The Walla Walla AVA in the eastern part of this state offers superb festivals, dining and touring options, says Paul Gregutt. Read the Washington State travel guide, including the best wineries to visit, plus top places to stay, eat, shop and relax. As published in the Decanter April 2013 issue.
Walla Walla: Where to stay, shop, eat and relax
This converted farmhouse is hard to book but it’s worth it. Along with= comfy rooms in a converted barn, bunkhouse and chicken coop, there is the Abeja winery, not open to the general public, but welcoming B&B guests.
The Fat Duck Inn
Home comforts are the rule in this cosy, Craftsman-style B&B. A speciality is the farm-to-table gourmet dinner offered in the private dining room or garden patio.
The Marcus Whitman
This landmark hotel in the heart of Walla Walla includes a cosy bar, an award-winning restaurant, and a spacious, welcoming lobby.
Vine & Roses
This classic, Victorian-era B&B, well appointed with museum quality antiques, is a few blocks from downtown. The owners also operate a winery, Sinclair Wine Estates.
Bars & Restaurants
This French bistro has frites to die for, along with staples such as croque-monsieur and home-made paté. The wine list is excellent.
+1 509 529 2011
Saffron Mediterranean Kitchen
The project of Chris and Island Ainsworth, this is the centre of culinary excellence in Walla Walla. A tight but well-chosen wine list complements the changing, Mediterranean menu. Expect to see locals and winemakers.
The Maple Counter Cafe
This bustling, friendly cafe has an ample menu of comfort food – farmhouse breakfasts and lunches.
This white tablecloth enterprise is located in a renovated, 1904-vintage planing mill. The menu focuses on locally sourced beef, poultry and produce.
A well-stocked Italian deli, with a fine assortment of cheeses and cured meats, along with complete heat-and-eat dinners.
The region’s premier cheesemonger, with a fine selection of cured meats, artisanal beer and wine, handmade truffles, salts and spices, olive oils as well as fresh bread and pasta.
Wild Walla Walla
Wine Woman In a town bursting with tasting rooms, this remains the only independent wine shop. Owner Catie McIntyre Walker carries a fine selection of Washington wines, along with well-chosen bottles from around the world.
Gesa Power House Theatre
Recently remodelled and opened as the home to a summer Shakespeare festival, this former utility station brings a mix of live performance events throughout the year.
About half hour’s drive from Walla Walla, this fromagerie produces sheep and goat cheeses, offered for sale in the small tasting room. The owners also run a farmhouse gîte.
Walla Walla Farmers Market
Open on weekends from May to October, the open-air market is packed with fresh produce, baked goods, meats, flowers, cheeses and crafts. Food trucks and live music add to the lively atmosphere.
Corner of N 4th Ave and Main St.