10 things to see and do in Winslow Arizona USA
Updated: Oct 22
1. Standin' on the Corner Park
Most people know the town of Winslow from the Eagles 1972 song “Take It Easy”. Written by Jackson Browne and Glenn Frey. The memorable line is:
“Well, I’m a standing on a corner in Winslow, Arizona and such a fine sight to see It’s a girl, my Lord, in a flatbed Ford slowin’ down to take a look at me.”
Winslow hosts an annual two day 'Standin’ on The Corner' street festival with live music, dancing, entertainment and food trucks. A park in the centre of town features murals by artist John Pugh, depicting the girl in a flatbed ford. It is not certain if this is the exact corner referred to in the song, but for most of the 100,000 visitors that are attracted here each year, it doesn’t matter. They come for the memories, and the song then stays in their head.
2. "Easy" statue
In 1999 a statue was installed in the park, created by sculptor Ron Adamson, called “Easy” . The statue represents all aspiring songwriters. It does look like Jackson Browne, but it is meant to resemble all those who want to have their words sung out loud. It is almost a rite of passage when passing through town to have your photo taken with the statues.
3. Glen Frey Statue
A statue of Glenn Frey was erected after his passing in 2016. “Such a fine sight to see”. Glenn was a founding member of the rock band Eagles and wrote most of their songs. As well as singing lead vocals on most of their songs, he played guitar and keyboard. Glenn also has a successful solo career from 1980 to 1994. Did you know he co-recorded the song "The Heat is On" from the movie Beverley Hills Cop? Such a talented man.
Donor bricks have been for sale and installed in the park. People from around the world have left their own message and donation at the park.
4. La Posada in Winslow Arizona
Built in the 1930s as a hotel by the amazing female architect Mary Colter, this was a Fred Harvey Restaurant and hotel. Click here to read more. It is still operating after extensive renovations and I love staying at La Posada when in Winslow.
5. Giant Totem Pole
From 1972, Hungarian born artist Peter Wolf Toth set out to create the Trail of Whispering Giants. He wanted to place one sculpture in each of the 50 USA states. He achieved this goal in 1988. His 12.2m (40ft) tall wooden totem pole in Arizona is in Winslow and made of donated Ponderosa Pine. This beautifully carved towering totem pole is located in a park right next to the railway tracks. The face carving is amazing and depicts a local Native American. The large facial features are easily seen.
The Sculptures are donated to the towns, Peter does not charge for his works of art. Text on plaque: Carved by Peter Toth in honor of the Original Citizens of Arizona with assistance from and appreciation to (list of names)
Before the advent of motor vehicles and highways, steam trains were one of the only ways to cross the USA. Winslow was an important stop for adding fuel and water to the trains, and for passengers to enjoy a meal. It was an important maintenance depot for the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway.
7. The Art Car Project
This project has seen several life sized decorative and artistic cars installed in town. The cars identify with Route 66 as this was how people travelled that famous road. The cars were donated and have been modified. The glass has been taken out of the windows and replaced with Perspex that has had star shaped holes cut into them. This looks spectacular at night when the interior of the vehicles are lit up. It is hoped that in the future, more of these classic art project vehicles are installed around the town.
8. 9-11 Remembrance Gardens in Winslow Arizona
I was surprised to see the 9-11 Remembrance Gardens in town, with two beams that were recovered from the New York City World Trade Center towers. They represent the twin towers. These metal pieces of the wreckage were placed on September 11, 2002, the first anniversary of the event. They are a sad tribute to the men and women who lost their lives on that fateful day. Standing in the gardens is a time for reflection. The flag in the Gardens is the one that was flown at the Pentagon.
The words “United We Stand” promise that ‘WE WILL NEVER FORGET”.
9. Little Painted Desert
100km (60mi) from Winslow is the Painted Desert and Petrified Forest. Closer to town (29km, 18mi) and just as magnificent is the Little Painted Desert. I found the best time to visit is just before sunset. As the sun moves across the sky, the colours of the desert change. It is a joy to sit and watch, with not a care in the world as you ponder the natural beauty opening up in front of you.
10. Old Trails Museum
Open Tuesday to Saturday, admission is free into the Old Trails Museum, located at 212 Kingsley Avenue, Winslow. It is easy to spend an hour in here and get more of a picture of the past life of the town, as well as chatting to the locals and discovering the things they love about their town today.
In addition to exploring the history of the local area, there are exhibits on:
The Santa Fe Railroad, ranching, and area trading posts
Fred Harvey, the Harvey Girls, and La Posada Hotel
Early Native American life and pioneer settlement
Ice Age fossils and local wildlife
Town life, local families
The Winslow-Lindberg Regional Airport
Today it is a quick and direct plane flight from California to New York, but back in 1929 people were excited about travelling coast to coast in 48 hours. This took 9 flights and 2 train trips to make it in that time frame. A remarkable feat for the day. Looking back at our progress in almost 100 years, it is hard to imagine what could be possible in 100 years from now? That would be almost 2129.
Photos taken in the past show us what the town looked like in the heyday of Route 66, before the interstate bypassed the town. Winslow was a thriving major stop between the east and west coasts of USA. We don't often realise as we speed past these small towns just how busy they were once.
Winslow is definitely a place that deserves more than a drive by, or a brief stop for a photo opportunity. Take some time to get to know it. It is a town that remembers and preserves the past while looking forward to developing for today and the future.
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