Wineries are beginning to rival the sweet-tasting Walla Walla onion as the hallmark of this lovely town at the foot of the Blue Mountains. In fact, the combination of excellent wineries and appealing scenery has put Walla Walla on the map as one of the country's hottest new wine-touring regions. The town's rich history, starting with the Indian tribes who first settled here followed by the early pioneers, the establishment and subsequent tragic demise of a famous mission and then a gold rush, is also a tourist draw. Fascinating museums and historic attractions bring this past to life. Music and the arts are a vital part of this culturally conscious college town, which boasts one of the oldest symphony orchestras west of the Mississippi, frequent summertime blues and jazz concerts, arts festivals and at least 15 art galleries. A revitalized downtown features restored 19th-century buildings, restaurants, galleries and wine-tasting rooms. If you're itching for outdoor fun, head east for hiking, mountain biking and fishing in the Blue Mountains or take the relatively easy Stateline Loop bike trail to Oregon and back.
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