The city of Walla Walla is in southeastern Washington state near the Oregon border. It enjoys warm, dry Mediterranean summer weather, and numerous creeks running through town water the abundant greenery in its parks and gardens. The Walla Walla Valley bursts with agricultural fertility, particularly in the making of grapes for the numerous top-class wineries. Among the city’s attractions are galleries, museums, a symphony orchestra, antique shops, and fine dining. Nearby are opportunities for hiking, boating, and other outdoor activities. Here are the top locations for vacation rentals in and around Walla Walla.
1. Central Walla Walla
Downtown Walla Walla is a great place to discover on foot, and you can pick up walking tour maps at the Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center. Besides the art in its numerous galleries and museums, public outdoor art adorns its parks and tree-lined streets. If you are a wine connoisseur, you can take advantage of dozens of wine-tasting rooms and take tours to visit wineries in the surrounding countryside. The Kirkman House Museum in one of the city’s oldest mansions and highlights local history. The kids will love the Children’s Museum of Walla Walla with its interactive displays. For a truly unusual experience, check out the unique Museum of Un-Natural History.
2. North Walla Walla
Vacation rentals in North Walla Walla have convenient access to the Veterans Memorial Golf Course, which allows you to play 18 holes in the beautiful landscape of the foothills of the Blue Mountains. The scenic campus of Whitman College has two fascinating collections of artwork. The Sheehan Gallery houses the Davis Collection of Asian Art as well as other rotating exhibits. The Stevens Gallery at Reid Center focuses on local artists and their work.
3. Walla Walla East
The suburb of Walla Walla East is close to lovely Pioneer Park. The whole family will enjoy Pioneer Park Aviary, where you can see about 50 species of colorful birds, including doves, pheasants, geese, and ducks. Also nearby is Bennington Lake, a beautiful spot with spectacular views that’s perfect for boating and fishing for rainbow trout.
4. Walla Walla/College Place
The town of College Place adjoins Walla Walla on its west side and serves as a city suburb. It’s home to the attractive campus of Walla Walla University. Nearby Fort Walla Walla Museum has absorbing displays that highlight local Native American culture and pioneer history. The Whitman Mission National Historic Site west of town focuses on a particular historical incident. While you’re there, you can observe wildlife such as deer, beavers, otters, and raccoons.
The historic town of Waitsburg is northeast of Walla Walla on the old Lewis and Clark Trail. It’s historical society hosts the Bruce Memorial Museum, which offers a look at local history by means of a restored Victorian era mansion. Nearby is Lewis and Clark Trail State Park, a lovely spread of old growth ponderosa pine and cottonwood trees along a riverside where you can enjoy picnicking, hiking, and fishing.
The town of Dayton lies a few miles northeast of Waitsburg, and it’s known for its historical ambiance and proximity to recreational opportunities. The Dayton Historic Depot is a museum with exhibits that celebrate the state’s oldest railway station. The Bowman House Museum and Garden offers a look into local history. The Palus Artifact Museum has a fascinating collection of objects from the history of the local Palus Native American tribe. In the nearby Umatilla National Forest, you can hike and observe wildlife. The Blue Mountains have winter resorts for skiing and snowboarding.
7. Milton-Freewater, Oregon
The town of Milton-Freewater lies across the Oregon border just south of Walla Walla. Its vineyards, orchards, and wheat fields lie along the Walla Walla River with the picturesque backdrop of the Blue Mountains. To complement the high-quality wine from the area wineries, local Petits Noirs Chocolates turns out a boutique selection of fine sweets. Recreational opportunities include a municipal golf course, a skate park, and an aquatic center with water slides and a sand volleyball court.
The town of Wallula is west of Walla Walla at the mouth of the Walla Walla River where it joins the larger Columbia River. The site is extremely important in the history of the Lewis and Clark expedition and the Oregon Trail. Madame Dorion Memorial Park, a pleasant expanse of grasslands and trees at the river junction, commemorates Marie Dorion, the second Native American woman after Sacajawea to journey overland to the west. Nearby is the Wallula Gap, a passage of the Columbia River through a basalt corridor marked by the iconic Twin Sisters basalt pillars.
The town of Burbank is northwest of Walla Walla where the Snake River flows into the Columbia River. All but surrounded by rivers and lakes, it’s a great place for swimming, sailing, power boating, waterskiing, and other water sports. The town is also a gateway to McNary National Wildlife Refuge, a beautiful expanse of grasslands, wetlands, streams, ponds, and islands that are home to numerous bird species, including American white pelicans and ospreys. You can enjoy hiking, horseback riding, photography, and wildlife observation on its trails.
The city of Pasco lies across the Snake River from Burbank. Sacajawea State Park at the river mouth has breathtaking views of the rivers and an interpretive center with displays on the Lewis and Clark expedition. It’s the beginning of the 23-mile Sacajawea Heritage Trail, which winds along the Columbian River past the Port of Pasco, Wade Park, Chiawana Park, and on through the cities of Richland and Kennewick. You can follow the trail on foot or by bicycle. Downtown Pasco has a popular farmer’s market where you can buy fresh local produce.
The city of Kennewick is across the Columbia River from Pasco. Like Pasco, it is part of the Tri-City area in Washington State, which also includes the city of Richland to the northwest. Downtown Kennewick features outdoor sculptures, historic buildings, art galleries, wine tasting rooms, and fine dining. Clover Island in the Columbia River is a scenic location that has a lighthouse, a yacht club, restaurants, walking and cycling trails, and a public plaza.