Image: Richard Duval

When it comes to weekend getaways, Walla Walla, Washington, is a destination that’s fun to say and even more enjoyable to visit—especially as the autumn and winter months roll around. The Valley’s picturesque landscape takes on vibrant tawny and ochre hues, while an overall sense of tranquility settles across the countryside. It’s also the ideal time of year to explore one of the most heavenly slices of wine country in the Pacific Northwest, and this season, the Walla Walla Valley Wine Alliance is offering a chance to experience all it has to offer, like a local. 

Image: Richard Duval

Created with insight and expertise from resident winemakers and growers, the third annual WWander Walla Walla Valley Wine program offers travelers eight curated itineraries from Oct 3–Dec 15, 2019, complete with detailed guides and exclusive perks. Each is free and available to download now, but to start, first visit WallaWallaWine.com/WWander, browse some of the options and register by entering your name, email, zip code, and the date you think you’ll arrive; this helps to inform grant funding and will never be shared.

One outline proposes kicking the morning off with a tee time at Wine Valley Golf Club. Another is a foodie’s dream; offering upscale dining, Whitehouse-Crawford Restaurant is an elegant establishment in a renovated sawmill. More casual fare can be found at favorites such as Dora’s Deli, Andrae’s Kitchen, or The Green Lantern. Wherever you end up, you’re sure to find intriguing wine pairing recommendations.

Image: Richard Duval

Perhaps crossing the border to Milton-Freewater, Oregon, to sample their hyper-localized terroir piques your interest, or maybe you’d rather taste your way through French, Spanish, Greek, and Italian influences. Revolver Yoga puts on daily classes and a little exercise at Calhoon’s 24-Hour Gym, which offers a $5 single-day membership, also isn’t a bad thought. Talk to your friendly hosts—or call on Whitman Mission National Historic Site and Fort Walla Walla Museum—to uncover deeply rooted history that goes back generations. All of this awaits in addition to countless wineries and cellars both big and small, which possess amazing views, entertaining lawn games, and above all, delectable wines. Needless to say, there’s something for everyone.

With these suggestions in one hand and an exquisite glass of wine in the other, you’ll be set for a delightful time of eating, sipping, playing, and relaxing. Stopping by your itinerary author’s winery is a must. There you can mobile check-in to receive your benefits, including special tasting fees, a 10% discount on two or more bottles at that winery, and WWander Walla Walla Valley swag. From there, feel free to add to or diverge from the day’s plans at your leisure, because it’s all about encouraging you to make the best of your time in Walla Walla. Just be sure to dress for the weather, make any necessary reservations, and check hours of operation before you head out.

Gemlike in shape and in quality, the Walla Walla Valley AVA is one of Washington’s greatly-celebrated appellations. This fertile agricultural region contains nearly 3,000 acres of gorgeous vineyards and around 120 wineries, on top of a cornucopia of other fruits and vegetables. Primarily, you will find Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, and Merlot alongside 50 other wine varieties.

Whether you’re looking for a short and sweet escape or an extended stay, the harvest bounty and charming small-town vibes are just an added bonus when making the trip to the Walla Walla Valley. Many of the stops on the WWander itineraries are walkable, but for safety and convenience’s sake, take advantage of local tour companies, bicycle rentals, or ride share services for transportation.

Image: Richard Duval

For more information on where to stay, wineries and other activities, visit WallaWallaWine.com, and make sure to tag all of your adventures on social media with #WWander and #WallaWallaWine.

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