I love a good road trip, and in all my years living in Los Angeles, I am a bit ashamed to admit that I had never visited Temecula in California! I was invited to tour the beautiful wine country with my friends and fellow creators at California Grown. I’ve rounded up a few of my favorite stops in Temecula Valley. It’s a great weekend getaway and offers plenty of delicious adventures and relaxation alike.
This post is sponsored by my friends at California Grown. As always, all opinions are my own!
What is Temecula in California known for?
Temecula, located in Southern California, is known for several things that make it a popular and unique destination:
- Wineries and Vineyards: Temecula Valley is renowned for its picturesque wineries and vineyards. It’s a prime wine region in California, producing a variety of wines, including reds, whites, and rosés. Wine enthusiasts often visit Temecula to indulge in wine tastings and tours, taking in the scenic beauty of the vineyard-covered hills.
- Balloon Rides: The city’s beautiful landscape makes it an ideal spot for hot air balloon rides. Tourists and locals alike can experience breathtaking views of the vineyards and countryside from above. I LOVED taking a balloon ride over Temecula (which surprised me considering my extreme fear of heights). Check out A Grape Escape for tour information.
- Old Town Temecula: This historic district preserves the city’s Old West charm with its rustic buildings and unique shops. It’s a vibrant area filled with restaurants, boutiques, art galleries, and cultural events.
- Pechanga Resort & Casino: One of California’s largest casinos, the Pechanga Resort offers visitors a wide range of entertainment options, including gambling, concerts, and dining experiences.
- Temecula Valley International Film Festival: Each year, the city hosts this prestigious film festival, attracting filmmakers, actors, and cinephiles from around the world.
- Golfing: Temecula has several top-notch golf courses, making it a popular destination for golf enthusiasts seeking challenging and scenic fairways.
- Festivals and Events: Throughout the year, Temecula hosts various festivals and events, including the Temecula Valley Balloon & Wine Festival, Temecula Valley International Jazz Festival, and the Rod Run Classic Car Show.
Overall, Temecula is a charming city that seamlessly combines natural beauty, wine culture, and a touch of history, making it a beloved destination for locals and tourists alike.
Is Temecula close to LA or San Diego? How long is it from LA to Temecula?
Temecula is located approximately midway between Los Angeles and San Diego in Southern California. It is closer to San Diego than to Los Angeles.
The distance from Los Angeles to Temecula is around 85 to 90 miles (137 to 145 kilometers), depending on the specific starting and ending points. The driving time from LA to Temecula can vary depending on traffic conditions, but it typically takes around 1.5 to 2 hours by car.
From San Diego to Temecula, the distance is approximately 60 to 65 miles (97 to 105 kilometers), and the driving time is usually around 1 to 1.5 hours, again depending on traffic.
Keep in mind that travel times can be longer during peak hours, so it’s always a good idea to check current traffic conditions before setting out on your journey.
Temecula Wineries to Try
Temecula Valley is home to a plethora of fantastic wineries, each offering a unique and delightful wine-tasting experience. Its Mediterranean climate and ideal soils make it an ideal winegrowing region with more than 30 grape varietals. Here are some popular wineries in Temecula that you should consider trying:
- Europa Village: This unique winery offers a taste of Europe, with wines inspired by the Old World, complemented by a charming ambiance. They also hosted us for a cooking class with Chef Hany Ali (highly recommend), and we dined at their Barolo restaurant (which was excellent).
- Halter Ranch: Enjoy the energetic, inviting, and enchanting feel of Temecula Wine Country paired with the award-winning wines of the Halter Ranch portfolio (including wine grown in California’s Central Coast).
- Wilson Creek Winery & Vineyards: One of Temecula’s best known wineries . It’s most famous for its almond-flavored sparkling wines and it also has a beautiful outdoor patio. Let’s just say that if you like this kind of wine, you’ll love Wilson Creek.
- Thornton Winery: Famous for its award-winning sparkling wines, Thornton Winery offers a charming setting and often hosts live jazz performances.
- Ponte Winery: This winery features a stunning vineyard view, a spacious tasting room, and a delightful restaurant perfect for a relaxing day.
- South Coast Winery Resort & Spa: Known for its luxurious accommodations and extensive wine selection, South Coast Winery offers a memorable wine-tasting experience.
- Callaway Vineyard & Winery: With its expansive vineyard and serene atmosphere, Callaway is an excellent place to savor their delightful wines.
- Falkner Winery: This winery boasts a hilltop location with breathtaking views, making it a great spot to enjoy their diverse wine selection.
- Leoness Cellars: Known for its premium wines and stunning views, Leoness Cellars is a must-visit for wine enthusiasts.
- Doffo Winery: Specializing in small-lot, handcrafted wines, Doffo Winery provides a warm and welcoming environment for visitors.
- Wiens Family Cellars: With a family-friendly atmosphere, Wiens Family Cellars is an inviting place to enjoy their “big red” wines.
