15 Best Things to Do in Winslow, AZ

Winslow, AZ
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Music lovers who are unfamiliar with Arizona sometimes scratch their heads, telling themselves, "I've heard of that place."

When it finally dawns on them, they realize that Winslow, Arizona, is mentioned in the massive Eagles hit "Take it Easy."

Winslow is a small city of fewer than 10,000 inhabitants in Navajo County, Arizona, along the historic Route 66.

There is still an unanswered question concerning how it came to be known as Winslow.

Some believe it took its name from an old prospector named Tom Winslow, who lived in the region.

Meanwhile, St. Louis and San Francisco Railroad had a President named Edward F Winslow, who presided over the railroad.

The railroad established the city's prominence, which continued until rail traffic declined following World War II.

Located 4,000 feet above sea level, it receives little rainfall.

However, the locals anticipate snow every winter.

It is possible to mix history with nature's beauty at Winslow because of the presence of petroglyphs, outdoor activities, and its well-preserved meteor impact site on the planet.

Read on as we share the best things to do in this city.

Visit the Meteor Crater

View of the Meteor Crater
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The world's best-preserved meteorite impact site lies in Winslow, Arizona, at Meteor Crater.

In northern Arizona, minutes from Route 66 and Interstate 40, the site is a remarkable remnant of a fifty thousand-year-old collision between the Earth and an asteroid moving about 26,000 miles per hour.

View of the Meteor Crater
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The crater has a circumference of about a mile and a depth of more than 550 feet.

You may find the Visitor Center and Interactive Discovery Center on the crater's rim.

Here, you may go on an excursion, see a movie, or watch it from an observation deck.

Enjoy McHood Park's Outdoor Activities

McHood Park offers lakeside access to Arizona's great outdoors.

You may go boating, kayaking, or canoeing in McHood Park because of its reservoir.

Aboard a boat, you may find the petroglyphs on the canyon walls where the water flows.

Throughout the park, there are boulders suitable for climbing and exploration.

The park has a wide variety of birds for both serious and casual birdwatchers, so keep a lookout for them while you're there.

After a long day of hiking, set up your tent or RV on the grounds and spend the night.

It offers camping free for the first 14 nights.

Check Out the Petroglyphs at Rock Art Ranch

Petroglyphs at Rock Art Ranch
cogdogblog, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Rock Art Ranch's ancient petroglyphs draw tens of thousands of tourists each year, many of whom are archaeologists.

Very few places throughout the world have a collection of this old art form.

When walking down the canyon to visit what was once the home of the indigenous people of Arizona, you may see the artwork.

The brook appears misplaced in the otherwise desolate landscape.

Spend some time at the ranch's museum, where you'll see exhibits that date back tens of thousands of years.

Petroglyphs at Rock Art Ranch
Alan Levine from Strawberry, United States, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Pay Respects at 9/11 Remembrance Garden

The 9/11 Memorial Garden stands on the borders of Winslow, Arizona, near the eastern part of the city.

It is one of the many monuments erected as a mark of respect for the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, in places distant from the devastation.

It's impossible to tell by looking at it, but the replica Twin Towers consists of actual wreckage from the World Trade Center.

Two corroded metal beams top the concrete foundation from the towers, 15 feet and the other 14 feet high.

The two steel towers of the 9/11 Remembrance Garden are accompanied by a plaque, demonstrating how unified the country is in its response to the tragedy.

Explore the Old and Abandoned Two Guns

View of Old and Abandoned Two Guns
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Two Guns, formerly Canyon Lodge, began as a small trading station managed by Daniel B. Oldfield and his wife in the early 1800s.

After a few more western pioneers claimed the region, the National Trail Highway through town became the popular route crossing Diablo Canyon.

Earle Cundiff and his wife brought 320 acres of property, making Canyon Lodge a popular stop for travelers.

View of Old and Abandoned Two Guns
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By the late 1920s, the once-isolated trade post had become a lively stop for approaching vehicles needing petrol, food, and oil.

