An Unexpected Wine Country Gem: Walla Walla Delights in Winter — Press Release - Visit Walla Walla

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An Unexpected Wine Country Gem: Walla Walla Delights in Winter — Press Release

November 20, 2017

Unique seasonal events, sparse crowds, food, wine, and sunshine combine to make Walla Walla a surprisingly compelling winter destination

(WALLA WALLA, Wash.) — Far away from the gray winter skies typically found in much of the Pacific Northwest, Walla Walla, named one of America’s Prettiest Winter Towns by Travel + Leisure, makes for an unexpectedly inviting winter destination.

Often nested under clear, blue winter skies, Walla Walla’s “offseason” is anything but, especially for those who seek romance, unmatched vistas, and uncrowded tasting rooms. With the summer crowds gone, and the fall harvest complete, there’s an added bonus: the area’s renowned winemakers and acclaimed chefs have more freedom to engage in a friendly chat with their patrons.

Whether it’s a visit to any one of Walla Walla’s more than 120 wineries, an imaginative culinary experience, an exhilarating turn down the slopes of Ski Bluewood or other winter adventures in the Blue Mountains, a romantic weekend for two, a small-town celebration of the holiday season, or a bit of it all, a perfect winter getaway awaits in Walla Walla.

Here are some of Walla Walla’s most notable winter happenings:

Holiday Barrel Tasting (Dec. 1-3): Enjoy the spirit of the season, Walla Walla style. Wineries entice visitors with tastings of future releases straight from the barrel and offer food, art, music and more.

Macy’s Holiday Parade of Lights (Dec. 2): The first Saturday of December has long belonged to the Holiday Parade of Lights. Each year the community comes together for a gorgeous after-dark parade down Walla Walla’s award-winning Main Street.

Ski Bluewood: With more than 400 acres of lift-serviced terrain, a base elevation that ranks No. 2 in Washington, and just 50 miles from downtown Walla Walla, Ski Bluewood has become a fun, affordable favorite among snow riders.

Walla Walla Symphony Series (Dec. 1-2, 20, Jan. 23, Feb. 11, March 6): Founded in 1907, the Walla Walla Symphony is the longest continually operating symphony orchestra west of the Mississippi. This season includes a holiday Baroque favorite, Handel’s Messiah (Dec. 1-2), the O’Connor Band (Dec. 20), and a much anticipated performance of the Peking Acrobats (Jan. 23), which will feature gravity-defying acts accompanied by traditional Chinese music.

Walla Walla Chamber Music Winter Festival (Jan. 11-14): Now in its tenth year, the Walla Walla Chamber Music Festival features intimate performances in wineries, galleries, and theaters throughout the Walla Walla Valley. The Festival’s winter season will once again include an acclaimed roster of chamber musicians.

February is for Foodies (each weekend in February): The shortest month of the year is long on taste for the chefs of Walla Walla’s eclectic mix of restaurants. From incredible special menu offerings to intimate cooking classes hosted by some of Walla Walla’s most renowned chefs, February is filled with fun, foodie experiences.

“Visitors have learned over the years that winter in Walla Walla presents unique opportunities that might be more difficult to find at other times of the year,” said Ron Williams, executive director of Visit Walla Walla. “Whether interested in the revelry of the holiday season, outdoor winter sports, fun foodie events, or simply enjoying Walla Walla’s wine country without the crowds, the winter months have so much to offer.”

With three daily flights from Seattle via Alaska Airlines, and roughly four hours by car from Seattle, Portland, and Boise, getting here is a breeze any time of year. For more information on planning a trip to Walla Walla, go to