A guide to the best things to do in Walla Walla, Washington; from wineries to restaurants to where to stay.
Are you looking to visit Walla Walla?
This Washington city has received a lot of attention for a tourist and wine destination. After all, Walla Walla has over 120 wineries, and they’re all incredible.
But wine isn’t the only thing to do in Walla Walla.
Between the sprawling Blue Mountains, the gorgeous sunsets, and the amazing restaurants, shops, and local events, Walla Walla is worth visiting. Here are the best things to do in this Walla Walla travel guide.
WHERE TO STAY
Walla Walla is a small, charming town and my favorite way to experience it is by staying in a bed and breakfast.
There are plenty of options in town, but my favorite is Green Gables Inn.
Green Gables Inn is walking distance to downtown (about 15 minutes) and offers both rooms and small guest houses. We stayed in the pet-friendly Carriage House, which is a 1 bedroom, 1 1/2 bath private guest house with a fenced yard and kitchenette. The Carriage House also has a large, private second level screened-in porch.
Green Gables was cozy, comfortable, and the breakfast was incredible! You choose between four meals for breakfast—options include specialities like banana caramel French toast, quinoa porridge, and savory breakfast tarts. Breakfast also includes additions like fresh seasonal smoothies, freshly baked scones, and cinnamon rolls.
Green Gables offers add-ons or packages to make your stay extra special. You can add a gourmet boxed lunch, cheese plate, chocolate truffles, custom cakes, or seasonal flower arrangements to your stay.
Whether you’re sipping a glass of wine by the fireplace or enjoying a summer evening on the porch, I’m confident you will enjoy your stay at Green Gables Inn!
THE BEST WINERIES IN WALLA WALLA
You can’t go to Walla Walla without wine tasting.
I mean, you technically could, but wine tasting is pretty much #1 on the best things to do in Walla Walla, right?
The county has over 120 wineries and 2,800 acres of grapes, with 35 wine tasting rooms downtown alone. You can read about all of Walla Walla’s amazing wineries here.
Here are my picks for my favorite Walla Walla wineries.
Seven Hills Winery | Head downtown to the bright and airy tasting room of Seven Hills, located in the historic Whitehouse-Crawford building. One of the founding estates of the Walla Walla Valley, Seven Hills focuses on Bordeaux varietals like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec, and Petit Verdot, but also make a great Sauvignon Blanc and dry Rosé. Try the Past, Present, Future private tasting for $35/per person. This tasting pairs three artisan cheeses with a library wine, current vintage, and a barrel sample. It was my favorite (and most unique) tasting in Walla Walla. I loved the barrel sample.
L’Ecole No. 41 | L’Ecole is another one of the very first Walla Walla wineries. Located in an old schoolhouse, L’Ecole specializes in Bordeaux-style reds and what Food and Wine dubbed “America’s best Semillon.” The ambiance of L’Ecole’s tasting room is unique and jovial, with many bits and pieces from the historic Frenchtown schoolhouse remaining. Tastings are $10 and you’ll find a variety of wine for everyone in the L’Ecole line-up, from reds to whites. Keep an eye out for GSM, a name you’ll hear often in Walla Walla. GSM is the name for a red wine blended from Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvedre.
Dunham Cellars | The tasting room of family-operated Dunham Cellars makes its home in a renovated World War II airplane hangar. Dunham has both a fantastic indoor and outdoor space ideal for leisurely wine tasting. Their outdoor area is dog-friendly, with winery pup Sadie ready to happily greet you or strongly encourage a game of catch. Their easy-drinking wines, the Three Legged Red and Four Legged White, are named after past winery dogs Port and Maysy. My favorite Dunham wines include the Late Harvest Riesling and the Syrah.
Waterbrook Winery | With over eighty 90+ scores, Waterbrook Winery is a Walla Walla institution. The tasting room and outdoor space is beautiful, with stunning views and plenty of space to stretch out. Keep your eye out for fun events at Waterbrook and don’t leave without trying their Icon line of wines such as the Estate Syrah or Dolcetto. Waterbrook is also one of the few Walla Walla wineries that serves food, so clear your schedule to enjoy lunch and a few glasses by their tranquil pond.
Amavi Cellars | With stunning views of the Blue Mountains and a lovely patio, Amavi Cellars focuses on estate-vineyard Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon. Even better, Amavi’s wines are 100% certified sustainable. If lighter wine is more your thing, Amavi’s Sémillon, Cabernet Franc Rosé, and ice wines are also lovely.
