What to do in Walla Walla?
August 22, 2007 9:11 AM   Subscribe

What are some must-do things to see/do in Walla Walla, Washington? The SO and I will be there over Labor Day weekend to attend a wedding. We have one full day on our own. I know Walla Walla is a big wine region, but we don't drink, so wine tasting is out. We do like most cultural and outdoorsy stuff. I'm particularly interested in photography and he really digs history. Also, any recommendations for great restaurants?
posted by socrateaser to Travel & Transportation around Walla Walla, WA (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Take a little drive to the Tamastslikt Cultural Institute in Pendleton, one of the finest American Indian museums in the country: http://www.tamastslikt.com/ . I have 20-30 pictures take there starting at picture 11 at this photoalbum: http://picasaweb.google.com/larrycebula/FMWTrip . If you are interested in history the Whitman Mission is also interesting.
posted by LarryC at 9:22 AM on August 22, 2007

I was there just a few days ago. Very walkable, with streams running through neighborhoods, and a nice downtown.

There are lots and lots of good restaurants -- Creektown, Saffron, etc -- some quite expensive, others not. I was underwhelmed by 26Brix (but not by the bill -- ouch!) but others in the group really liked it. Creektown and Whitehouse-Crawford were more to my taste -- less fussy service and food, basically. If you are on more of a limited budget, or just feeling more adventurous, there are great taco trucks all over town, as well as ultra-authentic Mexican sit-down eateries. I ate at one of the La Monarcha trucks, and at the Yungapeti restaurant; there may be better options but those were pretty good by my standards. And Tikali had pretty good menudo on a weekend morning -- the menu there was more mixed between more authentic offerings and the usual tex-mex favorites. One person I was with got a great to-go lunch box from the salami shop downtown, so that's an option if you want food to carry with you..

There are a couple of bronze foundries in and near town; the one I went into was really interesting.

Tamastslikt is great (it's more near Pendleton than in it, really); the Whitman Mission was more interesting as a counterpoint to the Indian perspective than anything else.

If you have a car, the Blue Mountains, Wallowas, Steens, and the Hells Canyon area are all within easy driving distance for hiking, rafting, fishing, etc. I was told (and saw many lycra-clad people to support this) that Walla Walla is used as the base for a lot of bicycle rides; maybe there is a shop that would rent you bikes to get out into the wheat fields? (I saw a couple of bike shops, but did not ask about rentals.)
posted by Forktine at 2:11 PM on August 22, 2007

Walla Walla is a great little town. At one time it was the jewel of the West.

I got married there and would one day love to retire there.

Things that I would recommend would be to check out Main street for sure. There are lots of little boutiques and coffee shops to check out.

For Food:
Walla Walla has a very large Mexican community so the food there is fantastic. I would suggest El Sombrero for sure, although, if you talk to locals they may also suggest other places.

Hands down Clarette's is the best place for breakfast. It is where all the locals go. A very old mom and pop shop but you can top the food.

For dinner I would suggest Caravaggio's out at the airport. It is a family run Italian restaurant. It is named after the owners Grandfather who was born in Caravaggio. Some of the best Italian food in Walla Walla, if not the best.

Even though you may not drink wine if you have enough time I would suggest visiting some of the wineries and taking a tour of how it is made. It is quite fascinating.

Finally, there are a tone of outdoors stuff to do. Like Forktine mentioned, the Blue Mountains are great. I am a fan of fishing and I have had some of the best catches in and around Walla Walla.

No matter what you do Walla Walla is a great quiet little town with a lot of history. Make sure to stop but the Information building for more ideas.

Have fun!
posted by birdlips at 2:47 PM on August 22, 2007

Patit Creek restaurant in Dayton is the only 4-star restaurant in eastern Washington. It's worth the trip.
Palouse Falls is cool.
Definitely the Whitman Mission if you're into history.
posted by willpie at 7:41 PM on August 22, 2007

There's something going on in town that weekend. Harvest festival or something. I'm relocating to that area in the next week, so I'll come back and post if I find something great.
Luscious by Nature is amazing food, and cheap by W2 prices!
posted by lilithim at 10:30 PM on August 22, 2007

There's something going on in town that weekend.

Just to add: I was told that if you are there on a really busy weekend (beginning or end of college year, wine weekends, etc), you will need to make hotel and restaurant reservations far in advance -- there just aren't that many rooms and tables in town, and if you don't have reservations you may be out of luck.
posted by Forktine at 6:40 AM on August 25, 2007

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