You’re sure to have heard of Winslow, Arizona before if you’ve listened to the song Take it Easy by The Eagles. The famous song gave this little city a shoutout and allowed it to capitalize on the popularity for tourism. But before that, Winslow was, and still is, known for offering a unique Route 66 experience. And before Route 66 was created, it was a major railroad terminal for the Santa Fe Railway.
As you can imagine, Winslow is full of history, photo opportunities, and even outdoor adventure. There are a handful of fun things to do in Winslow that will keep you and your family entertained for a day or more!
In this guide I share all the best things to do in Winslow and surrounding areas, where to stay and eat, and the best seasons to visit. Let’s begin planning!
When is the best time to visit Winslow?
The temperatures in Winslow are typically more comfortable during April, May, September, and October months. You’ll find a high of 70-80 degrees here is perfect. However, if you enjoy cooler temperatures the winter is always fine too, and may even be less crowded.
If you plan on just zipping through real quick, summer is do-able. But if you plan on doing some outdoor adventures, you will need to check the weather for the high temperatures and rain storms. Winslow and the surrounding area can get hit with sporadic storms during the summer and fall months which could put a halt to your plans!
Best Things to do in Winslow, Arizona
If you find yourself driving the original Route 66 then Winslow will already be a destination of yours. But if you find yourself bypassing it on the I-40 as you’re heading elsewhere, consider taking a small detour to check it out.
The locals in this city are more than welcoming- they’re super helpful and proud to share with you what they know about the area. After talking with a few locals and visiting their businesses, it was apparent to me they are proud of the area, regardless of whether they are transplants or natives. This alone speaks volume!
Whether you want to play tourist for a couple hours or spend a weekend in Winslow, I hope this guide below helps you have the best time! Below are some of the best things to do in Winslow.
1. Take your picture Standin’ On The Corner
The first tourist thing to do in Winslow is visit Standin’ On The Corner Park. Located right in the heart of downtown, you won’t be able to miss the signs, statues, Route 66 logo in the middle of the street, and people walking around with their cameras out.
Have no shame in it- both times I’ve visited Winslow I’ve taken a picture on this corner! Whether it is the actual corner referenced in the song or not, who knows. The fact is, Jackson Browne broke down in Winslow, Arizona.
Click here for driving directions!
2. Walk around the historic downtown
Standin’ On The Corner Park is surrounded by buildings from the 1800’s and 1900’s which are now turned into vintage gift shops, motels, and restaurants. After you’ve taken your picture on the corner, it is worth a walk downtown to soak in some history.
My favorite store I visited was the Motor Palace Mercantile. Walking through their doors is like walking back in time. I’m talking vintage items and displays that let you have a little fun. You can create your own charm bracelet, pack a bag full of old fashioned candy, and even buy an old fashioned soda to pop the top off with the vintage cooler bottle opener!
Across the street you can delve into Winslow, Arizona history and visit the Old Trails Museum. There is so much more to the local history than what I can fit in this post. A free visit to the museum can help you appreciate it all. I do suggest checking their site and hours ahead of time for they may change due to current times.
Lastly, if you’re into the art scene be sure to check out the Snowdrift Art Space. You’ll have to call ahead of time to book a tour, but they are free! The owners turned the former Babbitt Brothers Department Store into an exhibition gallery, basement studio, and home. I’m sure we all can gain a little inspiration from their creativity!
3. Visit Homolovi State Park
A 15 minute drive from the center of Winslow will bring you to Homolovi State Park. Here, you have the chance to explore the same lands the Anasazi (referred to by archeologists), or now Hopi, people lived on.
Homolovi State Park has paths for you to walk on, leading you to several historical sites such as the remains of a 1,200 room village built by the Hopi people. As you walk around keep a lookout for many broken pottery pieces that have washed up over the years. According to the park, the Hopi say that the broken pottery pieces and stones are now part of the land. They still consider these lands part of their homeland and make pilgrimages to the sites today.
I highly suggest stopping by the park visitor center and museum first. The park ranger can provide you with a map, suggestions, and extra info on the area before you head out to these ancient sites.
Click here for driving directions!
Fee: $7 and it goes directly to the park itself. This is their only source of income!
NOTE: As you’re exploring the park please be mindful of the leave no trace principals and stay on the paths. Enjoy the pottery pieces scattered about, but leave them as they are.
4. Kayak Clear Creek Reservoir
Often overlooked is the Clear Creek Reservoir which provides water access for boating, kayaking, fishing, cliff jumping, and swimming! McHood Park has a $7 entrance fee and allows you to park and embark on your water adventures. This is perfect for those of us looking for some outdoor adventure during our trip, and happens to be one of my favorite things to do in Winslow.
If you need rentals you’ll want to reach out to Clear Creek Rentals. They are a local business that offers kayak and SUP day rentals as well as drop off and pick-up! When I visited Winslow we decided to use their kayaks to explore the canyon and find ancient petroglyphs. Finding this piece of history while out on the water was one of my highlights of the entire trip.
Visit my post Kayaking Clear Creek Reservoir for more details on this adventure!
5. Photograph the Little Painted Desert at Sunset
The Little Painted Desert County Park is surprisingly close in proximity to Winslow and a hidden gem. Unfortunately the park is run down and full of graffiti, but if you can look past that you’ll be able to enjoy the beauty here.
