It is hard to believe that Walla Walla is one of the most unknown, yet amazing wine towns in the United States. Walla Walla has so much charm with its historic downtown, beautiful natural scenery, and friendly people. But FIRST…You may be thinking “Where is Walla Walla?”. I’m glad you asked! It’s just 4 hours from both Portland and Seattle, smack-dab in the middle of these PNW cities. Sounds like the perfect road trip destination right?
Walla Walla is a city in Washington State that isn’t on most people’s radar. It may not be the easiest place to get to, but the hidden wonders of this small town make it worth the journey. Stick around to find out what to do in Walla Walla, and why this place is so special!
If you’re looking for a getaway that’s off the beaten path, Walla Walla is your destination. The town has plenty of history and natural wonders to keep you occupied. From an award-winning winery and brewery to terrific restaurants and hip shops, there’s plenty to do in Walla Walla for travelers looking for a different experience. There are also tons of wineries and orchards in any direction you turn. It is the perfect mix of wine country and farm life. You can even enjoy a wine tasting while watching cattle graze on open pastures!
Walla Walla Sweet Onions are Washington’s Official State Vegetable
Both USA Today and Rand McNally have crowned it America’s Friendliest City. You’ll definitely experience the local warmth firsthand as you explore the town’s attractions.
Two colleges and one university make Walla Walla a thriving college town. The prestigious Whitman College counts Adam West (TV’s Batman) and astronaut Dorothy Metcalf-Lindenberger.
More than 300 bird species live in the Walla Walla Valley. Wildlife photographers, I’m talking to you!
The region has a growing season of 190 to 220 days and an annual rainfall of just 12.5 inches per year on average.
Over 120 wineries thrive in and around Walla Walla, which is the perfect segway into my next section!!
Can you imagine staying in an overwater bungalow that overlooks hundreds of acres of vineyards? Well, it’s definitely possible at the Eritage. One of the unique aspects of this lodge was that each suite opens to a patio or deck with stunning views of the Blue Mountains. The heated saltwater pool here is an absolute must-try! And if you’re feeling up for it, I highly recommend a stand-up paddleboard sesh in the on-site lake or exploring the nearby vineyards by bike!
If you know me, you know how much I preach that location is everything! One of the best things about Eritage is that it’s only minutes from downtown Walla Walla and its regional airport which is key for getting the most out of your stay (and getting to sleep in).
1. Go Wine-Tasting(Duh!)
There’s a new trend in wine country, and it’s making waves across the world. It’s called Walla Walla, and it is here to stay. This is what Walla Walla is most famous for, so of course, it must go first on the list.
I am about to break down my top picks for wineries worth visiting in Walla Walla. If you wanna wine & dine, this Washington town is IT!
Okay, so where are THE wineries you need to visit? Lemme spill the tea, er, wine!
2. Grosgrain Vineyard | Grosgrain Vineyard is located on the Oregon side of the Walla Walla valley it’s dedicated to championing underdog grapes, sparkling wines, restrained reds, and sustainable farming practices. Oh, and the tasting room is GORG!!
3. Foundry Vineyards | Art + Wine, need I say more??? The wines are finely crafted, with low intervention, and low production. You’ll find yourself pleasantly surprised by these organic wines! Stroll through the tasting room gallery as you sip on your wine!
4. Yellowhawk Walla Walla | With over 84 acres of land, this gorgeous vineyard is the ultimate spot for wine & food pairings! Don’t leave without trying the crab cakes!
5. Ita Winery | Winemaker Kelsey Albro Itämeri only sources from the eastern foothills of the Blue Mountains, just near her family’s farm. She’s part of the region’s incubator program, which supports start-up wineries(they receive tasting room space & more)! Loved the descriptions of her wines like “A wine that loves you back, that makes a bad day good, and a good day great. The feeling of being with old friends.” Like, who wouldn’t want a glass of this Merlot?
6. Hoquetus Wine | Musician turned bartender, turned sommelier, turned winemaker, Robert, owns and operates Hoquetus Wine Company. Def show some love to this POC winemaker, who is also part of the region’s incubator program!
Which would you visit?
Foodie alert! Okay, so you know where to wine in Walla Walla, now where do should you dine? As always, I gotchu!
1. AK Mercado | Tacos, tacos, and more tacos – all inspired by the flavours of Mexico City! I tried most and you honestly can’t go wrong. The Chicken Tinga was my FAV though!
2. The Walla Walla Bread Company | Okay, so the pastries here are out of this world. An Italian owns this spot and he prepares everything at 3 am daily so you know everything is on point. I actually got to decorate some pastries in the kitchen alongside him and this was one of my trip highlights! As a self-proclaimed French Toast connoisseur, I can def say this was some of the best French toast I’ve ever had.
3. YAMAS | If you are looking for Mediterranean, Greek, or Vegetarian/Vegan Options while in the Walla Walla Valley, you need YAMAS on your itinerary. I honestly felt like I was back on a Greek island while eating here.
4. TMACS | If you’re already feeling a bit bougie from all the wine tasting, book a table at TMACs! Produce is locally sourced, cocktails are handcrafted, menu items are creative, and the place is owned by a 3rd generation Walla Walla local.
5. Foodscape | if you’re looking for specialty food that may be a bit more difficult to find in a small town, this is your spot. While this isn’t a sit-down restaurant, you can order a meal full of fresh ingredients prepared for carry-out.
It was inspiring to try meals from locals and Walla Walla transplants that have brought their recipes from around the world.
1. Whitman College Sculpture Walk – If you enjoy art, be sure to check out the Whitman College outdoor sculpture walk, a hidden gem of the outdoors. The campus has beautiful sculptures that line pathways and make you feel as if you’re walking through an outdoor museum. You’ll walk your way through 21 unique sculptures waiting for your appreciation of their beauty and skillful craftsmanship! The campus was gorg and I honestly got a bit nostalgic as I wandered around.
2. Lewis and Clark State Park – Spend time under the shady oaks or in the crystal-clear waters at swimming holes. This park is more than your typical state park. Here you can also explore an original monument from the Corps of Discovery Expedition!
3. Blue Mountain Lavender Farm –The farm offers 25 varieties of lavenders for those who love picking and smelling their way through an agricultural destination. You can also shop at their boutique store or take part in some hands-on fun with lavender craft classes, not to mention the optimal location for your Instagram-worthy pics.
One of my future travel goals? Rent a camper-van and road trip the PNW. I might pass through this region again because it was so nice, I’ll probably go twice!
I hope you enjoyed this blog post about what to do in Walla Walla, Washington. Walla Walla is the perfect place to get lost in wine, scenery, and small-town charm. There are so many great things to see and places to go that it can be hard sometimes just knowing where to start! So, if you have any questions or comments, please let me know below. And of course, feel free to share the article with your friends on social media too.
Had you heard of Walla Walla before this series? Have you spent much time in this part of the US? If you’re a local, please drop your recs below!
Hey, I'm Ciara. I’m a global citizen and lover of travel. Want to know more?
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