The Downtown Walla Walla Wine District is charming. The Downtown Walla Walla Wine District is eclectic. And the Downtown Walla Walla Wine District is convenient! Within walking distance of great hotels, award-winning restaurants, shopping, and fine arts, the Downtown Walla Walla Wine District could keep you busy for days on end. To get you started, we’ve put together an easy three-day itinerary for you to follow.
Plenty of wine, great meals, and good company. No drive time.
Stay in The Downtown Walla Walla Wine District
Opt for a quaint vacation rental downtown to enjoy more of the comforts of home. Or, book a stay at the historic Marcus Whitman Hotel & Conference Center if you’re looking for old-world glamour. If modern accommodations and Instagram-worthy lounging is more your scene, book a room at The FINCH Walla Walla, one of the newer arrivals on the Walla Walla lodging scene.
Day 1: The Downtown Walla Walla Wine District Tastings
Your energy and walking comfort are both at their peak on arrival, so plan to visit the just-off-Main Street downtown Walla Walla wineries first. After a delicious brunch at a downtown mainstay like Bacon & Eggs or AK’s Mercado, you’re ready to embark on your first day of wine tasting in the Downtown Walla Walla Wine District.
Make your first stop at Seven Hills Winery, one of the founding wineries in the Walla Walla Valley. The winery and tasting room are located in the historic Whitehouse-Crawford building in downtown Walla Walla, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Built as a wood mill in 1904, the building underwent restoration in 2000 to house the winery and preserve its architectural integrity. The locale is lovely but the wines are what you’ll be talking about later. At Seven Hills Winery, the focus is crafting Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon-based wines that authentically reflect their places of origin. You’ll also find a delicious dry Rosé in the summer months, sure to be your go-to porch sipping wine long after your getaway. In addition to the most traditional Bordeaux varietals, you’ll discover some of the unsung heroes of the region, like Seven Hills Winery limited-production Carmenere.
Continuing to visit some of the “just-off-Main Street” wineries on day one, proceed to your private tasting at Elephant 7 or Forgeron Cellars. At Elephant 7 you’ll discover Rhone varietals in an unexpected setting and go home knowing about one of the best-kept secrets in Walla Walla wine. And at Forgeron Cellars, you’ll be treated to both the classic grape varietals and unique blends from the most exciting vineyards in the Columbia Valley.
Day 1: Where to Eat
Walk a bit further into downtown Walla Walla for an early dinner at Hattaway’s on Alder, where Southern hospitality and honest food await you. Their pimento cheese appetizer and fried chicken main course are just the sustenance needed after a day of walking and wine tasting. And of course, their wine list of local stand-outs is a perfect way to experience some of the offerings from a winery outside of the Downtown Walla Walla Wine District.
Day 1: Go Play!
A visit to Walla Walla could exclusively center around wine tasting, but our Downtown has so much more to offer. Squeeze in some recreation as well. After dinner, enjoy a short walk to Divots Golf for a round of virtual golf! Divots Golf uses cutting-edge simulator technology that captures the direction and speed of each golfer’s swing, paired with top-of-the-line software that offers players a fully immersive golf experience. At Divots, you can play nearly 90 different courses from around the world, regardless of the weather or daylight! Their inviting atmosphere is amplified with a great selection of beer, wine, and coffee to enjoy while playing 9 or 18 holes or simply practicing your short game.
An action-packed day of walking, sipping, and swinging caps off with a short walk back to your hotel to refresh for day two.
Day 2: The Downtown Walla Walla Wine District Second Avenue Tastings
The second day of your Downtown Walla Walla Wine District tasting adventure takes you up and down Second Avenue. Here, you’ll discover so many fantastic wineries in just a block or so of real estate… which means you can squeeze in a few more spots!
On one side of the street, you have Goose Ridge Estate Vineyards & Winery, Moonbase Cellars, and Barons Winery to visit. Goose Ridge offers both wine AND cider flights, as well as an utterly delightful selection of home goods, apparel, and wine accessories that will knock “bring back gifts for wine-loving friends” right off your vacation to-do list. Moonbase Cellars is a relative newcomer (compared to our many long standing tasting rooms) having opened its downtown location in 2021. And at Barons Winery, you’ll get to taste delicious Bordeaux-style wines from storied vineyards.
Then cross the street and taste at Spring Valley Vineyard. Spring Valley boasts a unique family heritage and produces limited-production, estate-grown red wines that reflect the dedication of six generations of family farmers. The family stories you hear while you’re tasting at Spring Valley Vineyard will add richness to your enjoyment of the wines later as you recount them with good friends who missed the trip.
Don’t miss Maison Bleue Winery for a taste of the Rocks District without the drive time! Focused primarily on Rhône varietals such as Syrah, Grenache, and Viognier, your 90-minute private tasting can be scheduled in advance.
Then swing by Kontos Cellars (or swing INSIDE Kontos Cellars, because yes, they have a swing!). Their covered patio is one of the best in downtown Walla Walla, where you can enjoy a tasting of terrific small lot blends and varietal representations.
Day 2: Where to Eat
That wraps up your tasting for Day 2, but you will want to cap it with magnificent dinner. We can think of no better place to make that special reservation than Saffron Mediterranean Kitchen, where James Beard award-winning chef Chris Ainsworth produces inspired mezze, pasta, flatbreads and so much more. Start with the oysters on the half-shell followed by the farmhouse flatbread. Can’t decide between the house-made Gemelli or fettuccine? Have both. You walked a bit today! Then savor the adobo marinated hanger steak with wilted greens and ricotta torte to finish the evening. And don’t forget, local wines to pair.
