At first glance, Winslow Arizona appears to be nothing more than a bump on Interstate 40. This Route 66 holdout, once a boom town back when Arizona was just a territory, is slowly making a comeback. Sitting on the edge of the Painted Desert in the Little Colorado River Valley, Winslow has been experiencing a cultural revolution due, in no small part, to the amazing restoration of La Posada Hotel and Gardens.
The last grand hotel built by the Santa Fe railroad for the Fred Harvey Company in 1929, La Posada offers a cool and refreshing glance at another era. With renovated rooms, beautiful gardens, an art gallery, a gift shop / reading room, and topped off by 4-star dining in the Turquoise Room under the direction of renowned chef John Sharpe, it is hard to believe you are in a dusty little high desert town.
La Posadaâ€™s new owners have collaborated with the likes of James Turrell and other local artists to create a unique environment for art in the southwest by founding the Winslow Arts Trust. The trust has a large gallery in La Posada, is about to open the El Gran Art Garage and includes the Snowdrift Art Space, all within minutes of La Posada.
Not interested in fancy food and art galleries? No problem. A short walk down the street (past Las Marias â€“ some of the best Mexican food in town) and you arrive at Standinâ€™ On The Corner Park. The park is an homage to the Eagles song, Take It Easy that contains the lines; â€œWell, Iâ€™m standing on a corner in Winslow, Arizona and such a fine sight to see. Itâ€™s a girl, my Lord, in a flatbed Ford slowinâ€™ down to take a look at meâ€.Â The park features a statue of the fellow in the song and includes a mural on the brick wall backing the park depicting the full scene. Often, you will see a flatbed Ford parked on the street adjacent to the park and souvenirs of your visit are available just across the street.
If exploring Indian ruins is more to your liking, Homolâ€™ovi State Park is just a few miles east of town on Highway 87. This park is caretaker to the remains of a once thriving Hopi village and includes picnic areas with barbecues, camping, hiking, and, of course, ruins of the abandoned village. Most interesting are the numerous pottery shards that litter the grounds around the ruins. Feel free to pick them up and examine them as long as you put them back where you found them before continuing on. But remember these are historic and treasured artifacts and removing them from the park is a VERY expensive proposition as the penalty is $150,000 and 5 years in prison (and they are NOT kidding).
Whether you have 5 minutes or 5 days, it is likely you will be able to enjoy a visit to Winslow, Arizona. Such a fine sight to see.
Arizona Guides â€“ Places to Visit: http://www.arizonaguide.com/places-to-visit/northern-arizona/winslow
La Posada Hotel and Gardens: http://www.laposada.org/
Standinâ€™ On The Corner Park: http://standinonthecorner.com/
Homolovi State Park: http://azstateparks.com/Parks/HORU/index.html and downloadable self-guided tour podcast: Â http://www.archaeologysouthwest.org/audio/homolovi-tour.mp3
Winslow Chamber of Commerce: http://winslowarizona.org/