Run Oregon loves running – that’s no surprise. But we also love the Pacific Northwest and all that it has to offer. Running is a part of us, but it does not fully define us. In our new “Make a Day of It” feature, we aim to showcase some great local non-running events and highlight where to run and how to make the most of your experience! We recently took a trip to Walla Walla, WA and stayed for a night at the Green Gables Inn, a beautiful spot to be a hub for runcation.
Green Gables Inn was built in 1909 by Clarinda Green and Rowland Smith on homestead land owned by Clarinda’s parents William & Mary Green.
The home remained a private residence until it was sold to the Upper Columbia Medical Missionary and Benevolent Association. For the following thirty years the residence was open to serve as a home to nurses working at the Walla Walla General Hospital across the street (now the North Hall Dormitory on the Whitman College Campus).
In 1990 the historic home was purchased and meticulously refurbished by Jim & Margaret Buchan and converted the home into Green Gables Inn.
Today the home is owned and operated by a local farming family that has resided in the Walla Walla Valley for four generations.
First the Running:
As I mentioned in a previous post about running in this area, I didn’t have much experience outside of arriving in the dark, staying in a dingy motel with my baseball team, and driving to the college stadium. Prior to our stay over the weekend, I literally had NO clue where would be best to run. Luckily, Alexis, our wonderful host at the Green Gables Inn provided me with a TON of great information. Here it is, straight from she who knows it best:
- For an in town run the College is great, there is a sculpture walk available for a more leisurely walk or you can extend a run through the college to Pioneer Park, Palouse Street, end up downtown then back to the Inn – it is a little over 3 miles. Links to maps are listed here:
Historic Homes Map (can combine with Up Boyer map by continuing down Whitman St and turning right onto Palouse)
She informed me that these maps are available at the Inn for those interested, as they use these maps for guests frequently looking to get out for a run or walk it is a great run/walk.
- Another run that I enjoy is heading down Lower Waitsburg Road (route #4), for the serious runner you can take this up to a little over 14 miles in a loop from the Inn. One downside of this run is that you have to cross Highway 12 to access Lower Waitsburg Road (or add an additional mile to the run to get to the paved path that runs behind the Veterans Memorial Golf Course/Wellington Ave to avoid crossing the Highway).
This was all fantastic. They left a couple maps in my room to take out on the trip. I really loved checking out the cool houses in the downtown corridor via the Historic Homes Map above. I also recommend running through Whitman College and over to Pioneer Park as well. You really can’t go wrong with some fun downtown exploration.
The Green Gables Inn is a B&B complete with 5 rooms, a carriage house room (1 bedroom, 1.5 bath) adjacent to the main house, and a larger guest house (3 bedroom / 2 bath) ideal for families (or running groups). Each is decorated in turn of the century charm and feels like a little step back in time. We stayed in the Idlewile Suite, the largest room offered at the Inn. It came complete with a surprisingly comfortable, antique king size bed, a nice sitting area with a gas fireplace, as well a private balcony and bathroom as well.
The balcony was absolutely perfect to both start and end the day, or relax with a cup of coffee after a long run. There is a mini-fridge to keep a few snacks (and/or wine bottles) in, as well as a flat screen TV that basically went unutilized during our stay. The balcony was just too enticing. We drank some coffee out there, but it was sort of a bummer that it was raining as consistently as it was. Rest assured, we would have been enjoying that balcony even more had the weather been nicer.
It’s hard to “review” bathrooms, but the one in our room was seriously a beautiful one (the picture doesn’t do it justice):
The crown jewel was the amazing shower – complete with an amazing trifecta of a regular head, rainfall head, and three wall jets.
The rest of the rooms seem equally as great with similar amenities. I really don’t think you can do much wrong in here.
Each morning a light breakfast (entrée, pastry, seasonal fruit, juice, and coffee/tea) is served between 8-10am on the main floor of the Inn or by ‘Knock & Drop’ no contact service. The latter is “no contact” breakfast, where food will be delivered to the guest room. During our stay we delighted in some biscuits & gravy, eggs, pear, and scones – delivered simply and easily to our door.
They also provide easy to-go options like boxed lunches or cheese plates to take with you on your adventures. We grabbed a few bags of trail mix they had out for guests and it proved to be a welcome refueling option for both a run and during our wine tasting. Green Gables Inn also provides other refueling options like specialty cakes, chocolates, and even a 4-course meal with advanced notice. Check out their specials section for info.
Outside of breakfast at the Inn, we ended up doing a variety of refueling at wineries around Walla Walla and found some amazing eateries during our trip. The B&B is mere minutes from downtown where a ridiculously amazing culinary oasis awaits. From dozens of wine tasting rooms to local faire, there is something ready for anyone.
Speaking of wine, this was our secondary reason for heading to Southeastern Washington – outside of running. Living in the Willamette Valley, my wine experience has become a tad bit more refined over the years, and I continued to hear how great Walla Walla was in this realm. Again, considering my limited memory of Walla Walla, I knew I needed to come check it out as well. This is a great site that showcases the numerous wine areas around the city. We ended up spending much of our first day in the Southside region, followed by a second day of venturing the ridiculously cool Airport region, and wrapping it up with some Downtown spots before heading out on day three.
Even though it was a quick and easy overnight stay, we really enjoyed our time. It was super quiet and offered a bit of historical décor set amidst a 2020 landscape outside. It was a truly impressive property that is an absolute gem in Walla Walla.
If you are looking for a little safe and easy trip this winter (and beyond), consider enjoying Walla Walla and use the Green Gables Inn as your safe running basecamp.
Green Gables Inn details:
Address: 922 Bonsella Street Walla Walla, WA 99362
Reservations: Ranges through the year depending on seasons and other factors. Expect ~$139-$269.
Many thanks to Green Gables Inn for allowing us to check out their property! Please read our transparency page for info on how we do our reviews.