Photography by Street Scout Me.
I think I told more people I was going to Walla Walla, Washington than I’ve ever told anyone I was going anywhere; the name is just too good! Add to that the fact that it’s famous for wine (we all know I love wine), and that I got to go with blogger friends; this trip had me as excited as a kid in a candy shop. I felt like Walla Walla was virtually holding the key to my heart when we discovered a forgotten bottle of bubbly buried in the snow of our resort balcony. I mean, who just forgets their champagne?! #winning
I loved the road trip. Driving with friends through the rolling hills of Washington State, as they slowly grew into the snow-capped Cascade Mountains surrounding Mt. Baker region was magical. With the new Deamau5 song on repeat (lol), the sun began to descend and the twinkling lights of small towns became illuminated pillars shooting up in the sky reflected off ice in the air around us. We saw beauty in the little delights of winter that aren’t often experienced by us kids from the rainy West Coast, so the journey to Suncadia Resort felt like we were driving in a snowglobe. Finally, after eating a few too many pieces of complimentary chocolate, I tucked myself into the warm, cozy bed at The Inn at Suncadia and slept the night away in our real life winter wonderland…
We woke up a mere 5 hours later because we just had to get sunrise photos, obviously. Then we found the bottle of champagne seen below. Giggle giggle. We quickly realized that every winter activity you could imagine was available at Suncadia (including sleighrides), so I’m determined to head back there for a longer stay soon.
Photography by Street Scout Me.
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As the roadtrip continued, the scenery changed into something that I can only describe as a frozen version of the Palm Desert. Maneli had me taking endless photos on her phone while she was driving, so she could paint the gorgeous landscapes when she got home. I’m fully expecting a painting to be coming my way soon.
Did I mention we were in the middle of a blizzard? I’m grateful we were somewhere so beautiful because it made the slow journey enjoyable.
We arrived in Walla Walla with a serious sense of accomplishment (the snowstorm was a real situation) and were ready for the wine tastings. We missed our bookings at the first few tasting rooms due to the weather, but we were warmly greeted to those who managed to remain open during the storm.
After settling in, I quickly realized that Walla Walla was way more awesome than I had expected. I mean, I love wine, so I knew I would like it, but the town turned out to have many other lovable qualities too. It was originally the capital of Washington after all! As a means of saving you from a million word chronology of all the ways I became obsessed with the town, I’m going to break it down into four major ways that Walla Walla rocks. Here we go!
Photography by Street Scout Me.
The town is too cute.
I’m not sure if I’ve ever been to a small town this cute. The downtown reminded me of a two story version of Vancouver’s Gastown, but with an endless array of wine tasting rooms lining the streets. With the trendy brick and hip store fronts, Walla Walla’s main street has won several awards and is considered amongst the top in America. In addition to all its cuteness, the downtown is unique in that various local wineries have opened thirty two tasting rooms within walking distance to the main street. This allows visitors the option of a walking wine tour without the required transport of visiting the local vineyards. To top it off, there was even a Saturday night dragshow!
Walla Walla is also home to three colleges, one of which is the most expensive in the state and another was once awarded the top community college in the country. All three boast some of the cutest campuses I’ve seen. Our VRBO from Walla Walla Vacation Rentals was at the end of Greek Row where I could have literally Instagrammed every doorway for about ten blocks. Add in a blanket of snow and I could have spent days photographing outfits all over the residential streets.
The wine is next level and the people who make it are wonderful.
For me, a wine experience is elevated when I get to meet the people who’ve made it. Although the snowstorm interrupted a portion of our itinerary, the tasting rooms were a welcome escape from the weather. Little did we know that Muriel, at our first tasting room, Otis Kenyon, would become our Walla Walla mum for insight and advice with regards to handling the elements..
With delicious wine, welcoming environment and a funny backstory (ask about their namesake), Otis Kenyon was a wonderful experience. Even my friend and fellow blogger, Randa, found a new appreciation for the delights of wine. Muriel’s unpretentious attitude, but highly knowledgeable mindset had us relaxed after the long journey and inspired by this little town.
Stepping into the Cadaretta tasting room was like walking into someone’s uber chic living room. With beautiful lighting, velvet chairs, live edge wood tables and local photography on the walls, it’s the kind of place you’d want to cozy up for a winter evening. Allison and the welcoming Cadaretta team recommend staying awhile and bringing cheese or other foods to enjoy with their wine. They also have neat little charts where you can compare your tasting notes to those of the professionals. If I remember correctly, our friend Sabrina‘s tasting skills were totally on point.
Although reds were more prominent in Walla Walla, the Cadaretta SBS white stood out as one of my personal favourites. They also make the wine bottle candles seen below which we all took home as souvenirs.
The food is unforgettable.
I was not expecting a town of approximately thirty thousand people to have such a food scene, but every restaurant we visited was incredible!
Nothing could have been a better end to the day than some southern comfort food at Whoopemup Café. We trusted the selections of our gracious host who served us a variety of dishes each better tan the next. I was obsessed with the Gumbo and will be dreaming of it at the end of winter days to come.
Brunch is my favourite meal of the day and after hearing about Bacon and Eggs‘ delicious cocktails, I knew I was going to love it. The restaurant was packed with cool people and the aesthetic was on point.
We each ordered something a little different to get a nice combination of savoury and sweet. Randa actually had bacon inside her strawberry french toast! The food was delicious, but as predicted, what really stole my heart were the cocktails. I loved The Morning Paper (gin, grapefruit juice and prosecco), as well as their French 75 with lavender.
Photography by Randa Salloum.
The people are so kind (and stylish).
We basically felt as though the whole town was good looking and had cool clothes! I also recall that my friends had a crush on our Starbucks Barista (who we ended up finding on Instagram because that’s how small the town is – there’s actually a pretty good chance he will come across this blog post too lol).
We couldn’t have picked a better place to get caught in a snowstorm. Everyone we encountered went out of their way to help and to ensure the trip was comfortable. We ended up staying an extra day because we were unable to travel in the snow (which I was secretly very excited about). I am grateful to our wonderful hosts, Ron, of Visit Walla Walla and to Travel About Mag to the wonderful getaway. Thank you for everything! I am looking forward to enjoying Walla Walla in the summer very soon.
Photos by Street Scout Me.
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