My Favorite Places Along The I-40 Highway

The best part about road trips, is being able to see interesting places along the way. While the highlight of the road trip is usually the destination city (or cities), the small stops along the way are a bonus to the trip! Sometimes our stops are planned before we begin our road trip. Other times, we simply stop when we encounter an interesting place along the way. Either way, these stops are a fun way to explore and break up the monotony of the drive. The I-40 Highway in Arizona has some of my favorite road trip stops.

When planning a road trip, we usually plan for driving no more than seven hours per day. That gives us plenty of time to explore and rest. Part of the fun of a road trip then, becomes looking forward to visiting an interesting place along the way. Rather than dreading the long drive, we end up looking forward to the places we’ll see along the way. Whether it’s a new-to-us place or one we’ve enjoyed in the past, it makes the road trip more fun.

While stopping along the way during a road trip isn’t for everyone, it works for us. Some people like to drive straight through on a road trip, so as to not delay arriving at their trip destination. We prefer to break up the drive by adding stops that make the driving days part of the vacation fun. If you’re travelling with children, I highly recommend including a fun place to visit along the way. It will delay your arrival at your trip destination, but it’s worth it. The opportunity to explore and take pictures at an awesome place are a bonus for the vacation memories.

These are my favorite places along the I-40 Highway in Arizona:

Bearizona Wildlife Park (Williams, AZ)

We’ve visited Bearizona a couple of times, and still plan to visit again if we’re in the area. It just doesn’t get old for us! The park has a lot to offer and makes for a memorable visit:

  • Drive through three miles of forest to see North American animals in their natural habitat
  • Walk through Fort Bearizona to see animals exhibited in a typical zoo setting
  • Canyonlands Restaurant and the Bearizona Grille

The more time you can allocate to your visit, the more extensive your visit can be. Various shows and animal encounters are also offered, but we’ve never experienced those. We usually allocate approximately two hours to our visit, which allows us plenty of time for both the drive-thu and walk-thru exhibits.

Some of the animals we saw within the drive-thru area of the park the last time we visited:

Some of the animals we saw within the walk-through area of the park the last time we visited:

Visit Bearizona‘s website for information about hours of operation and ticket pricing.

Downtown Flagstaff

Flagstaff has such a vibrant downtown area, it’s a perfect place to stop at along I-40 Highway. While this city has plenty to offer for an extended stay, it’s also a fun place to stop at for a short period too. What we like about the downtown area:

  • Beautiful setting with historic building and laid-back style
  • Live music and variety of dining options
  • Various shops and walkable areas

The last time we visited Flagstaff, we enjoyed live music and alfresco dining, visited several of the shops, and watched a dance performance at the town square. We were lucky they happened to be having an art festival, so we even got to see some local art.

Meteor Crater & Barringer Space Museum (Winslow, AZ)

As many times as we’d seen the Meteor Crater sign off the I-40, we’d never stopped. The last time we were on the I-40, we decided we’d go check it out … and we were so glad we did! Meteor Crater & Barringer Space Museum has a lot to offer:

  • Amazing view of the meteor crater
  • Discovery Center & Space Museum
  • Apollo 11 Space Capsule exhibit
  • Theater experiences
  • Guided tours

We allocated less than two hours for our visit, and it was plenty for us. During our visit walked to the meteor crater, toured the Discovery Center & Space Museum, and viewed the Apollo 11 Space Capsule. Our limited time available didn’t allow for a guided tour or any of the theater shows. Regardless, it was a memorable and educations experience.

Visit Meteor Crater‘s website for information about hours of operation and ticket pricing.

If you enjoy road trips, you might like my Trip Highlights: Utah, Idaho, and Oregon and California Coast Trip Highlights.

Do you enjoy road trips too? Are there any favorite stops you’d like to share?