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Tour of Walla Walla Moving On, But Great Spring Cycling Lies in Wait

Beloved for the rural farm roads that meander through rolling wheat fields, Walla Walla is celebrated as one of Washington’s top road cycling destinations. Cycling in Walla Walla offers terrain for any skill level. The nearby Blue Mountains offer experienced riders steep climbs and sharp turns to attack. The flatlands and paved trails that run through Walla Walla’s historic neighborhoods and farmlands offer a leisurely cruise.

And while (as of 2023) the Tour of Walla Walla race is no longer taking place, spring cycling in the Valley remains magical and downtown Walla Walla is a great hub to all of the great rides the area has to offer. Read on to learn about how to make Walla Walla your next biking destination.

Where to Ride

To find the perfect route for you, feel free to ask the helpful staff at either Allegro Cyclery or Bicycle Barn. You can also explore bike routes on the Allegro website, the Walla Walla Valley Bicycle Map, the City of Walla Walla Cycling Routes and Bike Lanes Map, or find your perfect mountain biking trail here.

Where to Stay

Walla Walla has a wealth of lodging options. If you’re interested in staying in the heart of downtown Walla Walla, consider the FINCH Walla Walla. Their location is perfect for cyclists, but it is the team of recreation-lovers, wine aficionados, and foodies eager to share their knowledge of the valley that really sets a stay at the FINCH apart. And if you came to make new friends, the oversized sitting areas, outdoor wood-burning fireplace, and open-air courtyard provide common areas to meet other cycling enthusiasts during your visit. After all, it’s often the friendships you leave with that truly make a getaway memorable.

The Finch Hotel in Walla Walla, Washington
Photo Courtesy of The FINCH Walla Walla

The Marcus Whitman Hotel & Conference Center is a Walla Walla mainstay within walking distance of downtown. Fewer than five minutes of easy cycling will get you to the Courtyard by Marriott or budget-conscientious Quality Inn & Suites.

Pre-ride Fuel

Fueling up before a ride is important, whether you’re planning on a full day of cycling or a leisurely mid-morning ride. So start your day with breakfast at Maple Counter Cafe on Alder Street. Third-generation restauranteurs Kory & Rachel Nagler treat customers like family. Inspired by his parents’ restaurant, The Oak Table Café in Sequim, WA, Kory’s commitment to quality and exceptional customer service is evident in everything from the seasonal specials to the smiles on the faces of the staff and the whimsical décor.

Locals tip: do not leave without having a pancake, because there’s something truly special about pancakes at Maple Counter Cafe. All of their batters come from a sourdough barrel; this old-fashioned process of nurturing yeast makes the Maple Counter Cafe pancakes light, fluffy, one might even say otherworldly. Any omelet or scramble on the menu comes with three of these works of art, so you don’t have to go strictly pancakes on your pre-ride breakfast! Not heading out on your bike just yet? Feel free to indulge in an Irish coffee, topped with whipped cream and colorful sprinkles for a touch of whimsy.

Mid-Day Break

Take a stroll down Main Street and wander into fun shops like the D’ Olivo Tasting Bar, Sweetwater Paper & Home, Walla Walla Clothing Co., Forward Boutique, and 35th+Butter.

Then grab lunch at Sweet Basil Pizzeria, Yamas Greek Eatery (pictured here), or the Wiener & Bun hotdog window, all three of which are located in the Plaza on 1st.

Save room for desert and then head across the street to Bright’s Candies for some fudge, candy, or ice cream.

Post-ride Refuel

Drive or bike to toward the airport at the end of your day for a change of scenery (and flavor). The Airport District’s breweries never fail to delight, with both Burwood Brewery and Quirk Brewing serving a delicious rotating selection of craft beers by the glass, growler, crowler, or keg! Or finish off your day with wine tasting at one of these fantastic Airport District wineries.

While the Tour of Walla Walla was one good excuse to visit Walla Walla in the spring, there are countless more reasons… and not just in the spring. Cycling enthusiasts can enjoy our beautiful views and quiet country roads nearly year-round. Whether you’re a racer, an enthusiast looking to explore new roads, or you simply kick the white-walled tires of a beach cruiser on sunny days, Walla Walla’s roads (and accompanying small-town charm and hospitality) await.