Northstar Winery | Northstar specializes in bold reds, particularly their Premier Merlot. The most unique aspect of Northstar Winery is that the tasting room allows you to create your own wines. For $85, guests can book a 90-minute Blending Experience and take home a bottle of their custom blend.
Garrison Creek Cellars | Open by appointment only, the tasting room of this renowned winery is a rustic, charming barn. But Garrison’s wines—including Syrah, Malbec, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon—are refined, vibrant, and well worth scheduling a visit.
Charles Smith Wines | One of Walla Walla’s most popular wineries, Charles Smith, is located in the heart of downtown. The trendy tasting room is spacious and hip with plenty of wines for the tasting. Try the Kung Fu Riesling, Motor City Syrah, and the Sixto Frenchman Chardonnay.
THE BEST RESTAURANTS IN WALLA WALLA
Walla Walla is filled with some fantastic restaurants to dine at after a day of wine tasting. Between new, trendy spots or tried-and-true classics, checking out the food scene should top your list of what to do in Walla Walla.
Below are a few I highly recommend for a nice variety of Walla Walla’s restaurants, bistros, bakeries, and coffeeshops.
The Maple Counter Cafe | For breakfast, lunch, or that beautiful best-of-both-worlds meal we call brunch, The Maple Counter Cafe serves up gourmet fare made with fresh local ingredients. Try one of their French baked omelets, gourmet scrambles, or heaping pile of fluffy buttermilk pancakes. The cafe also offers next-level sandwiches if you prefer lunch. From April through November, keep an eye out for their mobile waffle truck that serves up freshly baked old-fashioned waffles in 20+ sweet and savory combinations.
Bacon & Eggs | Bacon & Eggs is probably the spot for brunch in Walla Walla. This farm-to-table downtown spot serves up classics like Benedicts and orange-scented French toast along with some Southwestern favorites like Chilaquiles and Migas. You’ll also find lunch (try the Crab Melt with crab cakes and bacon or the Yucatan-style pork tacos) and plenty of cocktails, beer, and coffee to go around.
Brasserie Four | Brasserie Four is one of my favorite Walla Walla restaurants for many reasons. First, it feels like you’re in a French bistro and not in Washington. Second, I love champagne and Brasserie sells quite a bit of it. The food here is always great. Get a few small plates to share, such as escargots, Pommes Frites, or oysters with mignonette. The salads are fresh, seasonal, and inspired, and you won’t go wrong with any of the entrees here. I recommend the Croque Monsieur, scallops, and the cold potato soup. Oh, did I mention the champagne?
Whitehouse-Crawford | For a special evening, try Brasserie Four’s sister restaurant Whitehouse-Crawford. Crafted from rich history and fresh, seasonally-driven ingredients, Whitehouse-Crawford is a must when visiting Walla Walla. I would recommend trying their Tortellini en Brodo, fried Walla Walla onions, Asparagus-Lentil Salad, or Braised Pork Shoulder.
Hattaway’s | Hattaway’s is a newer addition to the Walla Walla dining scene that’s certainly making some noise. The service is fantastic, the atmosphere is lively, and the food is incredible. A few “musts” on their menu include the Caviar Deviled Eggs, Celery Parmesan Salad (so good), Roasted Bone Marrow, Shrimp Perloo Risotto, and Black Garlic Duck Breast. The cocktails and desserts are equally lovely.
Grandma’s Kitchen | For the best authentic Mexican in Walla Walla, check out Grandma’s Kitchen. Try the Pozole soup, specials like Mexican lasagna, or choose between tortas, generously stuffed burritos, tostadas, tacos, and more. The Coconut Lemonade is particularly refreshing, too.
Big House Brew Pub | Big House Brew Pub has a fantastic outdoor patio that is kid- and dog-friendly and located in the center of downtown. Grab a cold one (or a few), people watch, and order some grub. The food is elevated pub fare and the fish and chips, giant onion rings, and burgers are standout menu items.
Passatempo Taverna | For the best Italian in Walla Walla, Passatempo is a must. Enjoy a carefully crafted cocktail here, before moving on to handmade pasta like pork belly and paprika casarecce or truffle butter agnolotti.
Colville Street Patisserie | This French patisserie is sure to put a smile on anyone’s face. Between the gelato, espresso, croissants, macarons, and beautiful handmade pastries, anything you choose here will be delicious.
Frosted | If cupcakes are what you’re craving, stop by downtown’s Frosted. This cupcake shop serves up dozens of flavors, including lemon-lavender, salted caramel, orange cream, and even Keto cupcakes!
Walla Walla Roastery | This charming coffee roastery is small but mighty, with on-site roasting, beans by the bag, and tasty pastries.
