The Grand Canyon is perhaps one of the most iconic landmarks in the world – certainly in the United States of America. Set slap bang in the middle of arid Arizona, it is a bucket list destination for almost every self-respecting traveler.
A rare but beautiful landscape, the Grand Canyon spans an awesome 4,926 km². Many people tend to believe that the Grand Canyon is just one specific viewpoint, but how wrong they are. The Grand Canyon is, in fact, a whole national park area that is crisscrossed with hiking trails and bouldering routes galore. That one specific viewpoint, however, is Mather Point.
Welcoming in excess of five million visitors every year, the Grand Canyon National Park is very well set up for the onslaught of eager tourists. There is a hotel, motel and B&B to suit every budget and travel style.
Although the Grand Canyon is Arizona’s most loved landscape, there are a number of other beautiful national parks to explore in the state too. This one is really just the beginning.
Let’s take a look at where to stay in Grand Canyon and where else you can visit in the area.
Grand Canyon Village – Tusayan
Grand Canyon Village is the most popular place to stay in Grand Canyon and it is not hard to see why. This tiny township has been purpose-built for easy access to the National Park’s main entrance gate. Unless you camp inside the park, you can’t stay any closer than this.
Grand Canyon Village is home to just 2,000 permanent residents, who take great pride in living so close to this national treasure. In the town, you will find Hopi House, an interesting historical landmark well worth a quick visit. The gift shop is one of the best around and offers a wonderful selection of authentic Native American gifts.
By staying in Grand Canyon Village, you are within walking distance of trailheads of some of the National Park’s most famous hikes – Bright Angel Trail, Rim Trail and even Mather Point.
Naturally, no visit would be complete without a visit to the Grand Canyon Visitor’s Centre.
Good For: Active Travelers, Backpackers, Couples, Country Bumpkins, Families, Older Travelers: All Kinds of Travelers
Neighborhood Highlights: Mather Point, Yavapai Point, Hopi Point, South Rim Trail, Grand Canyon Railway, Lookout Studio, Trail View Point, Powell Point, Maricopa Point
- The Grand Hotel at the Grand Canyon – Idea for travelers of all kinds, The Grand Hotel offers nightly entertainment and an indoor swimming pool. Rooms are clean and spacious. The beds are very comfortable and a welcome treat after a long day of hiking in the National Park. WiFi is free but breakfast incurs an additional cost.
- Best Western Premier Grand Canyon – Just a 10-minute drive from the main entrance to the National Park, this hotel has everything you could wish for – swimming pool, fitness center and onsite bar. Free parking is available onsite for all guests. It is ideal for families, as they have rooms sleeping up to four people.
- Holiday Inn Express Grand Canyon – Including a wholesome breakfast, free WiFi, and free parking, Holiday Inn Express is great value for money. The rooms all have private ensuite bathroom, air conditioning, and flat-screen TV. Guests are welcome to use the swimming pool whenever they like. There are facilities catering to disabled guests.
Williams is a small town often dubbed ‘the gateway to the Grand Canyon’. Situated on historic Route 66, Williams has a lot to explore.
Not only an ideal place to stay when visiting the Grand Canyon, Williams is a destination in its own right. In the town, you will find a wonderful array of vintage Americana shops selling all sorts of quirky bits and bobs to take home. There is an impressive selection of all-American diners, where the uninitiated customer may be overwhelmed with the choices and portion sizes that they offer.
Bearizona Wildlife Park is a drive-through wildlife park home to mountain goats, bears, bison – even wolves. An exciting addition to any family road trip to the Grand Canyon for sure.
If you have yet to tire of the great outdoors in William, you can take a visit to the gorgeous Kaibab Lake and enjoy a woodland lakeside wander.
Good For: Active Travelers, Backpackers, Country Bumpkins, Culture Vultures, Couples, Families
Neighborhood Highlights: Grand Canyon National Park, Bearizona Wildlife Park. Pete’s Route 66 Gas Station Museum, Bill Williams Mountain, Kaibab Lake, Route 66 Zipline
- Red Roof Inn PLUS+ – Offering guests the use of an outdoor pool and hot tub (seasonally), and access to the hotel bar, this is a little gem. Great value for money, free WiFi is available throughout the property. There are double rooms and family rooms available. Rooms are cozy but comfortable and feature modern decor.
- Quality Inn Near Grand Canyon – Rooms are uniform but have all the amenities you could ask for, including ensuite bathroom, work desk, and air conditioning. All rooms have a coffee machine and flat-screen TV. Less than an hour from the entrance of Grand Canyon National Park, taxis can be arranged on request and breakfast is included.
- Grand Canyon Hotel – Suitable for families and groups of travelers, Grand Canyon Hotel is a homey and cozy hotel in the heart of Williams. Featuring a welcoming and sociable lounge area, as well as a beer and wine bar, there is a lot of fun to be had here. Each room is themed and has WiFi.
Flagstaff is a city in the Grand Canyon vicinity and provides a great base for any traveler keen to explore the Canyon and beyond. Bordered by mountains on one side, desert on the other and dense pine forests to the other, Flagstaff is ideal for active and adventurous travelers.
Flagstaff is less than one and a half hour’s drive from the entrance to Grand Canyon National Park and is one of the most popular neighborhoods for travelers to base themselves for their Arizona adventures.
Sitting 7,000-feet above sea level, Flagstaff is consistently cooler than the rest of the state, which is much appreciated by newcomers to sweltering Arizona.
