Temecula, California is a growing community located just north of the San Diego/Riverside county line. This beautiful valley is surrounded by mountains and is known for its clear air and moderated climate. In fact, the Mediterranean-like climate has defined the area in the form of fertile vineyards and fine wines.
A vacation in Temecula will have you hopping from one charming winery to another, strolling the quaint streets of Old Town, browsing for antiques, hiking in wilderness areas, taking in Broadway shows, and enjoying a wide variety of dining choices.
Temecula’s history is rich and varied. You’ll hear tales of Native Americans, stagecoaches, bank robberies, speakeasies, Indian massacres, and railroad adventures. Famous authors, such as Helen Hunt Jackson who wrote Ramona after staying with Temecula pioneers Louis and Ramona Wolf, and Erle Stanley Gardner is known for his Perry Mason novels, made their marks on the community.
Old Town Temecula
You can learn about the history of the area by visiting the Temecula Valley Museum in Old Town. A large monument in Sam Hicks Park in front of the museum honors those who have passed through including Kit Carson and Sacagawea.
While in Old Town Temecula, stroll the boarded sidewalks and browse for antiques. The storefronts have an Old West look to them. These aren’t cutesy replicas, most of these buildings are actual, historic buildings from the early days.
Old meets new here and are often intertwined. For example, one of the newer buildings in Old Town is the Old Town Community Theatre. The state-of-the-art theatre is built behind the historic Mercantile building. The 1890 building houses the ticket office, an art gallery, and a small performance area for more intimate gatherings. In addition, free wifi internet access is available throughout Old Town.
Temecula children’s museum
If you have little ones, stop by the Imagination Workshop – Temecula’s children’s museum. This workshop is the home to a slightly mad scientist, Professor Pennypickle. Professor Pennypickle is a scientist, a time traveler, and an inventor of wacky gizmos designed to thrill children and adults alike. The workshop contains secret passageways, labs, music rooms, and more. Hands-on exhibits make for a fun and educational visit.<
Old Town is home to numerous events such as annual car shows, street painting festivals, and music festivals. Patio dining is popular here with restaurants such as Mad Madeline’s and Rosa’s Cantina offering fantastic lunches and people- watching. Upscale restaurants such as Bailey’s are perfect for a romantic date.
Temecula wine country
Temecula’s wine country is located just minutes from Interstate 15. A short drive down Rancho California road progresses from the suburbs to rolling, vine-covered hills. You’ll feel as if you are miles away from civilization. The days of free wine tasting in Temecula are gone but prices remain reasonable at most wineries. In addition to tasting the fine wines, you’ll enjoy the ambiance and unique character each winery brings. Live music, freshly baked brie bread and roaring bonfires are among the auxiliary offerings you’ll experience.
Balloon and Wine Festival
Each spring, Temecula celebrates its wine heritage with its Balloon and Wine Festival. Hot air balloons soar over the valley while the festival-goers sip wine and listen to live music below. This annual three-day event is located at Lake Skinner and grows every year.
Temecula Valley International Film and Music Festival
Another growing annual event is the Temecula Valley International Film and Music Festival held each September. This fantastic event has attracted attention and rave reviews from Hollywood and film fans alike. This is one of the more intimate film festivals you’ll find. Because of the proximity to L.A., keep your eyes out for celebrities who come to participate. In addition to the films, the festival features workshops and an added music component.
Agua Tibia Wilderness area
If you like to get out into the great outdoors, you’ll find numerous hiking options just outside of Temecula. The Santa Rosa Plateau is a nature preserve in the hills to the west that features gentle hikes along rolling hills, oak trees, and seasonal vernal pools. The Agua Tibia Wilderness area to the south is a rugged area with hikes ranging from easy to difficult. Stay or park at Dripping Springs Campground and spend the day hiking up the mountain.
Nightlife in Temecula
Nightlife in Temecula offers Country and Western dancing at the Stampede, gambling or nightclubbing at the Pechanga Indian Casino, interactive dinner theatre, or gourmet wine and dinner parties at various wineries.
Temecula has several golf courses to satisfy your need to hit the links while on vacation. The courses range from the stunning resort courses of Temecula Creek to public courses such as Redhawk Golf Club and Temeku Golf Course, to a unique 9-hole “lite” golf course, El Rancho Del Cielo.
Temecula offers a full schedule of fun things to do. In addition to being a great place to visit, it’s also a great place to live. Whether you’re here for a few days or for a lifetime, you’ll see that Temecula shines.