Day 2: Make it dinner & a show
For a touch of Walla Walla night life, walk just a bit outside of the downtown district to take in a cinema screening at the historic Gesa Power House Theatre Walla Walla. This 120-year-old building was once the Walla Walla Gas Plant, originally built to produce coal gas and pipe it underground to light the streets, businesses, and homes of Walla Walla. In 2011, the interior of the building was transformed into a state-of-the-art performing arts theater inspired by the intimate Blackfriars Theatre in London, England. Today, the theater stages professional productions featuring comedy, music, family programs, films, festivals, and more. This beautiful masterpiece of a building is a must-visit for enthusiasts of the arts and will be a perfect nightcap for your day of tasting on Second Avenue.
Day 3: The Downtown Walla Walla Wine District Main Street Wineries
Main Street Walla Walla is considered one of America’s Most Beautiful Streets, according to an article by msn.com. Winery tasting rooms, boutiques, bakeries, jewelers, and even soap sellers nestle inside renovated Victorian and Beaux-Arts buildings, giving the street a historic, vibrant character. Your final day of tasting gives you an opportunity to take in this beautiful stretch and appreciate the stunning architecture while you sip!
Start the day at Otis Kenyon Winery. We love Otis Kenyon for their elegantly structured and affordable Bordeaux and Rhone varietal wines, but perhaps equally so for the artful way that their rich family history ties into every bottle of wine. We don’t want to spoil any surprises, but just know that during your visit you’re going to hear an utterly fantastic story of how a struggling dentist in the early 1900s went from disgraced to having his silhouette grace the label of award-winning Walla Walla wines. (It’s one of our favorite winery stories of all time.)
Save time for a visit to neighboring Henry Earl Estate Winery or Browne Family Vineyards before lunch across the street in the Walawála Plaza. You can dine on Greek cuisine from Yamas, New York-style pizza and stromboli from Sweet Basil Pizzeria, or a playful frankfurter at the charming Wiener & Bun hotdog window located in the historic Sayers Building.
Proceed to the end of the Main Street strip for your next wine tasting at Bledsoe Family Winery. This is the sister project to the esteemed Doubleback Winery founded by former NFL quarterback and local hero Drew Bledsoe. The Bledsoe Family Winery downtown Walla Walla Wine Lounge pours a flight featuring Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Rosé, Chardonnay, and more produced from Walla Walla Valley grapes.
Don’t miss your opportunity to taste at DAMA Wines, a women-owned winery in the Walla Walla area. Their dangerously beautiful wines embody the spirit of pioneering women who have inspired passion, creativity and positive change for centuries, and every label is a work of art. Their inviting tasting room space features eye-popping artwork and decor in addition to their beautiful wines.
For an authentic taste of Northwest adventure, drop into Canoe Ridge Vineyard’s downtown tasting room. If you’re feeling adventurous, then you don’t want to skip Plumb Cellars for their popular wine slushies on the patio by the Land Title Plaza.
Day 3: Shop in Downtown Walla Walla
Want a new outfit to pair with your new wine collection? Leave time on your schedule for some shopping in downtown Walla Walla’s vibrant fashion scene. Forward Boutique offers a signature experience with master stylists who will outfit you from head to toe. Bring an empty suitcase, or just don’t bother packing and let their stylists dress you for your entire visit! Studio Opal is a specialty boutique featuring everything from Pendleton Wool to handmade jewelry and beauty and wellness products. And Walla Walla Clothing Company offers personalized shopping for men and women in their two-story flagship location downtown.
Day 3: What’s for dinner
As far as dinner is concerned, whether you’re staying at the Marcus Whitman Hotel & Conference Center or not, we recommend a meal at The Marc Restaurant. Awarded “Restaurant of The Year” in 2021 by the Washington Wine Commission, The Marc Restaurant is a dining experience to write home about. Their six in-house chefs meticulously prepare the region’s finest menu of Pacific Northwest delicacies from jumbo diver scallops with risotto, wild spinach, and roasted peppers to Wagyu boneless short ribs with roasted carrots, Italian sweet peas, and caramelized sweet onion jus to name just a few. And with a miraculously diverse wine list you are guaranteed to experience a peerless wine-paired meal at The Marc Restaurant to end your Walla Walla visit very, very full.
The Downtown Walla Walla Wine District is home to some true Walla Walla mainstays, but there are some newer additions we thought were noteworthy. Pursued by Bear on South Palouse Street aims for a style that splits the difference between Eastern Washington abundance and olde worlde finesse. Rasa just past Book and Game on Main Street serves ultra-premium, terroir-specific wines. And Avennia in the Walawàla Plaza is brand new as of fall 2023. We’re so proud to present these newcomers to you. Enjoy!
That’s your Itinerary in the Downtown Walla Walla Wine District.
As you can see, a world of wine, culinary, and shopping experiences await you in the Downtown Walla Walla Wine District. You could quite literally leave your car parked for the entire stay and have a full itinerary of some of the region’s most coveted wines and restaurants. Whether you are wanting to save on the rental car, save on gas, or simply want to stretch those legs, a three (or more) day visit to Downtown Walla Walla Wine District is not only doable. We highly recommend it!