Washington's Walla Walla Heats Up for Summer: Wine Adventures, Foodie Sojourns
(Walla Walla, Washington) – As summer begins and the heat gets turned up on the tourism season around the Pacific Northwest, Washington State’s Walla Walla begins a quickened pace and much more active roster.
According to the Visit Walla Walla tourism group, this town – a kind of unofficial capital of eastern Washington’s wine country – there’s a rural chic to the area. Average temps in July get up to 90 degrees, which makes morning bike rides the thing to do, taking in the natural beauty of the area. Then later, the groups says local wineries and dining al fresco in Walla Walla’s atmospheric downtown are popular as the day goes on.
This is the time the region bustles with outdoor festivals and events, adventures, highly acclaimed golf, cultural events, baseball, farmers markets, and more.
One thing missing from the region: big crowds. Not that the area is a secret, exactly, it’s just that it’s far from typical.
“One of the remarkable aspects of Walla Walla is that even as it has grown into an acclaimed wine destination, the town remain as welcoming as ever,” said Ron Williams, CEO of Visit Walla Walla. “The weather draws people outside, and visitors and locals mingle at outdoor markets, wineries, Walla Walla Sweets baseball games, and more. It’s an atmosphere unlike anywhere else.”
First Friday Art Tour, held the first Friday of every month through October, the Downtown Farmers Market, held Saturdays through October, and the summer evenings spent at Borleske Stadium to watch the Walla Walla Sweets baseball club, offer regular reminders of Walla Walla’s unique mix of a robust arts and culture scene, agricultural and rural roots, and traditional Americana.
A busy and eclectic events schedule makes almost every weekend a special occasion during summer, too. The Walla Walla Chamber Music Festival (June 6-29), Celebrate Walla Walla Valley Wine (June 13-15), Walla Walla Movie Crush (July 12-14), Walla Walla Sweet Onion Festival (July 20), Annual Dunham Days Festival (Aug. 23-25), and the Walla Walla Fair & Frontier Days (Aug 28.-Sept. 1) all give reason for the community and its visitors to come together and celebrate what makes Walla Walla special.
Whatever the season, the world-class wines and farm-to-table culinary scene of Walla Walla are forever a draw. From pastoral estate vineyards and wineries to intimate downtown wine tasting rooms, Walla Walla winds up an oenophile’s dream. In summer the region’s wineries and tasting rooms, many of which also offer outdoor spaces for the kids to roam, are particularly family-friendly.
Much of Walla Walla’s dining scene can be found in its charming downtown, where many restaurants give residence to renowned chefs who use locally grown ingredients. In summer, sidewalks and restaurant patios fill with those who would never miss an opportunity to dine al fresco. And the farms that nourish Walla Walla’s best dishes invite foodies to discover the source of their meal at u-pick farms, orchards, and roadside farm stands.
For the more active and adventures, there’s golf, and cyclists will find a road-biking mecca with country roads that wind through a storybook landscape of vineyards and farms, and even join a group ride with Allegro or Bicycle Barn. The nearby Blue Mountains attract outdoor adventurists for a hike or ride, and some drawn to the Blues Crew work parties. Birders are lured by the more than 300 bird species that call the area home, and fishing is abundant in and around Walla Walla. And kids are invited to learn though education events, such as Learning on the Land, BioBlitz, and Nature Kids on the Farm.
“Summer makes everything in Walla Walla possible,” Williams said. “Walla Walla isn’t just about wine. Outdoor excursions, incredible food, golf, baseball, and invitations to immerse yourself into music, food, and culture all make Walla Walla a summer trip worth remembering.”
For more information on planning a trip to Walla Walla, go to visitwallawalla.com.