring cheese and jams, and more.
Map of Cities Near Grand Canyon National Park
Overview of Grand Canyon National Park
The Grand Canyon is one of the most popular national parks in the United States. The national park spans more than one million acres and includes the Grand Canyon itself, which is one of the seven natural wonders of the world.
The canyon is over 277 miles long and 18 miles wide. HUGE!
Between the North and South Rim, The South Rim is the more visited of the pair, with a wider range of viewpoints and things to do. It is home to many of the best activities in the Grand Canyon, which are open all year round. (The North Rim is closed during the wintertime.)
The vastness of the canyon may be seen from a series of viewpoints on Desert View Drive and Hermit Road. On your visit to the Grand Canyon, be sure to stop by a few of them during sunrise and sunset too!
Another South Rim bucket list item for hikers is to take on the South Kaibab Trail where you actually get to hike inside the canyon. Once you’re done hiking, take some time to explore the Grand Canyon Village.
Highlights of the North Rim include Bright Angel Trail, Cape Royal and Roosevelt Point.
Because this national park is so popular, you’ll easily find lots of tour operators that offer day trips to the Grand Canyon from Las Vegas, which saves you the effort of having to plan out the driving logistics in order to see this majestic wonder of a place!
These tours will take you to the Grand Canyon West Rim, where the iconic Grand Canyon Skywalk and the helicopter tours are. Interesting fact– this part of the canyon is actually not an official part of the Grand Canyon National Park, and is instead owned by the Hualapai Tribe.
If you’re short on time, the Grand Canyon is best seen on a guided tour (especially if you don’t want to spend your precious time driving). Some Grand Canyon tours to consider:
- Explore the magnificent landmarks of Arizona with a 14-hour day trip to the Grand Canyon National Park South Rim on this luxury bus tour. Your professional bus driver will be trained to provide you with interesting facts about the history, flora, and fauna of this natural wonder.
- Grand Canyon West Rim Bus Tour & Hoover Dam Photo Stop – This 10.5-hour full-day tour allows you to enjoy a hot, sit-down breakfast at a restaurant en route to the West Rim. This tour also includes a bonus stop at the Hoover Dam Memorial Bridge where you can capture incredible photos of the Dam! Once at the Grand Canyon, a BBQ lunch on the canyon rim is included.
And there you have it–some truly awesome towns worth visiting during your trip to the Grand Canyon. I hope you were able to discover something new and add a few new towns to an already-exciting travel itinerary!
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