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Southeast Washington Travel Region
Walla Walla, Washington

Walla Walla, known world over for its sweet and juicy Walla Walla onions and its exceptional Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot wines, is located in the foothills of the Blue Mountains, in Southeast Washington. The city owes its unusual name to the Nez Perce Indians, whose reference to the area led to it being called the "Place of Many Waters."¯Appreciated for its mild winter climate and excellent agricultural potential, the area has been a source of sustenance and habitation for people for thousands of years.

The Walla Walla area was visited by Lewis and Clark in 1805 and trappers and missionaries shortly thereafter. Its agricultural successes however, are the work of 20th century Italian immigrants. Walla Walla sweet onions is an offshoot of a popular Italian crop, but they owe their sweet flavor to low sulphur content and Walla Walla's mild climate. The Walla Walla wine appellation, which covers some 530 square miles, was also inspired by Italian immigrants. Its 60+ wineries benefit from the area's arid temperatures, warm summers and high altitude. Walla Walla may seem a long drive from the coast, but it is the appellation's remote rural setting that makes its success possible.

Founded by Protestant missionaries in the early 19th century, the city of Walla Walla is home to the Whitman College, a National Historic Site that commemorates missionaries who were killed in a raid by Cayuse Indians in the mid-1800s. The Fort Walla Walla Museum showcases military artifacts, textiles and photographs from the 19th and 20th centuries. Walla Walla's downtown district has been acclaimed for its beauty and meticulous preservation of its historic buildings. The weekend farmers' market is considered one of the best in the area.

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