This rapid rise in wealth attracted a guy named Harry Miller. Miller, a well-educated Spanish-American War soldier and showy publicist, noted for his vulgar and disagreeable manner.

Harry "Two Guns" Miller reportedly made a ten-year contract with the Cundiffs to lease a company site.

View of Old and Abandoned Two Guns
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While it prospered for a while, a series of misfortunes struck Miller. Even when Miller abandoned the area, Two Guns and its inhabitants continued to suffer.

Two Guns is currently a ghost town.

The remnants of the zoo and the gas station remain, as does the cave.

Actor Russell Crowe bought Two Guns in 2011 to shoot a Westworld adaptation, but only time will tell if Hollywood is immune to the curse.

View of Old and Abandoned Two Guns
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Stop by Standin' on the Corner Park

Winslow, Arizona, which was once the largest in the northern portion of the state, sank into a slump.

Winslow was a well-known tourist destination amid Arizona's desert expanse during the height of Route 66 tourism.

The town is so well-known that the Eagles, who the band fathers like but whom everyone else despises, referenced it in their iconic rock anthem "Take It Easy."

Mark Skalny / Shutterstock.com

Because of the completion and opening of the transnational I-40 freeway, Winslow's portion of Route 66 was no longer an important corridor.

A lot of companies went out of business after the route stopped.

People believe it's the Eagles song that saved the city.

Mark Skalny / Shutterstock.com

If you visit Winslow, you can see the spot where they sang those lyrics.

A monument of a 1970s guy dressed in jeans, boots, and a vest, with a guitar balanced on his toe, stands on the corner of North Kinsley Avenue and Route 66.

Many people stop by Winslow's Memorial Park to take pictures with the monument and pay homage to the hit that helped rejuvenate the town.

Walk Along First Street Pathway Park

Even if you're not like trains or railroads in general, you should still pay a visit to the nearby First Street Pathway Park.

As you make your approach towards the totem pole, you'll come face to face with the railway. In addition to the station clock, there are lots of signage for this route.

The line itself tells a lot of train history.

Take your time and wander around the park; it's peaceful and teaches you a lot about the city and the railroad at the same time.

Go on a Spooky Adventure at Apache Death Cave

View of Apache Death Cave
Marine 69-71, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

In 1878, Apaches raiders murdered all but three individuals in a Navajo camp and took three young girls hostage.

This cave took its name from the incident.

The Navajos sent vengeance-seeking men to avenge their people, but they were unable to find them.

The Apaches, on the other hand, had just finished a new attack and were still present.

View of Apache Death Cave with a Kid
Marine 69-71, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

In an underground cave, scouts discovered them thanks to the smoke their fires produced.

As soon as the Navajos killed the guards, they set fire to the cave's entrance, filling it with smoke.

When the Navajo learned about the death of the three girls despite negotiation, they abandoned 42 Apaches within the cave, where they died from inhalation of the smokey air.

Some people still believe the region is cursed even now.

This Route 66 cave is now open for exploration, but beware of ghosts!

Learn About Arizona's History at Old Trails Museum

Arizona has been a cultural crossroads since the Westward Expansion of Native American tribes started here.

This history is on exhibit in the Old Trails Museum.

You'll find a diverse collection of artifacts throughout history at the museum, including prehistoric meteor craters and ancient Columbian mammoths.

There are exhibits about the Laguna, Navajo, and Hopi people and information about early settlers' trails and various railway lines that shaped Winslow's history.

Several exhibits explore Winslow and its past.

Winslow people volunteered their oral histories, which are now part of the collections.

The collections include artifacts, papers, pictures, and textiles.

Wander Around Homolovi State Park

View of Homolovi State Park
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Homolovi State Park has many ancient ruins that have shaped history.

The ruins of the Homolovi village, which existed before the Anasazi people moved north to join the Hopi, may be found about 15 minutes from downtown Winslow, Arizona.

Many of the Hopi's ancestors descend from the Anasazi people who built the pueblo.

Therefore the Homolovi site is significant to them today.

View of Homolovi State Park
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You can explore the ruins and the surrounding desert scenery while walking along the park's paths.

