Full Article: A Spectacular Stay in Temecula Valley (groupstoday.com)
One of California's best kept secrets, Temecula Valley brings exhilarating fun, serious relaxation, laid back charm and culinary innovation to the forefront.
It's here in Southern California Wine Country that groups could get a taste of truly something special. Come along as we explore six must-do activities to add to your itinerary the next time you're seeking an adventure that transports you to an entirely different level.
SIP YOUR WAY THROUGH SOCAL WINE COUNTRY
With vines first planted in 1968, Temecula Valley has firmly established itself as SoCal Wine Country—and with good reason. Today, the 33,000-acre viticultural area is now home to nearly 50 wineries, many of which are family owned and boast a number of accolades. Groups who want the ease of having transportation taken care of for them will find exactly that, thanks to Tour Del Vino's customized wine tours and Temecula Cable Car Wine Tours, which whisks groups through the vines on a refurbished 1914 San Francisco cable car.
Found on the De Portola Wine Trail, Oak Mountain Winery is home to SoCal's only mined wine caves, a climate-controlled space where groups could enjoy a tour, wine blending experience or a delicious meal. They could also sip on some of this dog-friendly winery's famous raspberry and strawberry champagnes.
At South Coast Winery Resort & Spa, groups will find a rustic-chic vibe that perfectly matches the estate's award-winning wines. Regarded as a premier vintner, South Coast welcomes groups to enjoy wine tastings, shop the retail store and even take a spin through their tenderly-nurtured vines on an e-bike! On varying Friday evenings, groups could even stargaze with an astronomer on the winery's vast lawn.
Venture to Wilson Creek Winery, where groups will have no shortage of spots to lounge outdoors, sip and take it all in. Grab a glass and go on a behind-the-scenes wine tour, cool off with a wine slushie, rent your own covered courtyard cabana to snack on some small bites underneath and more. This is also a great location to enjoy some creative activities, such as a wine bottle painting class, led by Pinot's Palette Temecula. If you're lucky, you may even get to meet the winery mascot, Brut the golden retriever.
EXPLORE OLD TOWN
Step back in time with a visit to Old Town Temecula, where vibes reminiscent of the historic Golden West reign supreme. Complete with wooden boardwalks, this walkable area is a blend of 1880s Western energy mixed with modern exuberance—all in the name of a good time. Dotted with historically significant buildings—such as the Palomar Inn Hotel—Old Town is also the perfect place to indulge in some shopping and dining.
Swing by Temecula Lavender Co. to shop a line of locally grown and produced lavender products for the bath, body and home; spend some time at Temecula Olive Oil Company for fresh pressed, extra virgin olive oil products; and more. Be sure to stop for a drink and a bite at Crush & Brew, and don't forget to slip around back to the establishment's secret speakeasy, Thompson & Twain, for a Gold Strike cocktail. Old Town is also host to a variety of festivals throughout the year, from art and music to quilting and Greek heritage.
TAKE FLIGHT IN A SPECTACULAR HOT AIR BALLOON
If you've ever wanted to float above the ground, feel the peaceful stillness of the skies and take flight with the birds, an early morning sunrise hot air balloon ride with A Grape Escape should be on your radar. With 30 years in business and instructors with over 22,000 hours of combined flight time, a hot air balloon flight with A Grape Escape over Temecula Valley's sprawling landscape of citrus groves and wineries is a once-in-a-lifetime experience sure to leave a lasting impression on your group. After your flight, meet for a traditional champagne toast before taking on the rest of your day!
TEST YOUR LUCK
If taking to the casino floor sound like your jam, Pechanga Resort Casino—owned by the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians—is just the stop. One of the largest and most expansive casino resort experiences in the country, Pechanga is home to 5,500 slots and table games, in addition to hosting top-tier entertainment weekly. If the slots are too hot, groups could cool off at The Cove, Pechanga's 4.5-acre tropical pool oasis complete with swim-up bars, waterslides, daybeds and plenty more.
Avenues for self-care and treating yourself abound in Temecula. Transport yourself to Spain with a dining experience at Bolero Restaurante at Europa Village; indulge in Native American-inspired healing and wellness treatments at Spa Pechanga; book a stay for your group at Vaquero, a private resort rental suitable for groups up to 20; delight in authentic Italian cuisine crafted using high quality imported Italian goods and locally grown seasonal ingredients at Gourmet Italia; and more.
HIT THE GREEN
A golf getaway fit for the pros is possible, thanks to a number of scenic courses and clubs in the Temecula Valley region. Part of Temecula Creek Inn, groups will find Temecula Creek Golf Club, home to a stunning 27-hole championship course surrounded by more than 300 acres of natural beauty, enduring oak trees and the mountain views groups seek. The club is complete with a full-service driving range with 20 grass and mat tees, personalized golf lessons from PGA Golf Instructors, customizable gear for your group and more.
Want more casual fun? Consider taking advantage of the club's games, on-course challenges and glow ball events (complete with tunes). After wrapping up your golfing fun, refuel with an elevated dining experience overlooking the greens at Cork | Fire Kitchen, which offers an inventive seasonal menu full of options—many of which are crafted using produce grown in the chef's personal on-property garden.
Journey at Pechanga is another golf destination to keep in mind. Recognized as one of the premier public courses in Southern California, Journey's par-72, links-style award-winning course was designed by noted architects Arthur Hills and Steve Forrest, and is surrounded by picturesque rolling hills.
Whatever you decide to do while there, Temecula Valley is an elevated yet relaxed destination groups surely will want to visit over and over again.
To further explore all Temecula Valley has to offer, see Visit Temecula Valley.
Written by Sarah Suydam, Managing Editor for Groups Today.
Photos Courtesy of Sarah Suydam.