city in Walla Walla County, Washington, United States

Walla Walla is a city in the Columbia River Plateau region of Washington State.

Understand edit

Historic Liberty Theater

Celebrating its 150th year in 2009, and located in southeastern Washington, with the charming rejuvenation of its downtown and booming wine industry, Walla Walla has become a pleasant stop for tourists and new residents alike as they flee the larger cities of the coast and California — be it for a weekend get-away or something more long-term.

Known originally for its funny name and famous Walla Walla Sweet Onions, the long-established farming community with an "Old West" history has seen a major shift in agriculture in the last decade as traditional crops have been replaced by the vineyards of the rapidly growing wine industry. Walla Walla is at the heart of wine country, boasting over one hundred wineries – including some of the area and nation's best cellars – with tasting rooms conveniently located downtown, around the airport, and throughout the scenic countryside.

But don't expect the stodginess of elitist wine areas elsewhere; the area is still an affordable and welcoming community with small town roots, and there's plenty to do besides taste the vino. Walla Walla also offers a taste of Oregon Trail history in Fort Walla Walla and the Whitman Mission, gorgeous views in the country, a charismatic Main Street, and the liveliness of a college town: hosting both the prestigious private liberal arts school Whitman College and private SDA Walla Walla University in neighboring College Place. And should the wine bars and tasting rooms get to be too much, you can always escape into a classically red-neck bar, many of which are clustered near the Washington State Penitentiary in the northeastern part of town. This town is also the seat of Walla Walla County.

The valley itself offers a diverse variety of striking landscapes: bordered by the Columbia River basin and its desert beauty as you enter from the west, rolling wheat fields and vineyards through the surrounding countryside, and the scenic Blue Mountains to the southeast. Expect the best of the four seasons with cold and snow in winter, temperamentally sunny springs, blustery winds and fog in the fall, and golden sun warmed days of a hot, dry desert summer.

Get in edit

By car edit

By car Walla Walla is accessible by a series of US and state Highways:.

  •   Comes in from Tri Cities, WA 50 mi (80 km) in the west and Clarkston and Lewiston 101 mi (163 km) in the east through Dayton and Pomeroy. It passes along the north side of town as a freeway.
  •   &   Comes in from its junction with Interstate 84 (Exit #210), in Pendleton as OR-11 and goes north through the town of Milton-Freewater, OR. The same highway becomes WA-Hwy 125 after crossing the state line into Washington state and becomes 9th Ave through town. Hwy 125 continues north of town along N 13th Ave from Hwy 12 and ends near Prescott at its intersection with WA-Hwy 124, 18 mi (29 km) north of town.

By bus edit

The main bus station for local public transportation and intercity buses is at the 1 Walla Walla Transit Center on N 4th Ave & W Main St. The stops for Valley Transit are along N 4th Ave between Main & Rose while the stops for the intercity buses are on W Main St:

By plane edit

3 Walla Walla Regional Airport (ALW  IATA) (located along Tausick Way 4 mi (6.4 km) northeast of downtown.). The airport is used for general aviation with a limited number of commercial flights with Alaska Airlines from Seattle Tacoma International Airport    

The next nearest airports served by more airlines, including Allegiant, Delta, United Express and/or Boutique Air, from more destinations, are in Tri-Cities PSC IATA (50 mi (80 km) west); Pendleton PDT IATA (39 mi (63 km) southwest) and Lewiston LWS IATA (102 mi (164 km) east).

Get around edit

By foot edit

Within town no place is much more than a half-hour walk away, an hour at the most, and many things to do are easily found in the small downtown area. The streets are pedestrian and bicycle friendly - with sidewalks and bike lanes on most major roads, and low traffic on others.

By bicycle edit

Walla Walla has some of the best biking around! Great biking through surrounding vineyards and wheatfields. To Waitsburg and Dayton, to Milton Freewater and Touchet, numerous 15-60+ mile routes. But mind those hills! Stop into the following bike shops for info on routes and rides:

The Valley Transit local bus service runs in the daytime around town, costs only 75 cents a trip with free transfers, and also provides bike racks on most buses. Its main transfer station is located downtown, and it also runs to the airport.

With many peaceful parks and quiet streets lined with large old, shade trees to wander along and admire the charming neighborhoods, leaving the car behind is more than plausible.

By car edit

Bring your own car to drive around town or out on the country roads with, or rent one from one of four available companies easily found online. Even if you plan to explore mostly on foot, having a car can be a boon for a trip up Mill Creek or getting to some of the wineries located around the airport and out in the country.