Of course, each winery has its own character, wine varietals, and experiences to offer, so it’s a great idea to explore and discover your personal favorites during your visit to Temecula Valley. Remember to make reservations!
The Best Temecula Winery Hotels
If you’re looking for the best winery hotels in Temecula, you’re in for a treat! These accommodations offer not only comfortable stays but also a unique vineyard experience. Here are some of the top winery hotels in Temecula:
- South Coast Winery Resort & Spa: This luxury resort boasts spacious villas and suites with vineyard views. The GrapeSeed Spa offers relaxing treatments, and the Vineyard Rose Restaurant is perfect for a delightful dining experience. We stayed here. Do note that the villas are not necessarily near the other resort amenities and may require a long walk (or drive) to get to the pool/restaurants etc.
- Europa Village Inn: With its European-inspired design, Europa Village Inn offers comfortable rooms and a tranquil atmosphere. The winery’s tasting rooms are just steps away.
- Ponte Vineyard Inn: The inn’s Tuscan-inspired architecture and luxurious rooms offer a cozy and upscale stay. Guests can savor award-winning wines at the nearby Ponte Winery and Restaurant.
- Inn at Churon Winery: This charming European-style inn features stunning vineyard views, a tranquil courtyard, and a complimentary wine tasting for guests.
- Wilson Creek Manor: As part of Wilson Creek Winery, this exclusive estate offers elegant rooms and suites surrounded by vineyards. Guests can also enjoy complimentary wine tastings and winery tours.
- Lorimar Vineyard & Winery: Lorimar offers boutique-style rooms, each uniquely designed and located within walking distance of the winery’s tasting room.
- Mount Palomar Winery – Villa Estate: Set amid the vineyards, the Villa Estate at Mount Palomar Winery provides a peaceful and private experience for guests.
- Peltzer Winery – Farmhouse: While not exclusively a hotel, Peltzer Winery’s Farmhouse offers a rustic retreat with charming rooms, and guests can immerse themselves in the farm and vineyard experience.
Remember to book your stay in advance, especially during peak seasons or events, to secure your spot at one of these fantastic winery hotels in Temecula.
What to Do in Old Town Temecula
Old Town Temecula is a charming and historic district filled with unique shops, restaurants, and cultural attractions. There’s plenty to see and do in this vibrant area. Here are some of the top things to do in Old Town Temecula:
- Explore the Shops: Take a leisurely stroll through the streets of Old Town and explore the eclectic mix of boutiques, antique shops, art galleries, and specialty stores. It’s a great place to find unique gifts and souvenirs. Don’t miss the Temecula Lavender Co. for a beautiful selection of lavender scented gifts.
- Wine Tasting: Old Town Temecula is home to several wine tasting rooms where you can sample a variety of local wines without having to leave the city. It’s a fantastic way to experience the region’s renowned wine culture. Check out the Corbeaux Wine & Tea House for a unique wine and tea tasting, plus local mead and lavender kombucha and a delicious pairing menu.
- Temecula Olive Oil Company: Don’t miss the chance to visit this charming store and taste an array of delicious olive oils and balsamic vinegars.
- Temecula Valley Museum: Learn about the history and heritage of the region at the Temecula Valley Museum, which features exhibits and artifacts showcasing the area’s past.
- Old Town Farmers Market: If you’re visiting on a Saturday morning, check out the Old Town Temecula Farmers Market. It’s a vibrant market offering fresh produce, local products, arts and crafts, and live entertainment.
Get Your Own Taste of Temecula at Home
If you aren’t able to get to Temecula Valley just yet, you can still experience it at home. Start by ordering some exquisite flavored olive oils from Temecula Olive Oil Company then make yourself a gluten free Olive Oil Cake. Then, order a beautiful bouquet from our friends at Resendiz Brothers Protea Growers. They grow otherworldly proteas and make the most incredible arrangements and wreaths that last forever. Finally, be sure to look for Fairfield Farms blueberries and avocadoes in stores near you!
A Gluten Free Dessert Recipe Inspired by Temecula Valley
Gluten Free Blueberry + Lavender Curd Mini Tarts
Blueberry Curd Mini Tarts are not just ordinary gluten-free desserts; they are small wonders packed with bursts of juicy California blueberry goodness. Picture a luscious blueberry + lavender curd, perfectly nestled within a buttery, toasty, crunchy all-nut crust.
Thanks to James Collier from Paprika Studios for the photographs of Temecula Valley. Thank you for helping support my small business! A Girl Defloured earns revenue in a few different ways; I have occasional sponsored post and I also earn an affiliate commission on the sales of products I link to— there might be a few of those links in this post. The only items that I feature are those that I use on a regular basis and that I truly love. I earn a small commission on your purchase, but you don’t pay any more than retail price. This allows me to share my recipes with you (and keeps me well fed). THANK YOU!