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City Awards and Recognition

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2019

  • The City of Walla Walla received the Smart Partnership Award for its Blue Mountain Region Trails Plan in 2018.
  • The Chamber of Commerce ranked Walla Walla No. 7 for Best Cities to Live in Washington-2019. 

2018

  • Walla Walla ranked No. 4 on Fodor's Travel's list of 25 cutest Main Streets. 
  • Travelocity named Walla Walla the number one small city road trip destination for 2018.

2017

  • Travel + Leisure named Walla Walla one of the 50 Best Places to Travel to in 2018.
  • Walla Walla featured in "Where to Retire Magazine" as a top retirement destination in the November/December 2017 issue.
  • Top 50 most searched destinations under 65,000 population – moveBuddha.com, a relocation assistance service.
  • Downtown Walla Walla Foundation received an Economic Vitality award from Washington Trust for Historic Preservation.

2016

  • Complete Streets Award from Washington Transportation Improvement Board.
  • Bronze Bicycle Friendly Community designation.  
  • Ranked 104th out of 200 for Best Small Places for Business and Careers by Forbes.
  • Received 23rd Tree City USA Award.
  • Parks & Recreation Department received the Washington Recreation and Park Association’s Spotlight Program Excellence Award in the category of Arts and Cultural Services for the Gentleman of the Road Stopover.
  • Finalist for Best Food Town category of the Sunset Travel Awards, along with Portland, Oregon; St. Helena, California; and Santa Fe, New Mexico.

2015

  • Sunset Magazine Best Food Town finalist with Portland, Oregon; Berkeley, California; and Las Vegas, Nevada. 
  • Lifetime of GMA Achievement Award for excellence in city planning awarded by Governor Jay Inslee.
  • Named Breathtaking Wine Country Destination by Fit Travel by Shape.
  • Named one of the 10 Most Beautiful Town in Washington by The Culture Trip.
  • Named one of the 15 Most Underrated Cities in the USA by Global Yodel.
  • Ranked 33rd out of more than 1,300 places as Best Small City in the US by NerdWallet.
  • Featured as Wine with a Splash of Sunshine by 425 Magazine.

2014

  • Downtown Walla Walla Foundation's Residential Guidelines was recognized as an Outstanding Special Project by Washington Trust for Historic Preservation.
  • One of the 10 Best Wine Travel Destinations – Wine Enthusiast Magazine.
  • One of the 24 Best Places to Live and Work – Sunset Magazine.
  • Excellence on Main Award from the Washington State Main Street Program.
  • Washington State Governor’s Smart Communities Award.
  • Named one of the Top 6 Affordable Wine Regions in the US by Bankrate.com.

2013

  • Finalist for America’s Best Small Town for Food in Rand McNally’s Best of the Road competition.
  • Fodor’s lists Walla Walla in 10 Best Small Towns in America.
  • Received 19th Tree City USA Award.
  • Walla Walla Police Department Merit Award for Masonry from the Masonry Industry Promotions Group.
  • Walla Walla named as semifinalist for Smart 21 Intelligent Communities.

2012

  • "Travel + Leisure" magazine list of America's Prettiest Winter Towns.
  • American Planning Association names Walla Walla in Top Ten Greatest Neighborhoods.
  • Community Facilities Award from the Infrastructure Assistance Coordinating Council.
  • The Daily Meal names Walla Walla one of the Country’s eight Best Small Towns for Food.
  • Finalist for America’s Best Small Town for Food in Rand McNally’s Best of the Road Competition.
  • Municipal Excellence in Public Works Award for Infrastructure Repair and Replacement Plan from Association of Washington Cities.
  • One of the five global finalists for Wine Enthusiast’s Wine Region of the Year Award.
  • Tyler Public Sector Excellence Award from Tyler Technologies.
  • Tonique Magazine Names Walla Walla as Most Authentic Wine Region in America.
  • Wastewater Treatment Plant Outstanding Performance from Washington State Department of Ecology.
  • Charles Smith World Headquarters received an Outstanding Design or Rehabilitation award from Washington Trust for Historic Preservation.

2011

  • Friendliest Town in the Country – USA Today.
  • Friendliest Small Town in America – Rand McNally.
  • One of the Five Best Small Towns in America – USA Today.
  • Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting from the Government Finance Officers Association.
  • Going Above & Beyond in Drinking Water Award from the Washington State Department of Health.
  • State of Washington Governor’s Smart Communities Award for the Washington Park Gathering Place project.

2010

  • America’s New Wine Capital – The Today Show.
  • Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting from the Government Finance Officers Association.
  • Government Fleet Magazine awards the Fleet Services Division with the Environmental Leadership Award.

2009

  • Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting from the Government Finance Officers Association.
  • Named one of The West’s 20 Best Small Town – Sunset Magazine.
  • Governor's Smart Communities Award for Urban Area Comprehensive Plan. 

2006

  • Top 5 Places to Retire – CNNMoney.com.

2005

  • Downtown nominated for Preserve America Presidential Award.
  • ESRI Special Achievement in Geographic Information Systems.
  • Excellence in Downtown Revitalization Award – National Trust for Historic Preservation.
  • 2005 Wine Destination of the Year – Sunset Magazine.  

2004

  • Best Economic Restructuring Story – Department of Community Trade and Economic development.
  • 10th Tree City USA Award and 4th Tree Grow Award.

2002

  • One of 12 national Distinctive Destinations –  National Trust for Historic Preservation.
  • The West’s Best Place to Live and Best Main Street – Sunset Magazine.

2002

  • Best Main Street in the West –  Sunset magazine.

2001

  • Arbor Day Award from the Washington Arbor Day Council.
  • Walla Walla wins the Great American Main Street Award from National Trust for Historic Preservation. 

2000

  • Semi-Finalist for the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Great American Main Street Award.

1999

  • City receives Honorable Mention from National Trust for Historic Preservation. 

1996

  • Named One of the 100 Best Small Art Towns in America in a book by John Villani, John Muir Publications.