Best of WWander: Outdoor Activities
In the Walla Walla Valley, you can enjoy the great outdoors alongside world-class wines. In between tastings, take a stroll through neighborhoods, in parks or on trails throughout the Valley. Whether you prefer getting active or going sightseeing, these 10 WWander Walla Walla Valley recommended locations are a great pair for your trip to wine country.
These 10 spots were the most recommend outdoor hangouts and activities over the last 3 years of winemaker curated itineraries in our WWander series.
Located just 10 minutes from downtown Walla Walla, Bennington Lake is a great location for a quick morning hike. Bennington Lake is nestled in the eastside district of the Walla Walla Valley, making it a great spot to take a break in between tastings and enjoy a short walk or picnic lunch. At Bennington Lake, you will find views of the rolling hills and the Blue Mountains.
2. Pioneer Park
Pioneer Park, Walla Walla’s oldest park, is just a short two minute drive or 10 minute walk from downtown Walla Walla. The 58 acre park was designed by Frederick Law Olmstead, the designer of New York City’s Central Park. Pioneer Park features an aviary, ponds, walking paths and numerous picnic spots. It is a great location to enjoy the changing fall leaves.
Mill Creek Trail is a 1.5 mile trail connecting Lions and Rooks Park, near Bennington Lake in the Eastside District of the Walla Walla Valley, running alongside Mill Creek. The trail is great for walking, running and biking.
The Whitman College campus is one of the most beautiful areas of Walla Walla. Located a five minute walk from downtown Walla Walla, the campus serves as an arboretum and an outdoor art gallery. Ponds and creeks populate the campus, creating many great spots for relaxing picnics.
The Whitman Mission National Historic Site marks the location of a mission established in the early 1800s. Walking paths wind through the site, culminated on hilltop, with gorgeous views of the Valley. Stop in the Visitor’s Center to learn the history and cultural significance of the site.
Each year, the Downtown Walla Walla Farmer’s Market runs from May-October on Saturdays from 9am – 1pm at Crawford Park and then moves inside to the Showroom on Colville from November – December 12. Visitors can browse produce, handcrafted goods, snacks and much more in this open-air market. It is a great way to start the day before diving into wine tasting. Make sure you go before its gone for the season! Visit our friends at the Downtown Walla Walla Foundation for more information.
The Frenchtown Historic Site lies within the homeland of the Walla Walla and Cayuse Tribes and marks the settlement of French-Canadian traders who settled in the area beginning in 1823. The historic site features a cabin that is believed to be the oldest example of French-Canadian construction in Washington State. The Historic Site lies within the Westside District of the Walla Walla Valley, where you can find many of the AVA’s first wineries as well.
Klicker’s Berries & Antiques is a local produce and antiques store that has been apart of the Walla Walla Valley for over 50 years. While their indoor store features a wide selection of goods, outdoors you can find a pumpkin patch in October and a Christmas Tree farm in November and December. Located on the Eastside of the Walla Walla Valley, you can stop by on your way to the wineries nearby – College Cellars of Walla, Walla Walla Vintners, Abeja, ALUVÉ and àMaurice.
9. Harris Park
Located 40 minutes from downtown Walla Walla, and 30 minutes from wineries on the Oregon side of the Walla Walla Valley, is Harris Park. Harris Park offers day use and overnight camping, surrounded by canyon walls, and the South Fork of the Walla Walla River. Whether you are looking for a place to stay, or to get out of town for a picnic lunch, it is a scenic stop.
Surrounding downtown Walla Walla are beautiful neighborhoods with unique, historic housing. If you are on Main Street, walk south or east to discover some of these gorgeous homes. The streets are lined with trees, and taking a stroll through this part of town is great way to pass time between tasting appointments or walk off lunch.