Walla Walla Wineries: A Washington Wine Tasting Weekend
For those of us lucky to live in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, a weekend tasting trip to Walla Walla wineries in Washington is the perfect escape.
A world-renowned wine destination, Walla Walla has wineries all over the valley and tasting rooms scattered around the entire downtown area. The Walla Walla region is also known for its gourmet food scene and ideal weather for year-round outdoor activities.
After living near Napa Valley and scoping out Idaho’s wine scene, I was excited about a Washington wine tasting trip and ended up falling in love with Walla Walla!
How to Get to Walla Walla, Washington
Located in the Walla Walla Valley, with the rolling Palouse hills and the Blue Mountains to the east, the town of Walla Walla is one of the northernmost locations in the US.
Walla Walla is extremely close to the Oregon border and easily accessible from Portland, OR, Seattle, WA, and Boise, ID, and is about a four-hour drive from each of these major cities. It’s also less than a 3-hour drive from Spokane, WA, and about a 1-hour drive from Tri-Cities Airport. Most people will either fly directly into Walla Walla’s Regional Airport or fly into one of these cities and rent a car to drive the rest of the way.
How to Get Around Walla Walla
If you’re coming to visit the wineries in Walla Walla, you’ll probably want to think about how you’ll get around. When I visit, I always have a car coming from Boise and have a sober driver drive us around. If that’s an option for you then, I recommend renting a car or taking a wine tour! More information on Walla Walla wine tours is below.
However, there are great options to hire cars to take you around to the wineries and there are also some pretty great tours in the area.
Uber has also become more popular in Walla Walla, but can still be hard to find one, so make sure to plan ahead—especially if you have a larger group.
The Best Time to Visit Walla Walla
Spring is the best time to visit for a more mild climate and fall is great if you’d rather go for harvest. We went in April and it was perfect. Summer is also a great option, but it can definitely get pretty hot! The average temperatures (high/low) in the Spring and Summer months are:
March: 56° / 39°
April: 63° / 42°
May: 72° / 49°
June: 80° / 56°
July: 88° / 62°
August: 87° / 61°
Where to Stay in Walla Walla
There are so many great places to stay in Walla Walla. Whether you want a cute bed and breakfast, a beautifully designed boutique hotel, or want a more popular hotel, it’s all here. If you stay downtown, you’ll be within walking distance of all of the great shops and wineries. If you end up staying a few minutes from downtown, you’ll get beautiful views of the valley.
Here are a few great options:
The FINCH – This new boutique hotel is located in downtown Walla Walla. It’s the perfect spot if you’re planning on spending a lot of time downtown in the evenings and want something modern and fresh. See current prices here.
Marcus Whitman – If you’re looking for a great downtown spot, Marcus Whitman is a historic hotel with modern luxury. With five on-site tasting rooms and a restaurant serving innovative farm-to-table food and wine pairings, this place offers an authentic Walla Walla experience and is one of the older and more historical hotels of the area. See current prices here.
The Inn at Abeja – If you’d like to stay on property at a winery, try the Inn at Abeja. They are located on a restored farmstead about 4 miles from Walla Walla. Their lodging is rich in history and provides a wonderful way to experience the Walla Walla Valley! See current prices here.
Cameo Heights Mansion – Looking for a charming place away from the city center (30 mins)? Book your stay here! This mansion is located right in the middle of wine country and the views are unreal.
Airbnb – If hotels aren’t your thing, there are some great Airbnb options in town like this and this.
What to Do in Walla Walla:
Wine Taste on Your Own
The Walla Walla winery region is so vast that there are over 120 wineries! Walla Walla also has 40 tasting rooms in their historic downtown, so, if you’d rather do a day of wine tasting just downtown, you can.
If you’re more into the experience of visiting the winery, there are so many great options. Most wineries open at 10 or 11 am so you can start your day off right! Here are my recommendations for the best Walla Walla wineries:
This award-winning, artisan winery was the third established in the Walla Walla Valley. They are actually inside of an old schoolhouse which I thought was so fun! Their 2011 Estate Ferguson won the International Trophy for Best Bordeaux Blend in the World!
Love wine but not as serious as some of those winos out there? This winery says that their goal is “to make world-class wines while having the most fun that is legally possible.” Plus, their tasting rooms are super fun.
This winery is on a gorgeous property and they had a wonderful tasting for us. They also have a collection of seven ultra-premium Columbia Valley wines that have been recognized as Food & Wine magazine’s “Winery of the Year.”
I loved the overall vibe and decor of Gramercy Cellars. Using mostly organic grapes, minimalist winemaking techniques (no or little new oak, no additives), and a lot of time (extended aging), this winery makes some of the most delicious wine around!
There are a lot of great Walla Walla restaurants. Here are my favorites and some that I’ve been recommended by friends.
Bacon and Eggs:This spot is awesome and has a great breakfast and chill vibes.
Popular Donuts: Make sure to get here early because these delicious donuts sell out fast!
The Maple Counter Cafe: This place has some of the most amazing breakfast and brunch food – people are regularly lining up outside the door because it’s THAT good! It’s a home-cooked meal kind of a place with an extensive menu of comfort food and hearty portions.
Graze:A great sandwich shop with fresh, delicious, and creative options.
Welcome to the Traveling Spud! I’m Katie, a 29-year-old from Idaho who quit her marketing job in San Francisco, California to travel the world for a year. After a trip around the world, my heart chose Idaho. I'm addicted to outdoor adventures, photography and inspiring others to get out of their comfort zones and cross experiences off of their bucket lists. Let's explore together! Read more here.