Aside from the Grand Canyon, another must-visit spot in Flagstaff is the Walnut Canyon National Monument. Equally as impressive and considerably under the radar, do make time to visit. The Coconino National Forest is home to the magnificent red rock structures seen in National Geographic on countless occasions.
Good For: Active Travelers, Backpackers, Couples, Country Bumpkins, Road Trippers Families, Older Travelers: All Kinds of Travelers
Neighborhood Highlights: Grand Canyon National Park, Walnut Canyon National Monument, Coconino National Forest, Arizona Snowbowl, Museum of Northern Arizona, Riordan Mansion State Historic Park, Meteor Crater, Wupatki National Monument
- Little America Hotel – Nestled away in the dense pine forest, Little America Hotel is a rural retreat in Flagstaff. The hotel offers free transport services to Flagstaff airport. The rooms are homely and each features air conditioning, ensuite bathrooms, and free WiFi. There is free parking on site and the property has disabled access.
- Days Hotel by Wyndham – A uniform but comfortable hotel on East Butler Avenue, guests at Days Hotel have access to the swimming pool and basic fitness center. There is a bar on site and rooms include a microwave for preparing basic snacks. The hotel is pet-friendly and has big family rooms available. Free WiFi can be accessed throughout the property.
- Rodeway Inn & Suites – Offering a hearty breakfast every morning, and with an onsite restaurant open until late, you won’t go hungry at Rodeway Inn & Suites. There is a large outdoor pool and lovingly kept gardens. Guests have access to the indoor hot tub and sauna room too. Laundry facilities are available on request.
Truly a destination in its own right, Sedona is another of Arizona’s scenic hotspots. Sitting south of Flagstaff and just a two-hour drive up Route 64 to Grand Canyon National Park, Sedona offers you the best of both worlds.
There is so much to see, do and explore in Sedona. From the red rock buttes to the Chapel of the Holy Cross, you should remember to pack an extra SD card as you will be snapping photographs left, right and center.
After you have satiated your craving to explore the Grand Canyon National Park, you can hike the Cathedral Rock Trail, or even book a tour up to Antelope Canyon. Given that a trip to the Grand Canyon is often a once in a lifetime adventure, why not splash out when in Sedona and book a hot-air balloon trip. The landscape is too good to not experience from above, after all.
Good For: Active Travelers, Backpackers, Couples, Country Bumpkins, Road Trippers, Families, Older Travelers: All Kinds of Travelers
Neighborhood Highlights: Chapel of the Holy Cross, Airport Mesa, Cathedral Rock Hiking Trail, Red Rock Secret Mountain Wilderness, Sedona Heritage Museum, Honanki, Oak Creek Canyon, Bell Rock, Amitabha Stupa and Peace Park
- The Ridge on Sedona Golf Resort by Diamond Resorts – This luxury hotel offers views of Sedona’s famous red rocks. The hotel features its own private golf course, swimming pool, and well-equipped fitness center. All rooms are either condos or suites and feature fully equipped kitchen and dining area. Rooms are spacious and modern. The Ridge on Sedona is close to hiking trailheads.
- Hyatt Residence Club Sedona – A beautiful hotel with an outdoor swimming pool and outstanding levels of service, the Hyatt Residence Club Sedona has premium rooms and bigger suites available. Great for families or travelers who enjoy premium hotel experiences, the suites come with a kitchen and seating area. All rooms have air conditioning and free WiFi.
- Best Western Plus Arroyo Roble Hotel & Creekside Villas – Situated in Uptown Sedona, the rooms have all the modern technologies you could wish for, including free WiFi and iPod docking stations. Staff are on call 24/7 and are extremely accommodating. The breakfast buffet is impressive and included in the room rate. Family suites and premium rooms are available.
Tuba City and Moenkopi
These neighboring communities can be found on native Navajo lands about an hour due east of Grand Canyon National Park. Small but welcoming communities that are proud of their heritage ties, Tuba City and Moenkopi are a little off the tourist trail but well worth a visit.
For budget backpackers or road-trippers, Tuba City and Moenkopi are great places to stay in Grand Canyon, as they offer all the facilities you could need and are a gateway to some of Arizona’s best landscapes. The awesome – in the true sense of the word – Antelope Canyon is less than 80-miles north of Tuba City and surely gives Grand Canyon a run for its money.
There are some wonderful family-run diners to explore in Tuba City and Moenkopi. Even out here in rural Arizona, there are all your usual big chain fast-food outlets too, should you fancy something more familiar.
Good For: Road Trippers, Backpackers, Budget Travelers, Like a Local Travelers, Young Traveler
Neighborhood Highlights: Grand Canyon National Park, Antelope Canyon, Explore Navajo Interactive Museum, Moenkopi Dinosaur Tracks, Louise Yellowman Country Park, Kaibab National Forest.
- Quality Inn Navajo Nation – Ideal for weary travelers who are looking for a place just to sleep and shower, the Inn is pet-friendly and has onsite parking. Guests have access to a hot breakfast, coffee, and WiFi on a complimentary basis. There is an RV Park onsite with full hook up, ideal for road trippers.
- Moenkopi Legacy Inn & Suites – Moenkopi Legacy Inn features basic but ample rooms with comfortable beds and ensuite bathrooms. Each room has a flat-screen TV with cable channels and a kettle for tea and coffee. Breakfast is included in the room rate and is served in the dining room daily. There is a basic fitness center and hot tub on site.
- Mountain View Lodge – Mountain View Lodge is a detached holiday home situated in Flagstaff in the Arizona Region and is 15 km from Flagstaff. It provides free private parking. Free WiFi is offered throughout the property.