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Welcome to Discover Walla Walla. Here you will find interesting stories, amusing experiences, uncensored reviews, and insider information from a rotating cast of locals who want to share the best of Walla Walla with you.

Writing on the Wild Side #10: Of Ladybirds and a Forest Owl

September 21, 2015

By: Mike Denny. September 2015 is here and our summer is gone in a cloud of dust and smoke. It was one warm summer full of great events in the natural world. Some of these outstanding happenings were the eye popping wild flower bloom early in the summer, large numbers of cloud free days and... Read more »

Writing on the Wild Side #9: Fire in the Heat of the Summer

August 4, 2015

By Mike Denny: WOW has it ever been nice and toasty here in the Walla Walla Valley. July melted into a warm, hazy, smoky mist and was gone. August is suddenly here in the white hot glare of the summer sun. Just east of Walla Walla an event occurred that will force change. There was... Read more »

Writing on the Wild Side #8: It’s the Good Old Summer Time in the Beautiful Walla Walla River Basin

July 2, 2015

By Mike Denny: So here we are, fast slipping into summer; the heat is up, the crops are ripe and the wheat is already turning to gold. What a wonderful time to see what is going on in this outstanding valley. In the natural world many amazing events are underway. The first is that fall... Read more »

Things to do in Walla Walla with Kids

June 3, 2015

By Beth Swanson: Traveling to our Valley this summer?  Bring your family!  With sports, music, theatre, history, culture and education, Walla Walla provides plenty for families with kids of all ages.  As our community gears up for summer break our businesses, nonprofits, and facilities gear up for family fun!... Read more »

Writing on the Wild Side #7: May, A Season of Beauty in the Walla Walla Valley

May 18, 2015

By Mike Denny: May has come to the Walla Walla Valley and draped a blanket of bright green punctuated with hundreds of thousands of native flowers that are scarlet, sapphire, royal purple and saffron over the valley. One native plant currently in bloom is the sapphire blue flax.... Read more »

Writing on the Wild Side #6: Spring Travels into Walla Walla County

April 21, 2015

By Mike Denny: What a wonderful spring season it is in Walla Walla County. The above normal air temps in March allowed for early emergence of many wild flowers, insects/pollinators and the arrival of many migrant birds. It was so warm that many wild, native plants are up to ten days ahead of what is... Read more »

In Pursuit of Coffee

April 8, 2015

By Douglas Carlsen: Walking downtown to get my morning cup of coffee, I pass other coffee shops before I get to the one where friends and I gather on Thursday mornings. These are my regular haunts, where I sit with friends in conversation or alone to write, because they are all within walking distance of... Read more »

The Lesser-Known Reason to Visit Walla Walla…

March 20, 2015

By Kirsten Telander: “I believe in process. I believe in four seasons. I believe that winter’s tough, but spring’s coming. I believe that there’s a growing season. And I think that you realize that in life, you grow. You get better.” Steve Southerland Ah, the affirmation of Spring in the Walla Walla Valley. The town... Read more »

Writing on the Wild Side #5: Spring: Life’s Kickstarter

March 12, 2015

By Mike Denny: Here in beautiful Walla Walla County, where islands of native vegetation still survive and wildlife roams, you have a chance to catch a glimpse of three outstandingly mesmerizing wild flowers that bloom in the middle of March and then are gone until next spring. Everything in the natural world lives by a... Read more »

Writing on the Wild Side #4: A Blizzard of Birds

February 13, 2015

By Mike Denny: February is here and with it, this year, is warm weather. Close to seventy degrees Fahrenheit last weekend; wildflowers are blooming, insects are out, but the most spectacular event is the arrival of the Snow Geese from southern California near the Salton Sea. These beautiful white native geese winter in northern Mexico... Read more »

Action! Live Theatre in Walla Walla

February 4, 2015

By Douglas Carlsen: While wandering around Walla Walla one is struck by the sights, sounds, and smells coming from the various shops and restaurants that line the streets of downtown. Big trees and interesting architecture beckon to those who walk the residential areas; public art is to be found throughout town. Given its age and... Read more »

Writing on the Wild Side #3: A Winter’s Tale.

