Walla Walla, Washington – Retirement Guide

Walla Walla, Washington   Retirement Guide

The so-called Napa of the North, Walla Walla has gained notoriety in recent years for its burgeoning wine industry. Retirees with a taste for a tipple can visit some of the area’s 100-plus vineyards, indulging in tastings amidst the breathtaking scenery of Washington’s Blue Mountains.

Tucked into Southeastern Washington, the region has gained acclaim for many vintages, including cabernet sauvignon and syrah, from winemakers such as Dunham, L’Ecole and Woodward Canyon.

Of course, Walla Walla is more than a mere hotbed for tasty wines. With just over 32,000 residents, the locals here are warm and friendly, unlike some of the stuffier towns in the Napa Valley.

Still, it is possible that the greatest boon for retirees moving to Walla Walla is its affordability.

The town’s cost of living is more than 14 percent the national average and the median home price is $161,350. Combined with Washington state’s lack of state income tax, the town makes a very budget-friendly retirement destination.

Pros: Burgeoning vineyards and wine tastings galore
Con: Can feel remote

At a Glance
Best For: Wine lovers
Population: 32,148
Cost of Living: 14.2% lower than national average
Median Home Cost: $161,350
Unemployment: 8.5%
Top State Income Tax: No state income tax
Crime Rate: 9.4% higher than national average

Weather can also be a factor when retirees choose to settle in Walla Walla. While many folks associate Washington with dreary and cool weather, Walla Walla actually has much drier and warmer summers than some towns, like Seattle, though winters can be colder.

Additionally, culture lovers will find plenty to do in Walla Walla. Retirees can attend performances by the Walla Walla Valley Bands, Walla Walla Symphony, and the Walla Walla Choral Society. The quaint town is home to a number of locally-owned boutique shops, galleries, bookstores and restaurants. Walla Walla also hosts a number of festivals throughout the year, including a Shakespeare festival, chamber music festival, and food festivals.

Outdoors lovers can take advantage of the town’s 8 parks and 5 golf courses, in addition to miles of hiking and bicycling trails.

Three hospitals service the Walla Walla region. Still, there are downsides to living in Walla Walla for some retirees. The town can feel a bit remote, with the nearest large towns like Spokane and Seattle 2 to 4 hours away.

Top Retirement Cities in Washington:  Bellingham | Spokane | Walla Walla

Photo by Marshal Hedin via Flickr. All statistics were up to date as of publication. See these sources for the most current data.