I’m privileged and excited to be working on a collaborative post with fellow blogger Erin Ally, highlighting great autumn travel locations! I know that most of my posts tend to focus on far off adventures, so this time I thought I would take a departure a little closer to home. 😉
As I mentioned in my previous post, being the hot-blooded introvert that I am, I think that fall is one of the best times to travel! (i.e. Cooler weather and less crowds) That being said, I also happen to believe that my hometown of Walla Walla, Washington is hands-down one of the greatest fall destinations in the Pacific Northwest. Not only was it voted the Friendliest Town in America in 2011 by Rand McNally’s annual Best of the Road contest, but it is also home to an array of autumn-related sights and activities!
Growing up here, Walla Walla wasn’t much more than your average, agricultural small town, known merely for its sweet onions and state penitentiary. But, as the wine industry grew in both number and notoriety, our sleepy little town traded in some of its wheat fields for vineyards and sweet onion stands for award-winning gastropubs. Thus, from humble beginnings, a beautiful marriage of small town charm and big-city sophistication was born!
While every season here has it’s advantages, autumn really is a feast for the senses! If you happen to find yourself in Walla Walla mid-October, you can admire the changing of the leaves while watching hot air balloons drift above the Blue Mountains during the annual Balloon Stampede! This festival has been going strong for 42 years and is truly a sight to behold. I mean, who doesn’t love hot air balloons??
If classic fall activities are your jam, take some time to mozy through our local Corn Maze (and if you’re really feeling your oats, you can brave the Haunted Corn Maze, starting the second week of October) before stopping by Klicker’s pumpkin patch to pick out the perfect Jack-O-Lantern, or relax at the Colville Street Patisserie with a steaming cup of in-house Chai tea and fresh baked pastry of your choice. Perhaps even thumb through a spooky tale or two. 😉
Fall is also a great time to visit one of the 150 wineries in our valley. The first weekend in November is Fall Release for many of our local wineries where you can join in celebrating the harvest season with cellar tours, new vintage pourings, food and live music!
For anyone looking for an authentic Northwest autumn experience, Walla Walla is the place to be! Or Fall-a Walla, as I like to call it. [insert pained laughter here] 🙂 Hope to see you here sometime!