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Walla Walla: An Award Winning Town

As we approached Walla Walla, we passed numerous roadside stands selling the famous Walla Walla sweet onions, the namesake of this award winning community bestowed with enviable titles such as … "Best Main Street in the West" (Sunset Magazine), "Great American Main Street Award" (National Trust for Historic Preservation), and ranked among the 100 best small art towns in America.

Walla Walla did not disappoint. We love this town … and if it did not snow in the winter and have 100 degree summer days, we would consider living here. It has everything we enjoy in abundance … the beautiful Blue Mountains; historic architecture, a bustling downtown, quiet streets lined with stately homes and 100 year old trees, two colleges, a Blues Festival, over 50 wineries, a Hot Air Balloon Festival, and a huge Wi-Fi cloud. This place is “happening.” We skipped the usual historical sights such as Fort Walla Walla and the Whitman Mission and took a pass on the winery tours in favor of savoring the town’s big trees, historic homes and music venues.

The attractive downtown has survived the onslaught of time. The streets are lined with restored Victorian and beaux arts buildings that house a variety of small shops, art galleries, espresso cafes, and restaurants.

The city center is laptop friendly with free Wi-Fi hotspots just about everywhere. Here are just a few of our favorite downtown locations.

Liberty Theater — This historic building originally opened in 1917 as the American Theatre, later renamed the Liberty Theater. The Liberty closed in the early 1980s. In 1991, the exterior was restored to its original appearance, while the inside was remodeled to become a part of The Bon Marché department store. Inside the store there are still remnants of the vintage theater such as an old fashioned candy counter, stained glass windows, and other memorabilia from the early 1900’s.

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