Walla Walla is the center of the wine country universe in Washington State about a 4.5 hour drive from Seattle. The outsider may not know that there exists in Washington a Napa Valley-like area complete with bucolic scenery, upscale wineries, charming shops, a historic town, gourmet local food and an excellent liberal arts college. Walla Walla sweet onions were the original culinary claim to fame for the area — this modest bulb can be turned into all sorts of delectable forms, my personal favorite is the sweet onion jam.
There are numerous wineries to visit. Check the following link for a list and the opening times and locations: www.winesnw.com/wallamap.html.
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In the town of Walla Walla is Pioneer Park, a fun stop for the family. A great place for little ones to blow off steam. A rather extensive and unexpected aviary is on the grounds. Look through the windows at the small out-building where you can see some baby ducklings and or whatever else has been hatching. Take a stroll down Walla Walla’s main street for some shopping. Stop at the highly recommended Graze on Main and Colville for lunch. Take a walk through Whitman College with its lovely grounds, streams, gardens and outdoor amphitheater. There are various historic sites related to Lewis and Clark and the history of the missionary Whitman family around Walla Walla, as well.
We stayed at the lovely and historic Marcus Whitman hotel right in the middle of town, www.marcuswhitmanhotel.com. Rooms with two queen beds and an additional roll away ($20) will accommodate a family of five. Check their website for specials and or Expedia.com for the best price. The staff was very friendly and helpful. Guests are provided complimentary vouchers for a glass of l’Ecole No 41 and or a nonalcoholic beverage. The bartender made my daughter a fresh raspberry italian soda– beautiful. An extensive and healthy breakfast buffet is included. Certain rooms allow pets as well. There is a little in-house museum with paintings depicting the life of the Whitman family.