An open-to-the-public Hopi tourist center houses historical artifacts and the evolving art of present Hopi members, along with ancient pottery, stone tools, and bone tools.

There is a tent camping and RV available, which is ideal for taking in the nightlife of Arizona.

Shop Unique Items at La Posada Hotel's Unique Gift Shops

The Santa Fe Railway built La Posada Hotel & Gardens in 1929, and it's now a historic landmark.

Perhaps the last magnificent train hotel, it underwent renovations in 1997 and reopened to the public.

Visitors to La Posada Hotel may purchase one-of-a-kind products and items produced mainly for the region in the town's gift stores.

Handpicked native items are available here, no matter your interests or age.

Its Zapotec Pottery section features collectibles from Mexico and the Four Corners.

Old Route 66 memorabilia, hand-woven Navajo rugs, and jewelry designed by renowned local Native American artists are also available.

Native American tribes in the Southwest produce a wide range of crafts, including hand-carved Kachina dolls.

Be Amazed at Little Painted Desert County Park

View of the Little Painted Desert County Park
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Tourists visiting Winslow usually overlook this little park.

Well, they're surely missing out a lot.

The park got its name from the delicate rock hues that it shows.

Parking and bathrooms are available for visitors, along with a paved walk.

View of the Little Painted Desert County Park
Jeffrey B. Ross / Shutterstock.com

As the route continues to drop in elevation, it eventually enters the desert.

Make sure you have plenty of water and know the techniques and routes to get down and back, especially if you're traveling alone because hikers tend to get lost out there.

Be sure to plan ahead of time.

View of the Little Painted Desert County Park
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Bring Home a Piece of Winslow at Arizona 66 Trading Company

Before leaving town, pick up unique gifts at this rural store.

If you're searching for T-shirts, art, local jewelry, or home décor, this is the place to go.

The store exudes a Wild West vibe.

View of Arizona 66 Trading Company
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In the heart of town, it's right on Route 66 and easy to spot.

If you don't have much room in your suitcase, small souvenirs like Route 66 fridge magnets and intriguing postcards might serve as inspiration for your photos while in Winslow.

Taste Relic Road Brewing Company's Locally Made Beers

Relic Road Brewing Company is the perfect place to unwind after a hard day of sightseeing.

Locally manufactured alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks are available at this Arizonian pub, so there's something for everyone.

This pub is a fantastic location to go to if you want to experience an actual Texan locality since it is family-friendly, ideal for large parties, and full of Southern charm.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Take Photos With the Giant Rabbit and Signage at Jack Rabbit Trading Post

A Sign at Jack Rabbit Trading Post
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Are you a fan of the Disney Animated Movie Cars?

Route 66 may be a familiar setting, so is Radiator Springs.

One of the signages in this fictional town alludes to the one in Jack Rabbit Trading Post.

However, a Ford Model T appears instead of the jackrabbit logo on the "HERE IT IS:" signage.

In real life, Jack Rabbit Trading Post is a souvenir stand where you can buy rabbit-themed items.

It may be worth the trip a little further away from Winslow, just 19 minutes from downtown, to check out this attraction.

It is the first one of the five surviving attractions along Route 66.

Statue in Jack Rabbit Trading Post
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The Jack Rabbit Trading Post, which first opened for business in the 1940s, has seen the rise and fall of Route 66 and ownership changes.

Its success may be primarily traced to savvy marketing by the original owner, James Taylor, who placed billboards along the Mother Road from Arizona to Missouri, a strategy subsequently emulated by a slew of tourist attractions across the United States.

In the end, a "HERE IT IS" billboard stood near the trading post, depicting the store's distinctive jackrabbit logo.

Only the famous sign, repainted every few years, is left on the billboards.

Final Thoughts

While your sole knowledge of Winslow comes from an old rock band or an old slide presentation put together by your high school astronomy teacher, you should try seeing what the town has to offer.

Local history and the Arizona wilderness are just waiting to be discovered, whether it's at a museum, on a lake, or while strolling around town.

The vacation to Winslow will be an unforgettable experience no matter what you decide to do there.