January 23, 2015

By Mike Denny: Here in Walla Walla County each new season brings with it unique and amazing beauty. This, the shortest season of the year, is no different. Life is energetic and diverse in this most wonderful county in southeastern Washington. Winter life is present in many thousands of waterfowl such as Common Mergansers, Northern... Read more »

Writing on the Wild Side #2: A Blog about seeing the Natural World in Walla Walla County

December 10, 2014

By Mike Denny: Just 14 short miles east of beautiful downtown Walla Walla lives a creature so amazing and wondrous that most folks never expect to see one in their lifetime. Many are unaware that while they are in Walla Walla this spectacular animal is looking down on them from the foothills of the Blue... Read more »

Fall in the Walla Walla Valley

October 13, 2014

By Kirsten Telander: The first time my husband and I visited Walla Walla it was a warm day in October; a welcome change from the damp chill of Puget Sound. Now every fall we reminisce about that indelible first visit which left us pleasantly surprised… and actively relocating. We were delighted to discover the pumpkin... Read more »

A Simpler Life

June 13, 2014

By Ross Stevenson: Springtime always reminds why I moved to Waitsburg, WA. My, now, husband (thank you Washington State!) and I arrived in this tiny town of 1,200 people in the wintephoto credit: Jaime Chalkr of 2000, having escaped the perpetual concrete gray of Seattle and the plethora of spoiled twenty-something Microsoft millionaires for something... Read more »

Cycling in Walla Walla Leaves you Breathless

April 3, 2014

By J. Andrew Rodriguez: Cycling in Walla Walla leaves you breathless. Not because you’re going up the occasional winding hill, flanked on either side by wheat fields in their emerald youth. Nor because you are screaming down another hill overlooking acres of vineyards or apple orchards. It’s that the Walla Walla Valley just feels like... Read more »

Happy Anniversary Walla Walla Valley AVA!!

March 19, 2014

By Catie McIntyre Walker: We’re celebrating an anniversary here in the Walla Walla Valley. It’s the 30th Anniversary of when the Walla Walla Valley became an official American Viticultural Area (AVA). What does this mean and what is an AVA, you ask? An American Viticultural Area is a designated wine grape growing area that is... Read more »

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The Vine

May 24, 2013

By Kirsten Telander: If you ever want to pretend you have a private chef in your own villa, make a reservation at The Vine Fine Dining at Cameo Heights Mansion. But don’t worry about booking the Chef’s Table. Chef Nathan Carlson is front and center, and even served a couple of our courses to us... Read more »

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Cugini Italian Import Foods Celebrates 10th Year in Business

May 10, 2013

By Kirsten Telander: Cugini Italian Import Foods celebrates its 10th year in business in April, and things have never looked more favoloso for this unpretentious little gem. Cugini was voted Best Gourmet Grocery in the Walla Walla Valley for the second year in a row. Owner/chef Chantelle Martuscelli is the only one east of the... Read more »

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The Marc Restaurant

January 25, 2013

By Kirsten Telander: There are three words to sum up 2012 for Chef Antonio Campolio. James. Beard. House. He had me at James Beard. If you’re not familiar with the Greenwich Village townhouse-turned-foundation named after the culinary icon James Beard, to be invited into its hallowed halls is the equivalent of an invitation to the... Read more »

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Saturday Morning Rides

January 2, 2013

By Steve Rapp: Every city or town worth its bicycle grease has at least one good regular organized group ride. Walla Walla’s is on Saturday mornings throughout the year. The Hailstoners, as we are affectionately called, meet at the Rose Garden on the southwest corner of Pioneer Park, at the intersection of Division and Whitman... Read more »

