I love traveling and especially checking out new destinations that’s not yet mainstream! Recently, I spent 3 days in Walla Walla, an undiscovered gem in Washington that is the perfect getaway from Vancouver or Seattle! Keep reading to check out a list of 8 fun things to do in Walla Walla
1. Relax on a Winery Patio
Walla Walla is known to be a wine lover’s destination and there are over 100 wineries to pick from. Many of the tasting are held indoors while standing. While you’ll find some delicious wines for sure, I’d highly recommend visiting a winery with a nice outdoor patio and just hanging out there for a little while! It was one of my favorite things to do in Walla Walla.
I really enjoyed my afternoon at Valdemar Estates. They are a brand new winery that just opened in spring 2019 and their tasting room is designed with comfy couches, shade, a water feature, and tapas to go along with your wine! If you ever get too hot outside, you can always walk back into their air conditioned indoor tasting room. Other options to check out are Waterbrook, Amavi and Northstar.
2. Paint Night at Brushes n Brix
Paint nights have been around for a while but this is my first time dipping into paint! These classes provide you with all the equipment you need to create a beautiful masterpiece with acrylic paint on canvas. I’m absolutely terrible at drawing and I didn’t think there was a chance that I’d be able to make my painting look like the instructor’s. But I received clear instructions on how much paint and what colors to use. It also became apparent that if you followed the steps, you don’t need to be an artist to create something very beautiful!
For my session, we were painting cherry blossoms with a reflection in the water (held next on August 29th). We were given 4 different brushes to use and of course the canvas and the paint. After putting my apron on, I felt like an artist at work! Included in the session is your choice of wine, beer, or cider! It’s a really enjoyable social night and the other guests were so friendly too. We all spent a ton of the night laughing because our painting looked like scribbles. But at the end, it really came together! Brushes n Brix is based in the airport district and is owned and taught by Barb Newby.
3. Fine Dining in Downtown Walla Walla
For a small town, the fine dining scene in Walla Walla far exceeded my expectations. There are a few options for a special occasion dinner and I really enjoyed Hattaway’s On Alder. I loved the Southern touch to the menu while using Pacific Northwest ingredients. My favorite item on the menu was the whole pig charcuterie! All of the meats were smoked to perfection and I’m not even much of a meat eater! Choosing a nice restaurants for one dinner should definitely be on the top of your to do list in Walla Walla.
4. Stroll through Downtown
Not only are there wonderful restaurants in Walla Walla’s downtown district, there are wineries, shops, and beautiful buildings too. I enjoyed walking along Main St between N2nd Ave and S Palouse St. Alder Street was also quite nice although the shops are slightly more spread out! There is not a lot of car traffic in the city and walking around downtown is relaxing. For photo lovers, I really enjoyed the Postal Office Building and St Patrick Church is beautiful too!
Of course, you can never stop tasting wine here and there are many tasting rooms in Walla Walla downtown to choose from. Some of the top rated ones are Seven Hills, Kontos Cellars (cute patio with umbrella lights), and Foundry. If you are looking for an affordable tasting, Charles Smith has $5 tastings and $5 glasses!
5. Visit the Airport District
One area of Walla Walla that I was very excited to visit was the airport district. There are probably 25 wineries within 1km and they are all housed in these renovated WWII buildings. Some wineries, like Dunham even kept the original feel and decor. Another place you must visit in the airport district is the winery incubators. Similar to tech startups, these winery incubators help budding wine makers get their foot in the door. After a few years, the hope is that they’ll be able to move on and have a bigger production and venue. You can find these 5 cute buildings on Piper Ave.
6. Winery Tour in a Tesla
There are several wine tour providers in Walla Walla as it’s one of the top things to do and I went with Tesla Winery Tours. How many chances do you get to ride a Tesla in your life?! It was my first time and the Tesla Model X really impressed me! Tesla Winery Tours is owned and operated by Chris Wood who led me to three fantastic wineries in one afternoon. I loved his energy and endless knowledge about wines and specifically the Walla Walla region. During the 4 hour tour, I visited Reininger, Valdemar, and Saviah. (Tripadvisor)
The tours are $99 per hour (4 hour minimum) and can fit groups of up to 6 people!
7. Stay in a Vineyard
When I heard about accommodation options in actual vineyards in Walla Walla, I was immediately intrigued. I stayed at Armstrong Vineyard Cottage and it was a wonderful unique experience. The cottage has 2 bedrooms and 1 bathroom and can easily accommodate 4 adults. The furnishing is clean and rustic, just the perfect combo for a countryside experience! I loved waking up and looking outside to the vineyard!
You’ll need a car if you stay here as it’s about a 15 minute drive to downtown. I loved the escape to nature and a chance to play with the family dog! Other great options include the Inn at Abeja, Eritage, and the Barn B&B.
8. Rent a Bike
Situated right in downtown Walla Walla, Allegro Cyclery offers a variety of bikes for rental. Although I didn’t do this, I can imagine it would be very fun to bike ride from winery to winery! The bike rentals start at $30 for a half day! Or you can take a 1 hour rental on a cruiser for $10 and go to Pioneer Park! The designer of this park also designed Central Park in New York!
If you want to visit wineries, you’ll definitely not run out of options during your trip! But I hope these gave you some other ideas of things to do in Walla Walla to supplement all the wine drinking!
Thanks to Visit Walla Walla for providing a media trip to discover this beautiful city!