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Taking it outside and out of the box: Fun and food in Walla Walla

By: Melissa Queen

The late chef and travel enthusiast Anthony Bourdain often cautioned against taking food too seriously. “Food should be part of the bigger picture,” he advised travelers. For most travelers planning a visit to the Walla Walla Valley, the local food and wine most certainly play big parts in the big picture of a trip to this region.

But Greg Jacob is helping tourists and locals alike reframe their perception of the big picture of our little Valley, where outdoor adventure and culinary exploration can go hand in hand. Greg founded Adventure-Fit in order to help adventurers who hail from near or far explore the scenic landscape – including the refreshing lakes and rivers – of the Walla Walla Valley, without having to miss out on the fine dining and wine tasting opportunities available around town.

In his own adventures, Greg has gained a lot of varied and wide-ranging outdoor experiences, bringing the perspective of what he’s gained through working with other outdoor adventure outfits and through his experiences whitewater rafting and kayaking.

Greg’s goal with Adventure-Fit is to make outdoor adventure in the Walla Walla Valley easy, accessible and, most importantly, fun. “Our region has a lot of really beautiful mountains, lakes and rivers that are more accessible to people who aren’t total adrenaline junkies,” says Greg. 

During the summer months, Adventure-Fit facilitates full and half-day kayaking and paddleboarding excursions to unique destinations that are close enough to provide plenty of time to be back to town in time for a dinner reservation. 

Participants can choose among a leisurely paddle around Bennington Lake right in Walla Walla, a rather romantic “Sip and Sunset” adventure at dusk in the Wallula Gap on the Columbia River, or a day trip out to Lyons Ferry State Park at the breathtaking confluence of the Snake and Palouse rivers for a “SUP and Sip.” In addition to providing all the necessary gear, these excursions can also incorporate a local wine tasting and picnic. 

Although they require a minimum of three participants, Adventure-Fit excursions are otherwise customizable and adaptable. For first-timers and novices, the excursions can include some basic instruction to help participants become comfortable and confident – and even standing up – on a paddleboard, including an equipment demonstration and basic safety practices.

For the independently adventurous, Adventure-Fit also provides stand-alone paddleboard and kayak rentals. Private lessons are available for those who prefer more individualized instruction or for more advanced paddlers who want to challenge themselves to become more proficient. 

In addition to paddle boarding excursions, Adventure-Fit offers an array of other outdoor adventures, workshops and retreats tailored to suit a wide array of ages and skill levels. 

Through Adventure-Fit, Greg captures the big picture of the Walla Walla Valley: “I love sharing my favorite adventure spots with new people, as well as the interesting history and people we’re surrounded by here.”

To learn more about their year-round offerings for outdoor adventures in the Walla Walla area, visit the Adventure-Fit website at or call (509) 520-0428 to book an excursion.