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Unforgettable Outdoor Adventures

As the sun rises over Temecula Valley, colorful hot air balloons dot the sky. Balloon launches take place every morning, year-round. Early risers are rewarded with jaw-dropping views of rugged mountains, rolling hills, rambling estates and scenic vineyards. If you visit in May, plan to attend the Temecula Valley Balloon and Wine Festival, the largest in the state. Explore horseback riding trails through vineyards or catch an equestrian event at Galway Downs, a local institution for top-level training, racing and eventing. Love golf? Three public courses boast challenging play with beautiful scenery, including Journey at Pechanga, designed by renowned architects Arthur Hills and Steve Forrest. Enjoy fishing, sailing and camping at Lake Skinner, or escape to the hiking trails at Santa Rosa Plateau Ecological Reserve. The sweeping mountain views are unbeatable.

 

Wine Country, Craft Beer and Artisan Spirits

Wine culture began in Temecula Valley back in 1968 when the first commercial vineyards were planted. Today, it’s an American Viticultural Area (AVA) characterized by rolling, Tuscan-like hills and an ideal climate that is often compared to the Mediterranean. Wine lovers can plan an entire vacation around visiting nearly 50 boutique, rustic and luxurious wineries, each with unique amenities. Download a winery map and explore on your own, or join fellow wine enthusiasts on a guided tour to sample hand-crafted wines grown from dozens of grape varieties, including well-known favorites like Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Chardonnay, as well as offbeat Mediterranean varieties like Sangiovese, Grenache, Tempranillo and Vermentino. Not one for wine? Sip a pint at a craft brewery (the Belgian-style Blood Orange Wit at Refuge Brewery is a favorite), or schedule a tour and tasting of small-batch spirits at Galway Spirits Distillery.

 

Arts, History and Entertainment

Stroll the streets of Old Town Temecula, where original buildings dating back to the 19th century now house restaurants, boutiques and galleries. Get a family-friendly history lesson at the Temecula Valley Museum, see a stage production at the Old Town Temecula Community Theater, and browse the bustling farmers market on Saturday mornings. At Vail Headquarters, a former cattle ranch turned living history park, the whole family can explore historic buildings, shop artisanal boutiques and grab a bite to eat – all in an authentic cowboy-era atmosphere. For fun of the grown-up variety, visit the Pechanga Resort Casino for Las Vegas-style entertainment and gaming, plus luxury rooms and spa services.

Fun Fact

A gorgeous sunset over a vineyard in Temecula Valley, California
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The region’s name derives from a Temecula Indian word meaning “the place of the sun.”

The arches at the entrance to Old Town Temecula, California
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California’s second post office opened in what is now Old Town Temecula in 1859.

Plaque recognizing the Butterfield Overland Mail Route at Vail Headquarters in Temecula, California
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In Temecula, you can find the only existing segment of the original Butterfield Overland Mail route in an urban area, dating to the mid-1800s when the Butterfield Overland Mail Company contracted with the federal government to deliver mail and goods.

The sun rising over a vineyard in Temecula Valley, California
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Nearby Experiences