Fun summer opportunities, events numerous in Walla Walla

William Witwer

10. Worship the sun

While not necessarily unique to Walla Walla, the significance of this activity cannot be understated. The Admissions Office’s brochure might claim that we get over 300 days of sun, but it certainly doesn’t feel that way most of the school year. If you’re staying in Walla Walla over the summer and the sun is out and blazing, take the time to enjoy it.

9. Rent tandem bicycles and rage around the wheat fields

I know what you’re thinking: tandem bicycles? Really? In fact, I myself had the same thought process, until I had the pleasure of trying them in Vancouver. Assuming you have a willing friend, renting tandem bikes is a fairly cheap and incredibly fun way to travel. It transforms biking into a collaboration, and becomes both a social and physical activity.

Illustration Credit: Jea Alford

8. Walk dogs at the Blue Mountain Humane Society

Sometimes I find that the thing I miss most about home is my dogs. If you are staying in Walla Walla and have the same longing, why not satisfy your craving to hang out with dogs at the Blue Mountain Humane Society by taking them for a walk?

7. Go to the Drag Strip

If you want an experience like nothing else, head over to the Walla Walla Drag Strip on Middle Waitsburg Road. It is cheap to be a spectator, and the people are incredibly nice. I know this might not sound like an appealing option to many, but when my film group filmed a documentary here I got a different sense of the place. The food is surprisingly good, and if you in any way like cars, you owe it to yourself to check this out.

6. Travel to Spokane

Obviously, students spending their summer in Walla Walla might want to get away. The typical destinations, though, are either Portland or Seattle. While both are stupendous cities, the travel time involved is enough to discourage many would-be sightseers. Luckily, the underrated Spokane is closer. With many places to see live music, bars, shops, Spokane is a more accessible destination than either Portland or Seattle.

5. Go to a Yakima Bears game

Yakima (“The Palm Springs of Washington”) has a minor league baseball team, the Yakima Bears. Minor league sports games are incredibly fun because there are fairly low stakes, and Yakima is close enough for a day trip.

4. Volunteer

With summer comes free time, and volunteering is a great, productive use of that time. Walla Walla has a host of organizations in need of enterprising young students. Places such as Art Walla Walla, dedicated to acquiring and preserving art in Walla Walla, are always on the lookout for summer volunteers. Visit www.whitman.edu/content/community_service for more information on volunteering opportunities.

3. Go wine tasting

Though age-restrictive, if you are 21 you simply have to go wine tasting at some point. Walla Walla, according to the Internet, is famous for its wine just as much as it is for its onions. Don’t be a fool and ignore this spring of liquid courage.

2. Make new connections

While spending a summer in Walla Walla, the pool of Whitman students in residence shrinks dramatically. Thus, to make up for this disparity, you need to be extra friendly to everyone around you. Make some new friends! It helps to be involved in something other than Netflix, so then your newfound friendliness is not simply creepy.

1. Exercise (Walla Walla style)

I know, I know. This seems like a cop-out for the number one spot. However, the benefits of exercise are tremendous: it decreases your risk of having heart attacks later in life (as well as some types of diabetes), it wards off dementia, it makes you look younger, it makes you sleep better, and so much more. In summation: EXERCISE IS SUPERMAN. Walla Walla and the surrounding areas are home to many fantastic bike trails, swimming holes, hikes and rock climbs that you can explore to get fit and stay healthy. Check out http://tri-citiesguide.org/outdoors.htm for lots of great fitness hot spots. Your future self will thank you.