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Standin on the corner road trip

Phoenix to Winslow, Arizona

Who doesn’t love a good Americana road trip? While dropping into Phoenix for a few days, one of my daytrip adventures was a 400 mile, 9-hour road trip from Phoenix through Sedona to Flagstaff, on to Meteor Crater, via Route 66 to Winslow and back cross-country to Phoenix. Just me, a Mustang convertible and a wide open road ahead ... Perfect!

Full disclosure: this post is for road trips junkies who and enjoy stopping at sights along the way. Join me as I journey along highway 87 with stops at Tonto’s Land Bridge, the Eagles famous “Standin on the Corner” in Winslow Arizona on Route 66, the Posada hotel and the Meteor Crater impact zone.

Tonto’s Land Bridge

Tonto's Land Bridge, ArizonaHeading north on Highway 87 about an hour out of Phoenix (near Payson) is the Tonto Land Bridge. This breath-taking natural rock formation sits 400 feet across the top and 185 feet high and is one of the largest land bridges in the world. With a natural spring flowing over the edge creating a small waterfall, it’s not just any land bridge. Easy to access and well worth the stopover on your adventure. For strollers or those with special needs, the National Park has lots of parking options close to the bridge or walk the trails to get a good view of the area. Admission is $5 for adults and $2 for youths and it’s open 10-4pm. Arrive early and allow yourself ample time to explore before the gates close.

After some wicked … desert highwayAfter some wicked hills (when trucks have to stop at the top of the hills to pre-test their brakes before a 6 mile twisted descent, you know you have some major hills ahead) and glorious mountain views, the beauty of the Sonoran desert opens up with roads that stretch on like they’ll never end …

 

Standin on the Corner in Winslow, Arizona

Winslow, Arizona lays claim to the corner the Eagles made famous in the song “Take it Easy” ...

Standin on the corner in Winslow, Arizona,

such a fine sight to see,

a girl, my lord, in a flatbed ford,

slowin down to take a look at me ….

Standin on the Corner in Winslow ArizonaOn the main corner along Route 66 you can visit the corner store, called Standin On the Corner, cranking out Eagles classics. Across the street, have your picture taken with a statue of the musician standing on the corner in front of a mural of the girl in the flatbed ford while the music of the Eagles waxes nostalgic. A fun place to visit and bring a piece of this iconic song to life. It was interesting meeting all manner of people who came to the iconic corner from around the country to experience a part of American culture.

La Posada

railroads opened up the wild westPart of the early railroad network (early 1900’s), La Posada is a landmark historic hotel from the chain made famous by the Harvey family. Rumour has it that Mr. Harvey opened this chain of hotels (the original hotel chain in the US supposedly) along the western frontier rail corridor and took the scandalous approach to bring women into the frontier and using them as waitresses in his restaurants. Whether he had the forethought to know that these women would meet and marry the frontiersmen and populate the west, his, at the time scandalous approach he built a vibrant network of hotels deep into the wild west – even today.

La Posada, Winslow, ArizonaDesigned by the famed architect Mary Coulter, La Posada is still one of the most highly acclaimed hotels in Arizona. Designed with the Spanish hacienda influence and with almost 50 completely restored guest rooms (all with unique celebrity names), restaurants, gardens and some say a few ghosts, this is one historic treasure you need to stop at to see.

Reservations can be booked directly with La Posada reservations, and you can check out recent reviews on TripAdvisor.

Meteor Impact Zone

meteor impact zoneSpace continues to fascinate us for its immense scope of what we barely know and understand. The Meteor Impact Zone, just outside of Winslow, is where space meets earth. For space buffs in your family or those simply amazed by the raw force of nature, this is an enlightening educational excursion stop.

Fifty thousand (yes, that’s 50,000) years ago a chunk of meteorite about the size of a school bus impacted earth just outside Winslow, Arizona at 26,000 mph. The impact force created a crater about 2 miles around in diameter, and more than 500 feet deep – still the best preserved meteor impact site in the world. The raw energy of the impact threw debris for miles and obliterated everything in its zone. If you drive the required 6 miles off Highway 180 to get to the crater, it’s a clearly visible change on the flat horizon with large rock debris in a wide zone, proof to the awesome power of this impact.

Panorama view from the observation platformTwo observation platforms give you a deeper impression of the immensity of the crater. Two short movies (on the half hour) recreate and educate the historical impact site and a guide-led tour gives you a much more personal understanding of the site.

It’s worth nothing that despite the desert flatness, you’re almost 7000’ above sea level and simply walking up the 30 or so stairs to the upper viewing platform can leave you winded, so caution is required for the over mile-high reduction in oxygen.  Admission is $15 per adult, $12 per child, and a full gift shop and Subway restaurant are on site for food and memento’s. At the Meteor crater visitor center you’ll also find an Apollo space capsule, and the Astronaut Wall of Fame that bears checking out for those historic pioneering names.

What to do in Arizona

impressive Bell Rock, ArizonaKeep in mind while travelling the Arizona desert-scapes, there are a host of other great stops to include in your itinerary. Here are a few suggestions courtesy of the Arizona Tourism Board:

My recommendation? Take a drive (convertible recommended) north and east from Phoenix along Highway 87 to Winslow, Arizona and see Arizona’s natural wonders (Tonto’s Landbridge), forces of nature (Meteor crater impact zone), and reminisce the force that is the Eagles (and take your picture on the corner of route 66 with the girl in a flatbed ford).

Have you visited one of these destinations or have another recommendation in the area? We’d love to hear what you enjoyed. Chat with us on Twitter, or drop us a note on Facebook.

Viator

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