Published 12/03/2019 at 2:52 PM PDT
By OREGON TRAVEL DAILY STAFF
(Walla, Walla, Washington) – Tourism officials at the official visitors center of Walla Walla, Washington say winter is a special time of year, and the rugged-yet-sophisticated place has a nickname that’s well deserved: Walla WallaLand. This unofficial capital of Washington’s wine country has a mesmerizing blend of unique aspects for the season that causes it to live up to the name.
A variety of means of quiet repose and rigorous activities comprise a myriad of reasons to head out to southeastern Washington – about four hours from either Seattle or Portland, Oregon.
During Winter WallaLand, the town heats up with a world of winter festivities, each with its own uniquely Walla Walla charm. And Walla Walla’s renowned winemakers and chefs finally get a chance to catch their breath after fall harvest, affording them just a bit more time to chat with their visitors.
From bucolic retreats to hotspots placed perfectly in Walla Walla’s charming downtown, Walla Walla’s hotels and bed and breakfasts offer rates unattainable in warmer months. It’s also when tables at Walla Walla’s most beloved restaurants are available on just the right night and just the right time.
The region tempts visitors to get outside, even in winter. Rare is the year where Walla Walla does not celebrate a White Christmas, with plenty of hills for sledding, including 44-acre Pioneer Park in the heart of the city. Skiers and snowboarders find a playground of their own in nearby Ski Bluewood, and the Blue Mountains also offer miles of pristine hiking trails, perfect for snowshoe excursions.
The holidays are particularly special. Guests gather around the Thanksgiving table, then treat themselves to shopping and wine tasting, and special events such as Holiday Barrel (Dec. 6-8), and The Parade of Lights (Dec. 7) sets Main Street ablaze with an annual nighttime tradition. An expedition into the Umatilla National Forest to cut your own Christmas tree is yet another family tradition.
The draw of winter extends with February is for Foodies, celebrating Walla Walla’s cuisine with a month of specially priced tasting menus, wine pairings, cooking classes, and more.
“A winter trip to Walla Walla might be a revelation to some, but for the many who have chosen to spend time here during the season, they find an experience unlike at any other time of year,” said Ron Williams, CEO of Visit Walla Walla. “At its heart, Walla Walla is a friendly small town, and those roots are particularly on display for all to enjoy during the holiday season. But the sophistication of the town’s wine and culinary scene are also as accessible as any time of the year. And the outdoor winter activities mean there is a little something for everyone to enjoy.”
Various winter lodging deals are offered now as well as ways to enjoy Washington wine country at at www.wallawalla.org/winter.
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