Walla Walla’s Livery Stables

December 18, 2012

By Susan Monahan: These days we take owning a car for granted and have trouble imagining how important a good livery stable was to a town up to the early 1900s. Livery stables were once essential to towns of just about any size, not just for residents but also for visitors. One could rent a... Read more »

Salumiere Cesario

November 20, 2012

By Kirsten Telander: I’ve often said that when I die, I’d like to end up in a Sephora store with a cheese closet and a wine cellar. As a mere mortal, I can’t seem to maintain a wine cellar, my husband has banned me from Sephora, but who would figure that this small town would... Read more »

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Making a Cycling Friendly Walla Walla Even Safer

November 2, 2012

By Steve Rapp: Every once in a while it’s time to review the basics, no matter what the subject is. Riding a bike is no different, and one fundamental of bicycle riding is knowing and obeying the rules of the road. Cyclists and motorists must remind themselves that both factions have rights and responsibilities. Even... Read more »

Owls Out and About

October 22, 2012

By Mike Denny: October is a very special month in Walla Walla County for many reasons. In the natural world this is the month when days get shorter and the air has a lively nip to it. This is a transition month when many wild plants slip into dormancy, when the last of the migrant... Read more »

A Keen Little Building and Its Neighbor

October 1, 2012

By Susan Monahan: A Keen Little Building and Its Neighbor A modest building can have as interesting a past as a grand one; that’s the conclusion I came to after researching the O. D. Keen Building at what is now #15 and #19 Spokane Street. It’s a perfectly balanced little building–the two entry doors slant... Read more »

The Rise of South Fork Grill

September 24, 2012

By Kirsten Telander: I’m a sucker for a comeback and the Phoenix-rising-ness that birthed South Fork Grill is the kind that good stories are made of. In July 2010, Creek Town Café (now South Fork Grill) unexpectedly closed its doors, leaving tourists and locals who’d clamored for reservations since its opening in 2002 grieving… and... Read more »

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A Birding Bonanza is Yours

September 17, 2012

By Mike Denny: Walla Walla County is one of the very best Birding Counties in Eastern Washington. Birding Walla Walla County is an avocation, a lifestyle, a pursuit, a science, an art and a verb. Birding is also a comfortable educational hobby for many millions of folks across the United States. To date, In Walla... Read more »

The Glory Days of Gardner’s Department Store

August 2, 2012

By Susan Monahan: It is not hard to envision a department store occupying the large building on the corner of 3rd and Main where today you can find the AmericanWest Bank. What is hard to imagine is just how elegant and varied an establishment the three-floored Gardner’s Department Store was. There was a department store... Read more »

An Unexpected Treat at Woodward Canyon’s Reserve House

July 26, 2012

By Kirsten Telander: Hosted in Wine, Food on Jul 26, 2012When Woodward Canyon built their Reserve House adjacent to their adorable Little House on the Prairie-esque tasting room, co-owner and General Manager Darcy Fugman-Small indulged me with a tour (her husband Rick is a wine pioneer, baker, and farmer). I promptly let her know, jokingly, that... Read more »

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The Perfect Morning Ride

July 12, 2012

As I write this, the temperature outside is 103. These heat spells don’t usually last too long, but I want to ride my bike now. Unfortunately this is too hot to go for a ride. I’m not a happy camper if I don’t ride my bike. My wife will confirm that flaw in my character.... Read more »


Mountain Rainbow

July 2, 2012

By Greg Lehman: There is much to be said for the old adage “Being in the right place at the right time”. The implication in this is chance and good fortune and, in truth, many a wonderful photograph has come to be in exactly that way – luck. But in more cases than you can... Read more »


The Home of the “Car Beautiful”

June 25, 2012

By Susan Monahan: It is not often that we get to see history being revealed day by day, but that’s just what’s happening at the corner of Spokane and Alder streets. The building that had been the location of Walla Walla Upholstery for many years is being stripped of its facade, and lets us glimpse... Read more »


A Fresh French Approach at Brasserie Four

June 18, 2012

By Kirsten Telander: “Make [food] simple and let things taste of what they are.” Curnonsky (Maurice Edmond Sailland) 
French writer (1872-1956) Despite her unapologetic liberal use of butter, you won’t find brasserie four’s Chef/Owner Hannah McDonald masking her food in heavy sauces. The cuisine, like the atmosphere in this bistro, is clean and simple, and... Read more »

Before and After–and Before!