WHERE TO SHOP
There are several cute antique, thrift, gift, and specialty shops in Walla Walla worth stopping at. Here’s a few that should make your list.
Walla Walla Cheese Company | Stop by this cheese shop or visit them at the downtown farmers market to stock up on goodies like Sweet Onion Cheddar, Tipsy Jersey beer cheese, or flavored cheese curds.
Hot Poop | Who wouldn’t want to go into a store named Hot Poop, right? This stereo and video store has been around over 30 years and has an extensive collection of albums, 8-tracks, and tie-dye shirts.
Inland Octopus | Look for the colorful octopus and rainbow building mural, and you’re in the right place. Bring the kids to Inland Octopus to experience a “toy shop as it was meant to be.”
The Thief Fine Wine and Beer | Located downtown, The Thief touts an impressive collection of both wine and beer. You’ll also find specials, events, and tastings like pizza, wine, and beer pairings.
Wags to Whiskers | If your four-legged friend is in tow, stop by downtown’s Wags to Whiskers. This locally-owned pet shop has enough treats, bones, toys, and accessories to get your paws on.
Midnight Oil Soap Company | Head to Midnight Oil for ultimate relaxation. This bath and apothecary shop specializes in goat milk soap, bath bombs, sugar scrubs, soy candles, and natural healing lotions and salves.
Book and Game | If you love books, stop by this independent bookstore downtown. Book and Game has a huge selection of books, games, gifts, art supplies, teas, journals, and more.
Studio Opal Boutique | Located in downtown Walla Walla, Studio Opal offers a great selection of clothing, handmade jewelry, and accessories.
THINGS TO SEE AND DO
Walla Walla Balloon Stampede | If you’re visiting Walla Walla in October, the annual Balloon Stampede is a must-see. Dozens of hot air balloons take to the sky in this family-friendly event. Visitors can watch in the action, from helping to inflate the balloons to chatting with the pilots, or make a reservation for their own ride.
Downtown Farmers Market | Explore the farmers market on Saturdays from May through October. Shop fresh fruits and vegetables, flowers, cheese, honey, and artisan goods from local vendors.
Walla Walla Food Truck Night | The first Monday of the month from April to October belongs to the Walla Walla food trucks. Check out this event and grab dinner and treats from one of Walla Walla’s best food trucks. Options include Maple Counter Waffle Company, A Wing & a Prayer BBQ, Andrae’s Kitchen, and Doggie Style Gourmet.
Walla Walla Riding Tours | See the vast vineyards and scenery of Walla Walla by horseback. Walla Walla Riding Tours offers both group and private tours for everyone from beginners to seasoned riders.
Fort Walla Walla Museum | FWWM is located on the grounds of a 19th-century military fort. This family-friendly museum includes a historic pioneer settlement, gardens, and exhibit halls. You’ll also find fun events at FWWM, like a yearly summer ice cream party, scavenger hunts, and workshops.
Summer Sounds on the Plaza | The heart of downtown at First and Main fills with live music during the summer from June through September. And best of all, the music is completely free!
Pioneer Park | This scenic park has something for everyone, complete with a duck pond, rose garden, and bird sanctuary. Enjoy the day by exploring the tranquil walking paths, having a picnic, or rousing some friendly competition in one of the park’s soccer or softball fields.
FEAST | One of Walla Walla’s most popular events, FEAST, is held in the summer. This event celebrates everything related to food and drink, including Walla Walla’s wineries, distilleries, breweries, restaurants, and food trucks.
ArtWalla Art for All | Join in on an art tour or a First Friday with ArtWalla. From May through October, ArtWalla hosts free monthly events at local galleries, wineries, and restaurants, showcasing the art of local artists.
Sweet Onion Festival | Walla Walla is famous for their sweet onions, so of course there’s a yearly festival to celebrate them. This festival has been happening for 35 years, and includes chef demonstrations, live music, entertainment for the little ones, and a Funion Runion 5K.
All Wheels Weekend | If you appreciate classic cars, the best time to visit Walla Walla is during Father’s Day weekend where the annual All Wheels Weekend takes place. This car show has been running (get it?) for 25 years and showcases a three-day event full of car shows, cruises, a demolition derby, golf tournaments, and kid-friendly fun.
Professional Pastry Chef and food writer, exploring the world and all of its culinary adventures. Parsnips + Pastries is a food blog about seasonal produce, healthy recipes, and the occasional sweet indulgence. It also offers DIY, tips, and tricks to help you live your happiest, healthiest life.
Wow. I grew up there. Class of 61. You have made a very inviting town. Congratulations.