If you have dreamt of going up in a hot air balloon, Temecula is the place to give it a try! Meet up with one of the balloon companies at a local winery before the sun rises and prepare to experience the landscape dotted with fruit orchards and vineyards. You can see for miles, while floating over tree tops which you can almost reach out and touch. The quiet stillness of the early morning. The changing colors of sunrise, the seemingly transparent mountains in the distance, veiled in mist. These are some of the sights you will enjoy. You will create lasting memories whether you are with family, friends, or solo. Well worth it. After the balloon flight, a danish, glass of champagne and commemorative photo will be yours. You'll have an hour to gather your thoughts before some of the wineries open; you can spend the rest of the day touring them and tasting! Lots of wineries in the area. I went in November 2004. The weather was crisp and sunny. What fun! Make reservations to insure a spot.
Temecula is famous for its wineries, we boast 17 excellent wineries to chose from, most of them offer free wine tasting (make sure you have a driver who doesnt drink, so he/she can drive you around, or rent a limo!), and some of them charge a low fee like $5 for 5 tastes but you get to keep a souvenier glass (like Callaway Winery). Most if not all of these wineries are located in one street, which is Rancho California Rd so its easy to get there! My personal favorite is Maurice Car'rie Winery, where they have a picnic area and their brie bread is fresh and very yummy!
There are several public and private golf courses in the Temecula Valley. There are 5 in Temecula, and several others in Fallbrook (about a 15 min drive from Temecula) and Murrieta (5 min drive). The public golf courses within Temecula are:
Cross Creek Golf Club
Rancho del Cielo Golf Course
Temecula Creek Inn
Temeku Hills Golf Course
Pala Mesa Resort (Public Welcome)
SCGA Member's Club (Public Welcome)
Bear Creek Golf Club (Private)
The biggest Indian Resort/Casino in California, Am I in Vegas? You might ask when you get there. Has an 88,000 square feet casino area. Pechanga Resort & Casino carries the prestigious title of California’s only AAA Four Diamond Resort. They have 522 Rooms and Suites, Convention area, Pool and Spa, with the warm and sunny climate Temecula offers nearly all year round, the relaxing outdoor pool and sundeck are open throughout the year.
Also the resort has an awesome Showroom, check the schedule, this showroom has NO bad seats!, even in the nose-bleed section you can see very well. Lots of famous artists/entertainers perform here.
Old Town Temecula was established around 1849, this is where the stagecoaches stops were. Its a lovely area, with lots of shopping, one of its stores is a huge Antique store 3 stories high!, lots of great bargains and antiques if you know how to look for them. There are also excellent restaurants here.
Old town is where several festivals and shows start, check their schedule when you come to visit. Usually there are car shows, blue grass or country festivals going on.
There are 13 wineries. My favorite is Thornton Winery.
First you will enjoy a tour of the winery and then you settle into the tasting room that offers a view of the full cellar and bottling areas. Make sure you do not sample the wine on an empty stomach. There are plenty of places to stop and eat. The view of the vineyards is amazing. Here is one of the wine cellars.
If you are a golfer, from what I hear their courses are great. Some include Pala Mesa Resort Golf Course, Redhawl Golf CLub,Temecula Creek Inn, and Temeku Hills Golf Course. In addition to golf they have hot air balloon adventure and spas (Glen Ivy Hot Springs Spa).
Temecula is the "wine country" of San Diego like Napa/Sonoma is for San Francisco. Mt Palomar is one of the venues with beautiful grounds. The tasting room is small but their port is excellent.
Built around 1885. In 1887, Peter Mouren served as proprietor. From 1898-1907 the owner, Louis Escallier, ran the hotel, which contained a saloon and pool hall. It was torn down in 1928.