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5 Interactive, Midweek-Vacation Adventures for Mature Travelers in Temecula Valley

Thursday, March 20, 2014 9:00 PM

1-Do a Dedicated Discovery of Temecula Valley So Cal Wine Country

Weekday visits to Temecula Valley So Cal Wine Country naturally provide greater opportunities for appreciation and understanding of approximately 40, award-winning wineries' individual styles and crafting of quality, premium varietal wines and proprietary blends. Midweek also makes for potential chances to meet or converse with winery family members, winemakers, or other winery principals.

As a growing collection of more than 5,000 awards attests, the diverse appellation is gaining well-deserved recognition. Many wineries are small and most are family-owned; most are open daily affording the opportunity for impromptu winery-to-winery wine-tasting experiences. Many wineries have restaurants where Temecula Valley So Cal Wine Country chefs expertly pair wines with fresh, local, seasonal foods.

For more in-depth learning, join a behind-the-scenes winery tour at Callaway Vineyard & Winery, or reserve in advance to ‘touch the vine and taste the wine' at Leoness Cellars, or to experience lsquo;wine and cheese and fruit pairing' at South Coast Winery, Resort & Spa. Additional options: the cellar-room seated tasting at Wiens Family Cellars includes a flight of reserve and limited red wines; at the sit-down wine and champagne tasting at Thornton Winery, appetizers may be ordered as well; and Palumbo Family Vineyards and Temecula Creek Inn are offering the seasonal, ‘Follow the Grape' series that includes hands-on experiences. Another option: Local tour and transportation companies make for relaxed, carefree, wine country tours.

2- Golf the Vacation-Worthy Courses of Temecula Valley So Cal Wine Country

Midweek can mean prime, tee-time reservation availability on Temecula Valley So Cal Wine Country's impressive golf courses. Golfers in-the-know celebrate the richness of the game at seven vacation-worthy courses open-to-the-public.

Designed by Arthur Hills and well-worth the splurge, Journey at Pechanga is best known for its signature, 435-yard, par 4, 6th hole with absolutely stunning vista and spectacular 175-foot drop from the tee - the largest elevation drop on a California course. With course designs by Ted Robinson Sr. and Dick Rossen, Temecula Creek Inn features 27 holes of championship golf including the Stonehouse Nine where precision play is critical, and the more traditional adjoining fairways of the Creek Course (offering increased length) and the Oaks Course (well bunkered and known for its playability). 

Cross Creek Golf Club is described by its legendary course designer, Arthur Hills, as "an absolutely beautiful site with plenty of variety and challenge for golfers of all abilities." Under new ownership and management, the Legends Golf Club (a Ted Robinson design and formerly Temeku Hills) is on a celebrated rebound restoring its facility to its former glory as one of Southern California's best golfing experiences.

Designed by Ron Fream and with the only island greens in Southern California, Red Hawk Golf Club is rated 7th best among California's public courses. The Golf Club at Rancho California (recognized as one of the finest competitive venues in golf and formerly known as SCGA Golf Club) was designed by legendary architect Robert Trent Jones and enjoys a following as a destination for golf purists. Accented with oaks, sycamores, and elms, the beautifully manicured Pala Mesa Golf Course provides challenges at every turn.

3- Experience the Artisan Foods and Wines of the Old Town Temecula Tasting Trail

Weekdays make for more attention and a more leisurely pace in the nine artisan and specialty food shops, and seven wine tasting rooms along the Old Town Temecula Tasting Trail. With a relaxed, casual attitude, the 12-block, entertainment-dining-shopping district encourages one to delight and linger just a while longer in palate-pleasing establishments.

The complimentary olive oil tasting bar at Temecula Olive Oil Company is renowned for fresh, 100% California, 100% extra-virgin, hand-blended olive oil, and a staff that is knowledgeable and obliging. Lauded for unique and satisfying cheese tasting, is charming Temecula Valley Cheese Company; and at Old Town Spice Merchants, the herbs, spices, salts, blends, and teas are intriguing; and assistance with learning more, easy, warm, and congenial.

