Hotel at a Glance: The Marcus Whitman Hotel & Conference Center
A Walla Walla landmark since 1928, The Marcus Whitman Hotel & Conference Center was named the 2015 Hotel of the Year at the 13th Annual Washington State Wine Awards. That’s because—in addition to its famous hospitality—the hotel offers six onsite tasting rooms, where visitors can taste the wines of such local establishments as Mansion Creek Cellars and Flying Trout. And since the wine list at the hotel’s Vineyard Lounge is more than 20 pages long, it’s hard not to find the perfect glass of vino.
- Where you’ll stay: Guest rooms are elegantly appointed in rich colors and textures for maximum comfort.
- Wake-up call: Rooms are equipped with coffeemakers and a special blend of Walla Walla Roastery coffee made just for the hotel, while a complimentary hot breakfast is served daily in the dining room.
- Stay in shape by working up a sweat in the hotel’s fitness center.
- Eat well at Marc Restaurant, which was named “Restaurant of the Year” by the Washington Wine Commission. Select options of this deal come with a $30 dining credit.
- Hitch a ride: The hotel offers a complimentary airport shuttle.
- Sample wine: at one of the dozens of tasting rooms in the area, 20 of which are within walking distance.
Walla Walla, Washington: Wine and Art in One of the Best Small Towns in America
Calling Walla Walla one of the country’s best small towns isn’t hyperbole—USA Today named it that in 2011. Unsurprisingly, “the town so nice they named it twice” won out in the “friendliest” category. The best way to get to know such a welcoming place might be to head to Main Street. There, you can admire public art works and pop in and out of antique shops and restaurants. To wet your whistle, there are more than 130 wineries in the area (that’s more than 1,800 acres of grapes), most of which have their own tasting rooms, with dozens of different tasting rooms scattered across town.
There’s plenty of sophisticated entertainment to match visitors’ sophisticated palates, too. The Walla Walla Symphony is the longest running symphony west of the Mississippi, and The Power House Theater, once a former gas plant, is now the preferred venue of Shakespeare Walla Walla theater company.
Thanks to Walla Walla’s location near the Blue Mountains, there’s plenty for outdoor enthusiasts as well. Cycling trails, some as long as 50 miles, run throughout the town. In the winter, they can head to Ski Bluewood’s slopes, located a little more than an hour away from downtown.