The park is nothing but a couple Ramada’s and a dirt lot, but it is free. All you do is park, walk to the rim of the Little Painted Desert, and begin exploring!
Sunset provides the best lighting here for photographs. As the sun goes down it allows the colors to become vibrant and really stand out. When I visited there was a storm rolling in so we had only about 8 minutes to run around before it was too dangerous. We missed the sunset, but I’ll be back!
Click here for directions!
NOTE: As you’re exploring the park please be mindful of the leave no trace principals and stay on the already worn down paths that you can see. Don’t go making your own!
6. Visit the Meteor Crater
The world-famous Meteor Crater is near Winslow, Arizona- who knew?! Depending on the route you take it may be on your way in or out of Winslow, so this is a great option if you have time so spare.
When this massive piece of space matter hit our planet over 61,000 years ago, it created this 2.4 mile wide crater that has drawn thousands of visitors in to witness the magnitude of its impact. If you pay the crater a visit you’ll have your choice of lookout points to gaze from or even take a guided tour around the rim.
They also have a museum, 4D Theatre, an Apollo 11 test capsule, and more. Meteor Crater National Landmark has a little something for everyone!
Click here for directions!
7. Remember the fallen at the Remembrance Garden
As you enter Winslow you’ll drive past the Remembrance Garden, a tribute to those who had fallen during one of the biggest tragedies in our history. These two metal beams are salvaged fragments from the world trade center in New York and are erected parallel to each other, just like the towers.
If you’d like to visit this piece of our history and take a moment in remembrance, you can visit it at East 3rd Street and Transcon Lane, Winslow, AZ 86047.
Best places to eat in Winslow, Arizona
Of course you can’t visit a new city and not taste some of the local grub. While Winslow isn’t exactly known for their selection of restaurants, they do have a couple options I’ve enjoyed while visiting.
- The Sipp Shoppe in Winslow is located right on The Corner. It is a retro shoppe known for their delicious sodas, shakes, and ice cream cones. Their menu offers a small variety of lunch foods, so I always enjoy stopping by here for a cold sandwich and shake while in town. The Sipp Shoppe sits in what used to be an old jewelry store and the old safe is still there today! It is located right next to their counter- you can’t miss the massive gold door.
- The Turquoise Room is located in the La Posada Hotel (more on that below) and is the go to spot for a fancier Southwestern cuisine. They are open for lunch and dinner, with a brief shut down in-between to reset. You’ll want to make reservations as they can fill up fast and you’ll miss your chance to try their delicious pork plate.
- RelicRoad Brewing Company is worth a visit for some craft beers, cocktails, and burgers or sandwiches. They are conveniently located in downtown Winslow so you can walk right into the taproom after walking around.
- Bojo’s Grill and Sports Club is a relaxed atmosphere also located just downtown. They have more of a variety when it comes to the menu which best suit groups who are craving different types of food. From sandwiches and salads to steaks and Mexican, they offer a little bit of everything.
Where to stay the night in Winslow, Arizona
When it comes to accommodations in Winslow there are two places that really stand out if you’re looking to book a room, or you can camp at the local campgrounds.
- Earl’s Motor Court is the last original Route 66 motel in Winslow still operating. It has received new owners and TLC over the last few years, giving it a much needed revamp. It is popular with motorcyclists, but it was also exactly what we needed during our visit. Angela, the owner, had outstanding reviews online, which is why we decided to give it a try. The rooms were spotless, and our bed had a handmade quilt on top with fresh flowers bedside.
- La Posada Hotel is full of history itself- it hosts a large gift shop, library, The Turquoise Room restaurant, and beautiful gardens on its property. The hotel was opened in 1930 and was a prime location for it is right next to the Santa Fe Railway. Unfortunately it was closed in 1957 and all the furnishings were auctioned off. The hotel was eventually remodeled into offices for the railway. Years later it was almost demolished when the railway announced plans to move out, but through legal battles and local efforts, it was saved and turned into what we see today. The hotel and its grounds are worth a visit even if you don’t plan on staying!
- Homolovi State Park Campground is located at the park, just 15 minutes from the center of downtown. This campground looked exceptionally clean and quiet as we drove through. If you’re looking to save money, this may be a safe place to park or pitch your tent.
- McHood Park Campground is located right by the water at the Clear Creek Reservoir. It was full when we drove through and seemed to be a bit cleaner than the park’s parking area itself. Sometimes day users take up the spots and don’t actually stay the night here. Just be aware there will be more traffic on the weekends since this is also a place where people recreate!
- RV Park at the Meteor Crater is a great option if you have an RV and want hookups! Although it is 30 minutes outside of Winslow, it is not a bad place to set up as a basecamp and explore the local areas.
Final thoughts on Winslow, Arizona
Every time I visit I have a blast touring around Winslow, Arizona and learning about the local history. The city has many different aspects about it that make it worth a visit. I’m glad to see the area still doing well, even after the I-40 was built and directed traffic elsewhere.
If you ever pay this small Southwestern city a visit I’d love to hear what you enjoyed most about it! Feel free to comment on this post or shoot me a personal email at email@example.com