What to Do While in Walla Walla

This wine country town packs in plenty of sips, sights, and more with a historic, tree-lined downtown and rolling vineyards all around.
Washington State Vacation
Washington State Vacation

In downtown Walla Walla, a cluster of tasting rooms means easy strolling between sips. Most have winery maps on hand to help you find ones outside downtown. Notable stops include àMaurice Cellars, Canoe Ridge Vineyard, L’Ecole No 41, and Woodward Canyon Winery, which have earned rave reviews for their award-winning wines. If you’re planning to make a day of it, book a guided tour from a local operator to get transportation, recommendations, and a designated driver all in one.

Walla Walla isn’t just about the wine, though. Fine dining thrives, providing a complement to the world-class sips. Some of the top spots are Saffron, with its creative twists on Mediterranean and Middle Eastern flavors; Whitehouse-Crawford, known for working with local producers; Brasserie Four, for upscale French; and The Marc, where the cuisine is as innovative as it is tasty. 

Work it all off with a little exploration of the great outdoors. Locals enjoy cycling the rural roads, playing a few rounds of golf, and canoeing or fishing the area’s rivers, lakes, and streams. Rent a set of wheels at Allegro Cyclery or Bicycle Barn, which both coordinate organized rides. And within an hour of the city, find five golf courses, including Wine Valley Golf Club, a rolling stunner in the shadow of the Blue Mountains. 

Wind down any Walla Walla exploration with some art appreciation. Whitman College’s Harper Joy Theatre holds performances throughout the year, while the Gesa Power House Theatre hosts everything from Shakespearean plays to live concerts. For the musically inclined, Walla Walla Symphony is the oldest continuously operating American symphony orchestra west of the Mississippi River. Or consider timing your visit with the Walla Walla Chamber Music Festival, which plans two weeks of festivities throughout the city in January and June.

--Megan Hill


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