See edit

Memorial Building at Whitman College
  • 1 Whitman College, 345 Boyer Ave., +1 509 527-5111, . Nestled next to Walla Walla's charming Main Street is the campus of Whitman College, a small, liberal arts college that has been gaining national acclaim. Stroll its attractive campus with its varied sculptures, including the popular fish balancing a lemon on its lips. In the spring, stop by "Lakum Duckum" on Boyer Avenue to feed the bevy of tiny ducklings. During the school year, consider catching a play at Whitman's Harper Joy Theater or a concert at its impressive Cordiner Hall.    
  • 2 Ft Walla Walla, 755 Myra Rd, +1 509 525-7703, fax: +1 509 525-7798, . 10-17h daily, April through October. Museum and historical reenactment site. Adults $7, students and seniors $6, children 6-12 $3, younger free.    
  • Ft Walla Walla / Ft Nez Perce monument. The original location of Fort Nez Perce, later called Fort Walla Walla, was flooded when McNary Dam created Lake Wallula. All that remains is a marker on US 12 to the west of town.
  • 3 Kirkman House Museum, 214 N Colville St, +1 509 529-4373, . $7/person, or $25/household.    
  • Museum of Unnatural History, 4 W Main (above Tallman's Pharmacy), +1 509 529-9399, . Sa 10AM-2PM or by appointment. Art gallery of Dadaist, and Surrealist art as well as exotic disturbing artifacts. May not be appropriate for children.

Do edit

Year Round edit

  • Wine Tasting. Over 50 wineries in the valley with tasting rooms, starting at affordable and working their way up.
  • Walla Walla Local Music Scene. Over 30 bands and music organizations in the Walla Walla area make this local music scene something to take notice of.

Spring & Summer edit

  • Spring Release Weekend. Have the first taste of just released wines. First weekend of May.
  • Balloon Stampede Weekend. Walla Walla Fairgrounds. A valley classic held the second full weekend in May, featuring vendor booths, balloon launches and the Night Glow.
  • Farmer's Market. 4th & Main (next to Valley Transit transfer center). Every Saturday May through October. Hours 8AM - 1PM.
  • WWCC Outdoor Summer Musical. Fort Walla Walla Amphitheather. Held in mid-summer. Purchase tickets at WWCC.
  • Sweet Onion Festival. Walla Walla Fairgrounds. Mid July.

Fall & Winter edit

  • Fair and Frontier Days. Walla Walla Fairgrounds. Labor day weekend.
  • Holiday Barrel Tasting. Tour local wineries for a taste of vintages to come. First weekend of December.
  • Little Theatre, +1 509 529-3683. 1130 Sumach. Various productions through fall, winter and spring.
  • Walla Walla Symphony Orchestra. Cordiner Hall, Whitman College Campus and other venues, 509 529 8020. Celebrating its 100th year in the 2006-2007 season. Performances with nationally recognized artists through fall, winter and spring.

Buy edit


Coffee,this is Washington after all. Try a blend from a local roaster such as Walla Walla Roastery.

Art from one of the many downtown galleries.

Any other souvenirs that suit your fancy.

Eat edit

Don't miss the desserts and coffee at the Colville St Patisserie.

Drink edit

  • Wineries--There is certainly no shortage of places to drink if wine is your beverage of choice. The Walla Walla area has between 100 and 120 wineries, many of which feature tasting rooms to sample their creations.
  • The Green Lantern. If you are interested in a dive bar, head to the Green Lantern, located on Isaacs Avenue. Popular with a random mix of locals as well as your typical college students, "The Green" will quench your thirst for beer and provide you with the opportunity to test your skills at darts or "beer pong." Beware the peanut-shell strewn floor!
  • The Marc. Has a nice, elegant bar if you have a mind to drink a couple of cocktails or have a tasty glass of wine.
  • Vintage Cellars. A lovely wine bar located downtown.

Sleep edit

Go next edit

  • 1 Whitman Mission National Historic Site (8mi west of Walla Walla off of Highway 12), +1 509 522-6357. 08-18h summers, 08-16:30h other seasons, every day except three holidays. The 1847 Whitman "Massacre" horrified Americans and impacted the lives of the peoples of the Columbia Plateau for decades afterwards. Free.    
  • 2 Frenchtown (9mi west of Walla Walla off of Highway 12). Cemetery and small outlook with information about the largest battle fought in Washington state. free.    
  • 3 Palouse Falls (54 miles north (mostly local roads)), +1 509 646-9218. $11.50 or Annual Discover Pass.    
Routes through Walla Walla
RichlandPasco  W   E  DaytonLewiston
Ends at WA-124  N   S  College PlacePendleton

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