June 17, 2012

By Susan Monahan: The 1878 ad for Day’s Drug Store shows what we now call the Reynolds-Day Building. In the ad it looks almost exactly as we see it today, over a hundred years later. But, wait a minute, you say. Where’s the clock? The whimsical, charming, much-photographed clock in front of Falkenberg’s Jewelers isn’t... Read more »

Have it All at Public House 124

May 10, 2012

By Kirsten Telander: You know spring has sprung when you see ramps on a menu, am I right? O.K., so it’s not your every day ingredient, nor would you expect to find it on a menu of a restaurant called Public House 124 unless it was deep fried and served with ranch dressing. But there... Read more »

Real Men Drink Pink at Spring Release

April 30, 2012

By Catie McIntyre Walker: Flowers are being planted and cases of new wines are being opened. The temperatures are rising and Spring Release Weekend in Walla Walla, May 4 through May 6, is here. Every first weekend of May the wineries in the Walla Walla Valley bring out their new releases. It’s an opportunity to... Read more »


No “Fussy Finished!” at Bacon & Eggs

April 12, 2012

This was legendary fashion editor Polly Mellen’s response to Angelica Houston’s overdone, ostentatious jewelry at the Oscars a number of years ago. Clearly Michelle Adams and her partner Michelle Giannunzio channeled this when naming their breakfast spot simply Bacon & Eggs. Giannunzio, longtime chef, and Adams converted a downtrodden convenience store into a Dwell Magazine-meets-Saveur... Read more »

On the Corner — the Legacy of 2nd and Main

April 5, 2012

By Susan Monahan: Sometimes changes to buildings result in the loss of distinctive features; sometimes the additions add interest and give the building character it lacked. I often ask friends to share their memories of Walla Walla buildings and sometimes ask for ideas of what building to write about. Diane suggested the one at the... Read more »

Hidden Treasures Along the Wine Trail

March 29, 2012

By Catie McIntyre Walker: It is a large part of my bloodline to take on the “hunt” – the occasional gathering of treasures such as the collectibles I enjoy in my home. I have a couple of aunts who used to be in the antique business and even my father sometimes brought home “treasures” that... Read more »


Meet the Willy Wonka of Walla Walla

March 20, 2012

By Andrew Holt: Meet the Willy Wonka of Walla Walla…Paul Jenes, a mild mannered version of Roald Dahl’s famous classic candy character. Although the University of Washington grad does not possess the flamboyance of Mr. Wonka, his passion for making life much sweeter for the world, and particularly the Walla Walla Valley, is just as... Read more »

Beyond Bread at Saffron Mediterranean Kitchen

March 15, 2012

By Kirsten Telander: I wrote about Saffron Mediterranean Kitchen for Northwest Palate several years ago, and at the time, I thought Chef/Founder Chris Ainsworth was bonkers: In the course of a year, he had moved to Walla Walla, opened Saffron, then opened Pho Sho, got married, and bought a house. I waited for his reality-show-worthy... Read more »

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Chuck Reininger: Winemaker and Outdoorsman Extraorordinaire

January 31, 2012

By Andrew Holt: Meet Chuck Reininger, passionate winemaker and passionate outdoorsman. Born and raised in Bellevue, Wash., Reininger calls the Walla Walla Valley home mainly due to his love of the outdoors, the region’s spectacular geography and rich history. The former mountain climbing guide says all of this passion is reflected in his wine. Hence,... Read more »

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