Old Town Sweet Shop is tempting with a delicious variety of fresh fudge, gourmet caramel apples, chocolate dipped treats, and an incredible selection of retro candy. More specialties to discover: Old Town Root Beer Company's hundreds of root beers and nostalgic sodas.

Showcasing the wines of small, Temecula Valley Southern California Wine Country boutique wineries, each of Old Town's wine tasting rooms is within easy walking distance. Tasting rooms are low-key and friendly with perfectly knowledgeable staff; many feature live music weekly. Relaxed and trendy, and showcasing the work of local artists, Lorimar Winery's Old Town tasting room is one of the most popular for a structured tasting or a glass of premium, handcrafted wine.

Twenty-one cafés and restaurants also serve up flavorful sensory experiences in Old Town Temecula. Experience memorable dining like the appeal of the weekly prix fixe menu and local, award-winning wines at Baily's; ‘the best' minestrone, lasagna, and gnocchi with a nice variety of Temecula Valley So Cal wines at widely touted Palumbo's Ristorante; and fresh, Mediterranean-inspired specialties paired with premium, valley wines at Soro's Mediterranean Grill.

4- Savor with Gusto the Great Outdoors in Temecula Valley So Cal Wine Country

Visitors from California and beyond are attracted to Temecula Valley So Cal Wine Country by its natural gifts of climate and geography. Midweek has advantages especially in the great outdoors of this casual, picturesque valley - where you may even be able to call the trails and the skies your own. 

One of the most popular Temecula Valley So Cal Wine Country outdoor adventures is a hot air balloon flight. There is an incomparable exhilaration while drifting over 5,000+ acres of vineyards and rolling hills with a commanding wine country view. Take launch at sunrise with local, hot air balloon companies like A Grape Escape, California Dreamin', D&D Ballooning, and Magical Adventures.

The 8,300-acre Santa Rosa Plateau Ecological Reserve protects unique ecosystems like rare oak savannah and woodlands, riparian wetlands, coastal sage scrub, chaparral, and bunchgrass prairie. The Reserve's 40 miles of trails - easy to advanced plus wheelchair-friendly - are accessible from sunrise to sunset daily and ideal for hiking, nature study, and photography. Stop at the visitors center (open Tuesday through Sunday) to learn about seasonal wildlife and the Reserve's history.

A guided horseback ride through the vineyards with Wine Country Trails by Horseback is another scenic, leisurely way to experience Temecula Valley So Cal Wine Country's natural richness first hand.  Rides are on well-seasoned horses and offered in the early morning when dew is still fresh on the vines; in the afternoon with gentle ocean breezes; and late in the day with the setting sun as a backdrop.

5- Explore the Shops of Promenade Temecula and Old Town Temecula

Weekday exploring of the stores and boutiques of Promenade Temecula and Old Town Temecula often yields unexpected surprises. With distinctive, trendy stores; upscale, specialty boutiques; and lively and unique shops, the merchandise mix reflects the vibrant and colorful, diverse style and taste of Southern California.

Situated on 75 acres and with 1.14 million square feet, the contemporary Promenade Temecula is part outdoor mall, part open-air entertainment plaza, and part trendy Main Street setting. Browse and explore some 100, specialty shops like Apple, Express, Coldwater Creek, The Walking Company, Williams-Sonoma, Pottery Barn, Papyrus, and Barnes & Noble Booksellers plus anchors like Macy's.

Pedestrian-friendly, Old Town Temecula is home to a noteworthy collection of 60+ independently owned stores with something for everyone - from art and antiques; home, garden, and décor; art, antiques, and collectibles; crafts; fashions and accessories; and other specialties like Temecula Lavender Co.'s locally grown and produced lavender candles, and signature bath and body products, and the unique and educational toys for kids at Pennypickle's Workshop. Also venture across the river from Old Town Front Street to Granny's Attic and Antiques for one-of-a-kind handcrafted furniture, vintage clothing, and collector figurines. 

***All information is believed to be accurate but may be subject to change.

VisitTemecula.org is the official website of the Visit Temecula Valley. The 501(c)6 non-profit organization stimulates tourism and economic activity, and is the region's official resource for visitors.

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