Temecula Valley is Southern California’s answer to wine country. The quaint town about an hour south of Irvine is best known for its approachable wineries and hot air balloon rides floating over the vineyards. For a unique wine tasting experience on the ground, book a tour with So-Cal Sidecars and cruise through the back roads and vineyards in a sidecar based on an original WWII era Soviet Ural. In Old Town Temecula, the new Small Barn Old Town is an excellent rustic chic restaurant with a massive outdoor patio and a menu that revolves around what’s local and in season. A few stores down is Temecula Lavender Co. where you can stock up on essential oils, bath and body products and all things lavender.
Where to stay:This five-bedroom stunner is surrounded by four acres of vineyards and features a pool flanked by citrus and avocado trees, plus a stone and marble summer kitchen. Carter Estate Winery and Resort is also good choice for spacious bungalows with patios overlooking the vineyard. Pro-tip: You’ll get a front-row seat to an epic sunset.