Pow-wow-style Native American Dances take place nightly Mon.-Fri. during June and July on the lawn next to the old courthouse; check with the chamber for the schedule and times. The Hashknife Pony Express hits the trail every year in late January, when riders carry the mail from Holbrook to Scottsdale. You can send a letter along, too, by affixing the usual postage and marking the lower left corner "Via Pony Express." Enclose in a second envelope and send to Postmaster, Holbrook, AZ 86025. Fireworks and "the state's best barbecue" mark July Fourth. Old West Days in August features Old West reenactors, Bucket of Blood foot and bicycle races, arts and crafts exhibits, a quilt show, music, and dancing. Navajo County Fair runs in September. Townspeople decorate a room full of trees for the Festival of Trees on Thurs.-Sat. of the first weekend of December. A nighttime Christmas Parade of Lights brightens downtown on the first Saturday in December.
Although it's strictly forbidden to remove anything from Petrified Forest National Park, you can shop in Holbrook for samples of the strange wood-turned-to-stone that have come from private lands. Polished specimens run from a few dollars into the tens of thousands. Turquoise, geodes, and other treasures are available as well. Jim Gray's Petrified Wood Co. has an enormous selection just south of town at the junction of US 180 on the way to the south entrance of Petrified Forest National Park; look for huge petrified logs surrounding the store; you can watch cutting and polishing of the wood in the saw shop.
Hunt Park features a picnic area, playground, outdoor swimming pool (928/524-3331), and tennis courts; turn east on Florida Street from Navajo Boulevard. The nine-hole Hidden Cove Golf Course (928/524-3097) lies about three miles west of town; take I-40 Exit 283 and turn north on Golf Course Road.
Holbrook offers many motels, some at bargain prices, along W. Hopi Drive and Navajo Boulevard. The two streets meet downtown, where their numbering begins; W. Hopi Drive heads west to I-40 Exit 285; Navajo Blvd. goes north to I-40 Exit 286, then curves east back to I-40 at Exit 289.
Historic Motel: The Wigwam Motel (811 W. Hopi Dr., 928/524-3048, $42 one bed, $48 two beds including tax) stands out as a Route 66 icon and favorite of both kids and adults. Dating from the late 1940s, the wigwams are both comfy and cozy and have original hickory furniture. All are non-smoking. A small museum of Native American artifacts and petrified wood is off the lobby, and you can admire the many classic cars parked outside.
Under $50: Others in the category include Budget Inn Motel (602 Navajo Blvd., 928/524-6263, $26 s, $30 d), Best Inn (2211 Navajo Blvd., 928/524-2654, $39 s, $42 d), Sahara Inn (2402 Navajo Blvd., 928/524-6298, $20 s, $24 d), Relax Inn (2418 Navajo Blvd., 928/524-6815, $23 s, $28 d), and Ramada Limited (2608 Navajo Blvd., 928/524-2566 or 800/272-6232, $35 s, $43 d) featuring an indoor pool and hot tub.
$50-100: Choices in this category include Best Western Adobe Inn (615 W. Hopi Dr., 928/524-3948 or 800/937-8376, $62 d) with a pool, Holiday Inn Express (1308 Navajo Blvd., 928/524-1466 or 800/465-4329, $89 d) with an indoor pool and hot tub, Super 8 (1989 Navajo Blvd., 928/524-2871 or 800/800-8000, $52 s, $52-58 d) with a pool and hot tub, Best Western Arizonian (2508 Navajo Blvd., 928/524-2611 or 800/937-8376, $66 s, $73 d) with a pool, Econo Lodge (2596 Navajo Blvd., 928/524-1448 or 800/424-6423, $45 s, $50 d) with a pool, Days Inn (2601 Navajo Blvd., 928/524-6949 or 800/329-7466, $54 s, $64 d) with an indoor pool and hot tub, and Comfort Inn (2602 Navajo Blvd., 928/524-6131 or 800/424-6423, $70 s, $75 d) with a pool.
OK RV Park (just north of I-40 Exit 286 at the corner of Roadrunner and Buzzard, 928/524-3226, $10 s, $13.50 d tent or RV no hookups, $23-26 w/hookups including tax) is open all year with showers and a laundry. The KOA (102 Hermosa, just off Navajo Blvd., 928/524-6689, $19 tent or RV no hookups, $23-30 RV w/hookups, $36 cabins) provides pancake breakfasts, cowboy cookouts, and a pool in the warmer months and a store, game room, playground, showers, and laundry year-round; take I-40 Exit 286 or 289.
Ten miles west of Holbrook near a power plant, Cholla Lake County Park (928/288-3717) offers picnicking, camping, fishing, water-skiing, windsurfing, and swimming. Anglers pull largemouth bass, catfish, and sunfish from the 360-acre lake. A swim area and fishing dock are wheelchair accessible. Day-use fee is $3 ($2 for county residents). Year-round camping includes showers costs $10 per night or $14 with water and electric; take I-40 Exit 277 and follow signs for about a mile.
Mesa Italiana Restaurant (2318 Navajo Blvd., 928/524-6696, Mon.-Fri. for lunch and daily for dinner, $8.50-19) prepares fine Italian cuisine with veal, chicken, shrimp, pasta, and pizza; there's a wine list too. You can also order steaks and ribs from the American menu. Although the exterior looks plain, you'll find tasty food and fragrant aromas in the attractive interior. Mesa Grill & Sports Bar (928/524-6697, daily for dinner) next door has the same menus but is smoky.
Mr. Maestas (502 Navajo Blvd., 928/524-6000, $5-14) and El Rancho Restaurant (867 Navajo Blvd., 928/524-3332, $2.50-13) serve American and Mexican food daily for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, though El Rancho closes on Monday. Many popular fast-food places line Navajo Boulevard northeast of downtown. Safeway supermarket is at 702 W. Hopi Drive.
Information and Services
The helpful Holbrook Chamber of Commerce (465 First Ave., Holbrook, AZ 86025, 928/524-6227, http://holbrookchamberofcommerce.com/, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Fri.) offers both local and statewide literature. Also downtown is the public library (451 N. First Ave., 928/524-3732, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon., 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Tues.-Thurs., 1-5 p.m. Fri., and 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Sat.). The post office (216 E. Hopi Dr., 928/524-3311) is also near downtown.
Greyhound (101 Mission Lane and Navajo Blvd., 928/524-3832 or 800/231-2222) buses stop at Circle-K.
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On to Petrified Forest National Park