Best time to tour Washington wine country including Walla Walla
February 22, 2016 2:55 PM   Subscribe

Coming from Seattle, we'd like to travel through Washington wine country this year eating good food and tasting wine. Our ultimate goal is Walla Walla, but we assume we will probably stop in the Tri-Cities and Yakima Valley as well. An acquaintance advises against visiting during Spring Release the first weekend of May due to crowds. When would be an alternate time to go that would still have nice weather but be easier to find lodging? We will have a car and would probably want to spend less than $200 a night at hotels.
posted by matildaben to Travel & Transportation around Walla Walla, WA (4 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
If you are stopping in Tri-Cities, there aren't any really fine hotels, but my favorite is the Hampton Inn in Richland, which is directly on the Columbia River and adjacent to a lovely park. It's usually ~$120/night. Also, free cookies around 6 pm. Halfway between Tri-Cities and Walla Walla is Cameo Mansion, which is a luxury B&B that is under $200/night. It strikes me as the type of place that people my parents' age might go for a romantic weekend (i.e.: not hip), and it's quite lovely and comfortable.

Spring Release should not affect you in Tri-Cities, just in WaWa, since it's a small town and the hotels have limited capacity. April is going to have dry weather, but it may be windy. Second half of May should be warm - once you get into June and later, it will be rather hot, if you are used to Seattle temps. Bon voyage, and good for you for checking out the often-forgotten side of WA State!
posted by Atrahasis at 3:13 PM on February 22, 2016 [1 favorite]

How about April? There is no place as lovely as that area in early spring. I went on a winery visiting weekend some time back and will never forget waking up to find a newborn calf and actual frisking lambs in the pasture next to our B&B.
posted by bearwife at 3:20 PM on February 22, 2016

The weather in Walla Walla is surprisingly wintry—the summer evenings even are cool. April could be GLOOMY and cold... I agree that end of May is nice, but I do like the summer there myself.

The other issue is that there are few hotels—I mean basically everyone stays at the Marcus Whitman—and there you need to work around conventions and school functions. Like if there's a trustees meeting at Whitman College it'll book up entirely. I personally would try to AirBNB, but I would RIGOROUSLY check reviews on listings, etc. :) You could end up somewhere DREADFUL.
posted by RJ Reynolds at 7:39 PM on February 22, 2016

I would suggest the fall! I spent a couple years living in Walla Walla and in my opinion it is most beautiful in September and October. I would not suggest going on Fall Release weekend, Nov 4-6, but one of the weekends preceding that would be my recommendation. If you want some suggestions on amazing places to eat or even places to stay, shoot me a message.
posted by alocalhistorian at 1:41 PM on February 29, 2016

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