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Walla Walla, Wash.: Wine Weekend

A town in southeastern Washington has lots to offer, from its foremost export, sweet onions, to lovely local wines.

  • candy and sweets at Bright's Candies, image
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    Timeless sweets find a new audience at Bright’s Candies.
  • Main Street in Walla Walla, image
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    Walla Walla’s Main Street hosts summer festivals celebrating sweet onions, jazz, and cars.
  • octopus served at Saffron Mediterranean Kitchen, image
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    Octopus gets spiced up at Saffron Mediterranean Kitchen.
  • sculpture at Foundry Vineyards, image
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    A gallery draws art aficionados to Foundry Vineyards.
  • Sweet Lou at Borleske Stadium, image
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    Sweet Lou takes the field at Borleske Stadium.
  • Waterbrook Winery, image
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    Expansive grounds at Waterbrook Winery feature winemaking facilities, ponds, and a tasting room.

Sip local cabernet, learn pioneer history, and sample seasonal cuisine in this charming college town where winemaking is king. Area code is 509.

TO DO AND SEE Fort Walla Walla Museum Walk through a village complete with homes, a jail, and two schoolhouses; admire a replica of a 33-mule team once used for plowing the area's famous wheat fields. 755 NE Myra Rd., 525-7703, Jazz & Wine Among Friends Aug. 23–25. This festival offers live music at local tasting rooms on Friday afternoon, a concert on Saturday, then a Sunday parade down Main Street. 527-4745, Pioneer Park This 58-acre city park boasts golden pheasants and Hawaiian geese in an aviary, a historic bandstand gazebo, roses in a volunteer-tended garden, and walking trails around a cluster of tree-shaded ponds. It also hosts the town's biggest Independence Day celebration. East Alder and South Division streets, 527-4527, Sweet Onion Festival July 20–21. Help celebrate Walla Walla's foremost export at this weekend event featuring sweet onion bowling, onion sack races, and food demonstrations. West Main Street at South Third Avenue, 525-1031, Walla Walla Sweets June 5–Aug. 7. Cheer on the town's collegiate summer-league baseball team. Evening games feature local beer and the team's popular onion mascot, Sweet Lou. Fireworks follow the game on July 3 and Aug. 7. Borleske Stadium, East Rees Avenue, 522-2255,

SHOPPING Bright's Candies A classic store purveys confections such as fresh toffee-covered popcorn and marshmallow-caramel bars. Peek through a glass partition to see candymaking on weekdays. 11 E. Main St., 525-5533, Farmers Market Seek out farm-fresh produce, artisan soaps and jewelry, and fava-bean falafel every Saturday and Sunday morning from May to October. West Main Street at South Fourth Avenue, Providence Fine Living Former professional chef Ejvind Lange sells kitchen items from all over the world, including such Northwest necessities as spice rubs and roasting planks. 16 E. Main St., 529-8460,

SIPS Charles Smith Sample syrahs with irreverent names like Boom Boom and the Deal at a former auto body shop near the Whitman College campus. 35 S. Spokane St., 526-5230, Foundry Vineyards Stroll through the contemporary gallery and sculpture garden to savor works by renowned artists while sipping cabernet. Open Fridays and Saturdays. 1111 Abadie St., 529-0736, Waterbrook Winery Taste a glass of cabernet or chardonnay while gazing across the ponds or play a game of croquet at this sprawling countryside winery. On Fridays and Saturdays, the chef serves gourmet tacos and salsas. 10518 W. Hwy. 12, 522-1262, Woodward Canyon At a tasting room in a renovated 1870s farmhouse, enjoy a glass of merlot, riesling, or cabernet. A summer-only weekend restaurant offers farm-fresh lunches. 11920 W. Hwy. 12, Touchet, 525-4129,

EATS Andrae's Kitchen Enjoy cod tacos with serrano aioli and grilled corn salad made to order at a food truck run by a classically trained chef. Check the website for the truck's current location. 572-0728, Bacon & Eggs Find inspired breakfast and lunch treats such as scrambled eggs with fried tortillas or biscuits and gravy served in a former gas station. The signature Bloody Mary is garnished with pickled asparagus and green beans. 503 E. Main St., 876-4553, Brasserie Four A lively urban spot with patio seating serves perfectly made French fare such as poisson meunière, moules frites, and decadent fruit crepes. 4 E. Main St., 529-2011, Colville Street Patisserie Stop at this bright corner café for custardy cannelé, chocolate-caramel tarts, and other traditional French pastries, as well as homemade gelato in seasonal flavors including buttermilk-rhubarb. 40 S. Colville St., 301- 7289, Saffron Mediterranean Kitchen This spot wins accolades for inventive dishes—grilled octopus with fired-roasted green harissa, to name just one— and flatbreads stuffed with spiced lamb and smoked yogurt. 125 W. Alder St., 525-2112,

Photography by Gregory Lehman

This article was first published in July 2013. Some facts my have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.