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Summer in Walla Walla

Tuesday, 04 June 2019 22:48
Diners enjoy a warm summer evening in Walla Walla Diners enjoy a warm summer evening in Walla Walla Photo: Visit Walla Walla

TASTE News Service, June 4. 2019 — Summer is a season for the outdoors in Walla Walla.

It’s a time when the days start with a morning hike or bike ride that reveals endless natural beauty, continues with an afternoon tasting on the terrace of a local winery, and ends dining al fresco in Walla Walla’s charming and walkable downtown. It’s rural chic Americana at its finest, and it makes summer perhaps the best time of year to experience Walla Walla in all her glory.

Average high temperatures in Walla Walla peak at 90 degrees in July, and most days are mild and sunny. It’s why the region bustles with outdoor festivals and events, adventures, highly acclaimed golf, cultural events, baseball, farmers markets, and more.

One thing Walla Walla does lack relative to many other world-class wine destinations are the summer crowds. Named Sunset Magazine’s “Best Wine Town” in 2018, it’s not that Walla Walla is a secret. With more than 120 wineries and deep agricultural roots fostering a true farm-to-table culinary scene, this unofficial capital of Washington wine country was bound to be discovered. But Walla Walla remains just far enough from typical that it can hold on to its slower pace and small-town friendliness.

“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.

Wine Valley fairway PicmonkeyWalla Walla's Wine Valley, a links course hundreds of miles inland

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.

Regardless of 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 is 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 foodies sample the creations of renowned chefs using 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.

Walla Walla is an active town, too. Golfers will discover the rolling terrain of Wine Valley Golf Club, one of three championship golf courses in Walla Walla and among the must-play golf courses in Washington. 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, see visitwallawalla.com.

Last modified on Monday, 10 June 2019 15:20

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